We first talked to Kobe Bryant about books and reading when we did a podcast interview around the release of The Wizenard Series: Training Camp. Training Camp was the inaugural title from Bryant's publishing arm, Granity Studios, where he is creating books that combine sports, fantasy, and coming-of-age topics. Bryant chooses each author and works with them to create the story he's envisioned, incorporating details that resonate with athletes. These are books Bryant himself would have wanted to read as a teen, and his passion for each project is evident, down to the beautiful touches that go into the physical books (like the endpapers you see here in Legacy and the Queen).
Legacy and the Queen is Bryant's second book, and it's an exciting mash-up of underdog story, tennis, and fantasy. Legacy is a 12-year-old orphan living in the magical kingdom of Nova. When a tennis competition is announced, Legacy is determined to win the favor of the queen, a spot in the acclaimed Academy, and the prize money that will save her orphanage. Legacy will have to draw on her own strengths and some ancient magic if she's going to come out on top and win it all...
Kobe Bryant wasn't a reader as a teen, but he sure is now. Below are four of his favorite reads this year and what made them stand out for him.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy) by Marlon James
I am a big fan of epic fantasy series and the world-building by James is excellent. It’s immersive and makes for a powerful story.
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein
This book looks at how an emphasis on specialization can actually hamper our ability to really excel at something. It aligns with what I try to do when I am coaching, in my stories, and what we’re doing with Mamba Sports Academy—create all-around athletes who can think critically and make assessments in real time to enhance their play rather than rely only on a narrow set of skills.
Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D Jackson
Jackson’s book is a great study in how to build character, the strength and importance of friendship, and excellent writing. It’s tense like a horror story and yet very real and utterly compelling.
Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin
I loved TEAM OF RIVALS, and LEADERSHIP really built on the things I had taken away from that book. Moving from basketball to building a company, I needed to learn new and different leadership skills and Goodwin outlines the different skill-sets of Lincoln, both Roosevelts, and Lyndon Johnson, accessibly.
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