The best books from Fergie to Zlatan, top DVDs including the Ashes, Andy Murray and the Lions plus games galore
Everything in this week's guide can be ordered on Amazon and delivered by Christmas Eve. For Manchester United fans who haven't yet bought it, Alex Ferguson My Autobiography, stole the headlines and occasionally has an air of a literary hairdrying but is unlikely to disappoint, although there's a more energetic and irreverent read in Daniel Harris's The Promised Land: Manchester United's Historic Treble, recounting the heady days of the 1998-99 season. The Anatomy of Liverpool: A History in Ten Matches is a more over-arching history but Jonathan Wilson offers superb analysis. Some more wonderful history comes in the form of Jon Henderson's The Wizard: The Life of Stanley Matthews, and in a reissue of The Boys of Summer, Roger Kahn's tale of the 1950s Brooklyn Dodgers team and what became of them – no knowledge of baseball is required to enjoy this fantastic read. The same reissue series also offers Bluebird and the Dead Lake, John Pearson's superb account of Donald Campbell's land-speed record attempt and A Social History of English Cricket. Both are excellent. More up to date and an unusually fun, honest and readable biography is Dennis Bergkamp's Stillness and Speed: My Story, which contrasts nicely with the full-on ego-assault rollercoaster that is I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic. With no Rush DVD until January Paul Fearnley tells the Hunt vs. Lauda: The Epic 1976 Formula 1 Season story very well and without some of the film's licence, while the 100th Tour de France is celebrated in the absolutely exquisite pictures and prose of Rouleur Centenary Tour de France. Finally for top-end football nostalgia, surely no one will be unhappy to receive the glorious indulgence of The Lost World of Football.
What to make, then, of the shambles down under? Well, the clues are all there in The Ashes 2013 but the highlights lack HD and, like England at the moment, are disappointing. Far superior is Howzat! Kerry Packer's War, a dramatisation of the story brilliantly played, with Lachy Hulme, as Packer, filling the role gloriously. Plenty of drama but in documentary form as The Class of '92 tells the story of "the players that inspired a generation" in which David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Phil and Gary Neville talk about their distinct place in British football between '92 and '99. Further insight is on offer in The British & Irish Lions 2013: Lions Raw, a behind-the-scenes doc from this year's victorious visit to Australia, while Andy Murray's Wimbledon victory is celebrated with an additional BBC documentary in the Wimbledon: Official 2013 Collector's Edition. Kids excited by next year's World Cup may like to settle down with England's Road to Rio but would probably be happier with any of the season reviews covering their favourite club. Of which Phil Mickelson no doubt has several after finally winning The Open on his 20th attempt, captured in The Greatest Walk: The Story of the Open Golf Championship 2013. In motorsport a thrilling MotoGP season is collected in MotoGP 2013 Review, Allan McNish's third and final, now he has retired, win comes in Le Mans: 2013, while there is also a welcome reissue for Roman Polanski's film following Jackie Stewart at Monaco in 1971 – Weekend of a Champion.
Fifa 14 is the must-have on PS3 and Xbox 360 but really came into its own and demonstrated the power of the next-gen consoles, PS4 and Xbox One. Gran Turismo 6 continued the series' tradition of a quite superlative driving sim, although Forza 5 did likewise for the Xbox One. Football Manager 2014 remains a treasured, if buggy, timesink, the next-gen version of NBA 2K14 is one of the best basketball games yet made, Madden NFL 25 a step forward for the franchise but for anyone looking for something a little different, how about Rugby League Live 2 World Cup Edition?