Our 13 Favorite Sports Books of 2016

A pile of excellent sports books were published in 2016. Here are 13 of our favorites. Looking for a deeper list? Check out our favorite sports books of all time.

1. Shoe Dog

by Phil Knight

In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and founded a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. He grossed $8,000 in his first year. Today, Nike tops $30 billion in annual sales. Shoe Dog is the first-and-only memoir from the man behind the swoosh as Knight shares how he turned Nike into one of the world's most recognizable brands. (Amazon)

2. QB

by Steve Young with Jeff Benedict

Steve Young's quest—both in football and life—is simple: "Get it done." In QB: My Life Behind the Spiral, the former San Francisco 49er gives readers an unprecedented look at the mentality needed to go from an eighth string QB at BYU to one of the most successful players in NFL history. (Amazon)

3. The Arm

by Jeff Passan

Each year, Major League Baseball teams spend over $1.5 billion on pitchers. Jeff Passan, a lead baseball columnist for Yahoo! Sports, spent three years traveling the world to better understand the most valuable commodity in sports and discovered a culture that struggles to prevent arm injuries. (Amazon)

4. Belichick and Brady

by Michael Holley

Bill Belichick came to the New England Patriots already labeled a flop as a head coach. One of his first moves was to select a skinny kid from Michigan named Tom Brady 199th overall, a quarterback who many scouts said would never succeed in the NFL. What came next was the most successful head coach-QB duo in league history. (Amazon)

5. 99: Stories of the Game

by Wayne Gretzky and Kirstie McLellan Day

Hockey's all-time greatest player is Wayne Gretzky. From his first NHL game, he caused a sensation in the sport and made it known a legend was in the making. But Gretzky has never fully shared his story on and off the ice until now, in this collaboration with author Kirstie McLellan Day. Hockey fans won't want to put this down. (Amazon)

6. Game Changers

by Molly Schiot

Two years ago, Molly Schiot created the Instagram account @TheUnsungHeroines where she posted a photo each day of a female athlete who helped pioneer women's sports. Game Changers is the result of that account and features rarely seen photos and stories of those who paved the way for the likes of Serena Williams, Abby Wambach and Cari Champion. (Amazon)

7. Snake: The Legendary Life of Ken Stabler

by Mike Freeman

Ken Stabler: NFL MVP, four-time Pro Bowler, Super Bowl Champ, and pro football's first bad boy. At a time when gentlemen like Roger Staubach and Bob Griese dominated the position, Mike Freeman takes an in-depth look at the legendary life of the infamous Oakland Raiders quarterback. (Amazon)

8. String Theory

by David Foster Wallace

One of America's greatest writers was David Foster Wallace, who died tragically of suicide in 2008. Among his literary accomplishments, Wallace was an early tennis star and later brought his unequaled skill with words to some of the sport's best athletes and match-ups. For fans of the game, you won't regret this. (Amazon)

9. The Legends Club

by John Feinstein

The king of college basketball writers, John Feinstein, takes on the thrilling inside story of college basketball's fiercest rivalry and its three coaching legends—University of North Carolina's Dean Smith, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, and North Carolina State's Jim Valvano. (Amazon)

10. Gunslinger

by Jeff Pearlman

From a New York Times best-selling author, Gunslinger draws  from over 500 interviews to tell Brett Favre's story. From how he landed the last scholarship at Southern Mississippi State and survived a near-fatal car accident before making his way to Green Bay and becoming a Super Bowl champion, Favre refused to go down without a fight. (Amazon)

11. A Life Well Played

by Arnold Palmer

It can be argued that no one has had a bigger impact on the game of golf than Arnold Palmer has. Having passed away in September 2016, this book is The King's parting gift to the world, one that readers, golfers and nongolfers alike, will celebrate and enjoy. (Amazon)

12. Jeff Gordon

by Joe Garner

The first-ever authorized biography of Jeff Gordon draws on first-hand interviews and observations, and for the first time, the racing legend speaks openly about his childhood, his well-publicized divorce and life after racing. (Amazon)

13. Find a Way

by Diana Nyad

This is the incredible story of tenacity about how endurance swimmer Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Florida. She was sixty-four years old and had unsuccessfully attempted it three times before. Find a Way will move and inspire you. (Amazon)