Updates for AVP’s 2020 season and the COVID-19 implications.

What are the AVP Athletes Reading?

I’m always on the hunt for good book recommendations. My need increases the longer we’re in quarantine, as I’m running out of books I’ve been “meaning to get to but just haven’t had the time.” 

Of course, when I say that, I mean I’ve gotten to two of those books and continue to put the others off to another time. You’d think I’d have the self-awareness to realize that means I’ll never get to them. Alas, maybe I’m there now. I’ll add it to my list of quarantine realizations. 

Also on the list: 

  1. Cooking three meals a day for 31 days = 1000 meals cooked. Not sure about the math there, but it’s true. 
  2. Working out at home is only fun for two weeks. 
  3. The Apple TV screensavers provide much more excitement and conversation than I previously thought reasonable. 
  4. A Kindle isn’t as bad as I made it out to be. Especially when all the libraries are closed. But I still prefer a physical book (specifically, the musty, scholarly aroma). 
  5. If all I have to do is write, I get much more distracted than if I have a full schedule. 

Speaking of distractions, let’s get back to what I was talking about — what are the athletes reading? 

My original book article was going to be about what the athletes were reading in the tent between matches. I always enjoyed seeing someone with back in the sand and their legs up on a chair reading a fantasy novel or a motivational memoir. But seeing as how we’re withheld from the tent for a few more months, I decided instead to reach out to the athletes while they’re Safer at Home. 

I asked what they’re reading now, what genres they normally enjoy, and what they read in the athlete’s tent (if anything). It was refreshing to hear from so many of the athletes (thanks, y’all!), and bonus: sooo many book recs across so many genres.

Side note: I didn’t edit these at all (besides Chase Frishman who sent me a 600-word email; it was my favorite response, but also a novel within an article about novels. Love you, bud). I enjoyed every different answer given in every different voice, and I wanted to preserve everyone’s individual vibe. 

Karissa Cook 

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. When quarantine started, I was spending all day on my phone trying to learn as much as I could about our new reality and check in with everyone all at once. At some point, you just need to put down the phone, stop scrolling, and start seeing what is in front of you in real life again, and this book is definitely helping me ease up on my technological addiction in this weird time.

Ryan Doherty

I tend to read non-fiction books that have to do with finance/markets. I’m making my way through Why Minsky Matters at the moment, as well as my textbooks for the CFA Level III exam that was postponed until December. Although I have tried to soothe my AVP withdrawal by reading We Were Kings by Travis Mewhirter.

Emily Day 

I started a virtual book club with friends across the US. We are currently reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.  I switch off reading between fiction and non-fiction/motivational.  The other book I am reading is The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday.  Crazy how perfect it is for me to read that book during this time. I used to read a ton in the athlete’s tent (before there were a million things to do on a phone). I still read a fiction book sometimes and notice that it calms my nerves and helps me step away from the chaos and excitement of a tournament. In fact, I distinctly remember before my first final in Cincinnati in 2013 that I didn’t know what to do with myself because I was so nervous/excited. I decided to do exactly what I had done before every match….pass the time with reading.   

Phil Dalhausser 

You Are the Placebo by Dr Joe Dispenza. I usually read motivational/self-help books.  

Allie Wheeler 

I usually will be caught reading more business-minded books or so-called “self-help” books. Recently, I have been reading The Power of Habit and The Hidden School

Billy Allen

I always have a few books going at once. Usually nonfiction in the morning/afternoon and fiction at night. Here’s what I’m reading right now. Nonfiction (for volleyball) – Peak by Anders Ericsson. An easy to digest look at deliberate practice and how to improve. Nonfiction (for writing) -—Spellbinding Sentences by Barbara Baig. Words and syntax, how fun. Fiction — The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. Fitting that I waited until the world was ending to read this fantasy about the world ending. Extras – I just finished Billy Collins’s Poetry MasterClass so I’m reading his collection Aimless Love when I’m in the mood. And Ketch and I just read House of Robots by James Patterson and started the How To Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell.

Irene Pollock 

Right now I’m reading Baby Wise, and then have Taking Cara Babies on deck along with other maternity books to prep for Baby P in August. I usually love documentaries or inspirational stories, and any of Jon Gordon’s books! I’m a sucker for hearing someone’s journey and a person pushing and challenging themselves for something they love! There are so many people we can be inspired by!

Mark Schuermann 

I like reading fun, fast-paced fiction or something informative and motivational. I just read Deception Point by Dan Brown — super-quick page-turner. And now I’m getting into the TB12 Method by the famous Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Actually now I’m not sure if the TB is for Tom Brady or Tampa Bay. CONSPIRACY THEORY! Sorry… I just finished a Dan Brown book. 

Geena Urango 

I’ve been reading a few different books, mostly fiction such as City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert and The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. (Kim’s Note: I’m reading City of Girls too!)

Kim DiCello

During Quarantine, I’m reading three books; Atomic Habits, Nurture Shock and The Five Invitations. In general, I like historical fiction, fiction, philosophy (nerd alert!) and motivational books. In the players’ tent, I like to keep it light with a novel.

Sarah Pavan 

I am a big reader and usually have both a fiction and a non-fiction book on the go. I’m really into historical fiction, and I enjoy non-fiction books on growth/mindset/memoirs, etc. In the athletes’ tent, I usually don’t have a book, but if my headphones are in, I’m likely listening to a podcast.

(Kim’s note: Sarah and I are in a book club together. We’re meant to read Winner’s Take All by Anand Giridharadas, but we both hate it. After texting about it, we’re both poised to express our opinions to our book club this weekend). 

Raffe Paulis 

The Four Agreements. If everyone applies these agreements it can change the world.

Traci Callahan 

Discernment by Henri Nouwen; The Game Plan for Success by coach Lou Holtz; Coaching People in Sports by Dr. Lee Hancock (I think he’s actually worked with AVP Academy in some way. I generally read nonfiction either spiritual/religious stuff or books on coaching and sports.

Ed Ratledge 

I don’t really read books much — I focus on current events and geopolitics. Living through this time in history, I want to know as much about what’s going on in the world as I possibly can, the driving factors behind it, and likely outcomes. We need to be able to tell our grandkids about this because chances are, no one’s going to see anything like this for most of the century after this. I expect our leaders to be adults again in the near future. Long may the adults be in charge…

Corinne Quiggle 

German children’s books — still trying to learn!

Jace Pardon 

The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I usually read self-help and motivational books. 

Chase Frishman 

The book I dove into first was Emotional Advantage by Randy Taran. It is a really vivid outlook on emotions and all of their functions as well as dysfunctions. It highlights the spectrum of living out all colors, and not denying any portion of ourselves. This has helped open doors to my holistic healing, as it has many prompts of self-awareness. It brings the oft avoided darknesses and sticky emotions of humanity into the light as equally important spaces of awareness. By shining a light, it leads the way to emotional freedom. The other books I have been listening to are on tape. My favorite has been Astrology and the Rising of Kundalini by Barbara Hand Chow. I have just recently discovered my intrigue in astrology, and have noticed a lot of synchronicities in my life connected to the universe. 

Megan Rice 

I’ve been reading The Swarm — a sci-fi about another highly intelligent species living in the oceans that sends humanity pandemics in an event to extinguish us (too soon, perhaps?). In general, I read mostly murder mysteries or other science fiction novels, and I like to read those in the athlete’s tent as well. 

Amanda Dowdy 

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and The Beekeepers Promise by Fiona Valpy are the two books I’ve been reading in quarantine.

Emily Hartong 

I’ve been reading some fun fiction to keep my mind stimulated, as the nonfictions don’t always do it for me. I do however try to read a fun read as well as a self-help book at the same time. Historical fiction is my favorite and right now; I’m reading The Guest Book by Sarah Blake.  And I just started a great one, especially applicable for this time in our lives, it’s called Transitions: Making sense of Life’s Changes by William Bridges. Would highly recommend it!

Janelle Allen 

I’ve been working on A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving for awhile. Also, I just started The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I mostly read popular fiction. In the athletes’ tent, I read mostly Instagram posts and avp.com 😉. 

Kelley Larsen 

Currently reading The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller; it’s awesome and a great read if you’re single, dating, or married! Also, just starting the book Atomic Habits which I’m very excited to dive into. I like to read non-fiction and motivational and anything I can learn how to be a better person and athlete!

Carly Wopat 

I tend to migrate towards non-fiction because I like to learn new things that I can use and apply.  A couple of books I recently finished are Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin, and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. But once the quarantine rolled into town, I hit a wall with non-fiction, and really needed a mental escape. I was an avid fantasy/fiction reader as a child, so my brother recommended Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series, and now I am reminded of why I fell in love with books at a young age. I get fully immersed in the story. I’ve stayed up embarrassingly late into the night reading. And whenever I have a break during the day, I go sprawl out in our backyard to read some more.  If dystopian science fiction is right up your alley, Red Rising is a must.