Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Let's Book Club!: Race in Play by Carl James

I suspect that this book is probably not going to be for everyone. It's a very academic look at race, and the student-athlete, or, in many cases athlete-student. So, rather than me getting into my thoughts on students' construction of their athletic identity and so forth, I'm going to very highly recommend that you read The Last Shot by Darcy Frey (cited a number of times in this book), which is like a literary version of Hoop Dreams, but shorter and better.

Up next: I'm just about to order "Miracle at St. Anthony's" (about Bob Hurley and his high school basketball dynasty in Jersey City) -- see the movie trailer (excellent) here -- though, after reading Race in Play I'm much more critical of Hurley's reputation; a couple of books on sport philosophy/sociology; "Season on the Brink" about Bobby Knight and the '85/'86 Indiana Basketball team; and the "Jordan Rules" about MJ. We'll see which one of these emerges out of the pack... or, if I can finish any of them before the end of the year...

1. The Inner Game of Tennis | Timothy Gallwey (134 pages) | A
2. The Last Shot | Darcy Frey (240 pages) | A+
3. The Road | Cormac McCarthy (287 pages) | A+
4. Outliers | Malcolm Gladwell (299 pages) | C+
5. The Last Season | Phil Jackson (304 pages) | B-
The Sunset Limited | Cormac McCarthy (160 pages)| B-
7. The Education of a Coach | David Halberstam (288 pages)| B+
8. Downtown Owl | Chuck Klosterman | (288 pages)| B

9. Can I Keep My Jersey?| Paul Shirley| (336 pages)|C-
10. Then We Came to The End| Joshua Ferris| (416 pages)|B+
11. Friday Night Lights| H.G. Bissinger|(400 pages)|A++
12. Strokes of Genius| L. Jon Wertheim|(208 pages)|B
Who's Your City| Richard Florida|( 345 pages)|C
14. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men| (336 pages)|A
15. The Book of Basketball| Bill Simmons|(736 pages)|C-
16. A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again|David Foster Wallace| (368 pages)|A-
17. Race in Play| Carl James|(258) pages|n/a

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