Schooled! A lesson in LITERATURE

Posted: December 19, 2010 in Schooled!

Sometimes flipping through the pages can be just as good as flipping through the channels. These are the books that should've landed on your school's required reading list.

By Kim DeRaedt

If reading feeds the mind and soccer fuels the soul, then the sport’s best literature will surely provide total body benefits not be discounted.  Take a look at your bare or boring bedstand and consider livening it up with some of these great reads.

Bestselling on Amazon
1. A Beautiful Game:  The World’s Greatest Players and How Soccer Changed Their Lives
By Tom Watt
“A Beautiful Game
tells their stories, in the players’ own words—stories of boys who would grow up to be heroes for a new generation of young players and fans. They look back to their childhoods: to their family homes, to their schoolrooms, to the friends they grew up with, and to the places where they first played the game that has made them stars. The players’ words are brought to life with over 160 full-color images that offer rare, emotive, and striking insights into childhood all over the world, and celebrate soccer’s ability to touch the lives of children—and adults—wherever the beautiful game is played.”
2. Soccernomics:  Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Austrailia, Turkey—and Even Iraq—Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport
By Simon Kuper & Stefan Szymanski
3. Inverting the Pyramid:  The History of Football Tactics
By Jonathan Wilson

ESPN Expert Endorsement:  Roger Bennett’s Recommended
1.
The Ball is Round:  A Global History of Soccer
By David Goldblatt
“…is more a monumental achievement than a book. A precisely written, 992-page cultural history of soccer, a little bit like Bill Simmons’ colossus “The Book of Basketball” but without the sense of humor. Reading it is like running a marathon — a test of human stamina and endurance that is uniquely rewarding at the finish.”
2. The Glory Game
By Hunter Davies
3. Garrincha:  The Triumph & Tragedy of Brazil’s Forgotten Footballing Hero
By Ruy Castro

Best of Biography
1. My Life and the Beautiful Game:  The Autobiography of Soccer’s Greatest Star
By Pele & Robert L. Fish
“While kicking a ball through the dusty streets of his Brazilian hometown, young Edson Arantes do Nascimento was given the nickname Pelé so casually that no one remembers its meaning. Today, the name is famous worldwide as belonging to history’s greatest soccer player. Here, in Pelé’s own words, is his incredible life story: his five goals in the last two games of the 1958 World Cup at the tender age of 17, his glory years with his Brazilian club FC Santos, his role in four World Cup tournaments, his comeback as a member of the storied New York Cosmos, and his lifelong role as goodwill ambassador for the world’s favorite sport.”
2. Maradona:  The Autobiography of Soccer’s Greatest and Most Controversial Star
By Diego Armando Maradona
3. The Girls of Summer:  The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team and How it Changed the World
By Jere Longman

An Overseas Opinion
1. The Damned United
By David Peace
“Overachieving and eccentric football manager Brian Clough was on his way to take over at the country’s most successful, and most reviled, football club: Leeds United, home to a generation of fiercely competitive but aging players. The battle he’d face there would make or break the club – or him. David Peace’s extraordinarily inventive novel tells the story of a world characterized by fear of failure and hunger for success set in the bleak heart of the 1970s.”
2. Bloody Confused
By Chuck Culpepper
3. The Fix
By Declan Hill

Library Launcher:
If you are eager to stack your shelves, dive into these links used above to search through comprehensive catalogs of soccer’s top texts.
“Top Lists” by category:  http://www.squidoo.com/top-ten-best-selling-soccer-books#module141362971
Bennetts Babble: 
http://soccernet.espn.go.com/world-cup/story/_/page/worldcup101-03292010/ce/us/best-soccer-books?cc=5901&ver=us
English Enlightening:  http://www.epltalk.com/ultimate-guide-football-books/

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