Reading lists

Books to read if you’re missing sport this summer

From the Tour de France and Wimbledon to the Euros and Tokyo 2020, Covid-19 had meant the cancellation of many of sport's greatest competitions this summer. Here are some amazing books about each sport to keep your mind in the game. 

Tim Lane/Penguin

What a summer it would have been. The Tokyo Olympics. Euro 2020. The Tour de France. Wimbledon. The Masters. But no: the obvious kiboshed them all. So instead, sports fans up and down Britain have been forced to channel their sporting passions through reruns of forgotten finals on YouTube, solo keepy-uppies in parks, or just dreams.

But there is another way to re-live the highs of sporting glory this summer. In fact, with lockdown still in force, could there be a better time to unfold the deck chair, tear open the strawberries and bask in the sun with some of the best writing about sport? Sport, after all, has inspired some of the greatest writers in the English language.

So put down the remote, or come home from the park, and pick up one of these terrific books about the beauty of the sports we've been missing, from social histories to memoirs, tactical analyses to fans-eye-views.

The Tour de France (road cycling)

2020 Summer Olympics

2020 Summer Paralympics

Sadly, precious few books have been written about the Paralympics, which should also have taken place this year. It seems a particular shame in Britain, given that British athletes won a staggering 64 gold medals in Rio last time around, 34 in London four years earlier and 42 at Beijing 2008. Of the books that have been written about paralympic athletes, Cathy Wood's Paralympic Heroes is the best, an awe-inspiring celebration the lives and achievments of the Brits who conquered Beijing in 2008.

Wimbledon (tennis)

UEFA Euro 2020 (football)

The Masters (golf)

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