Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream
by H. G. Bissinger, Buzz Bissinger
Paperback from Harpercollins
With frankness and compassion, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist H.G. Bissinger's national bestseller chronicles the dramatic 1988 season of the Permian Panthers--the winningest high school football team in Texas history. Friday Night Lights shows how the town's singleminded devotion to the team shapes the community and inspires (or shatters) the teenagers who wear the uniforms. Featured on "Sixty Minutes." 26 halftones.
Secular religions are fascinating in the devotion and zealousness they breed, and in Texas, high school football has its own rabid hold over the faithful. H.G. Bissinger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, enters into the spirit of one of its most fervent shrines: Odessa, a city in decline in the desert of West Texas, where the Permian High School Panthers have managed to compile the winningest record in state annals. Indeed, as this breathtaking examination of the town, the team, its coaches, and its young players chronicles, the team, for better and for worse, is the town; the communal health and self-image of the latter is directly linked to the on-field success of the former. The 1988 season, the one Friday Night Lights recounts, was not one of the Panthers' best. The game's effect on the community--and the players--was explosive. Written with great style and passion, Friday Night Lights offers an American snapshot in deep focus; the picture is not always pretty, but the image is hard to forget.
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why
by Laurence Gonzales
Paperback from W. W. Norton & Company
"Unique among survival books...stunning...enthralling. Deep Survival makes compelling, and chilling, reading."--Penelope Purdy, Denver Post
After her plane crashes, a seventeen-year-old girl spends eleven days walking through the Peruvian jungle. Against all odds, with no food, shelter, or equipment, she gets out. A better-equipped group of adult survivors of the same crash sits down and dies. What makes the difference?
Examining such stories of miraculous endurance and tragic death--how people get into trouble and how they get out again (or not)--Deep Survival takes us from the tops of snowy mountains and the depths of oceans to the workings of the brain that control our behavior. Through close analysis of case studies, Laurence Gonzales describes the "stages of survival" and reveals the essence of a survivor--truths that apply not only to surviving in the wild but also to surviving life-threatening illness, relationships, the death of a loved one, running a business during uncertain times, even war.
Fascinating for any reader, and absolutely essential for anyone who takes a hike in the woods, this book will change the way we understand ourselves and the great outdoors.
Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings from a Lifetime in Golf
by Harvey Penick
Paperback from Simon & Schuster
Media Published: 1999-
THE CLASSIC BOOK OF GOLF WISDOM FROM THE GAME'S GREATEST TEACHER
The Little Red Book has become required reading for all players and fans of the game of golf, from beginners to seasoned pros. The legendary Harvey Penick, who began his golfing career as a caddie in Austria, Texas, at the age of eight, worked with an amazing array of champions over the course of nearly a century, dispensing invaluable wisdom to golfers of every level. Penick simplifies the technical jargon of other instructional books and communicates the very essence of the game, and his Little Red Book is full of inspiration and homespun wisdom that reflects at once his great love of golf as well as his great talent for teaching.
Before titanium drivers, before oversized heads and bubble shafts, before electronic systems to tell you how far you are from the pin, golf was much the same game it is today. The lessons Harvey Penick taught in the pre-gadget days still stand. The golf swing is basically the same, and Penick could teach it better than anybody. For most of his life, he never intended to publish his Little Red Book, a notebook of golf wisdom and anecdotes that he compiled with the idea that he'd pass it on to his son. But, for the sake of history, it's a good thing that he changed his mind. Contained in its 175 pages is just about all you need to know about golf from a technical standpoint, along with Penick's priceless memories of working with famous pros, teaching absolute nobodies to get the ball in the air, and finding a horde of bat guano and hauling it across town in a pickup truck to fertilize his golf course. This book makes you feel good about playing golf, that you're part of something steeped in ritual and mystery and tradition, and that the game was played perfectly well before perimeter-weighted, graphite-shafted irons came along.
No Shortage of Good Days
by John Gierach
Hardcover from Simon & Schuster
Media Published: 2011-
IN his new book about the delightful torture known as fly fishing, John Gierach again demonstrates the wit, eloquence, and insight that have become his trademarks.
Consider this observation about fishing: "From my own experience I can say that a bad back makes you hike slower, stove-up knees keep you from wading confidently, tendinitis of the elbow buggers your casting, and a dose of giardia can send you dashing into the bushes fifteen times in an afternoon, but although none of this is fun, it's discernibly better than not fishing."
Or this explanation for every fisherman's fascination with small streams: "The idea is to fish obscure headwater creeks in hopes of eventually sniffing out an underappreciated little trout creek down an un-marked dirt road. Why is another question. I suppose it's partly for the fishing itself and partly to satisfy your curiosity, but mostly to sustain the belief that such things are still out there to find for those willing to look."
And perhaps the ultimate explanation for the fishing obsession: "I briefly wondered how much trouble a guy should go to in order to catch a few little trout, but then any fish becomes worth catching to the extent that you can't catch it, so the answer was obvious: Once you decide to try, you go to as much trouble as it takes."
In No Shortage of Good Days Gierach takes usfrom the Smokies in Tennessee to his home waters in Colorado, from the Canadian Maritimes to Mexico--saltwater or fresh, it's all fishing and all irresistible. As always he writes perceptively about a wide range of subjects: the charm of familiar waters, the etiquette 27.99 of working with new fishing guides, night fishing when the trout and the mosquitoes are both biting, fishing while there is still slush on the river, fishing snobbery, and the delights of fresh fish cooked and eaten within sight of where it was caught. No Shortage of Good Days may be the next best thing to a day of fishing.
It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels
by Robert Penn
Hardcover from Bloomsbury USA
Media Published: 2011-
Robert Penn has saddled up nearly every day of his adult life. In his late twenties, he pedaled 25,000 miles around the world. Today he rides to get to work, sometimes for work, to bathe in air and sunshine, to travel, to go shopping, to stay sane, and to skip bath time with his kids. He's no Sunday pedal pusher. So when the time came for a new bike, he decided to pull out all the stops. He would build his dream bike, the bike he would ride for the rest of his life; a customized machine that reflects the joy of cycling.
It's All About the Bike follows Penn's journey, but this book is more than the story of his hunt for two-wheel perfection. En route, Penn brilliantly explores the culture, science, and history of the bicycle. From artisanal frame shops in the United Kingdom to California, where he finds the perfect wheels, via Portland, Milan, and points in between, his trek follows the serpentine path of our love affair with cycling. It explains why we ride.
It's All About the Bike is, like Penn's dream bike, a tale greater than the sum of its parts. An enthusiastic and charming tour guide, Penn uses each component of the bike as a starting point for illuminating excursions into the rich history of cycling. Just like a long ride on a lovely day, It's All About the Bike is pure joy- enriching, exhilarating, and unforgettable.
Robert Penn has worked as a lawyer, waiter, contractor, DJ, photographer, and journalist-and biked to every single job. He writes for the Financial Times, the Observer, and Condé Nast Traveler, as well as a host of cycling publications. Penn lives in Wales with his wife and three children.
Praise from the UK for It's All About the Bike:
"[A] gem of a book." -Economist
The Only Game in Town: Sportswriting from The New Yorker (Modern Library Paperbacks)
Paperback from Modern Library
Media Published: 2011-
For more than eighty years, The New Yorker has been home to some of the toughest, wisest, funniest, and most moving sportswriting around. The Only Game in Town is a classic collection from a magazine with a deep bench, including such authors as Roger Angell, John Updike, Don DeLillo, and John McPhee. Hall of Famer Ring Lardner is here, bemoaning the lowering of standards for baseball achievement--in 1930. John Cheever pens a story about a boy's troubled relationship with his father and the national pastime. From Lance Armstrong to bullfighter Sidney Franklin, from the Chinese Olympics to the U.S. Open, the greatest plays and players, past and present, are all covered in The Only Game in Town. At The New Yorker, it's not whether you win or lose--it's how you write about the game.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners - 39 Stories about Pushing Through, Where It Takes You, and Triathlons (Chicken Soup for the Soul (Audio Health Communications))
by Jack Canfield Mark Victor Hansen Amy Newmark and Ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes
Audio CD from Chicken Soup for the Soul on Brilliance Audio
39 Stories about Pushing Through, Where It Takes You, and Triathlons A Step at a Time Fortitude Interesting Places Triathlons
Among the Thugs
by Bill Buford
Paperback from MANDARIN
The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport (Vintage)
by Carl Hiaasen
Paperback from Vintage
Media Published: 2009-
Bestselling author Carl Hiaasen wisely quit golfing in 1973. But some ambitions refuse to die, and as the years passed and the memories of slices and hooks faded, it dawned on Carl that there might be one thing in life he could do better in middle age than he could as a youth. So gradually he ventured back to the rolling, frustrating green hills of the golf course, where he ultimately--and foolishly--agreed to compete in a country-club tournament against players who can actually hit the ball. Filled with harrowing divots, deadly doglegs, and excruciating sandtraps, The Downhill Lieis a hilarious chronicle of mis-adventure that will have you rolling with laughter.
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