The Sports Gene by David Epstein

Fair warning, it’s happened again.

I read a book that I found so interesting I can’t help but randomly throw it into conversations. Luckily for me, with the Olympics coming up, I have plenty of opportunity to chime in with random tidbits of information.

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance

It just sounds fascinating doesn’t it?



Even if you aren’t like me, someone whose life long athleticism and latent biology background get all tingly at the title of this book, I still urge you to try it.

Then, when the Olympics are on, you can say things like, “Ahh, I knew he was a swimmer, that long torso just gave it away.”and “Did you know it’s not about height of basketball players as much as how far they can reach?” ย Then once you’ve hooked people you can expound on double muscle genes in Belgian Blue Cattle and why the runners from Kenya are again sweeping the podium.

Would I recommend it? Yes. It’s time for the Olympics! Get in the spirit of things! (And it should be noted that even the person in my book club who admitted to having very low expectations of this book,ย said she was happily surprised with how much she enjoyed it.)


14 comments on “The Sports Gene by David Epstein

  1. Dan says:

    Yep, I wouldn’t give this a second glance if I passed it in a bookshop๐Ÿ˜ณ Don’t get me wrong: I get just as swept up in Olympic fever as the next person, but I have no interest in the science behind it. But your reviews are so enticing!

    • Jessie says:

      The science behind it is so interesting! John got the audio of this and listened to it because he didn’t think he would ever get through reading it and he really liked it too. Just an option… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Aishwarya says:

    Wow this looks like a perfect book for my taste. I have always admired sportsmen and women and I am a biologist by profession! I love watching and playing quite a few sports. I’m sure I’m going to pick this book up ^_^ thank you for the suggestion!

  3. Natalie says:

    I love a really random book sometimes, one that takes you away from the normal gentre you might ordinarily reach for. I am reading a book about Europes refugees, a story told from their point of view. It’s really good, if emotionally hard going. Happy Rio Reading!

    • Jessie says:

      Being taken away from my normal genre is one of he things I love about book clubs, it’s almost always good to step outside my normal haunts of the book world! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I second your endorsement of this book. It explains, in depth, why that top one percent of athletes excel while the rest of us do not. Always knew there was a reason I couldn’t hit the curve ball.

  5. […] Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic PerformanceI learned about it after reading this review by Jessie over at Behind the Willows. I love her […]

  6. viewsfromty says:

    I’m going to try it out. I always see it at the book store.
    Do you think you can read and follow my blog as well please.

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