Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Okay to Read Without a Cup

  • Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis. an amazing exploration both of how football has changed, and how it changed the life of of one extraordinary young man.

  • Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis. A must read for baseball fans and stat-junkies.

  • Sunday Money: Speed! Lust! Madness! Death! A Hot Lap Around America with NASCAR by Jeff Macgregor. Very funny and totally intriguing, whether you know anything about NASCAR or not.

  • Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dream by HG Bissinger. A look at small town Texas' obsessive high school football fans.

  • Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. You may have seen the movie, but the book is a thousand times better - will leave you breathless.

  • Paranoid Park by Blake Nelson. Paranoid--which non-skaters call "the unauthorized skate park beneath Eastside Bridge"--is under a cement overpass, and it's where the real skaters, the Streeters, hang. If you're not a Streeter, don't go there alone.

  • Stotan! by Chris Crutcher. Swim team's challenge week forever changes the lives of a group of friends. Running Loose, Ironman, and Whale Talk are also excellent sports-related reads.

  • Swimming to Antarctica by Lynn Cox. Memoir of a woman who for a time held multiple world records (not just women's records) for channel swimming. It may seem an obscure sport but her dedication to it is inspiring, as is her political use of her talent. A woman athlete who can whup all you guys--c'mon, you know you love it.

  • Knights of the Hill Country by Tim Tharp. What it is like to be the high school football hero and then get injured. This is the story of two friends - one is the team's best player and one who used to be and who football can tear you apart just as easily as it built you up. A reminder of how things can go wrong for your whole life, depending on how you approach a game.

  • Samurai Shortstop by Alan Gratz. A baseball tale set in turn of the century Japan: Toyo Shimada tries to bridge the gap between his life in high school and his family's legacy as samurai. Can baseball be the answer to his father's demands for Toyo to follow bushido?

  • Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow by James Sturm and Rich Tommaso (graphic novel). This biography of Satchel Paige is different from many biographies in that it uses Paige as a window into pre-civil rights America, digging deep into Satchel Paige as a living legend. The book is told from the point of view of a sharecropper who played in the Negro Leagues for a short time. Plus, really great baseball comics--Sturm and Tommaso make the plays and strategies of the games as vivid as any baseball comic ever.

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