7 books like Pierce Egan's Book of Sports, and Mirror of Life

By Pierce Egan,

Here are 7 books that Pierce Egan's Book of Sports, and Mirror of Life fans have personally recommended if you like Pierce Egan's Book of Sports, and Mirror of Life. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Harold Larwood

Robert Colls Author Of This Sporting Life: Sport and Liberty in England, 1760-1960

From my list on sport history from someone who is mad for history.

Why am I passionate about this?

One reason is that I belong to Europe's leading sports institute, the International Centre for Sport History and Culture at De Montfort University in England. The other reason is that I’m mad about all history, not just sports history. I am currently a Professor of History at De Montfort University, Leicester. Before that, I was a Professor of English History at Leicester University.

Robert's book list on sport history from someone who is mad for history

Robert Colls Why did Robert love this book?

Best start with a cracker. Harold Larwood was the best fast bowler England ever produced. Three times winner of the William Hill Prize, Duncan Hamilton has claim to be the best sports writer. In the famous ‘Bodyline’ tests with Australia in 1933, standing 5’ 7” and 11 stone wet-through, Larwood the Nottinghamshire coalminer intimidated Bradman, ‘The Don’, the world’s greatest batsman. Chapter one is called ‘Kicking Bradman Up the Arse’ but the writing, like the bowling, rises to the occasion: “At full speed, Larwood flowed like a bolt of pure silk”.

By Duncan Hamilton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Harold Larwood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, this is the first ever biography of Harold Larwood. Larwood, one of the most talented, accurate and intimidating fast bowlers of all time is mainly remembered for his role in the infamous Bodyline series of 1932-3 which brought Anglo-Australian diplomatic relations to the brink of collapse. Larwood was made the scapegoat - and despite the fact he was simply following his captain's instructions, he never played cricket for England again. Devastated by this betrayal, he eventually emigrated to Australia, where he was accepted by the country that had once despised…


Book cover of The Sweet Science

Robert Colls Author Of This Sporting Life: Sport and Liberty in England, 1760-1960

From my list on sport history from someone who is mad for history.

Why am I passionate about this?

One reason is that I belong to Europe's leading sports institute, the International Centre for Sport History and Culture at De Montfort University in England. The other reason is that I’m mad about all history, not just sports history. I am currently a Professor of History at De Montfort University, Leicester. Before that, I was a Professor of English History at Leicester University.

Robert's book list on sport history from someone who is mad for history

Robert Colls Why did Robert love this book?

In a very British list, there has got to be something from the great American tradition. Liebling wrote for the elite New Yorker but as a New Yorker in every sense he liked to think of himself as a sort of Pierce Egan of the Bronx. So, in the heyday of American fighting, take a ringside seat at The Garden to see the fighter with a face like a worn penny, and see Jersey Joe Walcott take a fall like flour out of a chute.

By A.J. Liebling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sweet Science as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Take a ringside seat next to A. J. Liebling at some of the greatest fights in history. Here is Joe Louis's devastating final match; Sugar Ray Robinson's dramatic comeback; and Rocky Marciano's rise to heavyweight glory. The heated ringside atmosphere, the artistry of the great boxers and the blows and parries of the classic fights are all vividly evoked in a volume described by Sports Illustrated as 'the best American sports book of all time'.

'A rollicking god among boxing writers ... before Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson were out of diapers, Liebling was taking his readers on excursions…


Book cover of Fever Pitch

Robert Colls Author Of This Sporting Life: Sport and Liberty in England, 1760-1960

From my list on sport history from someone who is mad for history.

Why am I passionate about this?

One reason is that I belong to Europe's leading sports institute, the International Centre for Sport History and Culture at De Montfort University in England. The other reason is that I’m mad about all history, not just sports history. I am currently a Professor of History at De Montfort University, Leicester. Before that, I was a Professor of English History at Leicester University.

Robert's book list on sport history from someone who is mad for history

Robert Colls Why did Robert love this book?

There has to be a football book in the list and it was a toss-up between this and the other This Sporting Life (1960), David Storey’s magnificent novel about northern rugby league. But Hornby edges it because he is writing about being a fan and god knows being a fan gets little enough attention in sport writing. Admittedly, it is about Arsenal but I’m just going to have to live with that because Highbury was a lovely ground and Hornby is smart enough to know that sport is about everything in life but money.

By Nick Hornby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fever Pitch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book, chronicled from the perspective of a fanatical ten-year-old soccer fan, through disillusioned adolescence, to an adult "who should know better", examines the absurdities, idiosyncrasies and traumas of everyday life and football. While Chelsea were undoubtedly the football team at the heart of fashionable London in the late 1960s, it proved to be the quiet backstreets around Highbury and Finsbury Park which led a sombre schoolboy from Maidenhead into a 20-year obsession with football, and Arsenal FC in particular. Nick Hornby became hooked after seeing Arsenal beat Stoke City (1-0 from a penalty rebound) in 1968. 24 years later…


Book cover of Sport and the British: A Modern History

Robert Colls Author Of This Sporting Life: Sport and Liberty in England, 1760-1960

From my list on sport history from someone who is mad for history.

Why am I passionate about this?

One reason is that I belong to Europe's leading sports institute, the International Centre for Sport History and Culture at De Montfort University in England. The other reason is that I’m mad about all history, not just sports history. I am currently a Professor of History at De Montfort University, Leicester. Before that, I was a Professor of English History at Leicester University.

Robert's book list on sport history from someone who is mad for history

Robert Colls Why did Robert love this book?

Before Holt, the history of the British and their relationship with sport was just a muddy field with some green patches near the press box. Then Holt came along to drain the land, roll the turf, and set the boundaries. Most of all, he explained how modern sport was invented in the leafy streets of the suburban South and the wastes and alleyways of the industrial North. An absolute classic. First published in 1990, a new edition is on its way.

By Richard Holt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sport and the British as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This lively and deeply researched history - the first of its kind - goes beyond the great names and moments to explain how British sport has changed since 1800, and what it has meant to ordinary people. It shows how the way we play reflects not just our lives as citizens of a predominantly urban and industrial world, but what is especially distinctive about British sport. Innovators in abandoning traditional, often brutal sports, and in establishing a code of `fair
play', the British were also pioneers in popular sports and in the promotion of organized spectator events.

Modern media coverage…


Book cover of A Pattern of Secrets

Victoria Williamson Author Of Hag Storm

From my list on Scottish historical fiction for middle graders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in the heart of Scotland addicted to visiting museums and exploring local stories and legends. Now as an adult I’m either to be found with my nose in a history book or out on an archaeological dig. I love to weave the lives of Scottish heroes such as Roberts Burns into books filled with fantasy and adventure for children, and to write spine-chilling tales for adults where supernatural creatures from Scottish myths lurk between the pages. I recently co-created a series of educational writing videos for school children to help them explore the history of their local area, and hopefully inspire the historical authors of the future!

Victoria's book list on Scottish historical fiction for middle graders

Victoria Williamson Why did Victoria love this book?

A Pattern of Secrets is a wonderfully atmospheric Victorian adventure that tells the story of two children from very different worlds – one of a twelve-year-old boy living in poverty, the other of a girl with apparently everything she could want. Their paths cross when Jim’s father loses his livelihood when the factory owned by Jessie’s father closes and an unfortunate misunderstanding costs Jim’s family their savings and their home. Jim and Jessie are not so very different though, and Lindsay Littleson weaves together their stories in a beautiful dual narrative that shows how two children from very different backgrounds could have more in common than they could possibly have imagined.

By Lindsay Littleson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Pattern of Secrets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Paisley 1876.

12-year-old Jim has escaped from the Poor House and now he must save his little brother from the same fate. His only hope lies in a mysterious family heirloom - a Paisley patterned shawl that has five guineas sewn into its hem - the price of a new life for Jim's family. Now he must find the shawl and steal it back from the big house where the girl with the red hair lives...

Two different worlds collide in this gripping Victorian mystery as Jim and Jessie unravel the past and its pattern of secrets...


Book cover of Diamond

Helen Laycock Author Of Glass Dreams

From my list on circus stories for readers eight and up.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember reading Enid Blyton’s Mr. Galliano’s Circus as a child and was fascinated more by the idea of circus life than the actual performance aspect. I still adore watching high-quality circus feats performed by acrobats and love that frisson of excitement as everyone shuffles into their seats just before showtime. When I began writing children’s books, my aim was to give the child characters room to develop resilience and courage while encountering danger and adventure without the presence of adults. In order to do this, I had to somehow remove parental figures. Running away is the perfect literary device to achieve this which is how Glass Dreams came about.

Helen's book list on circus stories for readers eight and up

Helen Laycock Why did Helen love this book?

This book is part of the Hetty Feather collection, perfect for fans of this feisty Victorian heroine.

Recounted by ‘Diamond’ (formerly Ellen-Jane), the child acrobatic wonder, this is a story about running away FROM the circus. Bought for five guineas by cruel clown Beppo, Diamond is forced to become part of the Silver Brothers’ tumbling act at Tanglefield’s Travelling Circus. Although competent, she is mistreated and unhappy, but when Hetty Feather joins the circus as ringmaster ‘Emerald’, things begin to change…

By Jacqueline Wilson, Nick Sharratt (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Diamond as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Diamond wasn't always a star. Born to penniless parents who longed for a strong, healthy son, she was a dainty, delicate daughter - and a bitter disappointment.

Discovering an extraordinary gift for acrobatics, Diamond uses her talent to earn a few pennies, but brings shame on her family. When a mysterious, cruel-eyed stranger spots her performing, Diamond is sold - and is taken to become an acrobat at Tanglefield's Travelling Circus.

The crowds adore Diamond, but life behind the velvet curtains is far from glamorous. Her wicked master forces Diamond to attempt ever more daring tricks, until she is terrified…


Book cover of To Prove I’m Not Forgot: Living And Dying In A Victorian City

Chris Nickson Author Of Brass Lives

From my list on Leeds as it was.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised in Leeds and moved back here in 2013. My ancestors first came here a couple of hundred years ago. The place is my passion, but it’s also in my DNA. I write historical crime novels, many of them set in Leeds between 1730 and 1957. I know this place through the soles of my feet. My work means constantly researching its history, trying to understand this city, how it shifts and changes, and the people who call it home. The longer I continue, the greater my fascination, and the deeper I dive to keep learning more. These books all beat with the heart of Leeds.

Chris' book list on Leeds as it was

Chris Nickson Why did Chris love this book?

This tells the story, not just of Beckett Street Cemetery, supposedly the oldest municipal cemetery in the UK, but more important of those buried there, both rich and poor (and there are plenty of both). It sits across the road from what was once Leeds Workhouse, and has its share of former inmates from there in unmarked graves. Poignantly, there’s are also many guinea graves, where several are buried on top of each other, names listed on a headstone, all for a guinea (just over a pound). In its tales, this becomes a 19th-century social history of Leeds – there’s even a survivor of the Battle of Waterloo buried there. Not a widely-known book, but it has a wonderful, quiet importance. I have relatives in unmarked, guinea, and regular graves.

By Sylvia M. Barnard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To Prove I’m Not Forgot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With the growth of English cities during the Industrial Revolution came a booming population too vast for churchyards. Beckett Street Cemetery in Leeds was to become the first municipal cemetery in the country. This study relates how the cemetery was started and run, and describes the developing feuds between denominations. The author draws upon newspaper articles, archive material and municipal records to tell the stories of many of the people who lie there, from tiny infants, soldiers and victims of crime to those who perished in the great epidemics of Victorian England. The study throws new light on the occupations…


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