While every sport has a library you can turn to for technique, history, rules, recommended gear, and any other number of things, there are few books that capture the essence of what a sport is about. Not the nuts and bolts, but the sort of inside dope, whether fiction or non-, that the outside world could never understand but that those devoted few, whether in the grip of competition or mere nostalgia, cling to like sport-specific bibles. These are our picks for the 11 best.
Cult Sport Books: Climbing
'The Boardman Tasker Omnibus'
by Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker
Until they disappeared on the northeast ridge of Everest in 1982, Boardman and Tasker were the greatest partnership in both high-altitude mountaineering and the literature of Himalayan climbing. This fat best-of collection offers cliffhangers, ice-cliff whiteouts, and tragic death falls, all brilliantly written by the men who went there, went back, and, finally, perished.