A sport book recommendation: The Uses of Literacy (Media, Communication, and Culture in America) by Richard Hoggart

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2auEmR6.
Whatever the multiplicity of its sources, the deep authenticity of Hoggart’s writing is unmistakable. As with the greatest books in this series, The Uses of Literacy focuses on a case study – the particular plight of the poor and underprivileged…
Book description from Google Books:
This pioneering work examines changes in the life and values of the English working class in response to mass media. First published in 1957, it mapped out a new methodology in cultural studies based around interdisciplinarity and a concern with how texts-in this case, mass publications-are stitched into the patterns of lived experience. Mixing personal memoir with social history and cultural critique, The Uses of Literacy anticipates recent interest in modes of cultural analysis that refuse to hide the author behind the mask of objective social scientific technique. In its method and in its rich accumulation of the detail of working-class life, this volume remains useful and absorbing. Hoggart’s analysis achieves much of its power through a careful delineation of the complexities of working-class attitudes and its sensitivity to the physical and environmental facts of working-class life. The people he portrays are neither the sentimentalized victims of a culture of deference nor neo-fascist hooligans. Hoggart sees beyond habits to what habits stand for and sees through statements to what the statements really mean. He thus detects the differing pressures of emotion behind idiomatic phrases and ritualistic observances. Through close observation and an emotional empathy deriving, in part, from his own working-class background, Hoggart defines a fairly homogeneous and representative group of working-class people. Against this background may be seen how the various appeals of mass publications and other artifacts of popular culture connect with traditional and commonly accepted attitudes, how they are altering those attitudes, and how they are meeting resistance. Hoggart argues that the appeals made by mass publicists-more insistent, effective, and pervasive than in the past-are moving toward the creation of an undifferentiated mass culture and that the remnants of an authentic urban culture are being destroyed. In his introduction to this new edition, Andrew Goodwin, professor of broadcast communications arts at San Francisco State University, defines Hoggart’s place among contending schools of English cultural criticism and points out the prescience of his analysis for developments in England over the past thirty years. He notes as well the fruitful links to be made between Hoggart’s method and findings and aspects of popular culture in the United States.
The book is rated 3.88/5 at goodreads.com, from 212 ratings. See 19 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2atB6lz.
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A sport book recommendation: Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son by Paul Dickson

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2wM58w7.
Whether he was brawling on the field or hosting his own television variety show, Leo Durocher was a modern culture shaper, and Paul Dickson tells this complicated story with verve, sympathy and a keen eye.
Book description from Google Books:
From the Casey Award–winning author of Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick, the first full biography of Leo Durocher, one of the most colorful and important figures in baseball history.Leo Durocher (1906–1991) was baseball’s all-time leading cocky, flamboyant, and galvanizing character, casting a shadow across several eras, from the time of Babe Ruth to the Space Age Astrodome, from Prohibition through the Vietnam War. For more than forty years, he was at the forefront of the game, with a Zelig-like ability to be present as a player or manager for some of the greatest teams and defining baseball moments of the twentieth century. A rugged, combative shortstop and a three-time All-Star, he became a legendary manager, winning three pennants and a World Series in 1954. Durocher performed on three main stages: New York, Chicago, and Hollywood. He entered from the wings, strode to where the lights were brightest, and then took a poke at anyone who tried to upstage him. On occasion he would share the limelight, but only with Hollywood friends such as actor Danny Kaye, tough-guy and sometime roommate George Raft, Frank Sinatra, and his third wife, movie star Laraine Day.As he did with Bill Veeck, Dickson explores Durocher’s life and times through primary source materials, interviews with those who knew him, and original newspaper files. A superb addition to baseball literature, Leo Durocher offers fascinating and fresh insights into the racial integration of baseball, Durocher’s unprecedented suspension from the game, the two clubhouse revolts staged against him in Brooklyn and Chicago, and Durocher’s vibrant life off the field.
The book is rated 4.21/5 at goodreads.com, from 77 ratings. See 17 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2wMenMC.
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A sport book recommendation: Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman by Mary Mann Hamilton

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2cL1cVL.
Beyond everything else, this memoir impresses on readers just how easy it was to vanish in an earlier America…How fortunate that the manuscript of Trials of the Earth didn’t meet that same fate.
Book description from Google Books:
The astonishing first-person account of Mississippi pioneer woman struggling to survive, protect her family and make a home in the early American SouthNear the end of her life, Mary Mann Hamilton (1866 – c.1936) began recording her experiences in the backwoods of the Mississippi Delta. The result is this astonishing first-person account of a pioneer woman who braved grueling work, profound tragedy, and a pitiless wilderness (she and her family faced floods, tornadoes, fires, bears, panthers, and snakes) to protect her home in the early American South. An early draft of Trials of the Earth was submitted to a writers’ competition sponsored by Little, Brown in 1933. It didn’t win, and we almost lost the chance to bring this raw, vivid narrative to readers. Eighty-three years later, in partnership with Mary Mann Hamilton’s descendants, we’re proud to share this irreplaceable piece of American history. Written in spare, rich prose, Trials of the Earth is a precious record of one woman’s extraordinary endurance and courage that will resonate with readers of history and fiction alike.
The book is rated 3.90/5 at goodreads.com, from 1078 ratings. See 201 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cL2eRi.
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A sport book recommendation: White on Green: A Portrait of Pakistan Cricket by Richard Heller

A critic review (source The Economist) can be read at: http://econ.st/2aJYE5Y.
At every turn, the authors’ warmth for Pakistan and its cricket shines through. They recount stories about many of the sport’s biggest figures (even General Pervez Musharraf is interviewed about his involvement), but the book is best when finding unlikely heroes.
Book description from Google Books:
Following Peter Oborne’s award-winning global success with Wounded Tiger: A History of Cricket in Pakistan comes a new volume, written with Richard Heller, to celebrate the extraordinary story of Pakistan cricket. In White on Green, we discover a rich tapestry of stories about cricket in all its forms that will fascinate all who want to understand more about that country.      We hear from the players of Dera Ismail Khan, who appeared when their side lost by a world-record margin of an innings and 851 runs; and from the Khan sisters, who helped develop the women’s game in Pakistan, despite the threats from those who believed their actions to be immoral. But we also hear from the greats of Pakistan cricket, past and present, who provide a revealing picture of the special challenges they have faced, both at home and abroad.      Written with great warmth, affection and insight, White on Green is an evocative portrait of a country that is too often condemned and too little understood by outsiders. It shows how the spirit of cricket can help overcome the most difficult environments and bring people together.
The book is rated 4.17/5 at goodreads.com, from 6 ratings. See 1 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iJUmRF.
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A sport book recommendation: For the Glory: Eric Liddell’s Journey from Olympic Champion to Modern Martyr by Duncan Hamilton

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2d1U84e.
…signals that his biography transcends the Paris Olympics by beginning his narrative with Liddell running a foot race in a Japanese internment camp during the Second World War. It is here, where the inmates live on the brink of starvation, rather than in Paris, that the reader gets the full measure of the man.
Book description from Google Books:
The untold and inspiring story of Eric Liddell, hero of Chariots of Fire, from his Olympic medal to his missionary work in China to his last, brave years in a Japanese work camp during WWII Many people will remember Eric Liddell as the Olympic gold medalist from the Academy Award winning film Chariots of Fire. Famously, Liddell would not run on Sunday because of his strict observance of the Christian sabbath, and so he did not compete in his signature event, the 100 meters, at the 1924 Paris Olympics. He was the greatest sprinter in the world at the time, and his choice not to run was ridiculed by the British Olympic committee, his fellow athletes, and most of the world press. Yet Liddell triumphed in a new event, winning the 400 meters in Paris. Liddell ran–and lived–for the glory of his God. After winning gold, he dedicated himself to missionary work. He travelled to China to work in a local school and as a missionary. He married and had children there. By the time he could see war on the horizon, Liddell put Florence, his pregnant wife, and children on a boat to Canada, while he stayed behind, his conscience compelling him to stay among the Chinese. He and thousands of other westerners were eventually interned at a Japanese work camp. Once imprisoned, Liddell did what he was born to do, practice his faith and his sport. He became the moral center of an unbearable world. He was the hardest worker in the camp, he counseled many of the other prisoners, he gave up his own meager portion of meals many days, and he organized games for the children there. He even raced again. For his ailing, malnourished body, it was all too much. Liddell died of a brain tumor just before the end of the war. His passing was mourned around the world, and his story still inspires. In the spirit of The Boys in the Boat and Unbroken, For the Glory is both a compelling narrative of athletic heroism and a gripping story of faith in the darkest circumstances.
The book is rated 4.36/5 at goodreads.com, from 457 ratings. See 118 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2d1V1dd.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tnAjjz.

A sport book recommendation: Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide by Charles Foster

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2cY2HTv.
t wasn’t squeamishness that got to me, but a different kind of shock. I just couldn’t square the author who wrote so gracefully early in the book about the thoughts and feelings of animals — including those exhibited by “dogs playing or cats smooching” — with the one who, in his words, hates cats…
Book description from Google Books:
A passionate naturalist explores what it’s really like to be an animal—by living like themHow can we ever be sure that we really know the other? To test the limits of our ability to inhabit lives that are not our own, Charles Foster set out to know the ultimate other: the non-humans, the beasts. And to do that, he tried to be like them, choosing a badger, an otter, a fox, a deer, and a swift. He lived alongside badgers for weeks, sleeping in a sett in a Welsh hillside and eating earthworms, learning to sense the landscape through his nose rather than his eyes. He caught fish in his teeth while swimming like an otter; rooted through London garbage cans as an urban fox; was hunted by bloodhounds as a red deer, nearly dying in the snow. And he followed the swifts on their migration route over the Strait of Gibraltar, discovering himself to be strangely connected to the birds. A lyrical, intimate, and completely radical look at the life of animals—human and other—Being a Beast mingles neuroscience and psychology, nature writing and memoir to cross the boundaries separating the species. It is an extraordinary journey full of thrills and surprises, humor and joy. And, ultimately, it is an inquiry into the human experience in our world, carried out by exploring the full range of the life around us.
The book is rated 3.25/5 at goodreads.com, from 532 ratings. See 135 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1RKVflN.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tuuoJw.

A sport book recommendation: White on Green: A Portrait of Pakistan Cricket by Richard Heller

A critic review (source The Economist) can be read at: http://econ.st/2aJYE5Y.
At every turn, the authors’ warmth for Pakistan and its cricket shines through. They recount stories about many of the sport’s biggest figures (even General Pervez Musharraf is interviewed about his involvement), but the book is best when finding unlikely heroes.
Book description from Google Books:
Following Peter Oborne’s award-winning global success with Wounded Tiger: A History of Cricket in Pakistan comes a new volume, written with Richard Heller, to celebrate the extraordinary story of Pakistan cricket. In White on Green, we discover a rich tapestry of stories about cricket in all its forms that will fascinate all who want to understand more about that country.      We hear from the players of Dera Ismail Khan, who appeared when their side lost by a world-record margin of an innings and 851 runs; and from the Khan sisters, who helped develop the women’s game in Pakistan, despite the threats from those who believed their actions to be immoral. But we also hear from the greats of Pakistan cricket, past and present, who provide a revealing picture of the special challenges they have faced, both at home and abroad.      Written with great warmth, affection and insight, White on Green is an evocative portrait of a country that is too often condemned and too little understood by outsiders. It shows how the spirit of cricket can help overcome the most difficult environments and bring people together.
The book is rated 4.17/5 at goodreads.com, from 6 ratings. See 1 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iJUmRF.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2slBTyV.

A sport book recommendation: The Uses of Literacy (Media, Communication, and Culture in America) by Richard Hoggart

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2auEmR6.
Whatever the multiplicity of its sources, the deep authenticity of Hoggart’s writing is unmistakable. As with the greatest books in this series, The Uses of Literacy focuses on a case study – the particular plight of the poor and underprivileged…
Book description from Google Books:
This pioneering work examines changes in the life and values of the English working class in response to mass media. First published in 1957, it mapped out a new methodology in cultural studies based around interdisciplinarity and a concern with how texts-in this case, mass publications-are stitched into the patterns of lived experience. Mixing personal memoir with social history and cultural critique, The Uses of Literacy anticipates recent interest in modes of cultural analysis that refuse to hide the author behind the mask of objective social scientific technique. In its method and in its rich accumulation of the detail of working-class life, this volume remains useful and absorbing. Hoggart’s analysis achieves much of its power through a careful delineation of the complexities of working-class attitudes and its sensitivity to the physical and environmental facts of working-class life. The people he portrays are neither the sentimentalized victims of a culture of deference nor neo-fascist hooligans. Hoggart sees beyond habits to what habits stand for and sees through statements to what the statements really mean. He thus detects the differing pressures of emotion behind idiomatic phrases and ritualistic observances. Through close observation and an emotional empathy deriving, in part, from his own working-class background, Hoggart defines a fairly homogeneous and representative group of working-class people. Against this background may be seen how the various appeals of mass publications and other artifacts of popular culture connect with traditional and commonly accepted attitudes, how they are altering those attitudes, and how they are meeting resistance. Hoggart argues that the appeals made by mass publicists-more insistent, effective, and pervasive than in the past-are moving toward the creation of an undifferentiated mass culture and that the remnants of an authentic urban culture are being destroyed. In his introduction to this new edition, Andrew Goodwin, professor of broadcast communications arts at San Francisco State University, defines Hoggart’s place among contending schools of English cultural criticism and points out the prescience of his analysis for developments in England over the past thirty years. He notes as well the fruitful links to be made between Hoggart’s method and findings and aspects of popular culture in the United States.
The book is rated 3.89/5 at goodreads.com, from 211 ratings. See 19 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2atB6lz.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2t4Mdvx.

A sport book recommendation: First Star I See Tonight: A Novel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dL95em.
The story was very readable and the solution to the mysterious attacks on Cooper surprised me. I was going to give this a B, but seeing as I gave Call Me Irresistible a B , and I’m pretty sure I liked First Star I See Tonight better, I’ll give this one a B as well.
Book description from Google Books:
A no-nonsense sports hero and a feisty female detective go head-to-head in this funny, fresh, seductive novel from the award winning NYT bestselling author known for her unforgettable characters, heartfelt emotion, and laugh out loud humor.               He’s the former quarterback of the Chicago Stars football team.She’s trying to make a success of her very own detective agency.Her first job? Follow him.Let’s just say it’s not going well.Not well at all….Piper Dove is a woman with a dream—to become the best detective in the city of Chicago. First job? Trail former Chicago Stars quarterback, Cooper Graham. The problem? Graham’s spotted her, and he’s not happy.Which is why a great detective needs a first rate imagination. “The fact is . . . I’m your stalker. Not full-out barmy. Just . . . mildly unhinged.”Piper soon finds herself working for Graham himself, although not as the bodyguard he refuses to admit he so desperately needs. Instead, he’s hired her to keep an eye on the employees at his exclusive new nightclub. But Coop’s life might be in danger, and Piper’s determined to protect him, whether he wants it or not. (Hint: Not!) If only she weren’t also dealing with a bevy of Middle Eastern princesses, a Pakistani servant girl yearning for freedom, a teenager who just wants to fit in, and an elderly neighbor demanding that Piper find her very dead husband.And then there’s Cooper Graham,, a legendary sports hero who always gets what he wants—even if what he wants just might be an intrepid detective hell bent on proving she’s as tough as he is.From the bustling streets of Chicago to a windswept lighthouse on Lake Superior to the glistening waters of Biscayne Bay, two people who can’t stand to lose will test themselves and each other to discover what matters most.
The book is rated 4.01/5 at goodreads.com, from 8751 ratings. See 1265 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dLbzcm.
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A sport book recommendation: Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2ffdKqI.
Hold “Upstream” in your hands, and you hold a miracle of ravishing imagery and startling revelation.
Book description from Google Books:
One of O, The Oprah Magazine’s Ten Best Books of the Year! The New York Times bestselling collection of essays from beloved poet, Mary Oliver. “In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.” So begins Upstream, a collection of essays in which revered poet Mary Oliver reflects on her willingness, as a young child and as an adult, to lose herself within the beauty and mysteries of both the natural world and the world of literature. Emphasizing the significance of her childhood “friend” Walt Whitman, through whose work she first understood that a poem is a temple, “a place to enter, and in which to feel,” and who encouraged her to vanish into the world of her writing, Oliver meditates on the forces that allowed her to create a life for herself out of work and love. As she writes, “I could not be a poet without the natural world. Someone else could. But not me. For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple.” Upstream follows Oliver as she contemplates the pleasure of artistic labor, her boundless curiosity for the flora and fauna that surround her, and the responsibility she has inherited from Shelley, Wordsworth, Emerson, Poe, and Frost, the great thinkers and writers of the past, to live thoughtfully, intelligently, and to observe with passion. Throughout this collection, Oliver positions not just herself upstream but us as well as she encourages us all to keep moving, to lose ourselves in the awe of the unknown, and to give power and time to the creative and whimsical urges that live within us.
The book is rated 4.23/5 at goodreads.com, from 2881 ratings. See 501 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dJKX8H.
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