Whether you’re racking your brain for a good Christmas present or looking to resume your reading habit, we’ve come to your rescue with some great book titles. Begin 2019 on a motivational note, drawing inspiration from the lives of some of the most successful female athletes India has produced.
We know of the medals they’ve brought to the country and follow their games passionately, but for an insight into their real lives – the intense hard work, struggle and the ensuing success – pick up their biographies.
Ace Against Odds by Sania Mirza:
Sania’s tennis life is well known to anyone who even has a passing interest in sports, but we recommend her autobiography to learn about her life off the court. A reader’s delight, the book is full of anecdotes and encounters with people that have helped her become the champion she is today. Penned with her father Imran Mirza, it’s a behind-the-scenes access pass to her life, taking us through her success, injuries and relationships.
UnBreakable by Mary Kom:
There’s, of course, the film showcasing her life, but for the thrill to read Mary’s story in her own words, pick up UnBreakable. It’s hailed by many as ‘unputdownable,’ thanks to the raw, honest writing and a peek into the culture of Manipur. Mary writes about her childhood spent in abject poverty, her intent and struggle to continue boxing despite the odds, and personal family life.
A Different Spirit by Dr Anantha Krishnan M:
If there was ever an inspiring story, it is paraplegic athlete Dr Malathi Holla’s. Taking the sporting world by storm in her wheelchair, Malathi’s was a fight not just on the sports turf, but also at every step of her life. From the 33 surgeries she underwent to the appalling cold behaviour by the Indian government officials, to the over 400 international medals she has won – this book is a riveting read.
Playing to Win by Saina Nehwal:
Sure, Playing to Win is about Saina’s bond with badminton, but as a good autobiography should, it’s heavy on her personal life too. Apart from the world-class athlete that we know her to be, Saina familiarises us with the different roles she plays – of a daughter, sister, a student. Read about her everyday life – rigorous training, diets, sacrifices, her ways to distress, and her rare indulgences. That the book is peppered with candid photographs is a bonus!
Anywhere But Home by Anu Vaidyanathan:
Anu Vaidyanathan wears many hats – that of academics, sports, business, literature – and with Anywhere But Home, she discusses her lifelong prep to conquer all of these fields. Written in self-deprecating style, Anu takes us on a global journey as she shatters records as an Indian female triathlete. We’re filing this one under ‘a true story in overcoming obstacles.’