Pride Month 2022 Reads with the Washington Mystics
This summer, DC Public Library is teaming up with the Washington Mystics to recommend great reads that you can check out with your library card! Each month we will be posting Read Feed entries that spotlight titles around a theme. June’s theme is Pride. In honor of Pride month, we have selected some amazing autobiographies and biographies for both adults and young adults that explore the lives and careers of LGBTQIA+ athletes. Check out the library’s DC Pride page to find more great reads for all ages and the Mystic's Pride page to learn more about how they are celebrating this month. Happy Reading!
My Shot: Balancing it All and Standing Tall, Elena Delle Donne
Elena Delle Donne, 2015 WNBA MVP and 2016 Olympic gold medalist, shares her inspirational story of being a young basketball prodigy who gave up an impressive basketball scholarship for family and self-discovery. Elena Delle Donne has always forged her own path. During her first year of college, she walked away from a scholarship and chance to play for Geno Aurriema at UConn--the most prestigious women's college basketball program--so she could stay in her home state of Delaware and be close to her older sister, Lizzie, who has several disabilities and can only communicate through hand-over-hand signing. Burned out and questioning her passion for basketball, she attended the University of Delaware and took up volleyball for a year. Eventually, she found her way back to her first love, playing basketball for the Blue Hens, ultimately leading them, a mid-major team, to the Sweet Sixteen. She went on to become the second overall selection during the 2013 WNBA draft and the WNBA's 2015 MVP. Elena Delle Donne delivers a powerful and motivational story of overcoming the challenges of competitive sports through balancing hard work and the support of a loving family.
Man in the Middle, John Amaech
Man in the Middle chronicles John Amaech’s extraordinary journey from awkward, overweight English lad to jet-setting NBA star. Along the way, he endured endless obstacles to his hoop dreamsbeing abandoned by his father, being cut from his first college team, recovering from a life-threatening injury, playing for abusive coaches, and losing his mother -- while also protecting a vital secret that could have ended his career: John Amaechi was gay. Now in this poignant and intimate memoir, Amaechi takes us into the hypermasculine world of professional sports and into the very center of his soul.
One Life, Megan Rapinoe
In One Life, Megan Rapinoe invites readers on a remarkable journey, looking back on both her victories and her failures, and pulls back the curtain on events we know only from the headlines. After the 2011 World Cup, discouraged by how few athletes were open about their sexuality, Rapinoe decided to come out publicly as gay and use her platform to advocate for marriage equality. Recognizing the power she had to bring attention to critical issues, in 2016 she took a knee during the national anthem in solidarity with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick to protest racial injustice and police brutality--the first high-profile white athlete to do so. The backlash was immediate, but it couldn't compare to the overwhelming support. Rapinoe became a force of change.
Beautiful On the Outside: A Memoir, Adam Rippon
Your mom probably told you it's what on the inside that counts. Well, then she was never a competitive figure skater. Olympic medalist Adam Rippon has been making it pretty for the judges even when, just below the surface, everything was an absolute mess. From traveling to practices on the Greyhound bus next to ex-convicts to being so poor he could only afford to eat the free apples at his gym, Rippon got through the toughest times with a smile on his face, a glint in his eye, and quip ready for anyone listening.
Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women's Sports, Susan Ware
An exploration of the link between the feminist revolution and the role of women in sports, as embodied by one of the 20th century's most iconic sports figures. Ware would have been hard-pressed to choose a better lens through which to examine the transformation of women's sports from seldom participated-in activities to an ever-growing field of high-level athletic excellence than tennis superstar and trailblazer Billie Jean King, whose victory over Bobby Riggs in the 1973 "Battle of the Sexes" was a major catalyst for that change.
My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me, and Ended up Saving my Life, Ryan O’Callaghan
Ryan O'Callaghan's plan was always to play football and then, when his career was over, kill himself. Letting people in on the darkest secret he kept buried inside was not an option: better death with a secret than life as a gay man. Bubbling under the surface of Ryan's entire NFL career was a collision course between his secret sexuality and his hidden drug use. Yet someone had been watching. A member of the Chiefs organization stepped in, recognizing the signs of drug addiction. Ryan reluctantly sought psychological help, and it was there that he revealed his lifelong secret for the very first time.