One Understand London 2012 as a magnificent spectacle. With the same applying to all other mega-event sports, in 2014 we will have the Winter Olympics, World Cup and Commonwealth Games. Volume Two of the Handbook of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games provides the most authoritative account available of the mediated impact of those Games while casting an admirably critical eye over any likelihood that they will result in their number one claim, to significantly boost participation in sport.
Two Appreciate the reasons for sport's global appeal. Dominic Malcolm's Globalizing Cricket places the spread of this most imperial of sports firmly within the context of Englishness and empire to produce an absolutely fascinating read.
Three Explore the pre-history of current sportswriting. The Sports Classics series from Aurum Press includes The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn, a book about Baseball widely regarded as the finest sports book ever written.
Four Provide some context to the massive appeal of the Premiership. From behind closed doors the scrupulously anonymous Tales from the Secret Footballer provides an unrivalled insight into the reality of what used to be a sport. Does this mean football can't ever be special? Of course not, there are teams, players, managers who help to create goals, matches, trophy-winning campaigns that have everything a fan could wish for. And one of those who can achieve all of this is the self-appointed 'Special One', Jose Mourinho, whose career has been incisively analysed by Ciaran Kelly in his up-to-date account, The Rise of the Translator.
Five Living in the past is not such a bad thing. The Lost World Of Football is a hugely evocative pictorial memorial to the innocence of a game before it became a business. And take a look too at the latest collection from football's finest photographer , Stuart Roy Clarke. In Where The Heart Is he captures beautifully and with considerable visual imagination the people who live their lives in those 'homes'. Of course nostalgia for a past has a habit of glossing over the contradictions that constructed all our fond memories of yesteryear. A fun, but meaningful way of rediscovering their meanings is provided by Paul Simpson and Uli Hesse's splendid Who Invented the Stepover?.
Six Celebrating sport as popular internationalism. James Moor's Grobar catches the conditions that shape Serbian football very well. The Football Tourist by Stuart Fuller reveals in glorious detail the wonderful experience that enjoying football's international appeal can provide. Stuart does this by hunting down a game to watch and a trip to make, around Europe. Uli Hesse's Tor! is the essential guide to the history of the current powerhouse of European football, Germany. Or if you prefer a weekend visit to Barcelona with a game at the Nou Camp thrown in for good measure, then have a read of Messi by Guillem Balague.
Seven Wearing T-shirts is not enough. A new collection edited by David Hassan Ethnicity and Race in Association Football provides an understanding of the complexities of discrimination, inequality and exclusion that frame racism in football way beyond the monkey chants and racist abuse we are perhaps more used to denouncing. But however deep our understanding of, and opposition to, racism there is also a pressing need for a positive agenda towards social change through sport. Fan Culture in European Football and the Influence of Left Wing Ideology is a quite amazing book,. Editors David and Peter Kennedy have brought together stories from Bosnia, Germany, Spain, Italy and Scotland to reveal a barely-noticeable trend in English football, of fan cultures shaped by Left ideals and organisation.
Eight The Tour de France 2014 deserves to be getting excited about. A global sporting event, that is free to watch. Last year's Team Sky performance on the Tour is captured with fantastic photography and a richly informative stage-by-stage diary in The Pain and the Glory . 2013 was the year of course of Team Sky 's second successive triumph in the Yellow Jersey. David Walsh's Inside Team Sky uncovers the regime that has helped create the most successful British sport of modern times, cycling.
Nine Cycling deserves its own version of long-form writing and has found it. My choice for The Sports Book of the New Year is edited by Ellis Bacon and Lionel Birnie, The Cycling Anthology. Writing that effortlessly mixes the grassroots with the elite, the local and the international, the historical with the cultural.
Ten Sport at its sublime best is a symbol of human liberation. We do it, because we can. So where are my bike lights? its dark and cold but not too wet and I have East Sussex's version of a mountain, Ditchling Beacon, to ride up. Enjoy the sporting year.