The Olympics will showcase the best-of-the-best at the pinnacle of their athletic career. What we don’t usually see is how they got there – the struggle and heartbreak and private triumphs. Here are some new biographies that give us a glimpse of just how hard it can be.

In the Water They Can’t See You Cry by Amanda Beard – A seven-time Olympic medalist describes her battles with depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse in spite of her successful career, recounting how she hid her struggles from her loved ones before seeking help and finding renewal in the birth of her son.

Winning Balance : What I’ve Learned So Far by Shawn Johnson – Iowa native Johnson is a four-time Olympic gold and silver medalist; a national and world champion athlete and a winner on the popular “Dancing with the Stars.” This is the amazing true journey of how this young Olympian has found balance in her life.

The Price of Gold : the Toll and Triumph of One Man’s Olympic Dream by Marty Nothstein – Traces the story of track cyclist Marty Nothstein from his upbringing in a blue-collar home to his gold-medal victory at the Olympic games, recounting how his dedication often forced him to explore his vulnerabilities as an athlete.

Off Balance by Dominique Moceanu – An unflinchingly honest memoir from Olympic gold medalist Moceanu that reveals the often dark underbelly of Olympic gymnastics as only an insider can–and the secrets she learned about the past that nearly tore apart her family.

Did all the hubbub over the Emmy awards make you want to check out some of the winners?  We have lots of them available for checkout at the library!  Stop by to pick one up or click the links to place holds on them today!

Outstanding Comedy Series: Modern Family (featuring Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series winner Ty Burrell and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series winner Julie Bowen)

Outstanding Drama Series: Mad Men (read my review of the series here)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:  Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:  Kyle Chandler for Friday Night Lights (read Ann’s review of the series here)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:  Margo Martindale for Justified

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:  Juliana Margulies for The Good Wife

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie:  Downton Abbey (featuring Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie winner Maggie Smith. Read Ann’s review of the series here)

Check back later for additional winners Mike & Molly, Game of Thrones, and Mildred Pierce.

Proving once again that reading pays off, we are pleased to announce the winner of our Favorite Book contest! Jason’s comment about Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, a “gripping and heartbreaking” novel about a girl struggling with anorexia, is our randomly chosen winner. Thanks to everyone who entered – my reading list just got a lot longer!

Looking for still more choice books, proven winners that will keep you turning the pages? Here are some sites to check for great ideas.

Book Club Girl – Focusing on books that would be great Book Club choices, there is also a lot of author information including live on-air author interviews.

Good Reads – Keep track of the books you’ve read, the books you want to read, find out what others are reading and contribute reviews and ratings.

Overbooked – Lots of annotated lists of new and notable fiction, non-fiction and crime fiction, often highlighting books that might otherwise be overlooked.

And Jason, please send your snail mail address to reference@davenportlibrary.com, attention: Ann, and I’ll get those two tickets to the Figge Art Museum out to you right away! Enjoy!