See which books keep these athletes motivated

By Catherine Orda | Photo by Daria Nepriakhina/Unsplash

Today is World Book Day, and we thought a good way to celebrate is to ask some athletes what their favorite books are. The results are a mixed bag: mainstream fiction, one obscure novel, and quite a lot of self-help books. But as expected, there are common, unifying themes that are apparent in these books: overcoming struggle, relying on hard-work, and detaching oneself from the external world. These are themes that are telling of the kind of philosophies a lot of athletes have tried to live by. Here they are, as explained by some of the best athletes we know:


Sel Guevara, bodybuilder

Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. It talks about how part of loving yourself is knowing what your strengths are and how to maximize them.”


Karen Toyoshima, kendōka

Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima. It’s very interesting. It tells the story of a Japanese boy growing up in the World War II era who struggles with homosexuality and grows up isolated and consumed with fantasies of death and sadism. To survive, he must live behind a mask of propriety.”

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Confessions of a Mask (1958) by Yukio Mishima.

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Joy Wong, triathlete

Mindset by Professor Carol Dweck. It reminds me that Growth Mindset is the key for me to unleash my potential as I pursue something I have not done or experienced. Also, coming from my previous zero-sport mindset, this was the book that helped me step into the world of triathlon.”

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World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck explains why it's not just our abilities and talent that bring us success, but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn't foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. . With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals-personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area. . 📷: . #mindset #caroldweck #caroldweckmindset #psychologybook #mindsetbook #bookclub #bookwormsunite #bookstagrammer #booknerdigan #culturetripbooks #readersareleaders #bestsellingauthor

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Bubbles Paraiso, triathlete

“My fave book of all time would be The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma. It’s basically yoga philosophy written as a “self-help” book that teaches you what to really value in life. I loved how it delved deep into aparigraha, or non-attachment. It helps the reader realize how material possessions are not as important as human connections, among other things. My second favorite book would be The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. Again, it’s basically the teachings of yoga but in a non-yogic way as it is aggressive and has a lot of cussing. It’s like a triathlete is the one speaking to you. It’s basically telling you to just do you and not give a damn about what other people would think. Do what feels right, do what makes you happy—and it tells you how to do that.”


Nikko Huelgas, triathlete

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom and The Art of War by Sun Tzu. They’re my two favorite for two very important reasons. Tuesday with Morrie taught me about the true value of life; the Art of War, about the foundation of excellent strategy in dealing with everyday life decisions and competitions.”


Sofia Guidote, figure skater

“My favorite book is Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. It’s my favorite because it’s really funny and actually true.”

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Crazy Rich Asians Book Review: . Rating: 4 ⭐️ . Synopsis: This book follows the drama and scandals of some of the richest families in East Asia. Rachel Chu who is dating Nicholas Young agrees to spend the summer with Nick and his family in Singapore. Little did she know that his family was one of the richest families in Singapore and he was one of the most eligible bachelors. . Review: I had been meaning to read this book for a while and I’m glad I finally did! I devoured this book. It is an easy read, funny and it took me to another world. I made me want to go visit Singapore! I enjoyed how the book was written (short chapters, three parts to the book and each chapter followed a storyline/was like an individual scene). There a tons of characters and sometimes it was hard to remember who was who but I would quickly go back to the summarized family tree in the front of the book and got back on track. It is one of those binge worthy books to curl up at night with. I recommend it and will be reading the other two books in the series. Also, cant wait to watch the movie! . #crazyrichasiansbook #crazyrichasians #bookreview #kevinkwan

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Abel Galliguez, basketball player

“I really love The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I like it so much I even had a quote from it read in my wedding last month. It is about a young shepherd boy who goes on a journey to find treasure only to find his destiny. He also realized that he has to what his heart and soul desire. It also has other themes that I resonate with, like: Failure is an inevitable part of the journey and the simple things in life are the most extraordinary. It’s a book that can be read countless amount of times that I always find new lessons from the boy in the story each time I read it.”

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I’ll happily admit that I’m a bit of a cynic. I don’t meditate. I don’t know what a chakra is. I never go into crystal shops because I’m clumsy and I’m sure I’ll destroy the joint. The closest I get to spirituality is burning incense, and I only do that because I like the smell. So, I approached The Alchemist with some trepidation. Every hippie I’ve ever met has promised me it will “change my life” and “help me find my true path” and “speak to my soul”. 🙄 Imagine my surprise when… . … wait, no, no surprises: it did exactly none of those things. 😂 It was a quick, easy read, a lot like a fairytale actually. I liked the setting. Some bits made me chuckle. But no spiritual awakenings, I’m afraid. No life-changing revelations. Ah well! 😅 My full review is up on the blog now (link in bio). . QOTD: what did you think of The Alchemist? Did it change your life? . #TheAlchemist #PauloCoelho #BooksInTranslation

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Mauricio Mendez, triathlete

“My favorite book until today is Run or Die by Kilian Jornet. The simplicity of life is in this book.”


Thirdy Ravena, basketball player

“My favorite book is A Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, because it taught me a lot on facing my battles in life.”

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. Man’s Search For Meaning . By Viktor E. Frankl . This little book is one of the most powerful books I have read. . I have only read 35 pages but I am already obsessed with it. . Frankl uses his first hand experiences of surviving the Nazi concentration camps, to explain the human mind and spirit. Showing how the human mind changes at such extreme conditions. It’s great to see a wonderful treasure come out of one of the worst periods in the history of mankind. . Once again read this book. You will not be disappointed! . #viktorfrankl #manssearchformeaning #powerfulbook #igreads #latenightreading #bookstoread #book #greatbook #inspiration #classicbooks #readtolearn #nonfictionbooks #nonfiction #igbook #mybookfeatures #unitedbookstagram #whatshouldireadnext #whatamireading #learnfromhistory #bibliophile #booknerd #lovetoread #readmorebooks #readmore

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