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Books

Why so serious?

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You may recognise this picture – it’s clearly Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic. But who’s the young chap in the photo that The Djoker is flourishing?

It is actually an image of him as a wee child, and it is part of an amazing new book that features tennis stars – including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Kim Clijsters, Boris Becker and more – shot in unique ways, displaying photos of themselves as youngsters.

Eagle eyes ice cream

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Federico Bahamontes was nicknamed ‘The Eagle of Toledo’ for the way he flew up mountains. He was also a climbing cyclist so powerful that he once stopped to eat a mid-race ice cream at the top of a mountain. Well, there’s a little more to the myth than that (though it’s true he ate the ice cream), as this detailed new biography of the six-time Tour de France ‘King of the Mountains’ champion proves. It’s a fascinating insight into a charismatic, temperamental star of the sport.

No spin City

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It’s a quirk of fate that David Conn – football’s finest investigative mind, a journalist who shines a light on the murky world of finances and owners – also happens to support Manchester City, a club famed worldwide for being transformed by a dramatic ownership change in 2008.

The dirtiest race

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A bitter rivalry, a terrible twist — Richard Moore, author of a new book on the men’s 100m final at Seoul, explains why its impact is still felt today…

Stereotykes

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Several things have been inspired by Darren Gough’s twinkle-toed success on Strictly Come Dancing. Some, such as robust lads from Barnsley attempting a drunken pasodoble in Big Fellas nightclub (it exists), are bad ideas.

Target audience

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Knife throwing is not a sport we regularly cover. In fact, we might previously have ended that sentence after the first six words. But that was before this vintage classic flashed up on our radar: a book clearly titled Knife Throwing: Sport..Survival..Defense.

Cheltenham 2012: essential reads

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Racing Post Cheltenham Festival Guide 2012

There are other guides to the festival out there, but the Racing Post remains the venerable old sage of racing publications – and it’s no surprise that this 192-page tome leaves the pretenders trailing.

Talking to Tiger

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Intimate portraits of greats such as Jack Nicklaus, John McEnroe and Tiger Woods form the basis for this new book, One on One, by US sports writing legend John Feinstein.

His views on the latter are particularly illuminating, as John bellows questions at Tiger over the sleazy music of the Eager Beaver Bar, Las Vegas.

Inside boxing 2010

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Thomas Hauser – Muhammad Ali biographer, author and current pound-for-pound champ of boxing scribes – has the latest collection of his pugilistic prose published this month. Winks and Daggers covers the biggest fights of 2010, beginning with a pre-fight, inside-the-dressing-room look at Manny Pacquiao.

John Peel's favourite fanzine

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With a complete collection of iconic 1980s Liverpool-based fanzine The End published this month, founder Peter Hooton tells us about some of his favourite footy features – from slaphead players to Saint & Greavsie

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