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Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Alchemy of Sports Literature -- A Reader's Sweet 16

by Harry Cummins

     What makes for a great sports book is certainly subject to individual inclination and experience.  It should be obvious from our cover page graphics here at Craw's Corner, that we value books, especially those on the subject of sports.

     The titles that seldom gather dust on my personal book shelves each manage to mix sports with life and literature to create a solidifying elixir for my own meandering interests.  These books, old, new, obscure and non-traditional, have all helped create a new way of witnessing sport in the context of a wider world.

    The next time you feel that world slipping away in mere wins and losses, slip into an easy chair with one of my 16 favorites below, ranging far afield from figure skating to falconry, all in search of the human species in flight.

1.  Laughing In The Hills      by Bill Barich
2.  On Boxing             by Joyce Carol Oates
3.  The Sportswriter     by Richard Ford
4.  A Sense of Where You Are     by John McPhee
5.  Play Their Hearts Out              by George Dohrmann
6.  String Theory            by David Foster Wallace
7.  Wait Til Next Year     by Doris Kearns Goodwin
8.  The Arm                by Jeff Passan
9.  Alone                    by Bill Jones
10. Almost Famous    by David Small
11. The Brothers K     by David James Duncan
12. Underworld           by Dom Dellio
13. Once A Runner      by John L. Parker
14. The Art of Fielding    by Chad Harbach
15. The Falconer of Central Park   by Donald Knowler
16. Snow in August       by Pete Hamill

     Each of these books moved me to a magical new place of understanding. A place where, momentarily, every Old World thought became a New World to explore.  I would suggest "googling" an above title that captures your fancy and learn more about each book.  Better yet, use the Comments section at the bottom of this story to let me know what sports book has had the greatest impact on your life.

1 comment:

  1. I am partial to biographies such as..
    Clemente by David Maraniss
    The Last Innocents by Michael Leahy
    Sandy Koufax by Jane Leavy
    Dandelion Growing Wild by Kim Jones
    Running With The Buffaloes by Chris Lear