Pop Culture

5 Athletes Who Deserve Their Own Book Club

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Amanda Diehl

Staff Writer

Amanda Diehl escaped to Boston to get her MA in Publishing & Writing. Though she loves her new home in the Northeast, she will forever mourn the loss of Publix and sweet tea. As for Amanda’s voracious love of reading, she got it from her mama, though her favorite genres are romance, horror, and the occasional memoir. She reviews romance novels for Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and when she’s able to scrounge together some free time, you can find her napping in front of the TV with the latest trashy reality show or scarfing down brunch-related foods. Twitter: _ImAnAdult

As someone who is desperate for football season to start (both college and NFL), I’ve been soaking up any and all football-related news to get me through the next several months. It was because of this I learned that Andrew Luck, quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, has started a book club! Though I’m not much of a Colts fan (Go Pats!), I’m really impressed by the way his book club is set up. And truthfully, I had no idea Luck was such a big reader.

Split for two readers, Luck’s book club chooses a book for “Rookies” (younger readers) and “Veterans” (adult readers). Right now, the Rookie selection is Hatchet by Greg Paulsen and the Veteran selection is The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I like how Luck is reaching out to readers of all ages, and Luck will host live chats and Q&As on social media to talk about the books. According to the FAQ, once the season starts, he’ll bring in guest athletes to run the club while he’s busy throwing balls. It also looks like, at the very least, there will be new books chosen according the NFL schedule: off-season, mini-camp, summer training and pre-season. So that means a total of eight books, four for Rookies and four for Veterans.

So far, I like Luck’s choices, though I’m curious to see if his selection will mostly be kept with a male audience in mind. His previous picks were Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli as the Rookie selection and The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown for the Veteran selection. But Luck’s book club has got me thinking about what other athletes would run a pretty cool book club.

Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors (NBA)

Inarguably, Curry is one of the best NBA players currently on the court. And no, I’m not going to fight about it with you in the comments. He makes some amazing shots during games, but off the court, his family is hilarious to watch. His wife, Ayesha Curry, has a popular cooking channel on YouTube, but it’s Riley Curry (their daughter) that really steals the show, whether she’s hamming it up at press conferences or dancing at a birthday party. I would love to see a Steph & Riley Curry Children’s Book Club. You just know that girl has some good taste.

Serena Williams, Tennis-Playing Badass

Williams has some serious style and grace, plus athletic prowess that makes me look like a slug person. I want to know what’s on her bookshelves, though I can see her reading both fiction and nonfiction. Books by or about powerful women, whether they’re memoirs or something more genre-based, would seem right up her alley. Perhaps the club would even alternate months, switching between fiction and nonfiction. Regardless, a Serena Williams Feminist Book Club needs to happen.

Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals (MLB)

Harper is one of those players that I love to hate. And I do mean hate. Flames-on-the-side-of-my-face level hate. Don’t even ask me why because I can’t explain it. But I will begrudgingly admit that he knows how to dress and he has good taste in food. (I’m basing this entirely on his Instagram.) A Bryce Harper Lifestyle Book Club wouldn’t be a far stretch, especially if it focuses on “living well,” which is my fancy phrasing for treating yourself. Just think of him as a scruffy Gwyneth Paltrow who has to find his Goop.

Carli Lloyd, Houston Dash and US Women’s National Soccer Team

Right now, Lloyd’s short term goal is take home a gold medal from the 2016 Olympics. But maybe after that, we can all hold out hope for a Cooking with Carli Book Club. After an interview with Whole Foods, it’s clear that Lloyd is a woman who loves to eat. She loves burgers and fries as a celebration meal. Her family has their own apple crisp recipe. She isn’t afraid to clip recipes out of magazines, though one of her favorite cookbooks is Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Foolproof. A food-based book club with Facebook Live cooking demos with Carli would be a dream come true.


Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (NFL)

I like to describe Gronk as a “golden retriever of a man.” He’s big, lovable, goofy, and always seems happy and full of energy. But truthfully, I’m not even sure what he’d pick for reading material. Regardless, I’m sure it’ll be a party, if the fact that he sponsored a cruise ship to host four-day long party on a private island in the Bahamas. Will he pick sports books? Action thrillers, a la Lee Child? Maybe he’ll tap into his sensitive side and choose some heartbreaking literary fiction? I feel like the sky’s the limit for Gronk and I’m all for a Gronk Book Party.

Which athletes do you think are worthy of getting their own book clubs? What books would you suggest for Luck’s club?