Essential Soccer Books

Discussion in 'Books' started by Jose L. Couso, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. Jose L. Couso

    Jose L. Couso New Member

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    Football Against The Enemy-Simon Kuper
    Fever Pitch-Nick Hornsby
    Soccer in Sun and Shadow-Eduardo Galeano
    A Season With Verona-Tim Parks
    The Miracle of Castel di Sangro-Joe McGinnis


  2. sarabella

    sarabella BigSoccer Supporter

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    Personally, I don't get the hype about Fever Pitch. Parts of it were entertaining, but I found it to be repetitive and, to be honest, I couldn't wait for it to end. Maybe it's just me and my very strong dislike of Nick Hornby's writing style. Or maybe it's the fact that so many Arsenal fans use that as their mission statement. I dunno.

    I'd also recommend Ajax, the Dutch and the War by Simon Kuper for those football/history buffs. It's an interesting statement on the correlations of Dutch football to WWII.
  3. Jegao Paraiba

    Jegao Paraiba Member

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  4. Mglnbea

    Mglnbea Member

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    U.S. Soccer vs. the World, by Tony Cirino


  5. La China Poblana

    La China Poblana Member

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  6. sarabella

    sarabella BigSoccer Supporter

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    Forgot to mention Brilliant Orange in my earlier post. It's a great testament to Oranje football.
  7. Dan B

    Dan B New Member

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    Has anyone read:

    How Soccer Explains The World - Franklin Foer

    The title seems a little misleading, but it is about soccer, culture and politics.
    [​IMG]
    I got it as a Christmas gift, and just started reading it.
  8. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

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    I'm afraid this is going to quickly turn into "my favorite soccer books", but whatever.

    I especially enjoyed and got a lot out of the books by Parks and Bellos.
    I haven't read the "White Storm" book, but "Barca", by Jimmy Burns, was a pretty good chronicle of the other side.
  9. tedwar

    tedwar New Member

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    Save your money on both White Storm and White Angels, they're not very good. Morbo is the better Phil Ball book.

    Burns' "When Beckham went to Spain" is the best of the spate of books about his first year playing for RM.

    And not to overly hype myself, but here's my latest book review on ussoccerplayers.com

    http://www.ussoccerplayers.com/exclusives/503998.html

    Thanks

    Tony
  10. Placid Casual

    Placid Casual Member

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  11. gaijin

    gaijin New Member

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    All played out: the Story of Italia 90 - I found to be a great read. It has less to do with football but the people and characters that surround the beautiful game with a beautiful Sicilian backdrop. Some of the stories and accounts get inside the attitude and minds of the media, fans and coaches within a tumultuous time in England's footballing history.

    Passovotchka - Dynamo Moscow in Britain - a very good account of a forgotten trip.

    Dynamo: Defending the Honour of Kiev - A great read if you a FSU Football nut like me. Very harrowing story about the harsh treatments of Nazism and Communism on the Ukrainian footballers and people.
  12. Dead Run

    Dead Run New Member

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    I enjoyed Among the Thugs by Bill Buford, the American editor of the English Literary Journal, Granta. More about British fandom than about the game itself. Couldn't put it down.
  13. nicodemus

    nicodemus Member+

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    That's a good one.

    For something a little more off the beaten path:

    Jonathan Birchall's Ultra Nippon chronicles the birth and early years of the J-League and shows a culture actively trying to create a soccer culture. He gets access from top to bottom: fan groups, Japanese stars, foreign players and coaches and their impact on the league. I don't see it mentioned much, but it's been on of the best I've read.

    [​IMG]
  14. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1840184558/203-1292104-3774300

    My favorite from the player's perspective: Don't Give Up the Day Job: A year in the Life of a Part-Time footballer by Des Mckeown. He's a footballer for Queen of the South in Scotland's 2nd Division, and he's a sales executive for Scotland's largest stationary company (which led the local paper to write, after a bad match, "during the week, McKeown is a stationary salesman for _____________. Yesterday, he was a stationary left back for Queen of the South." Lot's of fun to read, and very insightful concerning the life of a part-time footballer.

    Another one is the only American soccer novel I can think of, about a guy playing in the post-NASL forerunner of the A-League:

    http://www.hillstreetpress.com/images/BarbParade.jpg
  15. Glenwood Lane United

    Glenwood Lane United Member

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    I liked "Stamping Grounds", by Charlie Connerly, about Liechtenstein "id" to qualify for the 2002 World Cup.

    I also liked "Left Foot in the Grave", by Garry Nelson. After being let go by Charlton, it chronicles his season as player-manager for Tourquay, and the struggle to keep them in the league.
  16. Red&Black

    Red&Black Member+

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    in the far norther corner by harry pearson--the funniest football book ever

    left foot forward--garry nelson a great insight into the lower levels of the league

    left foot in the grave--gary's year as player/coach in torquay

    offsides american exceptionalisim, etc--don't know the author attempts to explain why soccer struggles in the US

    football factory--ok read, i enjoyed it

    history of football--(that may not be the title exactly) bill murray, very comprehensive examination of the history of the sport

    i guess i own 30-40 soccer books--all the ones listed in the thread and i own a bunch of "true accounts" from hooligans (i.e. blades buisiness crew, you met the ICF, guv'nors, the crap buford book, etc.) in addition i own a bunch of tactial and coaching books.

    i'm personally most interested in the "social" side of football when book shopping, though much of what is in print focuses on football violence, that's whey i like perason and nelson, broader focus.



    i would add the david winner book and the galeano books as must haves
  17. Red&Black

    Red&Black Member+

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    the lastest issue of 90:00 has a list of "essential" soccer books.
  18. Red&Black

    Red&Black Member+

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    i'd say more like complete fantasy and perpetuation of stereotypes. virtually none of his "stories" can be confirmed and the book is riddled with missteps.
  19. Dennis P. Crawford

    Dennis P. Crawford Member

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    There are many good books mentioned in this thread. I would recommend the following:

    Playing for Uncle Sam: The Brits' Story of the NASL by David Tossell

    Tor! The Story of German Football by Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger
  20. Jose L. Couso

    Jose L. Couso New Member

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    Thanks for the heads-up.

    I went and got the latest issue as well as Soccer America (Bruce on cover).

    I'll have to look for some of those books.
  21. gaijin

    gaijin New Member

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    [​IMG]

    A very good read on the lower end of football.
  22. yossarian

    yossarian Moderator Staff Member

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    And yet so many non-Arsenal supporters rate it highly as well.

    "Fever Pitch" perfectly captures what it's like throwing your heart and soul behind a team....any team....not just Arsenal.....all of it, the good, the bad, the ugly, the highs and the lows. If you don't "get the hype" I would question whether you've ever experienced that.
  23. sarabella

    sarabella BigSoccer Supporter

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    It wasn't meant to be an attack on Arsenal. I think it's my own prejudices against Nick Hornby. I just hate his writing.

    And if you think I haven't experienced the good, the bad, the ugly, the highs and the lows, you obviously haven't seen what team I support (for 10+ years now).
  24. yossarian

    yossarian Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, in retrospect, my post came out harsher than it was intended. But regardless, I didn't view your criticism of Hornby as an attack on Arsenal whatsoever but only as an attack on the book itself.

    That in and of itself is fair enough, especially if you don't like Hornby's writing style. My question.....and it really was intended as a question.....rather than an accusation.....was how could one not "get" the book if one has ever thrown themselves totally emotionally behind a sports team....any sports team. And while I certainly know that you're an Everton supporter....I don't know your history as an Everton supporter or the depth of your support. Again, that's not in any way saying you're a plastic....it's saying that I don't know you.....just as you aren't familiar with my history.
  25. Red&Black

    Red&Black Member+

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    i knew i forgot one

    "the glory game" sort of "year inside spurs" in the early 70s. very interesting the differences in "big time" football now and then.

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