12 Sports Novels for Readers Who Hate Sports

February 2 2018

Anyone who knows me knows that I hate sports. I mean I really, really hate them. I just don’t understand why some people want to sit on their couch all weekend watching football or basketball or, worst of all, golf. But I completely understand why readers love novels. You can hate sports with every fiber of your being and still love these 12 sports novels. See, everyone wins.

The Art of Fielding
by Chad Harbach

At the fictional Westish College, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for the big leagues until a routine error upends everything. An expansive, warmhearted novel of ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, THE ART OF FIELDING is about innocence, dreams, and coming of age on the baseball field. It’s one of the greatest sports novels of all time.

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The Art of Fielding
Chad Harbach

Set at the fictional Westish College in Wisconsin, The Art of Fielding is about innocence, dreams, and coming of age on the baseball field. An expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment—to oneself and to others—it renews our faith in the power of contemporary literature.

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Selection Day
by Aravind Adiga

About two brothers in a Mumbai slum who are raised by their crazy, obsessive father to be star cricket players, SELECTION DAY is less a novel about sports and more a story of brotherhood. Filled with unforgettable characters from across India’s social strata, this novel is bighearted and completely immersive.

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Selection Day
Aravind Adiga

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The Singles Game
by Lauren Weisberger

THE SINGLES GAME is a dishy tell-all about Charlotte “Charlie” Silver, a beautiful tennis prodigy, who, after changing coaches, suddenly makes headlines on and off the court. Charlie soon finds herself catapulted into the elite world of celebrity stylists, private parties, and secret dates with Hollywood royalty. But is she willing to lose herself to win it all?

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The Singles Game
Lauren Weisberger

Read with a Cosmo

THE SINGLES GAME is a dishy tell-all novel about Charlotte, a beautiful tennis prodigy who is suddenly thrust into a very glamorous world—one where copious cosmos are surely available. But as she starts to make headlines in her new life of celebrity stylists, private parties, mega-yachts, and secret dates with Hollywood royalty, Charlotte has to decide how much she is willing to change in order to reach her goals on the court.

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Beartown
by Fredrik Backman

Beartown’s junior ice-hockey team is competing in the national semifinals when a violent act leaves a young girl traumatized and the town in turmoil. BEARTOWN explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain.

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Beartown
Fredrik Backman

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Bleachers
by John Grisham

Fifteen years have passed since Neely Crenshaw was the best quarterback to play for the legendary Messina Spartans. With the glory days well behind him, Neely must come home to bury his infamous former coach. As he relives old games with his ex-teammates, Neely realizes he must finally forgive his coach before he can move on with his life.

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Bleachers
John Grisham

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Running the Rift
by Naomi Benaron

RUNNING THE RIFT follows the progress of Jean Patrick Nkuba from the day he knows that running will be his life to the moment he must run to save his life. A naturally gifted athlete, Jean Patrick is a Tutsi in a world that is becoming increasingly violent for his people. As tensions mount between the Hutu and Tutsi, he holds fast to his dream of being his country’s first Olympic medal winner in track.

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Running the Rift
Naomi Benaron

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The Sport of Kings
by C. E. Morgan

THE SPORT OF KINGS is an American tale centered on a horse and two families: one white, a Southern dynasty whose forefathers were among the founders of Kentucky; the other African American, the descendants of their slaves. Past and present converge in a Thoroughbred named Hellsmouth, heir to Secretariat and contender for the Triple Crown. Newly confronted with one another in the quest for victory, the two families must face the consequences of their ambitions.

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The Sport of Kings
C. E. Morgan

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The Sweetheart
by Angelina Mirabella

Seventeen-year-old Leonie Putzkammer leaves behind her old life in Philadelphia to become one of America’s most infamous female wrestlers. At a legendary training school, Leonie transforms into Gorgeous Gwen Davies and begins a romance with the soon-to-be junior heavyweight champion Spider McGee. When life as Gorgeous Gwen soon leaves her wanting more, she orchestrates a move that complicates everything.

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The Sweetheart
Angelina Mirabella

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Trophy Son
by Douglas Brunt

As tennis prodigy Anton Stratis struggles to find the balance between stardom and family, he makes compromises—with himself, with his health, and finally with the rules of tennis—that threaten to destroy everything he has worked for. TROPHY SON offers an inside look at the dangers of extraordinary pressure to achieve—whether in sports or other fields.

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Trophy Son
Douglas Brunt

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Home Field
by Hannah Gersen

As the high school football coach in his small, rural Maryland town, Dean is a hero who reorganized the athletic program and brought the state championship to the community. He thought he had it all until his wife committed suicide. Now he must re-evaluate all of his relationships, including those with his team and his three children. Fans of FRIDAY NIGHT NIGHTS will love this book.

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Home Field
Hannah Gersen

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The Throwback Special
by Chris Bachelder

THE THROWBACK SPECIAL is the absorbing story of 22 men who gather every fall to painstakingly reenact the infamous November 1985 play in which the Redskins’ Joe Theismann had his leg horribly broken by Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants. With great wit and empathy, Chris Bachelder takes readers into these men and reveals their secret hopes, fears, and passions as they choose roles and enact their bizarre ritual for what may be the last time.

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The Throwback Special
Chris Bachelder

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Once A Runner
by John L. Parker Jr.

ONCE A RUNNER captures the true essence of competitive running, and is one of the most beloved sports novels ever published. The story follows Quenton Cassidy, a competitive runner desperately working to achieve a four-minute mile. When the turmoil of the Vietnam War forces Quenton to take a stand in an athletes’ protest, his dream is quickly dismantled.

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Once A Runner
John L. Parker Jr.

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