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: Rowing
'Assault On Lake Casitas'
by Brad Alan Lewis
From trespassing to betrayal and the anguish of years without a life, Lewis's unsparing account of his dark-horse run on the 1984 Olympics makes a gentleman's sport seem as suspenseful as any heist picture. But oarsmen swear by it, not merely for Lewis's outlaw attitude, but also because he nails the exquisite torture of sculling – and because he had to upstage a man he admired and feared (who happened to be the country's leading crew coach) before he could triumph.