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Sports Books - 16/5/2008 2:35:45 PM   
Hardcore Raver

 

Posts: 1454
Joined: 27/10/2005
From: Stroud, Gloucestershire
Recently I've been reading quite a few sports books which I have really enjoyed so was wondering if anybody else had any recommendations.

The books that particularly stand out that I have recently read are:

Football Against The Enemy by Simon Kuper. Kuper travels to a number of different countries to find out how football affects culture and vice versa. The chapter on East Germany is particularly interesting.

Ajax, The Dutch, The War also by Simon Kuper. This looks at football during the Second World War, mainly in Holland, though football in England, Germany and France is also briefly touched upon. As the title suggests, Ajax are the main team commented on, though other teams do get their own chapters too. Again, very interesting, and some of the interviews between Kuper and survivors of the war are quite moving.

Stamping Grounds by Charlie Connelly. Connelly follows the footballing powerhouse that is Liechtenstein through their qualifying campaign for the 2002 World Cup. Reading about the team and their fans celebrating scoring a goal, or only losing by one or two goals puts being an England fan into perspective. Since reading this book I always find myself looking out for Liechtenstein's results!

So, what other decent sporting books are out there?

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RE: Sports Books - 16/5/2008 2:45:21 PM   
Harley Quinn


Posts: 5797
Joined: 23/1/2008
From: Arkham
Are you looking for fact or fiction?

Fiction wise theFootball Factory is really good. I read it a few years ago and really enjoyed it. 

Factual. There is a really rally good one about hooligians in the 70's over the Arsenal which is excellent but for the life of me I can't think what it called.



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Post #: 2
RE: Sports Books - 16/5/2008 3:00:38 PM   
Hobbitonlass

 

Posts: 11919
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Westeros
I haven't read a lot of sports books but one I can recommend is Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football (David Winner)
 
Incredibly interesting as it wasn't just about the football alone, it went into dutch people in general and their country and why they feel the way they do about football.  It also explored the origins of the rivalry between the Dutch and the Germans. 

Another one I've read is Hoolifan: 30 Years of Hurt (Martin Knight & Martin King) - Martin King tells of his time as part of the Chelsea firm in the 80's. 

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RE: Sports Books - 16/5/2008 3:10:06 PM   
MOTH

 

Posts: 3479
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Sittin' on the dock of the bay
For Soccer I'd recommend

Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic genius of Dutch football (David Winner) - all about the Dutch and development of total football
Only A Game ? ( Eamon Dunphy)
A Season With Verona (Tim Parks)

and a couple of the better autobiographies are: 
Full Time : Tony Cascarino
Niall Quinn
Addicted: Tony Adams
Back From the Brink: Paul McGrath (more a confessional than an autobiography)

Any GAA (and sports) fans out there could do worse than read
The Lifelong Season (Keith Duggan)
Hurling: The Revolution Years (Denis Walsh)
Last Man Standing: Hurling Goalkeepers (Christy O'Connor)

And a few other random ones are :
Laptop Dancing & the Nanny Goat Mambo : A Sportswriter's Year (Tom Humphries)
The Fight (Norman Mailer) - about Ali and The Rumble in The Jungle
Eight Men Out (Eliot Asinof) - the 'Black Sox' scandal
A Rough Ride (Paul Kimmage) - dished the dirt on drugs in cycling almost 20 years ago
The Game (Ken Dryden) - regularly appears in 'best of' lists.

You'll also get a rundown of the 100 best sports books from Sports Illustrated (which is inevitably biased to American sports)
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/si_online/features/2002/top_sports_books/1/

and 50 best sports books from the Observer  (there's a few overlaps with list above)
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/osm/index/0,,1476499,00.html


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RE: Sports Books - 16/5/2008 3:17:23 PM   
Harley Quinn


Posts: 5797
Joined: 23/1/2008
From: Arkham
quote:

ORIGINAL: MOTH
Eight Men Out (Eliot Asinof) - the 'Black Sox' scandal


I've always wanted to read a book about the Black Sox scandal. I'll be purchasing that.  Thanks Moth.



< Message edited by Harley Quinn -- 16/5/2008 3:18:01 PM >


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Post #: 5
RE: Sports Books - 17/5/2008 4:00:35 PM   
Hardcore Raver

 

Posts: 1454
Joined: 27/10/2005
From: Stroud, Gloucestershire
Cheers for the recommendations. I'd heard good things about 'Brilliant Orange...' before, so I'm going to have to check that out I think.

As for whether I was looking for fiction or non-fiction, I was only really thinking about non-fiction books initially, but I would gladly recieve any recommendations of decent fiction books about sport. Speaking of which, I do remember reading a review of a novel based around the events at Heysel in 1985 that sounded really interesting. I think it was a French book though I could be wrong. Can't for the life of me remember what it was called though.

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Post #: 6
RE: Sports Books - 27/5/2008 7:05:34 PM   
gileo10

 

Posts: 7
Joined: 1/5/2006
To move away from football, I'd recommend:

1) Morning Everyone - Simon Hughes. A great read into broadcasting of cricket, some absolutely cracking tales and a really good insight into the ways of the cricket world.

2) MoneyBall - Michael Lewis. A great read about using unusual stats to trade players in baseball.

3) Winning - Clive Woodward. The first sports/business book and a great read. It won't give you gossip but excellent approaches on how business ideas work in sport.

4) Muhammed Ali - His Life & Times - Thomas Hauser. I don't think you'll find a more complete and vivid portrait of Ali.

Hope that helps

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RE: Sports Books - 25/7/2008 12:31:20 AM   
Rotary Ten


Posts: 922
Joined: 31/10/2005
I'm reading Barca: A People's Passion by Jimmy Burns a history, unsurprisingly, of FC Barcelona. Not even finished the book yet, and already I'm recommending it.

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Post #: 8
RE: Sports Books - 25/7/2008 10:27:03 AM   
vernieboy


Posts: 873
Joined: 10/10/2005
Just to add a few more that are worth a look at

Futebol: The Brazilian way of Life - By Alex Bellos & Socrates. Great book about the history of Brazilian Football
A Lot of Hard Yakka - By Simon Hughes. An interesing and funny book about toiling on the county cricket scene by The Analyst
Ball Four - Jim Bouton - I reckon this is the best baseball book bar none really funny memoir of a pitcher in the major leagues
Friday Night Lights - H Bissinger - If you've seen the film with Billy Bob you will have some idea of what this is about but the book is vastly superior. An account of a High School American Football Teams season




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RE: Sports Books - 6/8/2008 11:19:56 AM   
BobaJango


Posts: 7667
Joined: 31/12/2005
From: Mulder's basement
Gets a bit repetitive at times but a generally good read...



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Post #: 10
RE: Sports Books - 6/8/2008 2:35:02 PM   
Woger


Posts: 3815
Joined: 30/9/2005
King of the World by David Remmick/Rennick about Muhammed Ali is very good.

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