RaveBooklistPearlman, an amazing journalist with an eye for the revealing detail, sets the stage with profiles of not only the three key principals but also Lakers management and the fringe players crucial to building a championship team ... Pearlman takes readers inside a successful but ultimately dysfunctional organization that came apart because, well, some folks are just never going to get along. NBA fans will absolutely devour this book.
RaveBooklistLupica, an award-winning sports journalist, is one of the best surrogates Parker’s estate has chosen to keep the late author’s legendary characters alive. He does an outstanding job with Sunny.
RaveBooklist... there is much more to college basketball than the premier teams, and Feinstein presents the universe of smaller schools with players who have no illusions of a professional career, coached by men who love the game ... A wonderful book by a wonderful sports journalist.
PositiveBooklistGruley has crafted a dark, complex novel with an equally complex and often empathetic villain. Perfect reading for cold, gray days.
Andrew R. M. Smith
PositiveBooklistSmith focuses on the business of boxing, particularly Foreman’s no-nonsense approach ... Boxing is a tough sport run by grifters and dicey athletic associations. But during Foreman’s encore career, he was a step ahead of them all. A compelling glimpse into the career of a true American success story.
PositiveBooklist... a riveting account ... In Friday Night Lights fashion, the season that followed included inspiring wins and disappointing defeats. Through it all, Powell makes clear that Mendoza’s aim was to provide more than basketball skills for his players. He was helping to prepare them for life off the rez, if that’s what they chose. Powell knows his basketball, and his game accounts are exciting, but the real strength of Canyon Dreams is the insight it provides into the unique culture of the reservation.
RaveBooklistGoodman not only chronicles the point-shaving scam that eventually brought down the team, but he also provides a richly detailed portrait of mid-twentieth-century New York City ... Goodman follows the principals through their lives, even interviewing their children. This is a marvelous, vibrant recounting of a bit of sports history in which the backdrop of New York dominates.
PositiveBooklistGrisham novels have a cinematic feel to them. A Time to Kill (1989), The Firm (1991), and The Rainmaker (1995) have all been successful motion pictures. The Guardians could be next on the list; it’s an excellent legal thriller with a strong social-justice component ... Grisham’s readers are legion, and they will be prepped for his latest, which finds the perennial chart-topper in great form.
RaveBooklistFlowers remains one of the great modern fictional detectives, and Sandford, as always, supplies amazing secondary characters, sharp dialogue, and plots that confound and amaze. A near-perfect crime novel.
R. D. Rosen
PositiveBooklistRosen focuses on Luckman’s football exploits but also looks at organized crime in the thirties and forties and Meyer Luckman’s involvement in it, noting how the story of Luckman’s family was buried by the press, which was then more interested in promoting heroes than reporting scandals. A fascinating book that is sure to be popular as the NFL approaches its 100th anniversary.
RaveBooklistCrais is a whip-smart writer. Cole and Pike are carefully drawn, multilayered characters who’ve grown more complex through the years. This is one of the very best entries in a long-running and still first-rate series.
PositiveBooklistThis is a very introspective memoir in which Coffin, who now teaches writing at the University of New Hampshire, dissects his family issues, especially those regarding his relationship with his father ... this isn’t a \'boxing\' book. Instead, it describes a fascinating personal journey that takes place within the boundaries of makeshift, ragtag boxing rings. Beautifully written throughout, with a heartfelt, realistic conclusion.
RaveBooklistThis is a fantastic thriller, combining a gripping plot and lead characters of remarkable depth. Billingham is a multiple-award winner, and his books have sold more than six million copies. Readers who grab this one but aren’t familiar with its predecessors will be seeking them out. A series to savor.
RaveBooklistHere he again admits he was wrong but devotes only about two pages to the scandal. That will be enough for knowledgeable fans, who by now have formed their own opinions about Rose’s deeds and punishment ... Pete’s vivid recollections of his early years, growing up in the forties and fifties, point out the profound difference between then and now for most kids. The title says it all. This is how a hungry kid became one of the greatest ball players of all time. Essential reading for baseball fans, controversy and all.
RaveBooklistEvery year there is a new crop of baseball books of varying quality, with one or two of them rising above the pack. Ten Innings at Wrigley will be among the 2019 releases that will be read for years.
PositiveBooklistKnott ups his game with every entry he contributes to the Cole-Hitch series. The dialogue is sharper, the plotting more complex, and Knott is mastering Parker’s spare style. Very entertaining reading for western fans.
PositiveBooklistA fascinating look inside the prototype for the new corporate athlete.
PositiveBooklistIn this memoir, [Rosenblatt] uses his training regimen as a stepping-off point to discuss particulars of fighting, such as the development of the jab, a fighter’s best tool but one mastered by very few. He also examines the nature of fear and the sources of pain from a physiological perspective ... A very entertaining and informative chronicle of a quixotic journey of self-examination.
RaveBooklistAs Feinstein relates the five careers, he also touches on the larger, league-wide issues of player health, substance abuse, racism, and, of course, team management, both good and bad. Another must-read from a master of long-form sports journalism ... Feinstein is one of the few sportswriters with a permanent seat at the best-seller table. He won’t be forfeiting that spot anytime soon.
PositiveBooklistThis Everyman mystery makes us care about a regular but troubled mope who dips his toe in the water but nearly ends up drowning. Author Starr has 14 crime novels and thrillers on his résumé as well as graphic novels for Marvel and DC. The plot is first-rate, the dialogue is sharp, and the conclusion unsettling.
RaveBooklistLupica, an award-winning sports columnist, author of 40 books, and longtime friend of the late Parker, nails the Sunny Randall character and the Boston criminal milieu that Parker created. The patter is snappy. The criminal honor codes are only understood by the criminals but are dismissed anyway when they interfere with personal enrichment. Even family loyalties come and go. Great stuff, Parker fans. Sunny’s back!
Gary M. Pomerantz
PositiveBooklistPomerantz explores the complicated relationship between [Bill] Russell and Cousy, both superstars but playing in a world where pervasive racism diminished the contributions of one man while elevating those of another. Cousy sees this dynamic now in a way he didn’t then, and his reflections on what happened to Russell and the inadequacy of Cousy’s response drive this poignant memoir, the lessons from which extend far beyond sport.
PositiveBooklistThe Chicago Bears’ George Halas is generally recognized as the league’s founder, but veteran sportswriter Eisenberg digs deeper to tell the stories of four other men who played huge roles in the [National Football] league’s early success ... Fans who only know the league as it exists today will be shocked and fascinated by its early years.
PositiveBooklistThe shifting points of view, the unique voices, and the painstakingly researched historical detail make for a dense, rewarding tale about the roles of Irish immigrants in the genocide of Native Americans. A fine amalgam of historical fiction, western, and thriller.
PositiveBooklistSamaha takes readers by the hand and leads them on a visceral tour of a peril-filled world that, nevertheless...can also become a seeding ground for hope. An important book on many levels.
PositiveBoolistRibowsky, author of numerous sports biographies, has included three life stories here in one volume ... Ribowsky relies too heavily on game detail, but it’s worth it for the insight he provides into the very different personalities and approaches to the game of each of the Mannings. A fascinating account of a football family.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse
RaveBooklistAbdul-Jabbar and Waterhouse again nail the historical ambience, the dialogue, and the plotting, effectively paying tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle but also adding large dollops of humor and romance. This is a wonderful mystery in what one hopes will be a long-running series.
Scott Von Doviak
PositiveBooklist OnlineIt all works well, with dialogue and cultural reference reflecting different eras. Using the ups and downs of the Boston Red Sox as ambient background noise is a wonderful touch, too. An all-around superior thriller.
RaveBooklist\"The United States Football League was an early-1980s attempt to establish professional football in the spring, the rationale being that there was a growing national appetite for the sport, and going head-to-head with the NFL was a fool’s errand. More on fools later ... Pearlman delivers wonderful anecdotes about the high jinks in the freewheeling league’s early days: a head coach smoking pot in his room, naked; a semi-official pipeline of hookers available for one team in the Pacific Northwest...Now we get to the fool part. One owner, through force of personality and self-interest, hijacked the league and decided if the games were played in the fall, perhaps he could leverage his team into the NFL. The hell with the rest of the league. That fool’s name? Donald Trump. Fascinating and hilarious reading on a half-dozen levels. Just great for football fans who like to laugh.
Casey Sherman, Dave Wedge
PositiveBooklist OnlineThe New England Patriots’ Tom Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history. His image and off-the-field behavior had been impeccable until he became embroiled in the bizarre \'Deflategate\' scandal in which it was alleged that Brady had masterminded a scheme to partially deflate the game balls before the January 2015 championship game with the Indianapolis Colts. The authors of this account of Brady’s \'redemption\' after the scandal have a definite agenda: to show how Brady and the Patriots recovered from their \'tempest in a teapot\' by staging a remarkable comeback in the 2016 season, leading to a come-from-behind victory in that season’s Super Bowl.
RaveBooklistThere is an incredibly moving passage toward the end of the book in which Abdul-Jabbar and a very frail Wooden are leaving a UCLA game, and Wooden subtly slips his hand in his friend’s for support. Abdul-Jabbar and Wooden shared a priceless friendship, and this sensitive, sharply written account brings it to full, vivid life.