Reading Challenge 2022: Read a Book About Sports

This post was contributed by Nicole Hilder, a library specialist at Saddlebrook Branch.

In 2022, OPL invites patrons to take part in the Reading Challenge, opens a new window! For each challenge, OPL offers suggestions for titles to listen to or read. As you’re working through the challenge, feel free to tag @omahalibrary on Twitter, opens a new window, Instagram, opens a new window, or Facebook, opens a new window to let us know which read you picked up this month!

What is a sport, really? Merriam-Webster defines it as a diversion or “an activity that diverts the mind from tedious or serious concerns; a recreation or pastime.” Does that make reading a sport? Who’s to say?

The love for Nebraska athletics runs deep and spans coast to coast. If you want to learn more about the beloved Huskers, pick up "Dream Like A Champion, opens a new window" by volleyball coach John Cook or “If These Walls Could Talk, opens a new windowby former linebacker Jerry Murtaugh. Take a deep dive into Omaha’s historic high school basketball team from the 1960s and try Steve Marantz’s “The Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central, opens a new window.” For baseball fans, you can revisit the former College World Series stadium in this essay collection “Rosenblatt Stadium, opens a new window.”

Calling all history buffs! Dig into the history of surfing with Jim Kempton’s "Women on Waves, opens a new window" or Gary Belsky’s “On the Origins of Sports, opens a new window.” If you’d rather focus on the athlete and their journey, consider reading a biography. Some suggestions: “The Impossible Mile, opens a new window” by Johnny Agar, “Proud, opens a new window” by Ibtihaj Muhammad, and “Unguarded, opens a new windowby Scottie Pippen.

If you're excited about the 2022's big international sporting events - the Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup - consider "Dare to Make History, opens a new window" the story of Winter Olympic twins Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando or "Eight World Cups: My Journey Through the Beauty and Dark Side of Soccer, opens a new window" by George Vecsey.

For stories with sports as a subplot, check out Haruki Murakami’s “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, opens a new window” or Quan Barry’s "We Ride Upon Sticks, opens a new window," a witchy novel about a field hockey team. To watch athletes in action, here’s some book-to-screen adaptations: “The Queen’s Gambit, opens a new window” by Walter Tevis (chess); “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, opens a new window” by J.K. Rowling (quidditch); and “Friday Night Lights, opens a new window” by Buzz Bissinger (football).

Whether you’re interested in traditional sports like baseball, fictional ones like quidditch, or you’re an indifferent spectator, there’s something for everyone in OPL’s collection to complete this challenge.

For more ideas check out this list, opens a new window or request a custom reading list or book bundle, opens a new window tailored to your interests by OPL librarians.

Starting April 1, 2022, you may submit your completed reading log online, opens a new window or return a completed tracking sheet to any OPL branch to receive a pin and to be entered into a drawing for a book store gift card! All completed tracking sheets or online challenge form entries must be received by December 31, 2022, to be entered into the prize drawing.