The Green by Troon McAllister (1999)
Calling all golfers who will enjoy reading about the Ryder Cup! The author has written a humorous novel. Readers will recognize some of the PGA personalities in the book by traits that real PGA golfers on the tour possess. The novel includes golf tips as well as inside information about professional golf versus amateur golf.
This book could be made into a movie, but the people who should play the characters are deceased. In a movie of The Green, Jackie Gleason should play Eddie and Paul Newman could be Alan! The hustle of golf in this book can be compared to the game of pool!
Learn more about author and his books. Like golf? Check out our list of Fairway Fiction for more books on the topic.
The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis (2006)
Read the incredible true story of Baltimore Ravens lineman Michael Oher (pronounced OAR). One of thirteen children born to a crack addict mother, Oher spent his formative years on the streets of Memphis – times where neither the state nor the schools had any record of his existence.
But through a chance meeting with the Tuohy family at Briarcrest Christian High School, Oher becomes part of a family, attends school regularly, plays sports – and gets a chance in life. It’s a powerful story with many great messages (although I did skim over the lengthy descriptions of the development of the left tackle in the NFL).
Listen to an interview with the author and read an excerpt from the book at NPR.com. Be sure to check out the YouTube video A Diamond in the Rough. And have you heard? The film of the same name has been nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Picture and Best Actress — Sandra Bullock).
The Cheater’s Guide to Baseball by Derek Zumsteg (2007)
Find out about the things baseball players and teams do to manipulate the game – some legal and some not. In the Metrodome, the Minnesota Twins have been accused of tweaking with fans in their ventilation system to help their batters hit better. In the 1960s, when the White Sox were awful, they’d freeze baseballs to prevent other teams from hitting the ball far. You can also learn about the antics used in the early days of baseball – like when they’d literally push players off the base and tag them out. The author includes these stories, plus a lot of fascinating others.
Get ready for the start of the 2009 season by learning about what goes on behind the scenes. Also visit the author’s blog and read the Hardball Times‘ interview with the author.
The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip through Buck O’Neill’s America by Joe Posnanski (2007)
Buck O’Neill is a famous player and manager from the Negro Leagues. The author accompanied O’Neill for a year as he traveled around the country promoting the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. O’Neill shared many anecdotes, some funny and some sad, from his life and from his time around baseball.
Read a PBS interview with Buck O’Neill and check out the blog dedicated to the memory of Buck O’Neill.
Bleachers by John Grisham (2003)
Former football players have come to sit in the bleachers of the stadium named for their former coach. The coach is now dying. Neely Crenshaw was one of the coach’s finest players. Crenshaw sits and reminisces about his senior year. He has to forgive his coach for the past, but he can’t forgive himself.
The Game of My Life: a true story of challenge, triumph, and growing up autistic by Jason “J-Mac” McElwain with Daniel Paisner
His friends call him J-Mac. His mom prefers Jason. Sounds like your typical teenager, right? Not quite.
Jason “J-Mac” McElwain is considered a high functioning autistic. And in February 2006, J-Mac accomplished something that any “normal” person would have difficulty accomplishing: he scored 20 points – including six 3s – in the last FOUR minutes of a high school basketball game.
Read this inspirational story of a boy who didn’t talk till he was five. Read about how he became practically obsessed with basketball and how he was the team manager for three years. Read about how the coach let him dress for Senior Night – and how his unimaginable feat made him an instant celebrity across the country.
Sox and the City: A Fan’s Love Affair with the White Sox from the Heartbreak of ’67 to the Wizards of Oz by Richard Roeper (2006)
From one White Sox fan to another, Roeper details his love of the White Sox and of baseball. His wry sense of humor takes you from his childhood in the 1960s through the championship season of 2005. It’s part memoir, part Sox history, and part baseball nostalgia. You don’t have to be a Sox fan to enjoy this book – and you can’t help but appreciate the movie and television trivia scattered throughout.
Get ready for Opening Day 2008 (March 31: Cubs vs. Milwaukee and the Sox at Cleveland) by checking out this book and others on our Chicago Baseball list. You can read about the Cubs and Sox in the World Series, look back at the history of Wrigley Field, and much more.
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand (2001)
Laura Hillenbrand makes horseracing fans out of everyone. More than simply a biography of a horse, this book portrays the spirit of a sport as it tells the tale of an owner, a jockey and a thoroughbred champion that captivated the nation.
Check out the 2003 movie based on the book and the PBS website that features original radio broadcasts, an interview with Hillenbrand, and more.
The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb (2004)
They said that the four minute mile could never be broken, that it just was not physically possible. Three athletes competing from separate corners of the globe raced against the clock and each other to prove them wrong.
Listen to an interview with the author and Roger Bannister (NPR) or watch the memorable races from May 6, 1954 (BBC) and August 7, 1954 (CBC).
Monster of the Midway: Bronko Nagurski, the 1943 Chicago Bears, and the Greatest Comeback Ever by Jim Dent (2003)
Before multimillion dollar contracts, television and injured reserve lists, professional football players often played while hurt for little money with no motivation other than the desire to win. Monster of the Midway traces the history of a fledgling league struggling to survive through the exploits of one of its toughest competitors.
Check our catalog for other books and movies about the Chicago Bears.