Essential Books on Tom Brady
There are countless books on Tom Brady, and it comes with good reason, he played 23 seasons in the NFL, won 7 Super Bowls, and is widely regarded as the greatest quarterback of all time.
“Too often in life, something happens and we blame other people for us not being happy or satisfied or fulfilled. So the point is, we all have choices, and we make the choice to accept people or situations or to not accept situations,” he remarked.
In order to get to the bottom of what inspired one of history’s most consequential athletes to the height of his craft, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best books on Tom Brady.
A Season in the Sun by Lars Anderson
The pursuit was so shrouded in secrecy that it was referred to within the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ organization by codename: Operation Shoeless Joe Jackson. Indeed, the prospect of Tom Brady, six-time Super Bowl champion and widely-acknowledged greatest football player ever, joining the Bucs, a historically hapless franchise that hadn’t made the playoffs in more than a decade, seemed about as likely as Jackson emerging out of an Iowa cornfield in the movie Field of Dreams.
But come Brady did. At age forty-three, pushing the boundaries of football mortality and without Bill Belichick by his side for the first time in his NFL career, this would be the ultimate test for the ultimate football legacy. Brady’s new coach, Bruce Arians, also had much to prove. One of the great offensive minds of his generation, Arians returned to coaching in 2018, at the age of 65, in search of the one achievement that had eluded him throughout his illustrious career: a Super Bowl championship. Together, like so many aged snowbirds, Brady and Arians had decamped to Florida to make the most of their remaining years.
Renowned sports journalist Lars Anderson was granted extraordinary access to the inner workings of the Bucs’ organization. The result is a remarkable work of sports journalism, peppered with wild inside stories and new insights into Brady, Arians, and the Bucs. From the practice facility to the team plane, from the garage where Brady treats his footballs to the huddle on gameday, Anderson captures the rhythms of perhaps the strangest NFL season ever, turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. In his telling, the Bucs’ quest for one glorious season in the sun becomes a riveting sports epic.
Belichick and Brady by Michael Holley
No head coach-quarterback pair has been more successful in NFL history than Bill Belichick and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. As of the writing of this book, they had won four Super Bowls, six AFC championships, and thirteen division titles. Holley takes us inside their relationship, dissecting how these men and their team came to dominate football.
Belichick, a genius as a defensive coordinator, had been a five-year flop as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Upon his controversial arrival in Foxboro, though, he quickly began to remake the team at every level – scouts, coaches, and players. His bold, calculated approach had fans up in arms, sportswriters questioning his intelligence, and players wondering how long they would last on the team.
Meanwhile, buried down in the 2000 NFL draft, the 199th overall pick was a skinny kid from the University of Michigan named Tom Brady who many scouts thought would never succeed at a professional level. The lowest of the four quarterbacks on the team’s depth chart, he appeard to be just one of the guys. Like Belichick, though, he lived for football, and he knew the playbook as well as Drew Bledsoe, the franchise quarterback. And when Bledsoe was injured in 2001, Brady took the job and vowed to never give it back.
Brady vs. Manning by Gary Myers
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are perhaps the two greatest quarterbacks of all time. They are living legends who have come to embody the quarterback position and shape an entire generation of the NFL. They have also been fierce rivals every step of the way, and their many epic duels have not only ranked among the best and most exciting games ever played, they have fundamentally shaped the lives of and careers of both men.
But for all their shared brilliance, they are a study in contrasts. Tom is the underdog turned ultimate winner, an unheralded draft pick who went on to win a miraculous Super Bowl and become the leader of one of the NFL’s greatest dynasties. He is as firmly associated with big-game brilliance as anyone who has ever played. Meanwhile, Peyton was born into NFL royalty and a mountain of outsized expectations, yet somehow lived up to and exceeded all the hype, claiming virtually every passing record along his path to football immortality.
It’s Better to Be Feared by Seth Wickersham
Having covered the team since Tom Brady took over as starting quarterback in 2001, Seth Wickersham draws on an immense range of sources, including previously confidential game plans, scouting reports, and internal studies as well as hundreds of interviews gathered over two decades – with Brady, Bill Belichick, and other players, coaches, and front office personnel – to offer a behind-the-scenes chronicle of the dynasty’s three acts: the initial burst of Super Bowls from 2001 to 2005; the plateau period, 2006 to 2014, stalked by scandal, injury, and near-misses; and the second three Super Bowl victories between 2015 and 2019, which allowed the Patriots to make their claim upon history.
At every step, Wickersham demonstrates just how Belichick and Brady shaped the Patriots and reshaped the entire NFL. We are taken deep into Belichick’s tactical mind, odd work habits, and strained relationships, including his sincere but unspoken love for the players and a near fistfight with a former assistant coach. It is an illuminating depiction of a mastermind, and an organization, dedicated not only to winning but to breaking a league designed to prevent the emergence of a single, unbeatable team.
Yet it is in Wickersham’s portrait of Brady – from his childhood in northern California to his challenging years at the University of Michigan to his astonishing early superstardom in the NFL – that the source of the Patriots’ sheer endurance comes into focus. Even as he navigated an improbable rise to fame, Brady was driven by a totalizing ambition to be great, not as an endpoint, but as an ever-unfolding process. Sustaining greatness, however, came with a price.
The TB12 Method by Tom Brady
In The TB12 Method, Tom Brady explains and details the revolutionary training, conditioning, and wellness system that has kept him atop the NFL at an age when most players are deep into retirement. Brady and the expert Body Coaches at TB12 explain the principles and philosophies of pliability, a paradigm-shifting fitness concept that focuses on a more natural, healthier way of exercising, training, and living. Filled with lessons from Brady’s own training regimen, The TB12 Method provides step-by-step guidance on how to develop and maintain one’s own peak performance while dramatically decreasing injury risks.
This illustrated, highly visual hallmark among books on Tom Brady also offers more effective approaches to functional strength & conditioning, proper hydration, supplementation, cognitive fitness, restorative sleep, and nutritious, easy-to-execute recipes to help readers fuel up and recover.
The Dynasty by Jeff Benedict
It’s easy to forget that the New England Patriots were once the laughingstock of the NFL, a nearly bankrupt team that had never won a championship and was on the brink of moving to St. Louis. Everything changed in 1994, when Robert Kraft acquired the franchise and soon brought on board head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Since then, the Patriots have become a juggernaut, making ten trips to the Super Bowl, winning six of them, and emerging as one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world. Today, the team’s twenty-year reign atop the NFL stands as the longest in league history.
How was the Patriots dynasty built? And how did it last for two decades? In The Dynasty, acclaimed journalist Jeff Benedict provides richly reported answers in a sweeping account based on exclusive interviews with more than two hundred insiders – including team executives, coaches, players, players’ wives, team doctors, lawyers, and more – as well as never-before-seen recordings, documents, and electronic communications.
12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady’s Fight for Redemption by Casey Sherman
In January 2015, rumors circulated that the New England Patriots – a team long suspected of abiding by the “if you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying” philosophy – had used under-inflated footballs in their playoff victory against the Indianapolis Colts. As evidence began to build, however, a full on NFL investigation was launched, exploding an unsubstantiated rumor into an intense scandal that would lead news coverage for weeks. As shockwaves rippled throughout the NFL system, the very legitimacy of one of the league’s most popular teams and their star quarterback began to erode, even as the Patriots and Brady went on to win that year’s Super Bowl.
When the dust settled, Brady would be able to play again – but only after watching the first four games of the 2016 season from his couch. The pressure couldn’t have been more intense: Brady’s legacy was at stake. If he failed to return to his usual self, all the critics and even the history books would have to put a giant asterisk next to his name, signifying one thing: he was a cheater.
This necessary installment to the ever-growing index of books on Tom Brady tells the propulsive story of his gritty comeback. It’s a drama that unfolds in the locker room, the court room, and under the brightest lights in all of sports – the Super Bowl.
Moving the Chains by Charles P. Pierce
When Tom Brady entered the 2005 NFL season as lead quarterback for the New England Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champions, he was hailed as the best to ever play the position. And with good reason: he was the youngest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl; the only quarterback in NFL history to win three Super Bowls before turning twenty-eight; the fourth player in history to win multiple Super Bowl MVP awards. He started the season with a 57-14 record, the best of any NFL quarterback since 1966.
Award-winning sports journalist Charles P. Pierce’s Moving the Chains explains how Brady reached the top of his profession and how he stays there. It is a study in highly honed skills, discipline, and making the most of good fortune, and is shot through with ironies – a sixth-round draft pick turned superstar leading a football dynasty that was once so bedraggled it had to play a home game in Birmingham, Alabama, because no stadium around Boston would have it.
12 Lessons in Business Leadership by Kevin Daum
The merits of business leaders are under scrutiny more and more these days, whether it’s Travis Kalanick, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, or many others. But there’s one place where true leadership is always revealed: on the field. And no matter what you think of the New England Patriots or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you can’t argue with the success of Tom Brady, the winningest quarterback of all time.
Both revered and hated by football fans, Brady is loved and respected by those who work with him, and his leadership abilities cannot be denied by even his harshest critics. The skills he uses to make his team successful year after year on the field can be executed in the workplace, whether you’re a team member, team leader, or CEO.
In this gem among books on Tom Brady, authors Kevin Daum and Anne Mary Ciminelli team up to analyze the strong leadership abilities of the six-time Super Bowl Champion, and translate them into accessible, practical lessons for any stage of your career.
Six Rings by Jerry Thornton
The New England Patriots’ feat of six Super Bowls in 17 years represents the gold standard of dominance every sports franchise strives for. With Bill Belichick and Tom Brady at the helm, the Patriots’ unlikely victory back in February 2002 became a fulcrum that tipped decades of failure into a run of dynastic success. In this revised and updated edition, bestselling author Jerry Thornton provides a behind-the-scenes look at each of the team’s six championships, revealing the adversity they faced and reveling in the hard-fought victories they earned.
If you enjoyed this guide to essential books on Tom Brady, check out our list of The 10 Best Books on Michael Jordan!