Friday, July 27, 2012

Spotlight on the Olympics

Today is the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, you can follow the action at the official website: or through NBC:

In honor of the excitement, Swimming World Magazine has been our  magazine of the month for July, and we've gathered together a few books (and a few DVDs) that capture the Olympic spirit for today's blog post.

Gold by Chris Cleave
The highly anticipated* third novel by Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee, delves into the world of competitive cycling. Grueling training, years of rivalry and competition have been the basis Kate and Zoe's friendship. At 32, the London Olympics will likely be their last chance to win gold, but would a win be worth?
*Well, at least I've been waiting anxiously.

Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron
This character-driven story is set before and during the 1994 Rwandan genocide and was awarded the Bellwether Prize. Jean Patrick trains hard to escape his rural Tutsi village and compete in the Olympics. Though the violence to come is unsettling, Ms. Benaron’s novel also humanity's capacity for beauty and goodness.

Swimming by Nicola Keegan
Ms. Keegan's first novel, Swimming, captures the refuge and escape that can be found in the pool. Pip is a born swimmer, and turns to the water early to escape her turbulent, often destructive family, and her own awkward youth. Pip achieves success at the highest levels, competing in the Olympics during the '80s, but finds it difficult to define herself outside the water. Ms. Keegan writes with humor and a real understanding of what it means to be a swimmer, but her use of profanity may not be for all readers.

The Games by Ted Kosmatka
Mr. Kosmatka's page-turner of a first novel is set in a near future world where the Olympics are dominated by an event where genetically engineered creatures fight to the death, a set up ripe for disaster. The bloody action, moral questions, scientific detail, and intriguing characters hold appeal for fans of Michael Crichton in particular.

Movies and Documentaries
Dare to Dream (DVD 796.334082) A documentary of the U.S. Women's Olympic soccer team of 2004.

One Day in September (DVD 796.48) A documentary about the murder of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Games.

Chariots of Fire (DVD Feature) Story of two English runners that were both driven by different means to win the Olympics. One used his faith in God, and the other his hatred of Anti-Semitism.

Charlie Chan at the Olympics (DVD Feature) This mystery pits Charlie Chan against international spies who are using the Berlin Olympic games as the perfect cover for cold-blooded murder. The detective is aided by his son who just happens to be on the U.S. swim team.

Miracle (jDVD Feature) Based on the true story of the most famous team in the history of American sports: the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. Follow from the team's selection process to the ultimate victory over Finland for the gold.

Please stop by the Recommendations Desk on the first floor, check out NoveList Plus on the library's website, or visit W. 11th & Bluff next week for more reading suggestions. Or submit a Personal Recommendations request, and we'll create a reading list just for you!

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