The Summer Olympics are coming up in Rio — what better way is there to prepare than to read? I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite Olympics-themed reads to help get you in the mood for the Games.
The Summer Games: Settling the Score is a lighthearted romance between two Olympic athletes set during the 2016 Olympics in Rio. While I can’t vouch for the veracity of some of the behind-the-scenes Olympic Village shenanigans, I can say that this was a fun, quick read that’s perfect in an Olympic year.
The Singles Game technically isn’t about the Olympics at all, but is instead about women’s pro tennis. While there isn’t even a tiny mention of the Olympics, this book is full of professional-level international competition, and plus, tennis is a sport at the Summer Olympics. So… it counts, right? Either way, this book will get you in the mood to watch top-level athletes compete for the gold, and might even inspire you to get up and play a little tennis yourself. Check out my full review of this book: The Singles Game.
The Boys in the Boat is a sports history about the U.S. Men’s Olympic Rowing Team for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. It’s both exciting and informative and a clearly excellent choice for summer reading to prepare for the Olympics.
Unbroken isn’t exactly a story about the Olympics, but rather is a biographical history of an Olympian’s experience during World War II. Louis Zamperini was also a participant in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, and his story is compelling. It’s a great choice for learning more about the era and the war, with a little bit of Olympics on the side.
Grace, Gold, & Glory is Gabby Douglas’s memoir about her life up through winning the gold in the 2012 London Olympics. There isn’t much in here that I didn’t already know and the book has a lot of religious bits (because Gabby is pretty religious), but it definitely helps get me in the mood for the gymnastics competition to come.