It’s National Read A Book Day in the U.S. and to commemorate the occasion here’s a bagel of books about squash we can recommend!
1-0 The Book of Jonah, Jonah Barrington
Jonah Barrington, a six-time British Open winner, known as “Mr. Squash,” is one of the most influential players in the history of the game. The Book of Jonah, Barrington’s first autobiography, chronicles the rise to the top of one the game’s bona fide greats.
2-0 Murder in the Squash Court: the Only Way to Win, Jonah Barrington
A second entry on the list for Barrington, Murder in the Squash Court remains one of squash’s best-loved books. An essential guide for any squash player with aspirations of reaching the summit, Murder in the Squash Court reveals how Barrington utilised mental fortitude over opponents’ superior natural technique.
3-0 Trading Secrets: Squash Greats Recall Their Toughest Duels, Rod Gilmour
Rod Gilmour places the players front and centre, with a number of the game’s legends speaking candidly about everything that goes on behind the scenes.
4-0 Jahangir Khan 555: The Untold Story Behind Squash’s Invincible Champion And Sport’s Greatest Unbeaten Run, Rod Gilmour and Alan Thatcher
Rod Gilmour and Alan Thatcher explore the incredible career of Jahangir Khan – winner of the World Open aged just 17, winner of 10 consecutive British Open titles, winner of 555 consecutive matches – and how he became the world’s best player. An excellent tribute to a colossus and a must read!
5-0 Advanced Squash, Jahangir Khan
The great Khan’s definitive guide to being a squash player. Advanced Squash has lessons for players at every level on techniques and tactics to improve their game.
6-0 Shattered: A Champion’s Fight Against A Mystery Illness, Peter Marshall
England’s Peter Marshall was much fancied to reach World No.1 after a strong performance against the legendary Jansher Khan in the 1995 British Open final. However, just as he was approaching his prime, Marshall was struck down by a debilitating illness. In his own words, Marshall explores his fight against chronic fatigue syndrome and his choice between quitting the sport for a significant insurance payoff, or forfeiting the money to try and return.
7-0 ALL IN: Becoming World Champion, Laura Massaro
In a raw and honest autobiography, former World No.1, World Champion, and Commonwealth Games double silver medallist Laura Massaro opens up about the mental and physical battles she had to overcome and the cost of her achievements.
8-0 Sweating Blood: My Life In Squash, Nick Matthew
In another no-detail-spared autobiography, former World No.1, three times World Champion and three times Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nick Matthew covers the role of obsessive compulsive disorder in his career, his personal highs and lows, and the moment his relationship with fellow Yorkshire squash player James Willstrop soured.
9-0 A Different Kind of Daughter: The Girl Who Hid From the Taliban in Plain Sight, Maria Toorpakai and Katherine Holstein
A powerful and harrowing account of courage in the most extreme circumstances. Maria Toorpakai’s incredible story, of disguising herself as a boy for 16 years and risking death at the hands of the Taliban to play squash, is a must read for all.
10-0 Interviews With Inspiration: Heroes and Icons… and What Drives Them to Succeed, James Willstrop
What do Jessica Ennis-Hill, Chris Hoy, Jonny Wilkinson and Stuart Pearce have in common? They are all interview subjects of James Willstrop! In a collaborative study on the greatest achievers and what drives them, former World No.1 and defending Commonwealth Games Champion Willstrop interviews a range of sporting greats to find out how they rose to the top.
11-0 Shot and a Ghost: A year in the brutal world of professional squash, James Willstrop
Last, but not least, is another Willstrop work. This, his first book, addresses Willstrop’s difficult relationship with Nick Matthew, the pressures of being a professional player, and how he overcame perceptions of being ‘too nice’ to make a career in professional sport.