Monday, August 13, 2012

The Thrill of Victory

You’ve probably noticed that the Olympics wound up last night. This results in me missing a lot of my reading time, therefore finishing fewer books, therefore writing fewer reviews. Or maybe you haven’t noticed because you’ve been watching the Olympics, not reading blogs. In case you didn't get enough competition--or in case you don't care about the Olympics but want something fun to read--here's a list of books about competitions that I've enjoyed over the years.

Why the name "William Goldman" sounds familiar
John Feinstein specializes in following a sport for a whole season; I’ve enjoyed both A Good Walk Spoiled (about golf) and A Season on the Brink (about Bobby Knight at Indiana). Though they are both somewhat dated now, I’d recommend any book on sports that he writes.

I love William Goldman and would read just about anything he writes. He is the only person to have judged at Cannes and at Miss America  in the same year. Hype and Glory is the book he wrote as a result, giving behind-the-scenes dish on both competitions.

Word Freak is an insider’s look at the world of competitive Scrabble playing by Stefan Fatsis. He also has a couple of books on “real” sports like baseball (Wild and Outside) and football (A Few Seconds of Panic). 

Finally, my favorite book on competition was written by a personal friend, and I’m even in it! Don’t miss Prisoner of Trebekistan by Bob Harris (and look for his new book, coming out soon, on his adventures in micro-finance, The 1st International Bank of Bob, sure to be a fun read!

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