Good Reads - Fiction
Sports, Part II
Bavaro, Mark - Rough & Tumble - 2008, 311 p.
Written by a former NFL pro-bowler, this action-packed novel centers around Dominic Fucillo, tight end for the New York Giants. Dominic is having the best season in his ten-year career, but a knee injury, the estrangement of his girlfriend, and the mysterious beating of the team’s star player threaten to ruin everything – including the Giants’ chance at the Super Bowl.
Brock, Darryl - Havana Heat - 2000, 304 p.
It is 1911 and Luther “Dummy” Taylor is a 36-year-old ex-pitcher who cannot let go of the glory days when he was among the first deaf-mute players in major league baseball. Out of pity, Luther’s former manager, the infamous John McGraw, enlists him to play in a post-season exhibition tournament in politically volatile Cuba.
Coben, Harlan - Deal Breaker - 1995, 360 p.
In the first Myron Bolitar mystery, the sports agent/P.I. finds himself caught between the police and his star client. Christian Steele, a hot-prospect rookie quarterback, finds a picture of his missing fiancé in a 1-900 number advertisement. Myron must get to the bottom of what happened to Kathy in time to save the biggest deal of his career. (Series: Myron Bolitar)
Corrigan, John R. - Out of Bounds - 2006, 289 p.
In the fifth Jack Austin mystery, Jack is back on the PGA Tour. As a veteran player, he is shocked at the number of younger golfers who have suddenly and drastically improved the length of their drives and their control when putting. His best friend, a security consultant for the tour, suspects steroids and enlists Jack to investigate. (Series: Jack Austin)
Coyne, John - The Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan - 2006, 271 p.
Renowned historian Jack Handley is invited to speak at the anniversary of the Chicago Open. Instead of preparing an academic speech, Jack reminisces on the summer of 1946 when he was caddie for assistant club pro Matt Richardson. That same summer, golf great Ben Hogan challenged Matt to an intense practice game days before the Open, testing Jack’s loyalty.
Deford, Frank - The Entitled: A Tale of Modern Baseball - 2007, 318 p.
Howie Traveler didn’t have much luck as a player in the majors, but after years of coaching minor league baseball, he is offered one last shot at the big league – managing the Cleveland Indians. Unfortunately for Howie, his most difficult challenge will be controlling the team’s most talented, and most arrogant, power hitter.
Earl, Chris - Gotcha Down - 2004, 338 p.
Sports journalist Chris Earl combines football and gambling in this fast-paced novel about the Big Ten. Money troubles have the coaches and a few key players at Madison, Wisconsin ready to fix a huge game. But their plan relies on the participation of small-town kicker Jake Steffon who might be incorruptible.
Goldman, Ivan G. - The Barfighter - 2009, 246 p.
Lee Cheskis becomes an Army boxer to avoid Vietnam until a violent accident in the ring turns him off the sport. Twenty years later, he teaches at a junior college by day and gets into brutal barfights at night. After being sentenced to an anger management class, Lee meets an ex-gang member who could be a great heavyweight – with the help of the right trainer.
Grisham, John - Bleachers - 2003, 163 p.
Grisham departs from his usual legal thriller in this gentle story about Messina, a small town that worships its high school football team and their legendary coach. Now that Coach Eddie Rake is on his deathbed, generations of his former Spartans return to “The Field” to pay their respects –
and to relive old glories.
Jenkins, Dan - The Franchise Babe - 2008, 224 p.
In this hilarious novel of golf and exploitation, Jack Brannon, sportswriter and playboy, is burned out from years of covering the PGA tour. His quest for the next big story is realized in Ginger Clayton, the eighteen-year-old bombshell who is a star in the LPGA tour.
Lupica, Mike - Too Far - 2004, 290 p.
In ripped-from-the-headlines style, this sports thriller uncovers dark secrets about South Fork’s high school basketball team. Amidst tons of media hype and colleges fighting over the Hawk’s two star players, no one seems concerned over the death of the team manager. Only a reporter for the school newspaper wonders if the death is connected to horrific rumors of team hazing.
McCallum, Jack and L. Jon Wertheim - Foul Lines: A Pro Basketball Novel - 2006, 319 p.
Two Sports Illustrated writers have created a look at professional basketball that is too funny to be entirely fabricated. Jamal Kelly, a Yale student who patented the statistics system known as “Sabermetrics for Hoops,” seems to be the perfect replacement for the Los Angeles Lasers’ Media Relations Director. But, as the twenty-three-year-old soon realizes, preserving a clean image for the hard-partying team is next to impossible.
Mosher, Howard Frank - Waiting for Teddy Williams - 2004, 280 p.
Growing up in small-town Vermont, Ethan Allen has been raised to worship the Boston Red Sox. Vagabond drifter Teddy decides to make up for his many sins by teaching the fatherless eight-year-old everything about baseball, and inspires E.A. to follow his dream of becoming a major league player. As did W.P. Kinsella’s Shoeless Joe, this heartwarming novel illustrates the redemptive power of America’s greatest pastime.
Muller, Eddie - The Distance - 2002, 303 p.
Set in the late 1940s, this novel recreates the glamorous period of boxing. San Francisco sports reporter Billy “Mr. Boxing” Nichols turns talented fighters into stars. When Nichols discovers young contender Hack Escalante standing over his trainer’s beaten corpse, he helps hide the evidence to save Hack’s career. But Detective Francis O’Connor is determined to solve the case before the championship bout.
Prepared by Lynette Pitrak, December 2009