Here at The Temple News, we know summer is a time when the livin’ is easy, as the band Sublime once put it.
We also know that the pursuit of knowledge never ends, so instead of very simply sitting by the pool, try sitting by the pool … with a book!
We know you’re probably saying, ‘But what book should I read?’
Please, like you thought we wouldn’t have that covered.
Now presenting the first annual Sports… Literally Summer Reading List.
(OK, so it’s optional, but you’ll thank us for having read some of these books):
1) Seabiscuit – Laura Hillenbrand.
To be blunt, Seabiscuit might possibly be the best-ever sports narrative. It is not just a story about a horse. It’s also about an owner and a trainer who defied conventional odds to succeed.
The story is so captivating that, at the halfway point, Hillenbrand’s work becomes nearly impossible not to be entirely caught up in. Though much longer, the book is far better than the movie.
2) The Majors-In Pursuit of Golf’s Holy Grail – John Feinstein.
Before Feinstein wrote books about Model T Fords (two such reads have been published since October 2005) his books read more like thoroughly researched, engrossing narrative histories.
When you read this, golf majors will be shining in the summer, as three of the four will be played before autumn. This book will serve as the perfect introduction or refresher course for anyone who enjoys or wants to enjoy the sport of golf.
3) The Eternal Summer: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Hogan in 1960, Golf’s Golden Year – Dan Jenkins and Curt Sampson.
In 1960 three golfers – Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus – chased golf’s ultimate prizes in a summer that most consider to be one of the game’s greatest seasons. Hogan was returning to the game after a nearly fatal car crash. Palmer was the game’s major star and Nicklaus was a pudgy upstart. If Tiger Woods bores you, this book is a great look at the last hurrah of Hogan, the apex of Palmer’s career and the coming-of-age play of Nicklaus.
4) The Best American Sports Writing: 2002 – Various writers.
Before the series became downtrodden with the same style of story – something tragic happens and everyone is made to feel depressed – The Best American Sports Writing series was entertaining. The ’02 version is the best of the last six years, and, in a volume of remarkable writing, Sports Illustrated’s Rick Reilly serves as a guest editor with a stand-out introduction.
5) Moneyball – Michael Lewis.
Replace Lamda Lamda Lamda with the Oakland Athletics and you can call it “Revenge of the Nerds II: The Way to Run a Baseball Team in the 21st Century.” The always capable Lewis manages to tell the history of sabermetrics, utilized by A’s General Manager Billy Beane to uncover the value of a player based solely on statistics. It also shows how the A’s consistently win with almost $200 million less than other teams. If you ever want to gain a more complete understanding of baseball, this is an essential.