Suggested Reading List

Discussion in 'Business and Media' started by SparkeyG, Jul 26, 2002.

  1. usa1950

    usa1950 Member

    Aug 18, 2000
    Indiana USA
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The Grass of Another Country is by Merrill.

    I second The Game of Their Lives by Geoffry Douglas, it inspired my username.

    My favourite is The Kop, the End of an Era, by Stephen F. Kelly. It's a history of Liverpool's Spion Kop, up to the point it went all seated after the Taylor Report. Instead of reading like a history text, Kelly tells the story strictly through anectdotes from players, Kopites, Stewards who worked there for years and years. Fantastic for any Liverpool Fan, and my greatest ever ebay buy for only $3. Hard to find in the States I'm sure.

    Red and Raw is also solid. It's teh history of Liverpool v Manchester United.

    For a bit of a laugh, try The Van, by Roddy Doyle. It's a novel about two Irishmen who quit their jobs to sell fish and chips out of a van, which they park outside of pubs in Ireland during Italia 90. Nice work. Doyle also wrote Trainspotting.
  2. Pmoliu

    Pmoliu New Member

    Jun 7, 1999
    Princeton, NJ
    Barca: A People's Passion.

    Probably the best book on why FC Barcelona is FC Barcelona.

  3. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Chicago Fire
    Good stuff in The Van, and in Roddy Doyle in general, but Irvine Welsh wrote Trainspotting. There's a bit of footy in that novel, and footy also makes a cameo in Welsh's Glue as well.
  4. cosmosRIP

    cosmosRIP Member

    Jul 22, 2000
    Brooklyn NY
    Re: Miracle of Castel di Sangro

    I just read the review in tomorrow's NYT Book Review, looking forward to reading this.
  5. houndguy

    houndguy New Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    Pittsburgh, Pa
  6. Bleacherbutt

    Bleacherbutt New Member

    May 1, 2001
    Rochester, NY
    Another title to add to the summer reading list is Jere Longman's The Girls of Summer. It chronicles the USNWT of 1999. Each chapter covers a little more of the final game against China while focusing on a particular player's bio/personality sketch. It also gives you a glimpse into the methods, mindsets and techniques that are used to prepare for competition on a world stage. I read it in one sitting. Don't take my word for it, my wife loved the book, too--and she has a perspective that is not entirely dominated by the spotted ball.
  7. Beach Soccer

    Beach Soccer New Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    <B>The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro or Fever Pitch</B>
    On most soccer heads top list for a reason
    Also, Hornby kicks ass. I recommend his non-soccer stuff as well.

    <B>I have just started A Season With Verona by Tim Parks. Anyone with any opinions on this book?</B>

    This book is worthy of attention on this board because it’s a soccer book about a
    message board! This is, however, is the books major flaw. Reading a book about what some “ultra” style racists post on the web is twice as lame as reading “ultra” style racist post on the web first hand.
    Parks is great author known for revealing all the layers of Italy’s culture, language and politics. What Italy is “really” like is his business, and business is good in this book, making the padding with stuff from “The Wall” discussion boards so disappointing. These parts are incestuous and off-putting. One minute Parks has you away in an exotic land on a grand adventure soccer style, the next he’s got you at the monitor reading absurd posts. We can just come here for that.
    Also, I fear this book will cause some of the members of BIGSOCCER to slip farther into dementia. Some here already think there posts are mana from heaven blessing all who click. Now they’re going to think they too will be quoted in a famous soccer book one day.
    Aside from this it’s a good book depending on how much you care to delve into discussing racism, cuz, as you will quickly learn in this book, you cant write about a season with Verona without writing about a season’s worth of racism.
    Not to say this book is about these two things the exclusivley. It’s mostly about being a fan and he really is good at illuminating the Italian way of life.

    I saw on SSN the book of the moment was <B>Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life</B>: Alex Bellos . Has anybody read it? I should have got this instead of paying for an import copy of <B>Ultra Nippon</B>: Jonathan Birchall
    Its interesting and Japan is cool but the book drags a lil.
  8. babytiger2001

    babytiger2001 New Member

    Dec 29, 2000
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    One book that hasn't been brought up here yet, and it's long since out of print so I don't think that it would, and that's George Best's autobiography, "The Good, The Bad, and The Bubbly".

    Has a lot of good stories about his experiences on the pitch, certainly-- but what hooked me into the book was how frankly he discussed his alcoholism and the reasons why he was the way that he was, in that regard.

    That alone provoked a dichotomy of emotions when I read it-- the joy and euphoria of the beautiful game, and the somber nature of this real-life character's tragic flaw.

    An old friend of mine back in California (who incidentally, played with and against Best during their NASL days) recommended the book to me, and I'm glad that he did, for reasons beyond Best being one of my heroes growing up. 200-plus pages in the text, and I did not put it down for a second-- took care of it in a single night.

  9. QPR Kevin H

    QPR Kevin H BigSoccer Supporter

    May 23, 2001
    Silver Spring, MD
    Queens Park Rangers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Ireland Republic
    If you liked the football stories in the Van, try and pick up My Favourite Year - the Hornby anthology. Doyle writes the first story - about his WC 90 viewing experience. Its the true story behind his Van chapter. Funniest stuff I've read about the game.

    And for another good novel with soccer in it...check out White City Blue by Tim Lott. A novel about 4 QPR supporting friends - by a QPR supporting writer. Great read.
  10. dwinkler

    dwinkler New Member

    Aug 11, 2000
    Denver, CO
    I really enjoyed Full Time: the Secret Life of Tony Cascarino by Cascarino and Paul Kimmage. Not your typical ghosted autobiography.
  11. Beach Soccer

    Beach Soccer New Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    What happened to my <B> bold print </B>? It was fine yesterday. When you initally read my post days ago it was looking correct yes? What changed? What does everyone see? My codes or normal bold print? Sorry for off topic. Oh my, all my post look like this now wtf?
  12. denalimn

    denalimn New Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    I'll echo some of the comments already made --

    The Far Corner by Harry Pearson
    Hand of God by Jimmy Burns

    One book that was quite good but not already recommended is Dream On. Follows Tottenham in the 1995-1996 season. Even if you're not a Spurs fan (I'm not), it provides some very good insight on the business of a football club and its mercurial owner.

    Also Fathers and Sons by Colin Schindler
    and many of the anthologies from When Saturday Comes are quite entertaining (
    vesuviani repped this.
  13. eric_appleby

    eric_appleby Member+

    Jun 11, 1999
    Down East
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My Favorite Year is brilliant.
  14. mnthunder

    mnthunder Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    I recommend 'A Season With Verona' by Tim Parks.
    It is a very funny book about a season spent following Hellas Verona around for a season. It has really good insight into Italian life as well as Serie A.
  15. bronxiniowa

    bronxiniowa New Member

    May 20, 2002
    Des Moines, IA
    My three top candidates:

    Spurs and Arsenal fans will appreciate "The Great Divide" by Alex Fynn and Olivia Blair. Well, I know Arsenal fans will; it documents how the clubs are moving in opposite directions and has some very nice things to say about Arsene Wenger, which caused this Yank who follows Spurs to take another look at the Gunners. Meanwhile, the authors blast the seemingly unending inertia of the Sugar era in failing to stock Spurs with enough quality players to make the team a player in today's Premier League.

    Former Spurs boss Alan Sugar comes in for a thrashing, too, in David Conn's sobering "The Football Business." While a bit on the polemical side (Conn has it in for the Thatcher government of the Eighties and the Conservatives in general and ascribes to them all the ills of modern Britain), it's still a well-written account of how the big clubs have taken the money and run, to the detriment, the author says, of the rest of those who play the sport. The book is a good introduction to the structure of English football as well, covering the relationships between the FA and the Football League, and also touches on Hillsborough as the turning point.

    For those who'd like a little insight into South American football, "The Beautiful Game" by Chris Taylor looks at the good as well as the seamy side of the sport on that continent. Argentina and Brazil are covered, of course, as well as Central America, Mexico, Uruguay and even Bolivia and Venezuela. His theme is that it's too bad that the atmosphere of chaos, corruption and scandal taint what's an entertaining version of the game.
  16. sjjn

    sjjn Member

    Mar 29, 2002
    Re: Miracle of Castel di Sangro

    Your probably done by now, but I just found this post..I just finished it last week and thought it was very well done. Makes you wish there was that kind of excitement at games here in the states.
  17. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Chicago Fire
    Another definitive Spurs fan book seems to be The Glory Game by Hunter Davies. It's 30 years old (and has just been reprinted in the states), so it was written at the dawn of the contemporary era for English football, and it retains its interest regardless of (or maybe because of) how much the game has changed.

    QPR Kevin H: thanks for bringing up My Favorite Year, which is on my shelf next to my favorite chair (where I keep all my favorite soccer books). Can't believe I let it slip my mind.

    cREWBILLY New Member

    Apr 30, 1999
    David Ungrady's Unlucky: A Season of Struggle in a Minor League Pro Soccer. The book describes the events of the 1998 season for the D-3 Northern Virgina Royals. It's been a while since I read it but a very interesting tale coming from the perspective of the author who joins the team.
  19. nicodemus

    nicodemus Member+

    Sep 3, 2001
    Cidade Mágica
    PAOK Saloniki
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    To specifically come down of the WC high, I would suggest: Ultra Nippon: How Japan Reinvented Football

    It is a mighty good read.
  20. CG

    CG Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    I'm reading Ajax,Barcelona,Cruyff which is a series of interviews with Johan Cruyff on all matters football. Very insightful so far.
  21. Mattbro

    Mattbro Member+

    Sep 21, 2001
    I'm glad someone mentioned this one. What a great book. Especially if you've always wondered what it's like to be an ageing professional soccer player with a nagging self-confidence problem.
  22. K.P.

    K.P. Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Wow, so much I haven't read. I'm working my way through Football Against the Enemy, and I've read Soccer in Sun & Shadow and the Miracle of Castel di Sangre... but I have to say I always find myself re-reading Fever Pitch.

    The quote that hits home right now is "After maybe ten years of this, the Championship becomes something you either believe in or you don't, like God."

    Anyway, I plan on tackling the Glory Game next. Thanks for all the suggestions!
  23. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member+

    Mar 20, 2001
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Fever Pitch is the definitive soccer fanatic book. Hornby is an excellent writer, and even though I knew little of Arsenal pre-1990 (when I started watching Euro soccer), I felt like I was living the seasons with him.

    I asked my girlfriend to read it so she knows fully how I feel about the game. Her reply: "Why do I need to read it? I already live it."

    The book is that good.

    Soccer in Sun and Shadow is a good read up until Galeano ventures on his tangents on how money is killing the game (which may be true, but he takes an extreme position.) He also places much of his attention on race of soccer players. He is far more effective describing the game (both general and past games), its fans, and how the game relates to people.
  24. Jayhawk

    Jayhawk New Member

    Oct 21, 2001
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Where can one find the Galeano book? I've been looking for books and articles by Galeano since McGinniss quoted him in Miracle, I've had no luck.
  25. BrianCappellieri

    BrianCappellieri Red Card

    Feb 11, 2002
    I've seen it in Borders and Barnes & Noble but you can also find it on Amazon.

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