Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Soccer Books

Just a quick post - since I promised it, and since I never do anything over here...

I recently decided to massively increase my soccer knowledge (and massively upgrade my commute) by finding quality soccer books and reading them on the Metro to work. So far this has worked fairly well - except the quality of the books. But we'll get to that...

After a good bit of research on Amazon, I ordered a bunch of books that looked like the kind of thing I was after. Here is what I found -

1. The World's Game. This one is a general history of the game. I just finished it, and while it works as an informative history... it is really pretty dry AND chock full of info that I had really no interest whatsoever in. I am glad I read it, as I know more than I did before, but I found myself wishing I was finished reading it (it felt like homework), more often than not. Can't recommend it.

2. My Favourite Year. This is a collection of stories from real writers - compiled by Nick Hornby (of Fever Pitch fame). As the title suggests, they are all supposed to relate the writer's favorite year/season of his favorite team/club, etc. Most of the stories are engaging and well written. I have to say I enjoyed a lot of the book and I would certainly recommend the book... to anyone who knows a lot more about football than I do. There were so many references to players, events and games that I didn't know that I felt I was missing a lot (which I was). I still enjoyed it a lot, but I will have to revisit it after I have gained much more knowledge...

3. The Miracle of Castel di Sangro. I just started this one. But I am already loving it. It is the story of one season of a small club team from a very small town in Italy. It seems to be well written - by an American who got into soccer after the 1994 World Cup (been there...). I'll let you know how it goes.

I also ordered these as they looked good -

4. A Season with Verona. Another Italian team - this one slightly bigger in stature...

5. Brilliant Orange : the Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer. I've always been a fan of the Dutch...

6. The Far Corner. A look into football in Northeast England. Looks like it should be a great read - by one of the guys who was represented in "My Favourite Year"

I'll update as I get through these... the last two haven't come in yet, but should ship next week. Hopefully before my England trip.

20 comments:

Mike said...

I was ready to go get "My Favourite Year" until I read the end of your review. I know I don't know as much "football" as you, so I should probably wait to read it.

Then again, reading this book would violate my personal rule about not reading books that have typos in the title.

wiggins said...

I probably should have put Fever Pitch up there - as that is standard fare and required reading for any sports fan/human being in my opinion...

But this list is just for the stuff I just got.

And I know you are already taking care of the FP thing...

wiggins said...

I added links to the official sites of the teams I have adopted, and Celtic for you. Wasn't sure if you wanted any others...

Mike said...

Of course you left the Chicago Fire off the list.

You are such a jerk.

wiggins said...

Can't make life TOO easy for you.

I don't mind helping you with the Celtic habit - but the Fire thing... you are on your own, there, bitch.

wiggins said...

HAD to make it bold, didn't you?

Are we gonna have a link war now?

Mike said...

It's cool. I fixed it.

wiggins said...

Oh - it's on, now.

wiggins said...

What happened? I went to go get rid of the "Soccer for little girls" and it was already gone along with the Fire thing.

I am scared as to what might be coming next...

Joe said...

Soccer schmoccer

Its getting time for some real football and the boys from Coral Gables are steamrolling the ACC on their way to a BCS berth, if not a spot in the title game

wiggins said...

Aw, man....

Them's fightin' words.

We've been keeping the talk to soccer a bit since we are both just getting into it a bit, and we don't want to start having to throw punches over the up-coming football season...

Mike said...

Joe has more confidence in the Coral Gables footballers than I do. I hope he's right. I think the Canes could go 9-3/8-4 in the regular season. And yes, I'm scared about Houston.

wiggins said...

I guess I should sit down and actually think about college football one of these days. I've been too swamped getting prepped for the EPL and all. I have too much to catch up on there...

Mike said...

The Canes just suspended four guys for the FSU game -- two starters (Ryan Moore and Tyrone Moss).

What's the penalty to be suspended for this game at Florida State? I think you have to be convicted of at least a double homicide. I'm not sure, but I think anything less requires you to run the stadium a few times.

Anyway, I just saw the updated links and am in no mood for anything at the moment.

wiggins said...

Huh? What?

Did I hear something?

Mike said...

I'm done playing linking games. They're cleaned up.

Mike said...

You have won the battle, but not the war. Jerk.

wiggins said...

I know I can never win the war.

I look forward to the next battle. I am sure yo uwill kick my ass.

Mike said...

I still feel ill from the last link you put up. Luckily I was smart enough to not click on it.

wiggins said...

Frankly, I feel a little dirty having linked to it, myself...

But it was TOO good...