Sports Book Shelf

"The Duke, the Longhorns, and Chairman Mao," "Blood Sport" and more...
By Harvey Frommer
Harvey Frommer
Harvey Frommer
July 17, 2014 Updated: July 17, 2014

All kinds of interesting reads from all kinds of interesting authors populate the lists as we move past the over-hyped, and at times silly, All-Star Game and into the real business of real time baseball at the Major League level.

The Duke, the Longhorns, and Chairman Mao by Steven Travers (Taylor, $24.95, 265 pages) is set in 1966 and boy oh boy is it interesting—summoning up John Wayne in Austin, Texas filming “War Wagon,” the college football game pitting the integrated USC vs. the not integrated Texas longhorns. The reader goes on a wild ride with the man they called the “Duke.” His opinions on all things pumped up by whiskey and moxie, Khrushchev, Stalin, and Mao. This is a book you must have: wild, wacky, wonderful.

All-time, All-team, Pro Football Quiz by Jeff Marcus (Taylor, $14.95, 261 pages, paper) is the tome for you if you are into football trivia you have come to the right place. Carefully crafted.

Magnolias, Sweet Tea, and Exhaust by Carole Townsend (Sports Publishing, $24.95, 219 pages) is all about NASCAR as seen through the eyes of a Georgia newspaper columnist. Part narrative, part primer on the hypnotic sport, part funny book, part homage to the magic and mystique of a special sports culture, this book is a very good read.

Blood Sport byTim Elfrink and Gus Garcia-Roberts (Dutton, $27.95, 461 pages) is probably (we hope so) the last word, on as its sub title proclaims, “Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball’s Steroid Era.” Earnest, well researched, well written, if the topic is your cup of tea—go for the book.

Just My Game by Jason Grilli (Mascot Books, $24.95, 214 pages) is the story of the former Pittsburgh closer’s climb the top of his profession. Bawdy, bold, bracing—if you are a fan of Grilli you will enjoy.

Harvey Frommer is in his 39th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports books including the classics: best-selling “New York City Baseball, 1947-1957″ and best-selling “Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball,” his acclaimed Remembering Yankee Stadium was published in 2008 and best-selling Remembering Fenway Park was published to acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on WHEN IT WAS JUST A GAME, AN ORAL HISTORY OF SUPER BOWL ONE (2015)