Player Picks: Books

Player Picks: Books

In the latest of our #StayAtHome content, brought to you by Galbraith, we’ve had our squad bring you their Player Picks…

This week, the boys have put their heads together to bring you their top book recommendations, the perfect distraction for when we’re stuck inside the house, or chilling in the garden at the weekend - all brought to you by Galbraith.


I Am Pilgrim, written by Terry Hayes – recommended by James Johnstone

“I read this a while back, but it’s just a great story – I definitely recommend it.”

The debut novel by former journalist and screenwriter Terry Hayes, the book focuses on a former American intelligence agent and his involvement in a case in New York City.

The novel won the Thriller & Crime Novel of the Year in 2014 while it has since been adapted for film, with MGM looking to create a James Bond like series.


Harry Potter Series, written by J.K. Rowling – recommended by Ben Toolis and Mike Willemse

“Big fan of them growing up! At the time as a youngster, experiencing and going through the Harry Potter series was a pretty unreal time and probably got me into reading.”

Whether you’re 13 or 30, there’s still a certain allure to the Harry Potter series, books that nearly all of us grew up reading!

For most of our squad, Harry Potter played a huge role in their lives growing up and they recommend getting stuck back into the series as we look for hobbies to pass the time in the next few weeks.

First Man In: Leading from the front, written by Ant Middleton – recommended by Lewis Carmichael

“Great book with some really cool moments” – This Sunday Times bestseller is on Lewis Carmichael’s list to read while in lockdown.

After 13 years’ service in the military, with 4 years as a Special Boat Service (SBS) sniper, Ant Middleton is the epitome of what it takes to excel. As a point man in the SBS, Ant was always the first man through the door, the first man into the dark, and the first man in harm’s way.

In this fascinating, exhilarating and revealing book, Ant speaks about the highs and gut-wrenching lows of his life – from the thrill of passing Special Forces Selection to dealing with the early death of his father and ending up in prison on leaving the military – and draws valuable lessons that we can all use in our daily lives.


The Real McCaw, written by Richie McCaw – recommended by Mike Willemse

“I loved the way he played the game and the respect he had around the world as a leader. He’s someone I idolised as a young rugby player.”

Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is perhaps the one retired legend in world rugby today that so many current players, at one stage or another, called their hero – and Mike Willemse is no different!

In his autobiography, McCaw recounts for the first time, with brutal honesty, the roots of his family life that defined his character.

From learning to play the game on the family farm in South New Zealand and being inspired to fly gliders by his war-hero grandfather and how it gave him the strength to emerge from the lowest moment in his career to become the most successful Captain world rugby has ever seen.

Unbroken, written by Laura Hillenbrand – recommended by Nic Groom

“A truly unbelievable true story of an Olympian who ends up being a POW in WW2. There is a movie on the book too but the book is way better!”

Unbroken is a biography of World War II hero Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic track star who survived a plane crash in the Pacific theater, spent 47 days drifting on a raft, and then survived more than two and a half years as a prisoner of war (POW) in three brutal Japanese POW camps.

A feature film based on the book was adapted by Universal Pictures and with Angelina Jolie directing, while the Coen brothers, Richard LaGravenese, and William Nicholson wrote the screenplay.

Unbroken spent more than four years on The New York Times best seller list, including 14 weeks at number one. It is the 5th longest-running nonfiction best seller of all time.


The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World, written by John Mark Comer – recommended by Nic Groom

“A book answering a big question about human behaviour and how we use/ don't use our time. How we have evolved into constant business and how it is slowly hurting us.”

The club’s resident philosopher is back again with another brilliant recommendation. This time a book which provides a compelling emotional and spiritual case against hurry and in favour of a slower, simpler way of life.

“Too often we treat the symptoms of toxicity in our modern world instead of trying to pinpoint the cause. A growing number of voices are pointing at hurry, or busyness as a root of much evil. Within the pages of this book, you'll find a compelling emotional and spiritual case against hurry and in favour of a slower, simpler way of life.”

Tiger Woods, written by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian - recommended by Nic Groom

“A fascinating look Into Tiger’s life, especially after all his troubles. Any sports fan would enjoy this!”

Prior to writing the book, the authors Benedict and Keteyian read over 20 books previously published about Woods' life, including Woods' own memoir, The 1997 Masters: My Story.

The authors also read articles by Wright Thompson, Gary Smith, Frank Deford and others as they created a timeline of Woods' life that, once complete, was over 70,000 words in length!

Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian dig deep behind the headlines to produce a richly reported answer to the question that has mystified millions of sports fans for nearly a decade: who is Tiger Woods, really?

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