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1. Luckiest Man : The Life and Death
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2. It's Not About the Bike: My Journey
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3. Cinderella Man : James Braddock,
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4. Wilt, 1962 : The Night of 100
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5. No Mountain High Enough : Raising
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6. Coach: Lessons on the Game of
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7. Juiced : Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids,
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8. The Sixteenth Round: From Number
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9. Lance Armstrong's War : One Man's
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10. One Magical Sunday : (But Winning
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11. Ultra Marathon Man: Memoir Of
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12. Against the Odds: Riding for My
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13. License to Deal : A Year on the
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14. Fever Pitch
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15. Every Second Counts
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16. Beautiful Jim Key : The Lost History
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17. The Grand Slam : Bobby Jones,
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18. Wrestlecrap And Figure Four Weekly
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19. Into Thin Air : A Personal Account
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20. 23 Days In July: Inside Lance

1. Luckiest Man : The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig
by Jonathan Eig
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743245911
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 417
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Lou Gehrig started his professional baseball career at a time when players began to be seen as national celebrities. Though this suited charismatic men such as Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio, Gehrig avoided the spotlight and preferred to speak with his bat. Best known for playing in 2,130 consecutive games as well as his courage in battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (a disease that now bears his name), the Iron Horse that emerges from this book is surprisingly naïve and insecure. He would cry in the clubhouse after disappointing performances, was painfully shy around women (much to the amusement of some of his teammates), and particularly devoted to his German-immigrant mother all his life. Even after earning the league MVP award he still feared the Yankees would let him go. Against the advice of Ruth and others, he refused to negotiate aggressively and so earned less than he deserved for many seasons. Honest, humble, and notoriously frugal, his only vices were chewing gum and the occasional cigarette. And despite becoming one of the finest first basemen of all time, Jonathan Eig shows how Gehrig never seemed to conquer his self-doubt, only to manage it better.

Jonathan Eig's Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig offers a fascinating and well-rounded portrait of Gehrig, from his dugout rituals and historic games to his relationships with his mother, wife, coaches, and teammates. His complex friendship with Ruth, who was the polar opposite to Gehrig in nearly every respect, is given particularly vivid attention. Take this revealing description of how the two men began a barnstorming tour together following their 1927 World Series victory: "Ruth tipped the call girls and sent them on their way. Gehrig kissed his mother goodbye." Eig also shares some previously unknown details regarding his consecutive games streak and how he dealt with ALS during the final years of his life. Rich in anecdotes and based on hundreds of interviews and 200 pages of recently discovered letters, the book effectively shows why the Iron Horse remains an American icon to this day. --Shawn Carkonen ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary biography of a mythic figure
Lou Gehrig has risen beyond mortality, into mythology. His life and death are part of our lore more than our common history. But Eig does a beautiful job of chronicling both in human, concrete terms, not in the poetic abstractions of baseball memory. Don't get me wrong: I love the poetic abstractions of baseball, but here we get a glimpse of the kind of flesh-and-blood hero we haven't had for a long time, engaged in a rise and fall unlike any we see in a media-saturated 21st century.

Eig's writing is full of the pain, celebration, quiet nobility and raw physical strength that made Lou Gehrig. The fact that a sports figure remains a figure worth our money, time and interest 60 years after he died is testament to his contribution to the sport and the impact of his personal courage.

Gehrig wasn't without flaws. Rather he was a perfect antithesis to teammate Babe Ruth, a significantly flawed fella who wasn't without his personal qualities. Together, they stand as icons of the golden age of the sport, and Eig's biography pointedly (and poignantly) paints Gehrig as a myth-in-the-making, utterly unaware of his deity-to-be.

And that's how it should be.

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Role Model
Reading this book made me wonder, "Are there any men of this caliber of character in MLB today?"My immediate answer would be, "No."Who in today's big leagues would feel almost embarassed to get a raise?Who would play for such a quiet love of the game?

A ballplayer from the 80s, Ryne Sandberg, does come to mind.Of course, he was nowhere the player of Gehrig (who is?), but he always seemed like a gentleman who gave it his all.

God Bless Lou Gehrig and all he stood for.Read this book if you want to be inspired by a genuine American role model and hero.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rise and Fall of the Iron Horse
In his biography of Lou Gehrig, Jonathon Eig offers up a portrait of an iron willed individual, complex to a fault, who achieved the highest level of success in a sport dominated by oversize personalities such as Ruth, Cobb,and Alexander. Lou may not have had the talent of those men , but his work ethic and boy scout persona honed his skills to the extent he became the greatest offensive force in the game in the late 1920's and 30's. Not just a portrait of a superior athelete, Luckiest Manexamines Lou's struggles with the disease which would become linked with his name. A wonderful read which draws you into the golden age of sports,providing a link from Babe Ruth to Joe Dimaggio, Luckiest Man is a rare sports bio which offers adose of humanity of such a complex man .

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!
Paints an informed and vivid picture of a complicated man with an inspiring and unbelievable work ethic.Great for baseball fans, but also great for anyone seeking inspiration in the face of adversity.Often when talented people are brought down in the prime of their lives, they become martyrs and their accomplishments are embellished over time.For the story of Lou Gehrig's life and death, martyrdom and embellishment are neither necessary nor appropriate, and Jonathan Eig skillfully avoids both of them.One can only wonder how long Lou Gehrig's streak would have lasted had he not been stricken at such a young age.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well researched, great read!
This is an amazing book.Eig has done a ton of research (check out the list of primary sources in the back!), and lets you see Gehrig as a man, not just through his stats as a baseball player.After reading this book, I really felt like I had some insight into Lou Gehrig's personality, his upbringing, his motivation, and especially his courage as he faced a slow death from ALS.By seeing Gehrig as a complete person, including his faults, I believe Gehrig becomes even more of a hero.

This book is very well written and could be enjoyed by baseball historians, casual fans, and those who might only know the name Lou Gehrig.I'm proud to have this book on my shelf next to great baseball writers like Lawrence Ritter, Robert Creamer, and Harold Seymour. ... Read more


2. It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life
by Lance Armstrong, Sally Jenkins
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425179613
Catlog: Book (2001-09-30)
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is the story of the Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year's journey through triumph, tragedy, transformation, and transcendance. It is the story of Lance Armstrong, the world-famous cyclist, and his fight against cancer. ... Read more

Reviews (521)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Hard Not to be Inspired by this Story
Say what you want about Lance Armstrong but if you read this book it's hard to consider him anything but an inspiration.

Last summer I was in Austin, Texas during the end of the Tour de France attending the Texas Age Group Swimming Championships my younger brother was competing in. That city loves Lance and there wasn't a person in the streets who wasn't eager to talk about the Tour; yellow banners supporting him were more common than Texas flags, and anyone who knows Texas knows that that's saying a lot! Following that experience I knew I had to read this book and I wasn't disappointed in the least.

Having read the book, I can't regard Lance Armstrong as anything less than a miracle. He didn't survive cancer - he conquered it. He proved that a cancer diagnosis doesn't have to mean an end to anything unless you allow it to. This book is a very blunt and unapologetic account of his life before, during, and after his diagnosis and treatment. He's not the nicest guy ever, he's not the humblest guy ever, he's just a guy (who may or may not be the greatest cyclist in the world, it's not my sport, someone else will debate that).

If Lance Armstrong had never competed in another race again, his survival would still have been incredible. But he did compete, and he's sure to be a legend.

5-0 out of 5 stars No, It's Not About the Bike or Cancer. It's Pure Lance.
I know I'll catch it for this review. The book itself gets 5 stars from me. I enjoyed the read, I shed a few tears and I kept hoping that somewhere it would eventually turn Lance Armstrong into one of my heros. It never did. In fact, I pray to God I never meet Lance Armstrong and never get in his path, and I pray anyone who ever has to does survives the encounter. Sally Jenkins gets kudos on pulling off what was a difficult task. How to write his biography and story with him watching over her and to tell the truth. She did it. She pulled it off by writing between the lines like no other. She is truly the hero here. Make no mistake, the book is good, the hero is not. He is, without a doubt the single most arrogant and egotistical person I've ever read about in my life. I wanted him to be my hero so bad too. I have just gotten into cycling and was looking forward to having someone to watch, follow and emulate. Lance is not that guy. You'll read things that will blow you away. How he fully expected his French sponsor to pay him his 5 million dollar contract even when he was taking chemo and was not riding for them, they even offered to give him a contract, just not 5 million and he was outraged. He freaked on might having to sell his $300,000 worth of furniture and "art" to pay for his treatment. Why oh why have all forsaken poor Lance he wonders. Supposedly a boy that grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in Plano, Tx, but give me a break, there is no "wrong side" of the tracks in Plano. Even though he was only raised by his mother, it's obvious people took care of Lance. Riding his expensive cycles that were given to him out of the goodness of one man's heart, and then he doesn't speak to this guy for years on end. I could continue, but I think the world needs to read this book to learn about this. Lance's story is not over, he still hasn't learned what he probably was meant to learn. I do not suggest buying this book for someone with cancer or a teenager. It's not inspiring in the least, no one can afford what Lance had to get him through his terrible cancer ordeal. And, if a teen reads this, he or she will expect the world to give them everything on a silver platter just like Lance expects. One curious note I can't yet figure out. Never once does Lance tell the world he didn't check himself monthly for testicular cancer and that if he had, he could have caught it before it spread to his brain and lungs and recovery would have been comparably easy. With many pages devoted to pictures of he, his wife, his baby and mother not one single page printed a diagram on how to check yourself for testicular cancer. Seems a hero would have had that thought first and foremost in his head, especially since testicular cancer never has gotten the same PR as checking for breast cancer. I might read his other books. Maybe he's learned something along the way, but that is highly doubtful.

3-0 out of 5 stars A new focus for Armstrong..
I value Lance Armstrong's story, he is a driven and talented athlete who has had to battle through a life threatening illness. The story is incredible but you wish that Lance wouldn't be so in love with his own story!
Humility is the virtue that Lance needs most. Maybe that could be his next focus. I'm sure if he put his mind to it, he could tone down his ego. He accomplishes every thing he puts his mind too..... maybe improve his writing as well....

4-0 out of 5 stars It's not about the bike: It is about the being the best!
I am a beginner runner. I picked up this book because I wanted to know more about Lance Armstrong. This book has taught me how much mental and physical training are required to be the best, consistently. I have enjoyed reading this book because of the humor, the clear and direct expression of ideas, and Lance's candor in his failures and triumphs. I am sure I will pick it up and read it again periodically.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Bike is Not Important
There's nothing I can say that hasn't been said. A fantastic book about an interesting character that has little to do with sports and more to do with the human spirit. This book details Lance's early life as he addresses his cocky, immature nature that quickly goes out the window when he begins his cancer battle. Lance is alive because his is famous. His cancer was so aggressive and mature that IMO what saved him is the unsolicited email from the doctor at Vanderbilt that eventually led him to the doctors at Indiana University. I like sports and would never have read a book just about cancer survival but this book was so highly recommended and for good reason.

The book finishes with Lance mentally battling to get back on the bike and on to greater glory. There is much to learn here also but the one downer would be listening to him describing his ideal marriage when of course it has already broken up.

I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOK HIGHER. You will not be disappointed. And yes, you will start following the Tour de France. ... Read more


3. Cinderella Man : James Braddock, Max Baer, and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History
by Jeremy Schaap
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618551174
Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 945
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Lost in the annals of boxing is the sport's true Cinderella story. James J. Braddock, dubbed "Cinderella Man" by Damon Runyon, was a once promising light heavyweight for whom a string of losses in the ring and a broken right hand happened to coincide with the Great Crash of 1929. With one good hand, Braddock was forced to labor on the docks of Hoboken. Only his manager, Joe Gould, still believed in him, finding fights for Braddock to help feed his wife and children. The diminutive, loquacious Jew and the burly, quiet Irishman made one of boxing's oddest couples, but together they staged the greatest comeback in fighting history. In twelve months Braddock went from the relief rolls to face heavyweight champion Max Baer, the Livermore Butcher Boy, renowned for having allegedly killed two men in the ring. A charismatic, natural talent and in every way Braddock's foil, Baer was a towering opponent, a Jew from the West Coast who was famously brash and made great copy both in and out of the ring. A ten-to-one underdog, Braddock carried the hopes and dreams of the working class on his shoulders. And when boxing was the biggest sport in the world, when the heavyweight champion was the biggest star in the world, his unlikely upset made Braddock the most popular champion boxing had ever seen. Against the gritty backdrop of the Depression, Cinderella Man brings this dramatic all-American story to life, evoking a time when the sport of boxing resonated with a country trying desperately to get back on its feet. Schaap paints a vivid picture of the fight world in its golden age, populated by men of every class and ethnic background and covered voluminously by writers who elevated sports writing to art. Rich in anecdote and color, steeped in history, and full of human interest, Cinderellla Man is a classic David and Goliath tale that transcends the sport. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down
It is the best sports book I have ever read! The author pulled no punches in detailing the amazing story of Braddock. The boxer's highs and lows were vividly portrayed. You could smell the gym, feel the training, and taste the victory. Moreover, the political, economic and social state of the world in those times was marvelously woven into the fabric of the story. This book was truly a joy to experience. By the end of the story, two champions emerged, Braddock and Schaap.

5-0 out of 5 stars This has been a great read!!!
I am in the process of reading this book. It is a great story told by Jeremy Schaap. (Yes the son of the late Dick Schaap)

Jeremy Schaap has done a masterful job of weaving this story together and giving us the cultural perspective that was present in early 20th Century of the United States. As with all great stories there will be a movie made about Braddock. It should have the same type of commercial success as Seabiscuit. Read this book before going to the movie theater because it really does a nice job of telling us about the background of Braddock.

P.S. This book reminds me of how the sport of boxing has changed over the years. Boxing is now perceived by Americans more for its actions in the court room and greed by its promoters. Community identity with a boxer like Braddock is non existant in this American culture. Maybe it is not fair to compare this generation of boxers with those of Ali. Yet Ali stood for something that a society rallied around other than money. You can disagree with Ali but the respect I have for this man is incredible. Braddock might not have talked that much but he represented something that all of us could identify with. Hard work. A work ethic that people could identify with no matter where a person lived, their religion or their race. ... Read more


4. Wilt, 1962 : The Night of 100 Points and the Dawn of a New Era
by GARY M. POMERANTZ
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400051606
Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
Publisher: Crown
Sales Rank: 1189
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hershey Native Reviews Wilt, 1962
I was born and raised in Hershey, Pa., and worked as an usher at the Hershey Arena all through high school. I saw every sporting event in that remarkable little town throughout my life. But I missed that game. I was away at college, Wake Forest University, and missed the greatest night in the history of my hometown.
Obviously, the story of this game, this player (the Warriors trained in Hershey as did the Eagles) and this town is very personal for me.
Gary Pomerantz did an eloquent job of capturing the times, the player, the game and the town. He grasps the sensitivity of the social issues of the time (remember JFK's New Frontier was in full bloom) and the hearts and the minds of the people who lived. He describes with brilliance this innocent period and the bigger than life presence of Wilt Chamberlain, who dominated it and bent it to his will.
This is a book of history, of sport and the civil rights movement and of a man who captured all of our imaginations until the day he left us.

Ernie Accorsi
General Manager
New York Giants

5-0 out of 5 stars Wilts As a Cultural Phenomenon
Wilt Chamberlain was a true athletic phenomenon, as special to his sport as Babe Ruth had been to his 40 years earlier, and author Gary Pomerantz, who started his professional career as a sportswriter, does an excellent job of showing why Chamberlain was so important to the NBA.

But Pomerantz does much more than that. He takes the reader on a tour of Chamberlain's multi-layered life, showing how he rose above, literally and figuratively, the prejudice of the time. When he played at Kansas, restaurants were racially segregated - but not for Wilt. He dated many women, and wasn't particular whether they were black, tan or white. The NBA had informal quotas but with Chamberlain's dominance, the quotas became irrelevant and fell away.

Pomerantz uses the framework of the game itself, an otherwise obscure event between the Philadelphia Warriors in Hershey, Pa. that wasn't even covered by the New York press, to weave in his social messages.

One of the most evocative passages describes Wilt striding through the Harlem nightclub he had a small part of, "Big Wilt's Small Paradise," among the black icons of the time and the white patrons, comfortable in both worlds but somehow apart from both as well.

The book captures beautifully an era when life and basketball were so much different than they are today, and I recommend it highly.

Glenn Dickey
(...) ... Read more


5. No Mountain High Enough : Raising Lance, Raising Me
by LINDA ARMSTRONG KELLY, JONI RODGERS
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 076791855X
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 8374
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Power Behind the Throne of Victory
Linda, a "natural blonde" with a bombshell attack on life, has put together this behind-the-scenes look at life with Lance Armstrong, a miracle kid who became one of America's favorite heroes.

Linda was a single mom who had Lance when she was still in her teens. Her reckless and desperate pursuit of happiness in marriage is part of her story. Women will empathize with her attempts to make relationships work out for the sake of the child she adored. Loneliness and insecurity make the smartest of us blind to the consequences as we plunge ahead into yet another bad partnership. Throughout, the kid kept her sane and was her anchor. Without him she undoubtedly would have made worse choices.

Once Lance began his youthful pursuit of victory in triathlon events, Linda became a fan who cheered him and a supporter who wrote the checks, no matter how pinched her finances. He started getting sponsorship and that helped. Then he was offered a full college scholarship for his swimming ability. He refused, saying he believed he could make it in the big-time world of sporting events. She went along, with her usual encouragement: stay focused, and I'll be there.

Linda found her personal self-esteem in the world of business. Beginning at the most humble level, shredding paper on weekends to make extra money in her first secretarial job, she moved up quickly to a series of administrative positions in which her vibrant personality came to the fore. She needed money to keep Lance on his bike, but in the meantime she was racing to her own victories as a successful corporate somebody.

Her father was a major influence. Having given up drinking as soon as he had a grandson, he protected Linda and Lance and made their way as smooth as he knew how. It was hard for Linda, however, not to repeat the patterns she'd observed as a little girl. Though she didn't get trapped in physically abusive relationships, she was a doormat --- first for a philanderer and then for another alcoholic. It wasn't until she was older and Lance was independent that she finally found a man who could care for her without his own unwholesome agenda playing out.

So that's where life finds Linda now. Lance, as the world knows, survived Stage 4 (the worst) cancer, including brain lesions. He won the Tour de France a whopping six times and has fathered a son. His mother says, "I still love to stand there and watch him fly."

This is a believable story of the power behind the throne of victory, because Lance Armstrong undoubtedly is made of tough stuff, and it had to have come from somewhere. Linda's story will inspire moms and perhaps help some other lonely mother to let some other kid go the extra mile.

--- Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott

5-0 out of 5 stars The real victory
I'm a Lance fan. So, when I read this book, it was only out of curiosity for Lance's career. But I found myself reading about an everyday victory, and one not rewarded with multi-million dollar advertising contracts or front-page stories.

Linda could have given away the baby. Linda could have received welfare and lived off the government. She didn't have to work hard to improve her career. She could have stayed in the projects or in bad marriages. Instead, her own determination lifted her and her child's life.

Sometimes I feel down because I'm struggling to save enough to buy a house, and I'm earning far more than she did and I don't have a child to raise. This is a wonderful, motivating book by a woman who never believed it when people told her it couldn't be done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sheer grit
The title (can you hear the Temptations singing "Ain't no mountain high enough"?) alerts us to uncommon grit and determination inside.I might add, ego --mom's, as well as Lance's.Not surprising, for mom lifted Lance out of his unpromising roots by sheer force of her ego and drive.Same can be said of Lance's string of Tour de France triumphs.He's the boy mama raised.

The chapters of the book dealing with Lance's cancer powerfully illustrate, in a different way, the grit and determination that bonded mother and son.Others might describe his dramatic comeback as "miraculous," but Lance doesn't.He goes out of his way to tell people he does not pray and his recovery was not the result of prayer.

Glancing at the book cover -a pretty blonde on Lance's shoulder- one may mistakenly think this is Lance and his wife.Reading the sub-title, "Raising Lance, Raising Me," clarifies this is not wife or girl friend but Lance's mother.Lance was named for Lance Rentzel, dysfunctional star of the Dallas Cowboys.The Armstrong name was provided by Linda's second husband, a travelling wiener salesman who wasn't home much.

Linda, Lance's mom, had an abusive father and HER mother had an abusive father.Linda, by strength of character, broke the family pattern of abuse.Her marriages, however, were as disastrous as her mother's and grandmother's.Linda is in her fourth marriage.Lance, having fathered three children, is divorced.

Other women in Lance's life are barely mentioned.The most painful part of the book is what's unsaid.When Lance marries, Linda is not involved in plans for the wedding.She no longer seems significantly involved in his life.

Lance was the accidental offspring of two teenagers in "the projects."That seventeen-year old Linda's baby got where he did is a remarkable and inspirational story.Lance's mom deserves all the credit she claims.She's a terrific lady.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great read.
This book really changed my mindset on what it means to support the interests of my kids rather than just paying lip service. The most challenging portion was her thoughts on page 112 on how easy it can be to unintentionally communicate that their interests aren't important.

As an unexpected bonus, I also got a great pep talk on the attitude to have while diving into new areas at work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Now we know where Lance got his drive.
Nothing was going to keep Linda Armstrong Kelly and her son from getting their piece of the American Dream.

Knowing Lance's story is helpful, but not essential to enjoying Linda's telling of a life of poverty, less than wise choices and being mother to a live wire named Lance. (Who was supposed to be named Erica, should he have been a girl.)

With little more than a heart full of love for her child and a huge amount of determination, Linda carved out a life for the two of them . . . truly against all odds.Armed only with a GED and a real estate license, she rose from a temporary clerk to the rank of project manager for a major telecommunications company.She raised Lance to believe in himself and it seems she didn't try to squelch his infatuation with danger . . . and speed.Her determination to succeed was quickly transferred to Lance, who's natural athletic abilities were just what the doctor (and his mother) ordered/needed to keep his boundless energy channeled in a positive manner.

My favorite part of the story revolved around Lance's early competitions, when Linda was his only "pit crew" and it was, indeed, the two of them against the world.

While being open and honest about her own unfortunate choices, Linda shows herself to be fallible, too.However, instead of having a pity party, she seems to learn from her every mistake and to take each personal relationship failure and make something positive out of it.It's good to know she's found the love of her life and is happy at last.

Never flinching from responsibility.Instilling a good work ethic.Teaching the value of a dollar.Believing in the good in her child, despite some teen-age boy pranks to the contrary.

Maybe Linda Armstrong Kelly should start her own foundation and teach parents how to raise their kids to be STRONG, responsible, caring and giving adults.

Kudos to her . . . and that kid she raised to ride like the wind!

Enjoy! ... Read more


6. Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life
by Michael Lewis
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393060918
Catlog: Book (2005-05-16)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 114
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A story with a big heart about a boy, a coach, the game of baseball, and the game of life.

"There are teachers with a rare ability to enter a child's mind; it's as if their ability to get there at all gives them the right to stay forever."

There was a turning point in Michael Lewis's life, in a baseball game when he was fourteen years old. The irascible and often terrifying Coach Fitz put the ball in his hand with the game on the line and managed to convey such confident trust in Lewis's ability that the boy had no choice but to live up to it. "I didn't have words for it then, but I do now: I am about to show the world, and myself, what I can do."

The coach's message was not simply about winning but about self-respect, sacrifice, courage, and endurance. In some ways, and now thirty years later, Lewis still finds himself trying to measure up to what Coach Fitz expected of him. 14 illustrations. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars For Parents, Athletes and Coaches...(In That Order!)
Having previously read Moneyball, I was keenly interested in Michael Lewis' tribute to his high school baseball coach.He did not disappoint.It is a brief, almost essay-like book that gives us snapshots of his coach and himself that reveal worlds about life, coaches, athletes, parents and rising to meet the challenge.

He contrasts very effectively the experience he had with the experience of present-day players, and sets the coach and his ways in graphic relief against both. His admiration for his coach comes through the telling of the story, and not through a simple list of his accomplishments.

The book does give important lessons on the game of life, thus fulfilling the promise of its' title.

One of the book's strengths is also a weakness.It is too brief!This will make it more easily accessible for many, but this reader was left wishing for more...but isn't that the grand goal of most good authors?Michael Lewis has given us another gem.

Highly recommended for athletes, coaches, and especially parents of athletes!Read, enjoy, learn...

5-0 out of 5 stars I had a high school basketball coach just like Coach Fitz
If you are a parent and are wondering if you're kids are going to grow up to be happy, but aren't sure if you're doing the right things for them, read this book.Coach Fitz is much in the same vein as Herb Brooks, the legendary Minnesota Hockey Coach - if you've seen the movice Miracle - I've lived through a wind sprint marathon myself when I played High School basketball.I can tell you unequivocally that this type of insistent compassion is rare but absolutely essential for people to learn to deal with pain.I have seen this type of leadership in the organization where I work as well, and can tell you it makes all the difference in how well an organization performs.

5-0 out of 5 stars I know the coach
I have recently began to train with Coach Fitz. Yes he is intimidating but i dont see why the parents would be mad at him. I understand why he pushes his players. His ace pitcher this year has already signed with Stanford but will probably go high in the draft. His pitcher wouldnt be what he is today if it wasn't for Coach Fitz. I am goin to pick up my copy of this book as soon as I can.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
Author Michael Lewis does a great job showing how perseverence and determination leads to success. With illustrations and an easy to read approach, this book conveys a message of hope and stresses the importance of one's formative years. Highly recommend. ... Read more


7. Juiced : Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big
by Jose Canseco
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060746408
Catlog: Book (2005-02-14)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 4841
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Touted as a Ball Four for the new millennium, Jose Canseco's Juiced promises to expose not only the rampant use of performance-enhancing substances in baseball (with steroids replacing the amphetamines of Bouton's day), but the painfully human flaws of its heroes as well. A steroid devotee since the age of 20, Canseco goes beyond admitting his own usage to claim that with the tacit approval of the league's powers-that-be he acted as baseball's ambassador of steroids and is therefore indirectly responsible for "saving" the game.

Chief among his claims is that he introduced Mark McGwire to steroids in 1988 and that he often injected McGwire while they were teammates. According to Canseco, steroids and human growth hormones gave McGwire and Sammy Sosa (whose own usage was "so obvious, it was a joke") the strength, stamina, regenerative ability, and confidence they needed for a record-setting home run duel often credited with restoring baseball's popularity after the 1994 strike. Although he devotes a lot of ink to McGwire, Canseco envisions himself as a kind of Johnny Steroidseed, spreading the gospel of performance enhancement, naming a number of players that he either personally introduced to steroids or is relatively certain he can identify as fellow users. Because Canseco plays fast and loose with some of the facts of his own career he provides fodder for those looking to damage his credibility, but in many ways questions of public and personal perception are what raise the book beyond mere vitriolic tell-all. Those willing to heed his request and truly listen to what he has to say will find Juiced to be an occasionally insightful meditation on the workings of public perception and a consistently interesting character study. --Shane Farmer ... Read more

Reviews (105)

5-0 out of 5 stars The most revealing baseball book since "Ball Four"
This is the book that grabbed Congress' attention and finally forced the politicians to make baseball clean up its sordid act. Canseco not only implicates himself but also exposes some of the biggest stars of the past 20 years. And not one of them has refuted his charges. While Canseco's steroid-fueled past is undeserving of an endorsement and his statistics are forever tainted, his unmasking of what really goes on inside "the grand old game" is at once shocking and essential. He's a pariah in baseball circles now, but his book is what the sport needed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Juiced
Review By Josh Dall May 18, 2005
Juiced published by Jose Canseco

Jose "The Chemist" Canseco tells all in the book Juiced, an autobiography about his experience in baseball. This book explains why he started taking steroids, and why he thinks people need to know the truth about who cheated in baseball and who didn't. Canseco admits to steroid use and was banned from baseball, but the untold truth of the players who did it come out in his words from Jason Giambi and down to Mark Mcgwire. He explains how baseball has invited in steroids, and why it's their fault people use them still today. But besides steroids he explains the high life of a baseball player and what you don't know.

There are many characters in this book, but there not the usual made up characters you may find in stories. These characters are future hall of famer's, and names that associate with baseball. In this autobiography Canseco accuses Mark Mcgwire, Sammy Sosa, Ken Caminiti, Bret Boone, and 4 teamates from when he played on the rangers, and himself of using performance enhancers. Canseco tells what he knows about political figures and managers who knew about steroids and did nothing, including such names as George W. Bush and Tony Larussa. All these accusations that Canseco makes seem believable because Canseco seems to know what he is talking about. Still, the players aren't admitting what they have done, so what Canseco has done is exploit these players who still deny using steroids.

This book is a autobiography and very well written. What makes this book so great is that Canseco tells about the onward dissucion on the steroid issue which has become part of baseball for many years. One thing that did surprise me was that Barry Bonds was hardly mentioned, and he didn't say anything on steroid suppliers who may still be selling them today as much as I thought. My favorite part in this book is where he says all the names of baseball heroes so the public will know who is a cheater and who isn't. Through and through he reveals his life in baseball and what it's like to be criticized. Through the book he openly says he introduced them to baseball and he calls himself the "godfather" of steroids, which is pretty powerful to say. The players who were accused in this book, we're obligated to attend a conference hearing on steroids. All of them attended, accept Giambi, and Mark Mcgwire was crying when questioned, saying "the past is done and the future is now". Juiced, leads us to the point, is baseball Juiced?Even though some people are saying he's just making it sound like steriods are ok to kids and trying to make money,I still recommend this book to anyone who want's to here the truth on baseball, howit stands today, and what it will be like in the future.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, some errors, and a lot of blame
I purchased this book shortly after it came out and blew through it quickly.While the inside info of who did steroids and who he helped with them was nice, Canseco takes none of the blame for his own mistakes.Whenever he was in trouble with the law, amazingly it was always someone else's fault or someone overreacted.There are some factual errors that an editor should've caught.Namely his "Game Six" at-bat in the 2000 World Series.One slight problem: It was Game Four and the Series only went five games.
One other thing that got my attention is where he was going to kill himself after finding out his estranged wife was seeing someone else, only to stop once he heard his daughter crying.Now had he killed himself, his daughter (only one at the time) likely would have starved to death since no one would've fed her.What an absolute a-hole.Enjoy your newfound pariah status, Jose.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jose is the MAN!
Who cares about the so-called name-dropping.THey all did steroids.Face it - Jose Canseco is the hottest guy in baseball and he can do no wrong by me.JOse - I'm your gal for life!

2-0 out of 5 stars revie of "Juiced"
Review of Juiced

"Wild Times, Rampant Roids, Smash hits, and how baseball got big was far from what Jose Conseco's book "Juiced" was about.This book brings me back to the third grade and how stupid I thought the "Where's Waldo?" books were.Since I am suppost to give this book an overall rating, I suppose it gets two stars and those stars are burnt out just like Conseco."Juiced" talked about the 1980 Athletics and mainly Mark Mcguire.There were other topics like locker room talk, record setting events, and everyday life stories but any baseball fan who reads this book knows that its just about low blows on teams and players such as Mark Mcguire.Conseco's thoughts are strongly discussed in his book and the thing that makes this book so unattractive to the reader is his lack of ability to support his topics.
Of the many weaknesses in this book there are a few strong points.The thing I do like about this book is that it is a quick and easy read.And by easy I mean EASY!I really do feel like I am back in the third grade reading books with big letters aboutbig animals like Clifford, the big red dog, only this time I'm reading medium letters about big steroid craving monsters.If your thinking about traveling a short distance and your in the mood to end your trip feeling like an empty headed Jessica Simpson, pick up juiced.
With the many weaknesses in this book there is one that sticks out more than any in my mind.That is when Jose Conseco talks about how he pinch hit in game six of the two thousand world series when it was only a five game series.Too me that would be something that I would not get wrong especially since its only the biggest game of the year.
My last and final good comment about this book would probably be giving Jose credit for admitting his steroid use and having the testicular fortitude to name and talk about other players in his book.Although I think this book was written manly for the money, I like how he describes Cal Ripken jr. as a blond, polish diva who demands fancier hotels than the rest of the team.Also I like how he calls "Big Mac" (Mark Mcguire) "Not the best looking guy around".I also like how he talk about his past and his self-confidence issues until he bulked up chemically.
After reading this book I will say that I do have a different view on baseball.I think that steroid use should not be allowed at all.I know that as a child I looked up to baseball players and how I always wanted to play major league baseball.If I ever had kids I don't think that I would want them to now about some of these players.With that being said this book had a tad bit of impact on me.I still love baseball and that will never change.I just think that once these players are done playing they should not always resort to writing books.

... Read more


8. The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender To #45472
by Rubin Carter
list price: $15.00
our price: $14.00
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Asin: 0140149295
Catlog: Book (1999-12-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 15651
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

On May 26, 1967, the spiraling career of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, then the top contender for the world middleweight boxing crown, came to a shuddering and tragic halt: he and a young fan were found guilty of murder of three white people in a New Jersey bar.The nightmare knew no bounds as Carter traded his superstar status for a prison number and the concrete walls of some of America's most horrific institutions.Originally published as an attempt by Carter to set the record straight and force a new trial, The Sixteenth Round is timeless.It is an eye-opening portrait of growing up black in America, a scathing indictment of the prison system Carter grew up in and out of, and a mesmerizing re-creation of his furious battles in the ring and in the courtroom set against the backdrop of the turbulent sixties.The liveliness of Carter's street language, its power and ironic humor, makes this an eloquent, soul-stirring account of a remarkable life not soon to be forgotten. ... Read more

Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a book
I'm not an avid reader of books. I think that in my life I've read about 6 books from start to finish. This book is one of them. His life is an amazing/tragic yet inspiring one. The feeling I got after reading this book is that it teaches alot about the human sprit and what it can accomplish when you set your mind to it.

His writing style pulls no stops, He's direct and to the point.

The writing style he adopts gives you a real look at the Rubin Carter, in a way the Movie or other books about him can't.

Want to Know the real Rubin Carter! - Read this book

5-0 out of 5 stars Hurricane:A political injustice
I heard of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter from the inspirational film "the hurricane" starring Denzel Washington. After seeing the film I became enthralled in the story of a man framed for murders he did not commit and locked away in a cell for 20 years. I decided to get the autobiography of the hurricane entitled the 16th round. The book starts by exposing the life of a child sentenced to a state home for boys from the brutality of the kids and gaurds to the racism and segregation of the prison system in America. Rubin was in prison for most of his early life filling him with hate and rage from the gaurds and other inmates. So he started boxing. His pure power and skill made him an unstoppable talent. That is until he shared his thoughts on the racist Police forces that patrolled the american ghettoes. From then on the police set out to destroy his life. Rubin was pulled over after the murder of 3 white customers of a patterson bar.After 3 witnesses claimed he wasn't the murderer he was released. Five months later He was about to take on Dick Tiger for the middle weight title.But it was not to be and he was arrested and sentenced to three times life after the admitted liars Bello and Bradley said that he was the murderer. And so Rubin entered the familiar walls of Trenton state prison once again for a crime he did not commit. This story of injustice is exellently written. It is an inspirational book that will fill you with love and compassion for the amazing fighter of battles in the ring and battles of political injustice,Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. By Owen Clark.

4-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Touching
Obviously no one can write his story better than Rubin himself. This story is both and inspiring story of a man who has never stopped fighting and a terrifying reality check into the American judicial system. This book is filled with an anger that is only kept in check by the author's own love and compassion.

The reader whould of course keep in mind this is an autobiography and therefore is skewed to the writer's point of view and emotional state.

2-0 out of 5 stars The rounds go on and on...
I purchased this book, after viewing the much celebrated movie, "The Hurricane." The book is mediocre. I found it difficult to believe much of the writer's exaggerated boasting regarding his many talents. I had erroneously gathered from the movie, that this was a self-effacing, self-made man, not so. The reader is ever searching for the "real meat" of the story, however, the bulk of the story is about the author as a "ghetto-bad boy." The last few chapters of the book are short and quickly race you through the actual murder and trial. Overall it is not well written and disappointing.

5-0 out of 5 stars A touching story inspires child.
This story reached out and touched the lives of many people. It also made people realize not to be racist. I know that I used to be racist and this turned my life around. The fact that rubin was in jail for a crime he didnt commit just because he wasnt white isnt at all fair. His story inspired me not to be racist and to get others not to hate the non-white. It has touched many lives and i like that. I am one of Rubin's biggest fans. ... Read more


9. Lance Armstrong's War : One Man's Battle Against Fate, Fame, Love, Death, Scandal, and a Few Other Rivals on the Road to the Tour de France
by Daniel Coyle
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060734973
Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 7864
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Book Description

Lance Armstrong's War is the extraordinary story of greatness pushed to its limits, a vivid, behind-the-scenes portrait of Armstrong -- perhaps the most accomplished athlete of our time -- as he faces his biggest test: a historic sixth straight victory in the Tour de France, the toughest sporting event on the planet.

Made newly vulnerable by age, fate, fame, doping allegations, and an unprecedented army of challengers, Armstrong fights on all fronts to do what he does like no one else: exert his will to win. That will, which has famously lifted him beyond his humble Texas roots, beyond cancer, and to unparalleled heights of success, is revealed by acclaimed journalist Daniel Coyle in new and startling dimensions.

We see how Armstrong rebuilds after his near-loss in the 2003 Tour, discovering new strategies to cope with his aging body. How he fills the holes in his life after his painful divorce from his wife, Kristin, and the ensuing time apart from his three young children. How he manages the exceedingly difficult trick of being Lance Armstrong -- a combination of world-class athlete, celebrity, regular guy, and, for many Americans, secular saint.

But a saint's life it's not. To function at his peak, Armstrong requires what his friends artfully call "stimulus" -- and if it's lacking, he won't hesitate to create some. We see Armstrong operating at the turbulent center of a fast-orbiting cast of swaggering Belgian tough guys, controversial Italian sports doctors, piranha-toothed lawyers, and jittery corporations, not to mention a certain female rock star. We see the subtle mind games he plays with himself and with rivals Tyler Hamilton, Jan Ullrich, and Iban Mayo. We see him through the eyes of his teammates, competitors, and friends, and explore his powerful relationship with his mother, Linda. We see what happens three weeks before the Tour, when he's faced with a double challenge: a blowout defeat in an important race and the release of a controversial book seeking to link him to performance-enhancing drugs. And finally we see it all culminate in the Tour de France, where Armstrong will rise to new and unexpected levels of domination.

Along the way, Lance Armstrong's War journeys through the little-known landscape of professional bike racing, a Darwinian world of unsurpassed beauty and brutality, a world teeming with underdogs, gurus, groupies, and wholly original characters, where athletes do not so much choose the sport as the sport chooses them.

Over the season, Armstrong and these characters collide in raw and sometimes violent theater. From the first training camps to the triumphal ride into Paris, Lance Armstrong's War provides a hugely insightful look into the often-inspiring, always surprising core of this remarkable man and the world that shapes him.

... Read more

10. One Magical Sunday : (But Winning Isn't Everything)
by Phil Mickelson, Donald T. Phillips
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446578576
Catlog: Book (2005-03-21)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 3066
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Every year, he became so close only to fall short. Every year, the dream grew larger, only to fade away. Yet every year, his gallery of fans grew in support of his quest. Then on April 11, 2004, for the most beloved golfer of the decade, everything changed.

In ONE MAGICAL SUNDAY, Phil Mickelson takes us on a magical journey inside a life few have seen up close, but a life whose lessons can be cherished forever.As we travel hole-by-hole through the triumphant Sunday at the Masters, Phil looks back at the influences that made him the man he is today:his mom and dad, who mentored him on the balance between family and golf; his wife, Amy, who has given him so much happiness and fulfillment; and their three children, who remain their top priority.

With personal insights from Phil's family and never been seen photos of his most treasured moments, ONE MAGICAL SUNDAY is a book not only for Phil's millions of fans, but for everyone who finds inspiration in reading about a champion on and off the course. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars One Magical Sunday = One Magical Book
It's rare that an athlete or to be more specific, an athlete's accomplishment can capture the attention and hearts of an entire nation. But that is exactly what happened on that April day in 2004, that One Magical Sunday when the entire country became enthralled with the left-handed "lovable loser" from San Diego.

I am not sure what it is about Phil Mickelson that earned the love and respect of nearly every golf fan, and in this book, Mickelson wonders the same thing. There is something about us as Americans that makes us root for the underdog - the Rocky Balboas, the Boston Redsoxes, and the Phil Mickelsons of the world seem to epitomize everything that is America - the belief that dreams can come true, even in the face of adversity. And as quaint as that may sound, those beliefs come to life in this book.

This book takes us on a roller coaster ride of all 18 final holes at Augusta National, but much more than that, this is a story of a man who truly feels he is more blessed to have the love and support of his family more so than a major championship.

Sprinkled between a play-by-play recap of the final round of the 2004 Master's, are little anecdotes about Phil's life - from his childhood in San Diego through his college years at ASU through the birth of his three children, we become privy to a world of Phil Mickelson that most of us never knew, and we get to meet the people who helped shape Phil's life and influence him the most - from his parents to his college golf coach to his wife and kids.

The result? You walk away liking the guy even more than you already did, which is no small feat considering how much he was admired to begin with. This is a quick read and a real gem for golf fans and anyone who loves a great story of an underdog's triumph.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loves Life and The Game
I truly enjoyed reading this book due to its unique organization, simple language and profound principals expressed by Phil.The chiefest of these is that life to him is much more than golf.The joy that comes from the game is import to him, not winning, accolades, etc.

His family is primary also, as evidenced by the decisions he has made in favor of his family over golf, e.g. Mercedes tournament absence.

There is much revealed in this chronicle of his magical Masters victory, which is the organizational center, then revolving around this is past memories which cropped up in his Green Jacket round, and then contributions by friends, competitors, relatives, caddie, etc.This makes for a great insight into the talented, competitive golfer who so often is misunderstood and misportrayed by the media.

Thus, this book helps to clear the media polluted air about this great golfer and more importantly, family man.The story of his 2003 with all its trials, but especially about the severe, life threatening birth of son episode endures this great person to me even more.The joy he takes from more simple things off camera are touching and should be inspirational to many.

A great read to all golfers and those interested in Phil.

5-0 out of 5 stars THANKS FOR RIDE PHIL
If you like Phil Mickelson or if you like a feel good story -- then I strongly recommend that you read this book.Phil not only takes the reader through his final 18 holes at Augusta but also the foundation that he was provided as a child.The book is very easy and a quick read.Surrounded by supportive family and friends, Phil makes it a point not to take any of that for granted.Unlike so many professional athletes, Phil is grounded and humble.It is impossible not to cheer for Phil Mickelson.Of course, I am terribly biased as I am a huge Phil Mickelson fan.I am a die-hard sports fan and am seldom moved by accomplishments.However, I must say I wore out my family room carpet as he played the back 9 on Sunday at Augusta.Enjoy the book golf fans because I know I did. ... Read more


11. Ultra Marathon Man: Memoir Of An Extreme Endurance Athlete
by DEAN KARNAZES
list price: $18.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585422789
Catlog: Book (2005-03-17)
Publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher
Sales Rank: 196802
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Book Description

There are those of us whose idea of the ultimate physical challenge is the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon. And then there is Dean Karnazes. Karnazes has run 226.2 miles nonstop; he has completed the 135-mile Badwater Ultramara-thon across Death Valley National Park-considered the world's toughest footrace-in 130-degree weather; and he is the only person to complete a marathon to the South Pole in running shoes (and probably the only person to eat an entire pizza and a whole cheesecake while running).

Karnazes is an ultramarathoner: a member of a small, elite, hard-core group of extreme athletes who race 50 miles, 100 miles, and longer. They can run forty-eight hours and more without sleep, barely pausing for food or water or even to use the bathroom. They can scale mountains, in brutally hot or cold weather, pushing their bodies, minds, and spirits well past what seems humanly possible.

Ultramarathon Man is Dean Karnazes's story: the mind-boggling adventures of his nonstop treks through the hell of Death Valley, the incomprehensible frigidity of the South Pole, and the breathtaking beauty of the mountains and canyons of the Sierra Nevada. Karnazes captures the euphoria and out-of-body highs of these adventures.

With an insight and candor rarely seen in sports memoirs, he also reveals how he merges the solitary, manic, self-absorbed life of hard-core ultrarunning with a full-time job, a wife, and two children, and how running has made him who he is today: a man with an überjock's body, a teenager's energy, and a champion's wisdom.
... Read more


12. Against the Odds: Riding for My Life
by JerryBailey
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399152733
Catlog: Book (2005-04-21)
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Sales Rank: 5374
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A remarkable narrative of failure and redemption, the fiercely candid autobiography of the world's greatest jockey, depicting not only the intenseinside story of professional racing but his greatest victory of all-against himself.

I had hit bottom. My descent into alcoholism had been slow, but now I was lying at the bottom of the ocean, searching for a ray of light. I needed to breathe again. I needed to live again. . . . It was up to me.

He is considered the leading rider of his era, one of the greatest jockeys ever to break from the starting gate. He has won every major race there is, and then won it again; set earnings and stakes records; and entered the Racing Hall of Fame. But none of it was possible until he defeated his demons.

Astonishingly frank and vividly detailed, Against the Odds chronicles the making of both a man and a champion: the years of drinking, cruelty, anger, despair; the moment of truth, with the help of his wife, Suzee; the dramatic rise to the top. It takes us into the racing world as only someone who has lived it can-the joys and dangers, the adrenaline highs and controversies, from the stables to the stretch drive. It is a new classic of the literature.
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars No Formula Here
This isn't the story of a great jockey. That would be pretty formula. This is the story of a jockey who somehow beat the odds to achieve greatness. That's what makes it a great book. Somewhat like "My Fractured Life", "It's Not About the Bike" and "The Secret Life of Bees", this is an amazing story that celebrates the flawed heroes among us and takes the reader's emotions for a ride that few have experienced and you can't help celebrating.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great to the Finish
There are two books that I had been hearing a lot about and so I ordered them. One of those books was Against the Odds by Jerry Bailey. The other book was My Fractured Life by Rikki Lee Travolta. Of the two, My Fractured Life immediately jumped to the lead in the race of favorites. Against the Odds is a strong contender in its own right though and ran a strong second. It has strength of spirit and courage over addiction that makes it lift off the page. It was a nice Perfecta of weekend reading. Other recent considerations included Simon Lazarus, Nightmares Echo, Mermaid Chair, The Glass Castle, and Smashed. ... Read more


13. License to Deal : A Year on the Run with a Maverick Baseball Agent
by Jerry Crasnick
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594860246
Catlog: Book (2005-06-04)
Publisher: Rodale Books
Sales Rank: 18157
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Book Description

The movie Jerry Maguire and HBO series Arli$$ barely skimmed the surface. Now the true inside story of the sports agent business is exposed as never before.

During baseball's evolution from national pastime to a $3.6 billion business, the game's agents have played a pivotal role in driving and (some might say) ruining the sport. In a world of unchecked egos and minimal regulation, client-stealing and financial inducements have become commonplace, leading many to label the field a cesspool, devoid of loyalties and filled with predators.

Matt Sosnick entered these shark-infested waters in 1997, leaving a job as CEO of a San Francisco high-tech company to represent ballplayers--and hoping to do so while keeping his romantic love of baseball and his integrity intact. License to Deal follows Sosnick as he deals with his up-and-coming clients (his most famous is the 2003 rookie-of-the-year pitching sensation Dontrelle Willis). We become privy to never-before-disclosed stories behind the rise of baseball's most powerful agent, Scott Boras. And we get a novel perspective on the art of the deal and the economics of baseball.

By one of baseball's most respected sportswriters, who is now ESPN.com's lead Insider baseball reporter, License to Deal, like Michael Lewis's bestselling Moneyball, will provide fuel for many a heated baseball discussion.
... Read more

14. Fever Pitch
by Nick Hornby
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573226882
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 6680
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In the States, Nick Hornby is best know as the author of High Fidelity and About a Boy, two wickedly funny novels about being thirtysomething and going nowhere fast. In Britain he is revered for his status as a fanatical football writer (sorry, fanatical soccer writer), owing to Fever Pitch--which is both an autobiography and a footballing Bible rolled into one. Hornby pinpoints 1968 as his formative year--the year he turned 11, the year his parents separated, and the year his father first took him to watch Arsenal play. The author quickly moved "way beyond fandom" into an extreme obsession that has dominated his life, loves, and relationships. His father had initially hoped that Saturday afternoon matches would draw the two closer together, but instead Hornby became completely besotted with the game at the expense of any conversation: "Football may have provided us with a new medium through which we could communicate, but that was not to say that we used it, or what we chose to say was necessarily positive." Girlfriends also played second fiddle to one ball and 11 men. He fantasizes that even if a girlfriend "went into labor at an impossible moment" he would not be able to help out until after the final whistle.

Fever Pitch is not a typical memoir--there are no chapters, just a series of match reports falling into three time frames (childhood, young adulthood, manhood). While watching the May 2, 1972, Reading v. Arsenal match, it became embarrassingly obvious to the then 15-year-old that his white, suburban, middle-class roots made him a wimp with no sense of identity: "Yorkshire men, Lancastrians, Scots, the Irish, blacks, the rich, the poor, even Americans and Australians have something they can sit in pubs and bars and weep about." But a boy from Maidenhead could only dream of coming from a place with "its own tube station and West Indian community and terrible, insoluble social problems."

Fever Pitch reveals the very special intricacies of British football, which readers new to the game will find astonishing, and which Hornby presents with remarkable humor and honesty--the "unique" chants sung at matches, the cold rain-soaked terraces, giant cans of warm beer, the trains known as football specials carrying fans to and from matches in prisonlike conditions, bottles smashing on the tracks, thousands of policemen waiting in anticipation for the cargo of hooligans. The sport and one team in particular have crept into every aspect of Hornby's life--making him see the world through Arsenal-tinted spectacles. --Naomi Gesinger ... Read more

Reviews (110)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beware What This Book Might Do To You
I've been meaning to write a review of this book for a long time, but since Nick Hornby reawakened in me many of my childhood sports fan obsessions when I read it for the first time in 1999, I've been too busy. Not only did "Fever Pitch" remind me how irrationally and how much I loved my own hometown team (the heartbreaking Boston Red Sox) but he turned me into a fan of English football and his own Arsenal Gunners to the point where I follow them daily on ESPN's soccernet, LISTEN (!?) to them on internet radio broadcasts and have even gone to two games in London over the past two years. It's sick really, and I suppose it's not the kind of thing Hornby would have wanted when he wrote this quintessential memoir of growing up a soccer fan in England, but I've enjoyed it

"Fever Pitch" is an obsessive's tale as much as it is a fan's story, and so should appeal to the same wide audience that enjoys his excellent novels (It was my love for "High Fidelity" that sent me straight to this book). It is a memoir of surprising depth considering how it is organized only by the dates of soccer matches between 1968 and 1991, and it makes perfect sense that Hornby, or any true fan, should see the rest of his life (parents' divorce, his own education, romantic and career trouble) primarily as it relates to the team he spends so much time, money and psychic energy on.

The irony, for me, was finding out after I read "Fever Pitch" for the first time that Arsenal was one of the top teams of the last decade in England, so Hornby at least gets to feel the joy that we Red Sox fans are still waiting for. Sure, we're ecstatic the Pats won the Super Bowl, but our lives will change forever when Boston brings home the World Series. But after "Fever Pitch," I'll remember to laugh like the rest of the world laughs when American sports leagues crown their title-holders "world" champions.

5-0 out of 5 stars For sports fans, obsessives, and everyone else
I assume this book would be a joyous, justifying experience for a devoted fan of any sport - "I'm not alone!" - and I can assure you that it's a fun, educational read for someone who has no interest in any sport. It's a look at the way fanship can be created by, and in turn create, a person's life, and as such should be required reading both for fans themselves and for the people who can't understand them. In other words, if you completely understand why an important win could turn your entire life around, or why you would have to miss your sister's wedding if it coincided with a game, Fever Pitch is for you. And if you don't understand this at all, the book is also for you.

Now, having said that, there are a few problems with this book for Americans who don't know much about football. (You know, soccer, not American rules football.) If you don't know thing one about the game, you can still read the book, but you won't understand big chunks of it. Hornby either never expected this book to be published in America, or he can't imagine an audience that isn't intimately familiar with football argot. (And, having read the book, I'm betting on the latter.) So you'll need either to read a book about football before you read Fever Pitch, or to have on call a person who knows football. As it happens, I had both. I read the decent book The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro before Fever Pitch, so I knew about, for example, relegation and promotion. And I happen to know a person who watches football. And still I didn't get everything; what the heck is the Arsenal offside trap? What was the Ibrox disaster? (Double whammy, since apparently it also happened before I was born.) What's the penalty spot? I don't know, and Hornby didn't take the time to tell me. So - not perhaps the best book to introduce you to football.

Still, this a fascinating book, a book that contains a wealth of self-knowledge for the obsessed and astonishing revelations for everyone else. Read it. If nothing else, you'll learn that the person in your life that you thought was as obsessed with team X as it is possible to be is merely a fly-by-night fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby is one of the best football books
Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby is one of the best football books around. But it is about much more than football, it gives a rare glimpse into the psyche of the British football fan. In his book, football is a metaphor for all aspects of life, romance, family, and career. Hornby¡¦s amusing narratives perfectly encapsulate the unique relationship a football fan has with their favorite team. Even as a Manchester United fan I find it fascinating to read about his obsession with and dedication to Arsenal.
At the most superficial level, this book provides a very detail account of Arsenal from the late 60s through the beginning of the 90s, and the increasingly violent behavior by football fans during the late 70s and early 80s, and the negative impact it had on his feelings for the games.
Hornby describes vividly how his life was related to Arsenal's achievements. When Arsenal was doing good, Hornby was doing good. When Arsenal was having an off-season, Hornby fell into depression. It is interesting to observe the development of Hornby's obsession, because it can happen to anyone. With the backdrop of his often witty accounts of Arsenal games, Hornby talks about how his life evolves with his family, his girlfriend, and his students. Football is like a common world language, and Hornby uses it to interact with his students. And watching football with his father was one the highlights of his childhood.
Every game has an analogy in life for the football fan. For Hornby, a tight game ending in defeat is a painful reminder of a break with his girlfriend.
While this obsession with football is almost innate, sometimes Hornby felt immature, especially when he was unable to control his overwhelming passion for the game in front of his students.
In humorous pros Hornby highlights how football and life come together on the pitch and is definitely worthy of reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars black and white and read all over
This is a cool book, and a very good book, but a tiny little "je ne sais quoi" keeps me from giving it that last and final fifth star.

To summarize the book superficially in a sentence, it's an autobiographical retelling, in a very witty first-person voice, of the author's (London journalist Nick Hornby) lifelong love of soccer and his passion for the English pro soccer team Arsenal (which plays in London). Thrown in are side stories about his boyhood, his relationship with his parents, and his posse of friends, love interests, and workmates who either do or don't share his love of the sport.

One problem for North Americans is that this is a truly English book, in that it contains tons of references to little villages in England, little UK customs, judgments and descriptions of London neighborhoods, etc., that left me feeling like a Yankee hick who'd never left the trailer park. Indeed, that is my problem and not the author's, but North Americans who don't know English culture well will feel lost at times.

Another problem is that the book, like the TV show "Seinfeld," isn't really about anything. Sure, there's a lot of chatter about soccer, but not in any sort of methodical or educative way. It's basically a willfully disorganized diary about 20 years in the life of a clever, witty Englishman (from about age 10 to about age 30) who allows soccer to dominate his worldview and, alas, his whole life. It comes down to the amusing musings of a 30-something Londoner, which makes the book fascinating but not monumental.

The obsession with soccer is the strength and the weakness of the work. If you want to learn about English pro soccer, you will be disappointed. If you want to learn first-hand, from a very imaginative and clever soul, about what it was like for one particular person to grow up soccer-mad in southeastern England the 1970's and 1980's and how it impacted the rest of his life, then this is the book for you.

I'm a big fan of Nick Hornby, and a better book of his, and a better "starter book" for him, is "High Fidelity."

2-0 out of 5 stars Painfully, painfully boring
This book was extremely pointless. Since each entry is a memory, they are written like them so they don't have an insteresting story-telling narrative. Also, some of the entries were just how the game was played and who won, with absolutely nothing interesting to say. And that for 300 pages, completely redundant. This book has no beginning, middle, or end. Just entry after entry of complete pointlessness. Now, it may be because I am not interested in sports, but this is just a football (soccor) journal and nothing more. Hornby was able to shove in a little bit of angst and childhood problems, but it is not nearly significant enough to keep the reader interested.

Though the book had some very funny parts, it doesn't make up for the ennui I experienced while reading this book. You know, they made a movie out a this.....HOW?!! It barely works as a piece of fiction or reference book...but a movie?! Jesus. I'm sorry but this was one of the most boring books I've ever read. ... Read more


15. Every Second Counts
by Lance Armstrong
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385508719
Catlog: Book (2003-10-07)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 1646
Average Customer Review: 3.35 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In the opening of Lance Armstrong's memoir, Every Second Counts (co-authored by Sally Jenkins), he reflects: "Generally, one of the hardest things in the world to do is something twice." While he is talking here about his preparation for what would prove to be his second consecutive Tour de France victory in 2000, the sentiment could equally be applied to the book itself. And just as Armstrong managed to repeat his incredible 1999 tour victory, Every Second Counts repeats--and, in some ways exceeds—the success of his bestselling first memoir, It's Not About the Bike.

Every Second Counts confronts the challenge of moving beyond his cancer experience, his first Tour victory, and his celebrity status. Few of Armstrong's readers will ever compete in the Tour de France (though cyclists will relish Armstrong's detailed recounting of his 2000-2003 tour victories), but all will relate to his discussions of loss and disappointment in his personal and professional life since 1999. They will relate to his battles with petty bureaucracies, like the French court system during the doping scandal that almost halted his career. And they will especially relate to constant struggles with work/life balance.

In the face of September 11--which arrives halfway through the narrative (just before the fifth anniversary of his diagnosis)--Armstrong draws from his experiences to show that suffering, fear, and death are the essential human condition. In so openly using his own life to illustrate how to face this reality, he proves that he truly is a hero--and not just because of the bike. In Every Second Counts he is to be admired as a human being, a man who sees every day as a challenge to live richly and well, no matter what hardships may come. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

Reviews (66)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Fan of This American Hero
Lance Armstrong is a true American hero- his fifth time win of the Tour de France was not well celebrated- other World Events took first page. Lance works hard, unbelievabe number of hours in each day to become the best cyclist in the world. He deserves all of the awards and praise heaped upon him. In this book, Lance Armstrong with Sally Jenkins assistance is able to describe and elucidate his philosophy of life. His brush with death and cancer is not over- he undergoes a series of testing every year, and he is not cancer free in his mind until his physicians tell him so. Most of the people with cancer that he meets, do not survive. He works tirelessly to raise monies for cancer awareness and research. He is quite aware that everyday on his earth is due to his good luck and faith in his physicians. Lance spends time discussing his relationship with the French people- his "doping" accusors and his time in court winning that battle. His win of he 2002 Tour De France was not his best win, but he learned from it and did not make those mistakes again. Most of us are quite interested in his marriage and there is a post script but not much mention of what went wrong, just that alot did go wrong. To maintain a high profile marriage, a high profile career, 3 young children and maintain any sense of privacy cannot be done when there is no time. Day to day life with the family is not possible when you are not there. Much has been written and supposition of romances gossiped, but none are mentioned and I would suggest that is none of our business.
This is a book of winning and losing-hard work and hard times and some of the intricacies of such are outlined in good detail.
As a fan of an American hero, Lance Armstrong, I suggest you support him and read his newest winner! prisrob

4-0 out of 5 stars Follow Up, how life is after cancer
This book is the follow up of the book, it's not about the bike which is about his career up till his second win.

In this book, all his wins (5) in the Tour de France are mentioned. It is mostly about how he felt during the last three and how cancer played a role in it.
It shows us there is more to life than just cycling. Cancer stays with a person for ever.
His relationships with other cancer patients are emotional and gripping and is also shows he was the lucky one.

This book stands out from other books about cycling, it is very personal and not just about baseball but also about life in general.
He also explains some things that had happened in the Tours, his historic ride towards Mt Ventoux with the late Marco Pantani, his fall and Jan Ulrichs' fall. For those he have followed the Tour the last couple of years, this gives a very good insight, also because it is well written.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Exciting, and Insightful Follow-up to 'the Bike'.
This is a beautiful follow-up to Lance's first book (It's Not About the Bike). In this book, Lance shares what it is like for him as person who is also a "superstar bicyclist", "cancer survivor", and "cancer philanthropist". Though a young man in terms of age, Lance speaks with deep wisdom about what it means to live, how to feel alive, and dealing with life's non-life-threatening complexities. And then there are remarkable and thrilling stories about his Tour de France experiences. I loved reading this book! It is spectacular, especially in conjunction with his first book.

Review by Evan Finer, author of "Effortless WellBeing"

2-0 out of 5 stars It's not about the book...
If every second counts for you, you should probably skip this book and read something a little more worthwhile. Unlike his previous book "It's not about the Bike" this book lacks the drama and general interest for the common reader. That being said if you are a cycling fan you can probably find some behind the scenes stuff here to be interesting, but basically this is a recap of Lance's racing since the 1999 Tour De France win. Which means if you are a cycling fan you already know everything in this book and if you are not a cycling fan you wont care what's in this book.

Overall it is more less just another puff piece athletic biography that seems more interested in re-enforcing Lance's status as a sports hero than it does delving into one of the most fascinating sports figures of a generation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Holy cow, some of these reviews are pretty brutal. Don't be turned off by a few obviously bitter people. Lance puts a lot of thought and effort into this awesome book. It's an A+ on my list. ... Read more


16. Beautiful Jim Key : The Lost History of a Horse and a Man Who Changed the World
by Mim E. Rivas
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060567031
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 186054
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17. The Grand Slam : Bobby Jones, America, and the Story of Golf
by Mark Frost
list price: $30.00
our price: $18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401301088
Catlog: Book (2004-11-03)
Publisher: Hyperion
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Book Description

From the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed The Greatest Game Ever Played comes The Grand Slam, a riveting, in-depth look at the life and times of golf icon Bobby Jones.

In the wake of the stock market crash and the dawn of the Great Depression, a ray of light emerged from the world of sports in the summer of 1930. Bobby Jones, an amateur golfer who had already won nine of the seventeen major championships he'd entered during the last seven years, mounted his final campaign against the record books. In four months, he conquered the British Amateur Championship, the British Open, the United States Open, and finally the United States Amateur Championship, an achievement so extraordinary that writers dubbed it the Grand Slam.

A natural, self-taught player, Jones made his debut at the U.S. Amateur Championship at the age of 14. But for the next seven years, Jones struggled in major championships, and not until he turned 21 in 1923 would he harness his immense talent.

What the world didn't know was that throughout his playing career the intensely private Jones had longed to retreat from fame's glaring spotlight. While the press referred to him as "a golfing machine," the strain of competition exacted a ferocious toll on his physical and emotional well-being. During the season of the Slam he constantly battled exhaustion, nearly lost his life twice, and came perilously close to a total collapse. By the time he completed his unprecedented feat, Bobby Jones was the most famous man not only in golf, but in the history of American sports. Jones followed his crowning achievement with a shocking announcement: his retirement from the game at the age of 28. His abrupt disappearance from the public eye into a closely guarded private life helped create a mythological image of this hero from the Golden Age of sports that endures to this day. ... Read more


18. Wrestlecrap And Figure Four Weekly Present . . .: The Death Of Wcw
by R. D. Reynolds, Bryan Alvarez
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1550226614
Catlog: Book (2004-10-28)
Publisher: ECW Press
Sales Rank: 1048
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Book Description

This detailed tell-all of the demise of the former top pro wrestling company World Championship Wrestling explores the colorful personalities and flawed business decisions behind how WCW went from being the highest-rated show on cable television in 1997 to a laughable series that lost 95 percent of its paying audience by 2001. Behind-the-scenes exclusive interviews, rare photographs, and probing questions illustrate with humor and candor how greed, egotism, and bad business shattered the thriving enterprise. Wrestling fans will devour the true story of this fallen empire, which in its heyday spawned superstars such as Sting, Bill Goldberg, and the New World Order.
... Read more

19. Into Thin Air : A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster
by JON KRAKAUER
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385494785
Catlog: Book (1999-10-19)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 1356
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster

By writing Into Thin Air, Krakauer may have hoped to exorcise some of his own demons and lay to rest some of the painful questions that still surround the event. He takes great pains to provide a balanced picture of the people and events he witnessed and gives due credit to the tireless and dedicated Sherpas. He also avoids blasting easy targets such as Sandy Pittman, the wealthy socialite who brought an espresso maker along on the expedition. Krakauer's highly personal inquiry into the catastrophe provides a great deal of insight into what went wrong. But for Krakauer himself, further interviews and investigations only lead him to the conclusion that his perceived failures were directly responsible for a fellow climber's death. Clearly, Krakauer remains haunted by the disaster, and although he relates a number of incidents in which he acted selflessly and even heroically, he seems unable to view those instances objectively. In the end, despite his evenhanded and even generous!assessment of others' actions, he reserves a full measure of vitriol for himself. This updated trade paperback edition of Into Thin Air includes an extensive new postscript that sheds fascinating light on the acrimonious debate that flared between Krakauer and Everest guide Anatoli Boukreev in the wake of the tragedy."I have no doubt that Boukreev's intentions were good on summit day," writes Krakauer in the postscript, dated August 1999. "What disturbs me, though, was Boukreev's refusal to acknowledge the possibility that he made even a single poor decision. Never did he indicate that perhaps it wasn't the best choice to climb without gas or go down ahead of his clients." As usual, Krakauer supports his points with dogged research and a good dose of humility. But rather than continue the heated discourse that has raged since Into Thin Air's denouncement of guide Boukreev, Krakauer's tone is conciliatory; he points most of his criticism at G. Weston De Walt, who coauthored, The Climb, Boukreev's version of events. And in a touching conclusion, Krakauer re! counts his last conversation with the late Boukreev, in which the two weathered climbers agreed to disagree about certain points. Krakauer had great hopes to patch things up with Boukreev, but the Russian later died in an avalanche on another Himalayan peak, Annapurna I.In 1999, Krakauer received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters-a prestigious prize intended "to honor writers of exceptional accomplishment."According to the Academy's citation, "Krakauer combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer.His account of an ascent of Mount Everest has led to a general reevaluation of climbing and of the commercialization of what was once a romantic, solitary sport; while his account of the life and death of Christopher McCandless, who died of starvation after challenging the Alaskan wilderness, delves even more deeply and disturbingly into the fascination of nature and the devastating effects of its lure on a young and curious mind." ... Read more

Reviews (1256)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for the Adventurous Reader
Adventure has always intrigued me. Books, movies, and sports all have that critical element of action and suspense that makes for interesting media. Into Thin Air met, and at sometimes exceeded my expectations. Jon Krakauer does an excellent job of portreying the raw emotion of losing his comrades and friends. I really felt as though I was there on the summit, among Scott Fischer, Rob Hall, and Niel Beidleman. The sheer realism of the situations presented to me was expertly crafted. I felt triumph at reaching the summit, sadness at the loss of Doug Hansen, and I felt the true burden of leadership that was quickly and brutally placed on the shoulders of Stuart Hutchinson and Neal Beidleman. I also enjoyed the book becasue it gave some of the history of Everest. I especially enjoyed hearing of Reinhold Messner, an alpine legend. The only problem with devling into history is that Krakauer got a little too engrossed in it and strayed from the story. Learning about where Everest got its name may be interesting to some, but I prefer to stick to the climb itself. Another plus in the book that I enjoyed was Krakauer's interaction with the other climbers and how he showed the way they felt and what was going on. These extra "characters" add lots of depth to the plot and make for a more interesting read. I also was a little frustrated with the way the timeline skips around. This is very apparent in the later chapters of the book, where keeping track of time becomes increasingly difficult. Into Thin Air is a well done book, and nearly got five stars, if only Jon Krakauer stuck to the basics and stayed organized.

4-0 out of 5 stars Criticism on Into Thin Air
Criticism: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

The book that I have read I called Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer. The main character in the story that sets the plot in motion is Jon Krakauer, or Rob Hall, his leader. He writes, in depth, his accounts of his mountain climbing. Next, the villain, who is against Krakauer, could either be the mountains, or Sandy Pittman. One Antagonist is the mountain. They try to challenge Jon to the best of his ability, and make it so that he doesn't succeed. Or, it could be Sandy, because she kind of makes a mockery of climbing, such as bringing an espresso along on her adventures. Some other important characters are the Sherpas, who are very dedicated, Hall, who completed expeditions in harsh conditions, too. Also Rob, who was in his group, Scott Fischer, Andy Harris, Lene Gammelgaard, Tim Madsen, Charlotte Fox, and Nel Beidleman. Scott Fischer was the leader of the Mountain Madness expedition, Andy Harris was a guide on Rob Hall's team, and Doug Hansen, who was a postal worker, and his dream was to climb. There were also some important places, which were Mt. Everest, Dhera Dun, Pakding, Lobuje, and many others One symbol is I think Mt. Everest. It symbolizes the problems we have today. At first, it hits you head on. While you are trying to overcome it, you have more problems, and hardships, that make it difficult for you to succeed. Then, when you reach the top, you are overjoyed and relieved. This is just like any problem that you will encounter in real life. Each character has a conflict with him vs. nature. They climbs, but the mountains do anything they can to stop them. As they get higher, there is less oxygen. Being very fatigued, it is hard to go on, so it takes even longer. It is very cold, too, which makes your body weaker. The weather is very icy and stormy. On top of all this, they have to climb a mass of land that is vertical. There was also a self vs. society, because sometimes on group leader had to make a decision, which would put the other group members life's' on the line. This book is ad, because thirteen people died in one season, just because they wanted to try to climb a steep mountain. When they are climbing, they are low on oxygen, and some get very ill. But, the different groups are kind of like families, since they are putting their life into someone else' hands, and trusting them with it. The reader also becomes part of their family, feeling bad for the different things that happen to the characters. It is tragic, yet adventurous at the same time. Into Thin Air is adventurous, because first he talks about how steep the mountain is, and how hard it is to climb. Next, when they are climbing it, it talks about all the hardships, such as weather, oxygen, and oxygen depletion. This is the climax of the book, since you are very intense to see what happens to the characters. Lastly, the outcome, or denouement, occurs and some are happy, since the character made it, and some are tragic. The book leaves you like there should be more. When he's talking about how he hasn't slept in a long time, under nourished, and very sick. I know I wouldn't have the energy to climb if I hadn't slept in 57 hours, only eaten soup and candy, and separated ribs with a bad cold. However, I also liked that the book left you hanging, because then you could imagine what happened, good or bad. I liked this book a lot, since it had to sides. It was very visual; you could picture the climbers climbing up the mountain. This book makes you want to look into climbing, but then when you read how hard it is, and how easily you can die, you rethink it. I recommend this book to readers of tragedies, and adventure novels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't stop reading it...
This tale is Jon Krakauer's personal account of his attempt to summit Mt. Everest. Rob Hall is the leader, a guide with impeccable credentials who is also a man of caution...yet a daring individual, as anyone would have to be to climb Everest (especially time and time again). Rob leads the team up the mountain, and everything is going fairly well until that fateful day where everything seemingly went wrong. It's almost hard to read this book knowing there's a tragedy coming, but I couldn't put it down to find some heroism also involved in this story...the will to survive is amazing, and it is demonstrated clearly in this book. I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting!!
I loved this book! I read it a few years ago and have recommended it, and given it as a gift, to many people. I also heard Beck Weathers speak at a sales meeting a few years ago, and he recounted his story, much as it is in the book. If you like real life adventure stories, this book is definitely for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars fascinating
An incredible account of the Everest Disaster. Krakauer is an expert at including as many details as possible without being too wordy. This book reads like a novel, and in fact the story is so incredible that at times you have to remind yourself that it is non-fiction. I appreciated the vivid pictures he painted of the important people in this book, a talent for which he is as skilled as the best contemporary fiction writers. Reading the book, you can grow so fond of some of the more likeable characters that you feel a deep sense of sadness when you read about their passing. In a sense, Krakauer has accomplished the difficult task of explaining in laymen's terms the technical aspects of high-altitude mountaineering (which is necessary in a book like this), and somehow also gave the reader a sense of the profound grief of the situation. This is something that is lost among the litany of newspaper articles, less-talented writers, and the controversy of conflicting accounts fails to do.

Oh yes, the controversy. I suppose that it is inevitable that when you're dealing with this magnitude a disaster, with equally-high magnitude of some mountaineers' egos, you're going to get arguments. Unfortunately, Krakauer has been sucked into this and actually has devoted a portion of the book to responding to someone's complaint about his account. Frankly, it reads like an internet message board flamewar, and it detracts from an amazing book. Hopefully, a year from now when I think back about this book, I'll remember not the controversy but rather people like Rob Hall, one of the people who died on the mountain. ... Read more


20. 23 Days In July: Inside Lance Armstrong's Record-Breaking Tour De France Victory
by John Wilcockson, Graham Watson
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0306814013
Catlog: Book (2004-11-01)
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Sales Rank: 1119
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Book Description

A riveting day-by-day account of the 2004 Tour de France and Lance Armstrong's unprecedented sixth victory-by the man "widely considered to be the best cycling writer in the U.S." (USA Today)

Taking place over twenty-three days in July and across more than 2,100 miles of smooth blacktop, rough cobblestones, and punishing mountain terrain, the Tour de France is the most grueling sports event in the world. And in 2004, five-time champion Lance Armstrong set out to achieve what no other cyclist in the 100-year history of the race had ever done: win a sixth Tour de France.

Armstrong had four serious challengers who wanted nothing more than to deny the man the French call Le Boss from achieving his goal. The major threat among them was the only other former Tour de France champion in this year's race, Germany's Jan Ullrich-The Kaiser. But there were also Armstrong's former teammate the ill-fated Tyler Hamilton, the talented young Italian Ivan Basso, and the Basque with movie-star looks Iban Mayo.

When the race was over, Lance Armstrong once again wore the yellow jersey of victory.

23 Days in July is much more than a day-by-day recap of each stage in this historic Tour. Renowned cycling writer John Wilcockson serves up engaging pieces of race history with vivid descriptions of locales-from the Alps to the Pyrenees to Paris-as he describes the mental as well as physical battle between Armstrong, Ullrich, Hamilton, Basso, and Mayo. Woven into the narrative are the compelling personal stories of Armstrong and his major competitors and an insider's look at their pre-Tour strategy and training regimens, all lending new insight into the human side of the Tour de France. And the book places Armstrong's extraordinary achievement in an historic perspective through interviews with the legendary Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx, the man who came closest to winning six Tours before Armstrong; the Tour de France race director Jean-Marie Leblanc; and Armstrong's personal coach Chris Carmichael.

23 Days in July unforgettably captures the personal passion, rich history, diverse geography, and nationalistic fervor of the world's most demanding, rigorous, and dramatic athletic event. ... Read more


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