By Roland Lazenby
Shortlisted for the 2017 Cross Sports Book Awards Best Biography of the YearBryant is one of basketball's greatest-ever players, a fascinating and complicated character who says he knew when he was a boy that he would be better than Michael Jordan.Aloof and uncompromising, Bryant is the grand enigma of American professional basketball, easily the most driven player in the history of the sport, the absolute master of study and preparation. But his career has also been one of almost constant conflict: with his teammate Shaquille O'Neal; with Phil Jackson, coach of the championship-winning Lakers team that Kobe led; with the law; with his wife Vanessa; and with so many of his contemporaries, opponents and teammates.Comprehensive and unflinching, Showboat unravels the conundrum that is Kobe Bryant.
Space Below My Feet
By Gwen Moffat
A classic mountaineering memoir by one of the UK's foremost female climbers.In 1945, when Gwen Moffat was in her twenties, she deserted from her post as a driver and dispatch rider in the Army and went to live rough in Wales and Cornwall, climbing and living on practically nothing. She hitch-hiked her way around, travelling from Skye to Chamonix and many places in between, with all her possessions on her back, although these amounted to little more than a rope and a sleeping bag.When the money ran out, she worked as a forester, went winkle-picking on the Isle of Skye, acted as the helmsman of a schooner and did a stint as an artist's model. And always there were the mountains, drawing her away from a 'proper' job.Throughout this unique story, there are acutely observed accounts of mountaineering exploits as Moffat tackles the toughest climbs and goes on to become Britain's leading female climber - and the first woman to qualify as a mountain guide.
A Significant Other
By Matt Rendell
An inside view into cycling's most prestigious event and the people who have helped Lance Armstrong win an unprecedented six timesLance Armstrong's place in the cycling history books is assured. Winner of the Tour de France a record-breaking six times, he is regarded as one of the greatest individual talents the sport has ever seen. Perhaps his most compelling victory was in 2003 when he won the coveted Centenary race. However, without the team of brilliant athletes assembled to support him - the domestiques - victory in the Tour would have been impossible.Not only do these superbly trained athletes ride alongside the team leader, supplying water and equipment, but they also create a moving stream of energy that is vital for competitive success. In 2003, Lance Armstrong's domestique, Victor Hugo Peña, actually took over the yellow jersey and stepped into history. A Significant Other is the story of that race but also of these unsung heros of the sport.
By Mark Todd
The greatest equestrian of the 20th century makes a stunning comeback in the 21st century.Mark Todd's eventing career is the stuff of legend and encompasses one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time.When he 'retired' from competing in eventing in 2000, he had already been named 'Rider of the Century' for his natural empathy with a horse and his extraordinary success, which included back-to-back Olympic gold medals, five Burghley wins and three Badminton victories. He has also show jumped to Olympic level and trained winners on the racecourse. Considered a legendary horseman by his peers, he seemed to have done it all.He returned to train racehorses in his native New Zealand but, eight years later, the idea of a comeback took root, part dare, part personal challenge to see if he could still cut it in a changed sport. Within eight months, he was riding at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and in 2011, he hit the headlines by becoming the oldest rider to win Badminton. He is now at the forefront of New Zealand's resurgence ahead of the London Olympic Games.The story of his progress from dairy farmer to world renown is told with typically laid-back humour, but it reveals the fierce determination, discipline and personal sacrifice which lies behind the relaxed outlook.