Last month, I got an email from an author I had never heard of. His name? Gary J. Kirchner. Hailing from Canada, I learned that Kirchner had both played and coached football at McGill University, a highly regarded public research institution in Montreal.
His ask? Check out his new book, "Pacing The Sidelines," which is the first in a two-part series about football. When people reach out, unless I have absolutely no interest in the subject, I will almost always read their book. It's really the essence of what this site is: a place to uncover new sports books, highlight lesser-known authors, and provide recommendations on books that I feel are worth your time.
To be fair, I've read plenty of books that I subsequently haven't written about. And while I could start writing reviews of every title I complete, I just don't believe in recapping something that I think is three stars or less.
I just finished reading the book, Spare, by Prince Harry (ghost-written by J.R. Moehringer). And while this isn't a "sports book" per se, I feel compelled to write about a few takeaways.
I just finished reading Hunting the Caliphate by Dana J.H. Pittard and Wes J. Bryant. While this book isn't about sports per se, I've always found a lot of similarities between sports and the military: the teamwork required to succeed, the hard work that everyone involved puts in, and the constant evaluation of strategy to be in a position to win.
In the summer of 2006, I had the opportunity to intern at a sports management agency. I'd work at the agency in the mornings, eat a sandwich at the office, then tuck my dress pants into my socks and bike to my second job as a bank teller. It was a full day, but I learned a lot about all aspects of business.
The Last Temptation of Rick Pitino is a book written by Michael Sokolove, a journalist who has covered college sports extensively. The book was published in 2018, and it focuses on the career of Rick Pitino, the current head men's basketball coach at St. John's. Pitino's previously coached at Iona, but this book is focused on his time at Louisville, where he was embroiled in two sex scandals and ultimately an FBI probe that led to his firing.
I just finished Zen and the Art of Coaching Basketball: Memoir of a Namibian Odyssey by Ben Guest. Guest makes his first trip to Namibia shortly after college as part of the Peace Corps. After a couple stops in Mississippi as a teacher and coach, he returns to Namibia to teach at a private, international high school. Despite the school not offering sports, Guest goes to watch the public school championships and is offered a job to coach a boy's high school team.
Here are my key takeaways from the book.
Originally published on January 4, 2022, on Medium.com.
Have you ever gotten into a book, so much so, that when you look at the clock, three hours have passed, and it’s well past your bedtime? Last week, I finished Jon Krakauer’s Where Men Win Glory. The story details the life of Pat Tillman, the former NFL star turned Army Ranger, who gave his life during the war in Afghanistan. Pat Tillman was a guy that you had to love: confident, hard-working, committed, and determined to serve others, even at the expense of his closest loved ones. He possessed a unique belief system, rooted in both challenging himself (he ran a marathon during an NFL offseason) and serving the greater good (leaving a multimillion dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join a bunch of 19-year-old kids at Fort Benning).
We Just Read Sooley...
I finished reading Sooley by John Grisham over the weekend and really enjoyed the book. Samuel "Sooley" Sooleymon grows up in South Sudan, is the last person chosen to travel to the US to play in a youth tournament, and eventually gets a scholarship to North Carolina Central.
In 2007, the book, Lone Survivor, was published recounting the stories of Marcus Luttrell fighting in Afghanistan. Six years later, Mark Wahlberg appeared in the movie and brought the stories to life on the big screen. Regardless of whether or not you've seen the film, I'd recommend reading the book. Here's why:
Football Book Review
A little less than a week from today, the Chiefs and Eagles will face off in the NFL's 57th Super Bowl. Jalen Hurts leads a powerful Philly offense against Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce.
John Willkom is the author of Amazon best-selling basketball books: Walk-On Warrior and No Fear In The Arena. John is an avid reader, sports fan, and father to two incredible little girls.
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