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21. Sacred Hoops : Spiritual Lessons
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22. Every Second Counts
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23. The Teammates
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24. 23 Days In July: Inside Lance
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25. Soul Surfer : A True Story of
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26. Bat Boy : My True Life Adventures
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27. Swimming to Antarctica : Tales
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28. Touch the Top of the World: A
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29. It Could Happen To You:Diary Of
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30. Ric Flair: To Be the Man
31. Marv Levy: Where Else Would You
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32. Lance Armstrong's War : One Man's
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33. Wink: The Incredible Life and
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34. Fishing on the Edge : The Mike
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35. Touching the Void: The True Story
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36. The Bad Guys Won! A Season of
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37. Best Damn Garage in Town: My Life
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38. Gold in the Water: The True Story
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39. Ben Hogan : An American Life
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40. The Ageless Warrior: The Life

21. Sacred Hoops : Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior
by Phil Jackson
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 078688200X
Catlog: Book (1996-11-07)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 5662
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior

"Not only is there more to life than basketball, there's a lot more to basketball than basketball."

-- Phil Jackson

One of the most successful coaches in NBA history, Phil Jackson provides an inside look at the higher wisdom of teamwork with Sacred Hoops -- Jackson's philosophy of mindful basketball and his life-long quest to bring enlightenment to the competitive world of professional sports.

A new paradigm of leadership based on Eastern and Native American principles, Jackson's approach flies in the face of the egoistic, winner-take-all attitude that has changed the face of American sports. Rather than winning through intimidation, Jackson -- who describes himself as a Zen Christian -- stresses awareness, compassion and most of all selfless team play. Filled with stories about Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc and other members of the Bulls, Sacred Hoops reveals how Jackson directs his players to act with a clear mind; to respect the enemy and be aggressive without anger or violence; to live in the moment and stay calmly focused in the midst of chaos, so that the "me" becomes the servant of the "we."

In Sacred Hoops, Jackson takes us inside the mind of the thinking man's coach as he builds one of the greatest teams of all time. Not just for sports fans, this inspiring memoir is for anyone interested in the potential of the human spirit. ... Read more

Reviews (46)

4-0 out of 5 stars Thorough Review of Sacred Hoops
Phil Jackson's autobiography Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior, can inspire all people on every level. It illustrates mindfulness along with Jackson's Zen technique of living in the "NOW". He gives true-life examples from his experience of coaching the famous Chicago Bulls to six championships in the 1990s. His details of coaching such players as Michael Jordan and others bring excitement to the novel, while also intertwining spiritual and mindful lessons with the action. Jackson teaches ways to broaden and strengthen one's mind, and he explains his truly unique gift of using your maximum potential everyday. His book focuses on the strength of the mind when it is clear and not bogged down with unhealthy emotions like anger, frustration, and hate. He shows that you can make everyone around you better by having calm emotions and working with each other to make everyone more successful. He speaks on a very deep and symbolic level which is sometimes hard to understand and comprehend, but his basketball similes and metaphors clear a path to understanding his true meaning. This National Bestseller demonstrates truly thought-provoking reading which proves the importance of control and mindfulness.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully entertaining, interesting, and informative.
Whether you are a basketball fan or not, this is an extremely enjoyable book about Phil Jackson and his coaching approach. We know that, despite his uniqueness, Phil has proved that his methods of coaching are successful. In this book, you get a peek at what he was doing and thinking while coaching the Chicago Bulls, before and immediately after Jordan's first retirement. He is quite candid also about his past as a child, a basketball player, and as a coach before he got to the NBA. He explains the evolution of his personality and personal philosophy over the span of his life. It's fascinating. I loved it, and couldn't stop reading.

Review by: Evan Finer, author of "Effortless WellBeing"

5-0 out of 5 stars Into the Mind of a Great Leader
When a person picks up Phil Jackson's "Sacred Hoops" for the first time and reads the first few chapters, he or she will find it very difficult to categorize. Is it a sports biography? Is it a guide to Zen and Native American spirituality? Is it a manual on leadership? The answer is that it is all of these things and much more.

I read "Sacred Hoops" through the lens of how it could make me a more effective leader in a school setting. I found anecdotes in this story applicable to the classroom, the athletic field, in the boardroom, and my personal life.

While "Sacred Hoops" does chronicle Phil Jackson's numerous triumphs as a player, a CBA coach, an assistant coach, and eventually as the head coach of the 3-time World Champion Chicago Bulls, the most important elements of this text are not the accolades won, but rather the means by which they were achieved. The two primary lessons of Jackson's that can be directly applied to the field of leadership is to teach one's employees/players/students about the essential nature of awareness and selflessness to the success of the organization. Of course, these two tenants were a difficult sell in the NBA during the Michael Jordan era just as they are today in the age of Kobe and the Lakers.

By educating his players on the basic Zen Buddhist principles of visualization and awareness, Jackson is able to create a workforce that is better at communicating with one another, more creative and innovative even under highly stressful situations, and more solidly unified in a "sacred" cause that they are personally and collectively invested in. A manager who could instill these values in his or her workforce will become the leader of an extremely successful and efficient organization.

It is no coincidence that Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal did not win their first NBA titles until Phil Jackson became their coach. Phil's second major theme of "Sacred Hoops"--the concept of selflessness--is the key that enabled two of the game's greatest players to finally reach "the promise land." He instills in his superstar player through the 11th and 12th man on the bench that "The power of We is stronger than the power of Me." Coach Jackson's discussion of the numerous team-building techniques that he has used over the years is the most valuable facet of Sacred Hoops for me. His schooling of his players to learn how to play with compassion instead of fear, and to reconnect with their pure love of the game of basketball is absolutely inspiring.

Reading this book in June of 2004, it is hard to imagine how torturous it must have been to work with the Los Angeles Lakers during this year's NBA Finals. The attitude projected by his star players--Kobe and Shaq--is the antithesis of the principles of awareness and selflessness that this book so passionately endorses. It does not surprise me in the least that Coach Jackson and the Lakers have now parted ways. Perhaps he will have some more time to relax in Montana and pen another insightful and spiritual tome like this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
I could not put this book down. I read it in one sitting it was so amazing, then I reread it becuase I was afraid I missed something I read it so fast! This book not only talked about coaching but about life and philosphy. I though Coach Phil was just a talented Coach with many rings, but this books explains why he wins so much! It makes you feel like you know him and it's just an amazing read, I've recommended it to friends who don't like basketball and they loved it! I recommend to everyone!

5-0 out of 5 stars Zen and the art of Basketball
This book by Phil Jackson offers an interesting insight into how he has successfully managed to incorporate Zen and Native American philosophies into his coaching style. The traditional Zen concepts of 'compassion and selflessness', 'living in the moment, 'emptying the mind' etc. might not appear to have any place in the modern sports world, but after reading this book, I am convinced that they can be applied to almost any walk of life. Phil also talks about his own internal conflicts with his very Christian upbringing and his fascination with Zen concepts and how he has finally managed to embrace both, and now considers himself a 'Zen Christian'. He walks us through the Chicago Bulls championship years using some very interesting anecdotes and aphorisms, and overall the book is a great read. ... Read more

22. 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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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

23. The Teammates
by David Halberstam
list price: $22.95
our price: $16.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 140130057X
Catlog: Book (2003-05-14)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 1670
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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As baseball legend Ted Williams lay dying in Florida, his old Boston Red Sox teammates Johnny Pesky and Dom DiMaggio piled into a car and drove 1,300 miles to see their friend. Another member of the close-knit group, Bobby Doerr, remained in Oregon to tend to his wife who had suffered a stroke. Besides providing a poignant travelogue of the elderly Pesky and DiMaggio's trip, David Halberstam's The Teammates goes back in time to profile the men as young ballplayers. Although it is enlightening to learn about Doerr, Pesky, and DiMaggio, the leader of the group and star of the book is Williams. Halberstam portrays the notoriously moody and difficult Williams as a complex man: driven by a rough childhood and a fiercely competitive nature to become perhaps the greatest pure hitter of all time while also being a magnetic personality and loving friend. While there is nothing exceptionally unusual about old men who have stayed friends (plenty of people stay friends, after all), baseball gives this particular relationship a unique makeup. Unlike most friendships, that of Williams, Doerr, Pesky, and DiMaggio was viewed all summer long by hooting, hollering Red Sox fans. As such, their bond is forged both of individual accomplishment, win-loss records, numerous road trips, and, since they played for the Red Sox, annual doses of disappointment. Halberstam, author of Summer of '49 and October 1964 is the ideal writer to tell two equally intriguing stories, both rich in America's pastime. Although he occasionally drops himself into the narrative, one expects that of Halberstam and gladly accepts it in exchange for the highly readable exposition infused with poetic majesty that has become his trademark. --John Moe ... Read more

Reviews (52)

5-0 out of 5 stars "The Red Sox killed my father. Now they┬┐re coming after me."
The 1946 World Series match-up between Boston and the St. Louis Cardinals went to seven games before Boston finally lost the championship, and Halberstam makes this seventh game come alive in all its frustrating excitement. The book is unique, however, not because of its rehash of old ball games, but because it brings back an era, more than a half-century ago, when close and supportive friendships developed between players who spent their whole careers on the same team. Telling the story of the sixty-year friendship of baseball greats Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio, and Johnny Pesky of the Boston Red Sox, Halberstam shows the kind of friendship which was possible in an era in which players were people, not commodities.

Warm and nostalgic, the book opens in October, 2001, as Dom DiMaggio, accompanied by Boston writer Dick Flavin and Johnny Pesky, makes a melancholy car trip from Boston to Florida to pay a last visit to Ted Williams, who is dying. As the men drive from Boston to Florida, they reminisce about their playing days more than fifty years in the past, recalling anecdotes about their friendship and talking about their lives, post-baseball.

Halberstam uses these memories as the framework of this book, describing the men from their teenage years. All were from the West Coast, all were about the same age, all arrived in Boston to begin their careers within the same two-year period, and all shared similar values. Ted Williams, "the undisputed champion of contentiousness," was the most dominant of the group. Bobby Doerr was Williams's closest friend and roommate, "a kind of ambassador from Ted to the rest of the world," Doerr himself being "very simply among the nicest and most balanced men." Bespectacled Dom DiMaggio, the brother of Vince and Joe, was the consummate worker, a smart player who had been "forced to study everything carefully when he was young in order to maximize his chances and athletic abilities." Johnny Pesky, combative and small, was also "kind, caring, almost innocent."

Stories and anecdotes, sometimes told by the players themselves, make the men individually come alive and show the depth and value of their friendship. The four characters remain engaging even when, in the case of Williams, they may be frustratingly disagreeable. There's a bittersweet reality when Halberstam brings the lives of Williams, Doerr, DiMaggio, and Pesky, all now in their eighties, up to the present--these icons are, of course, as human as the rest of us, subject to the same physical deterioration and illnesses. In Halberstam's sensitive rendering of their abiding relationship, however, we see them as men who have always recognized and preserved the most important of human values, and in that respect they continue to serve as heroes and exemplars to baseball fans throughout the country. Mary Whipple

5-0 out of 5 stars Friendship
Teammates is a story of true friendship. The book centers around three greats from the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams, Dom Dimaggio, John Pesky, and Bobby Doerr. Their final meeting is used as a backdrop for several stories from their playing days.

The story starts in the final months of the life of Ted Williams. Dimaggio and Pesky are inspired to reunite with their friend before his inevitable death. Bobby Doerr is unable to make the trip because of the health of his wife.

The book is formatted in the same way things were probably discussed in the car that day. The stories build up as each one of the four joins the team with the final addition being Pesky. The book continues as it goes through the teams years as a American League powerhouse. Unfortunately, World War II and the Korean War would be the main factor in preventing these baseball icons for playing in more than one World Series. The Red Sox lost that one World Series to the Cardinals. The play that allegedly turned that series is discussed in detail. The misfortune for which Pesky was blamed is a travesty. Even his teammates try to take the blame from Pesky. Being the stand-up guy that he is, Pesky continues to unjustly accept the blame. The book ends with each playing leaving the team until Williams returns from the Korean War to find all of his friends are gone. This drains much of the fun of the game for Williams. As a consequence he also leaves baseball.

Halberstam really does not write a book as buy as he retells stories from a car ride. This book is certain to become a favorite of those who enjoy baseball or the friendships developed in team sports. It should also be required reading for Red Sox fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Moving Tribute to Friendship
This is a moving book about friendship. As baseball legend Ted Williams' lay slowly dying at age 83 in the fall of 2001, his former teammates Johnny Pesky, Dom DiMaggio, and Bobby Doerr considered making the long drive to Florida for a final visit. The narrative focuses on that trip, and the enduring friendship between these four that continued for five decades after their playing days ended. Readers come to know these men, their backgrounds, flaws, strengths, families, health conditions, and post-baseball careers. Fans will enjoy their playing memoirs from the powerful Red Sox squads of the 1940's - teams that often fell just short at season's end. Adding spice to the narrative are Boston sportswriter Dick Flavin (who made the trip) and occasionally the author David Halberstam. This is another outstanding baseball book by Halberstam (SUMMER OF '49, OCTOBER 1964); let's hope he'll write more. THE TEAMMATES is a concise and moving tribute to friendship, baseball...and life.

4-0 out of 5 stars Life-long Lessons!
When we are young, most of us idolize certain sports heroes . . . usually because of their feats on the field rather than for their characters. Author David Halberstam had the great pleasure of getting to know some of his idols when he wrote the Summer of '49 about the Yankee-Red Sox pennant race in that year. He kept up with his new friends from the Red Sox including Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky after the book came out. When he learned that in 2002 about the last trip that Dom, and Johnny had taken to see Ted, Mr. Halberstam knew that he had a story. This book relates that tale.

The book recounts the backgrounds of all four players, details their friendships from the days when they were in the minor leagues through the end of their lives and provides lots of perspective on the Red Sox during the 1940s and 1950s when these remarkable players were on the team. The end of the book also has the lifetime stats for each player.

One of the intriguing parts of the book is how hard Ted Williams was on himself and his friends. It is a remarkable tale of friendship to see how others would tolerate his abuse by rolling with the punches. Behind the friendships, you get many glimpses of great character . . . character that actually makes their athletic accomplishments seem paler by comparison.

I strongly urge all Red Sox fans and parents who want their children to develop better characters to read this book, and share the story with their friends and family. I know of no better book about athletes that looks at the qualities of true greatness.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book about baseball and friendship
Back in the 1940's and 1950's Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr were stars for the Boston Red Sox. Over the next 50 years or so, they remained the closest of friends. This book gives us a good look at that friendship, on and off the field, and at these four men.

It's unusual for a group of friends to stay so close for so long, but reading about the friendship makes you wish you were part of the group.

The book is full of humorous stories about their playing days and the years that followed. It also shows how close this team came to being a dynasty, but ended up only playing in one World Series (which they lost).

Halberstam does a great job, as always, showing us what baseball was like in the good old days and how the friendship between these players grew and remained strong over the years. It's one of the best baseball books I've ever read. ... Read more

24. 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

25. Soul Surfer : A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board
by Bethany Hamilton, Rick Bundschuh
list price: $18.00
our price: $12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743499220
Catlog: Book (2004-10-05)
Publisher: MTV
Sales Rank: 3671
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Book Description

The amazing story of the thirteen-year-old surfer girl who lost her arm in a shark attack but never lost her faith -- and of her triumphant return to competitive surfing.

They say Bethany Hamilton has saltwater in her veins. How else could one explain the tremendous passion that drives her to surf?How else could one explain that nothing -- not even the loss of her arm in a horrific shark attack -- could come between her and the waves?

That Halloween morning in Kauai, Hawaii -- a glorious part of the world, where it's hard to deny the divine -- Bethany responded to the shark's stealth attack with the calm of a girl with God on her side. Pushing pain and panic aside, she immediately began to paddle with one arm, focusing on a single thought: "Get to the beach...." Rushed to the hospital, where her father, Tom Hamilton, was about to undergo knee surgery, Bethany found herself taking his spot in the O.R. It's the kind of coincidence that isn't mere coincidence to the Hamilton family, a clan whose motto could easily be "the family that surfs and prays together stays together." To them it was a sign someone had a greater plan than the one they'd been working on themselves -- which had been to scrape together whatever resources they could to help Bethany rise to the top of her sport. When the first thing Bethany wanted to know after surgery was "When can I surf again?" it became clear that her unfaltering spirit and determination were part of a greater story -- a tale of courage and faith that this modest and soft-spoken girl would come to share with the world.

Soul Surfer is a moving account of Bethany's life as a young surfer, her recovery in the wake of the shark attack, the adjustments she's made to her unique surfing style, her unprecedented bid for a top showing in the World Surfing Championships, and, most fundamentally, her belief in God. It is a story of girl power and spiritual grit that shows that the body is no more essential to surfing -- perhaps even less so -- than the soul. ... Read more

26. Bat Boy : My True Life Adventures Coming of Age with the New York Yankees
list price: $22.95
our price: $16.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385510209
Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 14596
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Read!
There are so many wonderful moments in this book that I don't know where to begin:the naive and persistent phone calls that led to the job, the letter McGough's father wrote him on his first day of work (read it and see if you don't shed a tear), the part where McGough loses his meal money to fellow players playing blackjack on the team plane, and a relief pitcher gives him a $100 bill, the road trip to Fenway Park, where the players set him up on his first date...the list goes on, but even more poignant are the personal experiences McGough had with heroes Don Mattingly and Jim Abbott, who are portrayed as both noble and funny.Talk about meeting your heroes and having them exceed your expectations.

This is a beautiful book written with great sensitivity and insight.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Touching and Insighftul Memoir
McGough really nailed it with this memoir. He takes us back to an era when the Yankees weren't ferociously competitive every year, but instead more closely resembled perrenial losers. The narration is seamless, and McGough very effectively incorporates numerous aspects of clubhouse life into his book. As an avid Yankee fan, this book rings a certain bell with me, but in no way do you have to be a Yankee -- or even basbeball -- fan to enjoy this book. It is a book that begs its pages to be read, and it is often hard to resist the temptation. Bat Boy is well-written and demonstrates the power of sheer determination and persistence.

5-0 out of 5 stars A perfect summer read
For a transplanted New Yorker who did not grow up a Yankee fan, Bat Boy tells a story that is relatable to everyone.It is a quintessential summer read, full of funny anecdotes while delivering a message that hard work and perseverance pay off.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not just for baseball fans
Bat Boy is a compelling and entertaining book, even for someone who isn't necessarily a baseball fan.It is a story about the dreams of youth, when everything is still new and possible because we haven't yet been made timid by caution and restraint.Bat Boy is about deciding what you want, going for it, and miraculously getting it.And what is perhaps even more rare, finding that achieving and living a dream can be as good or better than the fantasy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hate the Yankees, love the book!
It's a tribute to the author that I, an ardent Mets fan and Yankee-hater, really enjoyed the book. Maybe that's because, for all the funny baseball anecdotes and fascinating insider scoops, this isn't just a baseball book--it's a memoir, and the coming-of-age thrust of the narrative is quite effective. McGough manages to convey both the arrogance and insecurity that a 17-year-old boy in an infinitely enviable position--hanging out with his heroes, traveling with them, getting paid (among other perks)--must have felt.

The story is touching without being overly sentimental, and it rings true. Best of all, this isn't one of those corny "Baseball=life" stories; McGough skillfully interweaves the two main elements of his story with humor and a light touch. I actually laughed out loud in some parts, and was genuinely moved in others.

While baseball fans will surely enjoy this book on another level than their non-baseball-loving peers, any reader with an appreciation for clever writing and hilarious tales of hubris and naivete should read this book. ... Read more

27. Swimming to Antarctica : Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer
by Lynne Cox
list price: $14.00
our price: $11.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156031302
Catlog: Book (2005-03-07)
Publisher: Harvest Books
Sales Rank: 13551
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Just about every other person in the world seems like an unfocused dilettante compared to long-distance swimming legend Lynne Cox. Soon At the age of 14, after several years of training hard in pools and the open sea, she was swimming the 26 mile stretch from Catalina Island to the coast of California. A year after that, she surpassed a lifelong goal by not only swimming the English Channel but setting a new men's and women's record in the process. Rather than be satisfied, Cox aimed still higher, conquering the Cook Strait in New Zealand, the Strait of Magellan and, the Cape of Good Hope, none of which had been swum before. Being the first to swim the Bering Sea from Alaska to what was then the Soviet Union is perhaps Cox's most impressive achievement, requiring a phenomenal amount of physical strength and endurance to withstand the chilly waters and diplomatic persistence to gain permission from Gorbachev during the Cold War. Swimming to Antarctica is Cox's remarkably detailed account of her major swims and all that went right and wrong with them. While there are plenty of highs, as one might expect in a memoir by so impressive an athlete, all is not sunshine and roses for Cox. She overcomes extreme physical hardship, predatory sharks, and a swim through a sewage-soaked Nile while suffering from dysentery. There is plenty in Swimming to Antarctica to encourage even non-swimmers to work hard to achieve the seemingly impossible, but Cox, a skilled and highly readable writer, sticks to the swimming, leading the reader by example. For thrills and inspiration, it's hard to find anyone better than Lynne Cox. --John Moe ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Story
I was promted to read this book after hearing Lynne speak at a conference.Her determination is amazing!What really impressed me was that she is not at all what I expected of a long-distance swimmer.She is very down to earth and almost soft-spoken.She is not some ultra-buff althlete looking person.She looks like the average person on the street.Most of all, she is not at all intimidating.Swimming is truly a labor of love for her, as is bridging nations.Very inspiring!

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice Book
Lynne Cox has done a very good job describing some harrowing situations.Her drive and determination is inspirational, and the book is well-composed.My hat goes off to her.

5-0 out of 5 stars Focus on the accomplishment, not the pain
Lynne Cox is such an inspirational writer that the reader concentrates on her exceptional accomplishments, both physical and mental, rather than the extreme pain and struggle it took to accomplish them.From her early teens, Cox has eliminated almost everything else from her life to dedicate herself to open-water swims in treacherous and freezing waters, including crossing the Bering Straight between Alaska and the Soviet Union, and swimming a mile in the Antarctic Ocean.

What I really loved about this book is the way Cox struggled not only with the physical challenges of the swims but also struggled to make the swims mean something more to the world at large.For example, the Bering Straight swim took something lik 16 years of meetings and negotiations to arrange, hundreds of donors and volunteers.But in the end that swim stood as a testament and metaphor for the improving connections between nations.Everywhere she goes, Cox seems to have inspired anyone fortunate enough to witness her.That this has come with a great deal of personal sacrifice--money troubles, social limitations, significant nerve damage--is humbly underplayed in the book.She has a kind of determination and self-confidence that transcends a particular athletic endeavour.

That Cox does not *look* like anyone's idea of an endurance athlete just adds to the inspiration -- she's 45 and she's swimming to what's MY excuse?

5-0 out of 5 stars great story
This is one of those can't put down books. I read mostly non-fiction and this is one of the most exciting you could ask for. What this girl accomplishes is truly amazing and her writing ability is first class. When browsing for books I use Knopf as a guide in my selection process because I feel they have an excellent rep as a publisher and it worked again. Buy and enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Inspiring
I find Lynne Cox a very inspiring and determined woman.I loved this book although, I wish we got to learn a little more about Lynne outside of the water, she seems like a likeable, well rounded,intelligent person.Fascinating. ... Read more

28. Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man's Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye Can See
by Erik Weihenmayer
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0452282942
Catlog: Book (2002-04-01)
Publisher: Plume Books
Sales Rank: 45669
Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"A vivid and compelling book." (Time magazine)

Erik Weihenmayer was born with retinoscheses, a degenerative eye disorder that would leave him blind by the age of thirteen. But Erik was determined to rise above this devastating disability and lead a fulfilling and exciting life.

In this poignant and inspiring memoir, he shares his struggle to push past the limits imposed on him by his visual impairment-and by a seeing world. He speaks movingly of the role his family played in his battle to break through the barriers of blindness: the mother who prayed for the miracle that would restore her son's sight and the father who encouraged him to strive for thatdistant mountaintop. And he tells the story of his dream to climb the world's Seven Summits, and how he is turning that dream into astonishing reality (something fewer than a hundred mountaineers have done).

From the snow-capped summit of McKinley to the towering peaks of Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro to the ultimate challenge, Mount Everest, this is a story about daring to dream in the face of impossible odds. It is about finding the courage to reach for that ultimate summit, and transforming your life into something truly miraculous.

"I admire you immensely. You are an inspiration to other blind people and plenty of folks who can see just fine." (Jon Krakauer, author of Into Thin Air)
... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Just Terrific
This is just a terrific book, filled with humor, wisdom, pathos and adventure. The author poignantly describes his childhood descent into blindness, his efforts to ignore it, his initial rebelliousness, and his gradual coming to terms with his handicap. Before long, the reader, like Erik, no longer sees blindness as a handicap, but as one of many hurdles life tosses in our way. It is certainly less of a burden to him than was the sudden, tragic death of his mother, which he movingly addresses and comes to terms with. He finds purpose to his life, he finds love, and he finds friendship and adventure on the mountains that he climbs. Buy this book and give it to any friend who has an inclination toward self-pity, and it may change their life. Read it and be inspired by the resiliency and strength of the human spirit.

5-0 out of 5 stars Touch the Top of the World
This is a fabulous book. One minute you are laughing out loud and the next, tears are pouring down your face. The tears are not of sadness but of joy for all the wonderful experiences Erik has had; his relationships with friends and family, his adventures among the cracks and crevices. With great wit, Erik expresses his triumphs along with his challenges. My son has been blind for two years. He lost his sight to genetics, but we had no cue that the family had the gene until his sight started going three weeks before his nineteenth birthday, it only took those three weeks. He just turned 21 on August 2. Unlike Erik, Larry does have the talent of music and travels with his band, Jepetto, around the East Coast. He even has gone back to taking Classical piano lessons. Like Erik he found no encouragement in what his abilities would do for him. TOUCH THE TOP OF THE WORLD really helps you understand the the feeling of blindness, not of the limitations the world puts on you, but of the heights to which you can arise. Please read it, you will not be sorry you did, only sorry if you hadn't read it. I am donating a copy to each of my son's schools.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Triumphant Life
This is an ease read but surprisingly soul-awakening book for me. There are statements on life lessons strung together like jewels hidden everywhere in this book, from the start to finish, mostly on self-assumed constraints that are common to everyone, sighted or not. I found vicariously the family love, friendship, and community support invigorating. I sensed the humor, strength, commitment, and perseverance Erik W carries with him daily, not just to the mountain top, which makes this book an absolute page-turner. Thanks Erik W for writing this book and share intimately with the readers the details of your journeys and the poeple in your life, we all have a lot to learn and draw from your experiences touched by the top of the world.

1-0 out of 5 stars This man is an ass
I've heard this idiot speak about his experiences, and right away, I'd perceived he was an arrogant jerk who was writing a book for recognition, not to neccesarily inspire other climbers. I was at a conference where his book was touted all over the place, and that's when I knew it wasn't worth buying. Please, people, look beyond the fact that he's blind and that he climbed some of the most difficult mountains in the world, and have a look at his personal life. As one other reviewer said, this guy is a jerk, through and through. I'm not even going to read the book, that's how sure I am that it isn't worth my time.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Character named chris at the beginning makes the book
It was a flavorful read. I believe the character chris seems to tie everything together. He is a dashing young buck so to speak. I could read about him for hours. I kept wanting to know what Chris was doing when the minor character Erik was climbing Mt. Everest. My only suggestion for improvement would be to have more of Chris in the book. Otherwise it was a dandy of a book. ... Read more

29. It Could Happen To You:Diary Of A Pregnancy and Beyond
by Martha Brockenbrough
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0740726854
Catlog: Book (2002-09-02)
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Sales Rank: 47422
Average Customer Review: 4.96 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Martha Brockenbrough's It Could Happen To You is a delightfully funny diary of the author's own pregnancy through the first year of her daughter's life.It is the perfect antidote to all of the patronizing, horribly dull pregnancy books, which are long on advice and short on laughs.It Could Happen To You began as a column Brockenbrough wrote for the Microsoft Network while she was pregnant.During its tenure on MSN, it was the most widely read column about pregnancy and motherhood on the Internet.It's easy to see why.Brockenbrough's amusing approach to pregnancy and motherhood will strike a chord with experienced moms and the newly pregnant alike, who may wonder, as the author did, "Do I really have to wear maternity clothes?"Throughout the book, Brockenbrough shares her joys and her fears, and asks the questions every new mom wants to know, such as, "Why do old ladies keep telling me my baby is cold?" and share the realization that 'When you're a mother, your guilt light goes off the second you start doing something for you, instead of something for your child." A few not-to-be-missed chapters written by her husband, Adam, such as "A Guy's Guide to Baby Holding," provide a comical male perspective on the whole experience.Refreshingly honest and funny, It Could Happen To You is just right for bolstering the most important tool a new parent has - a sense of humor. ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars you must read this book!
This book is unique. My wife and I are expecting our first child in a couple of months. She got this book from a friend and insisted that I read it. Boy am I glad that I did. Not only is it hilarious, but its the first pregnancy book I have read with a chapter just for Dad's to be that actually contains useful advice. Martha's husband writes a chapter that had me rolling! This book talks about all the things surrounding pregnancy that other books gloss over. It's the perfect, light, funny companion to the pregnancy instruction books we all know about (i.e. What to expect when you're expecting). Martha has a unique style that really sets her apart. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm buying a copy for all my pregnant friends!
Loved the column (I've read it when I was pregnant), love the book! Any future mom (or woman having second thoughts about motherhood) should read this book.
I cried, I laughed (my husband, my daughter and our pet looked at me suspiciously) I translated favourite parts to anyone who would listen..
Martha, please keep writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just what the doctor (or midwife) ordered....
If the hormonal swings of pregnancy are getting you down, a dose of Martha Brockenbrough could be just what the doctor (or midwife) ordered. It Could Happen to You: Diary of a Pregnancy and Beyond makes the perfect companion to some of the more serious pregnancy reference books - the kind that may be causing you to toss and turn at night. Brockenbrough has the gift of being about to see the humor in everything from morning sickness to labor to mother guilt - and, trust me, that really is a gift. A lot of mamas-to-be lose their sense of humor long before delivery day....

5-0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly funny!
In a world where boring advice books are a dime a dozen, "It Could Happen to You!" is a lovely reprieve. The author's hilarious perspective of in-the-trenches pregnancy and parenthood shows the real side of having a baby. Her witty and sometimes irreverent observations on this eye-opening stage of life provide endless laughs -- and sometimes tears. This book is a must-have for all new moms and those soon-to-be!

5-0 out of 5 stars Are there more than 5 stars anywhere??
This book is absolutely delightful. I read exerpts of it to my husband last night and we were both laughing. This tickled my funny bone absolutely.

Get it, read it, love it like we do.

Happy New Year! ... Read more

30. Ric Flair: To Be the Man
by Ric Flair, Keith Elliot Greenberg
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743456912
Catlog: Book (2004-07-06)
Publisher: World Wrestling Entertainment
Sales Rank: 1087
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description


With that triumphant yell, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair surpassed his predecessors and his peers to become one of the greatest professional wrestlers in history.

Throughout the years, there may have been equally charismatic performers, comparable athletes, and even better interviews, but none were blessed with the same combination of talents to manage to stay on top for over three decades.

To wrestling fans, the Nature Boy is a platinum-blond deity, a sixteen-time world champion who accurately boasted that he could have a five-star match with a broom. No matter how limited the opponent, Flair had the skill and determination to bounce all over the mat, transforming his rival into a star. When the camera light went on, "Slick Ric" could convince viewers that, if they missed an upcoming match, a momentous life experience would pass them by. Flair's opponents were challenged with this simple taunt: "To be the man, you have to beat the man."

Away from the arena, Richard Morgan Fliehr spent years struggling with his own concept of what it meant to be a man. He suffered periods of crushing self-doubt, marital strife and -- in a profession where there was room for only one Ric Flair -- broken friendships.

Ric Flair: To Be the Man, cowritten with Keith Elliot Greenberg, chronicles the anguish and exhilaration of Flair's life and career -- in painfully honest detail.

From the moment he was born, Flair was enmeshed in controversy. Like many of the other children adopted through the Tennessee Children's Home Society, he was apparently stolen from his birth parents and placed on the adoption black market. Raised just outside Minneapolis by a gynecologist and a theater writer, Ric was a distracted student, brilliant athlete, and wild party boy. Through a chance meeting with weightlifter Ken Patera, Flair was directed to the place where his athletic proficiency and personality quirks were highly valued: the pro-wrestling circuit.

After beginning his pro-wrestling career in the Minnesota area, Flair relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1974, and never left, igniting the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling promotion. He was almost forced to retire a year later when his back was broken in a plane crash. Flair recuperated, winning his first National Wrestling Alliance championship in 1981. As the most traveled champion ever, he journeyed from one regional "territory" to another, once wrestling eighteen hour-long cards during a fourteen-day stretch.

On television, Flair portrayed himself as the consummate ladies' man, a role he also felt compelled to play in his private life, holding all-night parties. Few fans realized there was also a traditional side to Flair, who battled to reconcile his nocturnal antics with his love for his family.

Before Ted Turner purchased World Championship Wrestling in 1988, Flair was given assurance that the Nature Boy would come with the package. But his clashes with WCW management would drive Flair into World Wrestling Entertainment, where he'd win the group's championship in a dramatic match at the Royal Rumble 1992. Flair later returned to WCW, where he collided in and out of the ring with Hulk Hogan, and -- as the company disintegrated over the next few years -- began losing all shreds of his self-esteem.

Arriving back at the WWE in 2001, Flair was a broken man, unsure if he still fit into the business; what he didn't know was that wrestlers who'd grown up idolizing him now inhabited the WWE locker room. With their support, he was finally able to claim his legacy and receive the credit he so richly deserved.

In addition to his own words, Flair's story is enriched by anecdotes from ring greats like Superstar Billy Graham, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Harley Race, Sgt. Slaughter, David Crockett, Arn Anderson, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, "Mean" Gene Okerlund, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Undertaker and Brock Lesnar.

To Be the Man traces the rise of one of wrestling's most enduring superstars to the pinnacle of the sports entertainment universe, and is a must-read for every wrestling fan. ... Read more

Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars You can never imagine how this book touched me...
I've been a wrestling fan for almost 14 years now. Still my priorities were with WWF/E. Ric Flair was not an unknown to me, but I just didn't know his greatness. Untill a couple of years ago ,I became a big fan of the "Nature Boy". I loved his charisma and work ethic. Yet, I still didn't see the stuff of greatness. I bought his DVD and was mesmorised. The guy was divine. He instantly became my favorite wrestler because of the fact that I haven't seen this kind of quality in wrestling matches. So eventually I bought this book . Now, I read a lot of wrestling books including the critically acclaimed Foley books. I still hold his first in high esteem, but this definately topped it. Foley's book was very well written and funny enough to let me ROTFL! But I never, ever expected a book to generate this much emotion from me. During the last chapters of the book, I admittedly wept my tears off my face. The book was so honest that I really felt Flair's depression. Here was a guy, strutting on TV, chanting "WOOOOO!", and being a limousine ridin son of a gun. Yet he was struggling with self doubt. I'm a tough guy. I hold a tough man reputation. Putting me into tears is a nearly impossible thing to do, yet this book did.But how will I recommend it the crowd ? If you like wrestling, you will absolutely love the stories told in this book . They will make you laugh . Flair was so honest about his divorce, blaming himself and wondering how could flair's first wife live with him. The book also includes comments from various superstars like HHH, Shawn Michaels, Ricky Steamboat, Harley Race,Chris Jericho,etc... I couldn't recommend this enough. If you've just heard of Ric Flair, nothing more, then buy this . Read it again and again . Ric has once again proved why he's the measuring stick . "To Be The Man" is a wonderfull journey full of laughter, pride, sorrow , and depression. A "real world" fairy tale with a prince charming that wore custom made suits ,diamond rings, corvette cars, limousines, jets, 16 World Championship reigns, and most importantly a family to love. Ric , you proved to me that you are the MAN! WOOOOO!

5-0 out of 5 stars Woooooooooooooooooo!
The best wrestling book put out, period. No surprise given that Ric Flair's name was attached to it, it had to be the best. My only gripe was that it was too short--I wanted more.

Lots of good inside stuff from the 70's and 80's, and the tragic sufferings of a man who was literally beaten down by one of the biggest clowns in wrestling, Eric Bischoff. Flair doesn't really pull any punches here, and it is intriguing to watch his relationships with Dusty and Hogan develop from one of idolization to a certain animosity (Dusty Rhodes), to a mutual respect to a portrayed hatred (Hulk Hogan).

Flair clearly has his favorites: Harley Race, Wahoo, Steamboat, Windham, Sting and Arn--no surprise. He also identifies some folks who should not never have even bothered wrestling, Ultimate Warrior, Brutus Beefcake, to a lesser extent, Mick Foley. Gotta love the take on Shane Douglas as well. How's your book Shane? heh heh.

What's great is Flair's respect for the guys who came before him, and the hard work that had to be put in for Flair to be the best. How many people today could live through Verne Gagne's training camps? If Flair hadn't partied so hard, we might be already looking at the next sports politician. Great story, but I just wish it was longer- Flair's stories are so good that you really wish the book would keep going. Fantastic read, you have to pick this up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Worth It
This is the story of Ric Flair, written towards the end of his career. Flair's book has an advantage over other wrestling books. Since he wrote it now, as opposed to ten years ago, it is pretty comprehensive, whereas when people like Rock and Foley wrote their's, they were unable to cover everything since their careers still had plenty of more time. The main advantages Flair has though are his life experiences, stories, and accomplisments. Put another way, he has a lot better material to work with than other wrestlers because he has been around a long time and practically 'done it all.'

So what is in the book? A few chapters about his early childhood, years in high school and college, and then the story of how he broke into wrestling. From there, he tells of the people he first met, and how he was in awe of many of them, as he had followed their careers. We learn that Flair was an avid wrestling magazine collector, who idolized many wrestlers. Flair talks a lot about people like Wahoo McDaniel and Dusty Rhodes.

From there he talks about his early successes. Among them are some title wins (tag titles, tv title) and his early feud with Ricky Steamboat. A lot of the book is devoted to his first few reigns as NWA champion. Less is devoted to his first stint in WWF, his return to WCW, and then his take on different time periods in WCW, mainly when Hogan first came in, when the NWO was hot, and then when Russo came in.
Do not worry though, he spends enough time talking about his backstage battles and concerns with Hogan, Bischoff, and Russo that the reader should be satisfied.

Throughout the book, he gives his take on several wrestlers like: Savage, Sid, Bret, Sting, Lugar, Triple H, Jarett, Foley, Michaels, Undertaker, Hogan, the list goes on. While I do not agree with everything Flair had to say about these guys (I especially disagree with him on Bret and Savage), he is Ric Flair and I believe he has the right to be heard. Basically, Flair tries to distinguish between a "good" wrestler and a "great" wrestler. To him, Bret and Savage are just good, whereas people like him, Steamboat, and Michaels are great.

This is far from a perfect book, but I'd still give it 5 stars. If you ever wanted to know what kind of person Flair is, and what he thinks, you will get a lot out of this book. You will not get everything you want, but probably more than enough to satisfy.

4-0 out of 5 stars The editor is listed on the cover!
I loved this book but when you're going to list the name of the book's editor on the cover, you'd better not have a sloppy book inside. This book is FULL of typos and bizarre sentence fragments and non-sequitors. The editor can't tell the difference between the Caribbean islands of St. Maarten and St. Martin, and doesn't know that the the North Korean dictator is Kim Jong Il, not Kim Jong II!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Man Has Spoken
Ric Flair is an entertainer and a gentleman. I went to book signing for this book in Charlotte NC and was amazed at the humility and respect for the average fan that he exudes. I read the book from cover to cover last night and found it insightful, interesting, and entertaining.

Very few entertainers are as honest about their personal demons as Flair is in this book. He has made a lot of mistakes throughout his life and has paid the price for his fame. This aspect alone is worth the purchase price.

This is an excellent book and well worth reading. The reason I gave it only four stars is that it is too short and cannot even come close to summarizing his amazing career. I hear rumblings of a 900 page Bret Hart book -- if this is true, then Flair may well have over 10,00 pages af further anecdotes that he needs to share with us in a sequel. ... Read more

31. Marv Levy: Where Else Would You Rather Be?
by Marv Levy, Jim Kelly
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 158261797X
Catlog: Book (2004-11-15)
Publisher: Sports Publishing
Sales Rank: 961
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Book Description

This book is about one man’s life as a football coach and much more. Forty-seven years of joyous celebrations after victories and crushing disappointments after defeats are encompassed in it, but it is about more than just touchdowns and interceptions. It is about how a person like Marv Levy, dedicated to his life’s work, can begin his career as the obscure assistant coach of a high school junior varsity team and then one day, decades later, lead his men out onto the field in football’s greatest spectacle—the Super Bowl. Readers are invited to come experience what it was like to be on the sidelines and be the winning coach in a game that has been designated as the greatest upset in collegiate football history and then be there again 25 years later when an injury-riddled team, losing 35-3 in the second half, rallies and then miraculously goes on to achieve the greatest comeback victory in the history of the National Football League. Fans will learn what it was like to wallow in the exhilaration that comes from leading a team to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances, only to follow it with the desolation that strikes when all four of those games end in defeat. But they will also learn about the character, persistence, and personalities of those incomparable Buffalo Bills of the 1990s who so resolutely pursued their impossible dream. There will be some laughs and there may be some tears. Readers will meet the people who shaped this coach’s life, and they will wind up feeling close to them. They will look forward to each adventure contained in these pages, and when each new one does come, they are likely to say, along with the author, "Where else would I rather be than right here—right now!" ... Read more

32. 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

33. Wink: The Incredible Life and Epic Journey of Jimmy Winkfield
by EdHotaling
list price: $22.95
our price: $13.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071418628
Catlog: Book (2004-09-24)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 19399
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Book Description

"After a number of up-the-track finishes by authors trying to emulate the success of Laura Hillenbrand's bestselling Seabiscuit: An American Legend, a worthy successor has at last broken out of the pack . . .Winkfield's story is so incredible you'll find yourself wondering why you've never heard it before."

"One of the most extraordinary stories in sports history is also one of its least known. Jimmy Winkfield was a gifted jockey and a remarkably intrepid man, and his life was a singular adventure. His is a story of persistence, hardship, and triumph, and it should be long remembered."—Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit: An American Legend

"In the entire sweep of American sports, from the days of a roistering John L. Sullivan in the 19th Century through the Tiger Woods phenomenon of the 21st, no figure made a bolder and more original odyssey of his life than Jimmy Winkfield, the poor son of former slaves whose brilliance as a jockey bore him from the winner's circle at the Kentucky Derby to the royal courts of Czarist Russia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire and from Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany to the salons of Paris. In Wink, author Ed Hotaling skilfully reports and chronicles Winkfield's battles against racism in the New World--his courage and daring in escaping that most implacable of foes--and his success and rise to glory as a rider and then a trainer in the Old World. The tale of Wink is an illuminating and inspiring read."—William Nack, author of Secretariat: The Making of a Champion, and My Turf: Horses, Boxers, Blood Money and the Sporting Life

"It is phenomenal enough that Jimmy Winkfield became a dominant force in American horse racing half a century before Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers. But this two-time Kentucky Derby–winner's adventures after leaving to race overseas make his story all the more compelling. Ed Hotaling has a marvelous tale to tell. This is the stuff of great nonfiction."—Douglas Brinkley, author of Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War

"In this fine book, Ed Hotaling adds the texture of a rich individual life to what his previous work has already told us about the great black jockeys of a century ago."—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., bestselling author, Chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University ... Read more

34. Fishing on the Edge : The Mike Iaconelli Story
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553804456
Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Sales Rank: 2659
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35. Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival
by Joe Simpson
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060730552
Catlog: Book (2004-01)
Publisher: Perennial Currents
Sales Rank: 441
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Joe Simpson and his climbing partner, Simon Yates, had just reached the top of a 21,000-foot peak in the Andes when disaster struck. Simpson plunged off the vertical face of an ice ledge, breaking his leg. In the hours that followed, darkness fell and a blizzard raged as Yates tried to lower his friend to safety. Finally, Yates was forced to cut the rope, moments before he would have been pulled to his own death.

The next three days were an impossibly grueling ordeal for both men. Yates, certain that Simpson was dead, returned to base camp consumed with grief and guilt over abandoning him. Miraculously, Simpson had survived the fall, but crippled, starving, and severely frostbitten was trapped in a deep crevasse. Summoning vast reserves of physical and spiritual strength, Simpson crawled over the cliffs and canyons of the Andes, reaching base camp hours before Yates had planned to leave.

How both men overcame the torments of those harrowing days is an epic tale of fear, suffering, and survival, and a poignant testament to unshakable courage and friendship.

... Read more

Reviews (109)

An amazing tale of courage, fortitude, and a desire to live, despite dire circumstances. The author, Joe Simpson and his climbing partner, Simon Yates, ascend a perilous section of the Peruvian Andes. Near the summit, tragedy strikes when Joe, up over 19,000 feet, falls and hits a slope at the base of a cliff, breaking his right leg, rupturing his right knee, and shattering his right heel. Beneath him is a seemingly endless fall to the bottom. Simon reaches him but knows that the chances for Joe to get off the mountain are virtually non-existent. Yet, they fashion a daring plan to to do just that.

For the next few hours, through a snow storm, they work in tandem, and manage a risky, yet effective way of trying to lower Joe down the mountain. About three thousand feet down, Joe who is still roped to Simon, drops off an edge, and finds himself now free hanging in space six feet away from an ice wall, unable to reach it with his axe. The edge is over hung about fifteen feet above him. The dark outline of a crevasse lies about a hundred feet directly below him.

Joe couln't get up, and Simon couldn't get down. In fact, Joe's weight began to pull Simon off the mountain. So, Simon was finally forced to do the only thing he could do under the circumstances. He cut the rope, believing that he was consigning his friend to certain death. Therein lies the tale.

What happens next is sure to make one believe in miracles.

4-0 out of 5 stars Riveting
Joe Simpson's narrative of his infamous climb in the Peruvian Andes is a fantastic story. If you've read other accounts of harrowing climbs you understand people that climb the great peaks of the world have a different psyche than the rest of us. Simpson is no exception, and it is that very drive that takes him to the top that enables him to survive the unthinkable. But this book is more than just a climb up, a crawl down, whew he's going to live to see another day. It explores some deeper parts of the human experience such as friendship, devotion, suffering, inner strength, and fear. His description of the terrain and the climb make you wonder why on earth anybody would do what he's doing. You almost suffer the cold, wind, and frostbite and you can feel the ice slipping beneath your feet. Knowing disaster looms makes you cringe while reading. Although you know he will survive, that takes nothing away from the experience the second half of the book provides. He pulls you in and you crawl down that icy mountain alongside him, feeling the cold, pain, and sadness along the way. Included are passages written by Simon Yates, his climbing partner. Allowing us to experience his point of view adds depth to the story.
Simpson wrote this book to exonerate Yates, who was ostracized in the British climbing community for his actions during the climb. Simpson vehemently disagreed with anyone who believed Yates did anything short of saving his life. His initial goal was to record the truth, but he discovered he has a gift for writing, and for this we can be grateful. A compelling story, highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Bit Hard To Read, But Fascinating Nonetheless
It's hard to believe that Touching The Void is a true story. The level of physical exertion that is depicted in the book seems beyond anything a human could produce. But, the searing emotions that accompany that exertion are described so movingly that a reader has no choice but to accept that this story is painfully true.

The only drawback to this fascinating tale is the mountaineering minutia littering the text. I realize that this information was presented to provide some context to the difficulty of the climb and the descent. However, instead of informing me, this information actually bored me with its technicality. It also added a clumsy quality to the writing that ended up disrupting the flow of the story.

Like The Climb by Anatoli Boukreev, Simpson makes up for his sometimes clumsy writing style by dramatically portraying the emotions he felt during this ordeal. As a result, Simpson's story is a testament to the power of ingenuity and faith. After reading Touching The Void, it will be impossible not to have a greater appreciation for the inherent strength of the human character.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow. Incredible
This is a book that gets you thinking. 1. Would I even try climbing an expert level mountain? 2. Would I cut a lifeline sending my partner to certain death if I knew not cutting would kill us both? 3. Would I have the will to endure crushing pain and desperation when it all could be ended easily by just giving up?

I think the third question was easiest for me. The will to live is just too great in most of us to give up. However, as we read of Joe Simpson's incredible climb out of an icy hell -- on a severely broken leg, each step one of excruciating pain, we can understand when he asks himself the same question.

On the first, no. I get all the tough mountain climbing thrills I need vicariously through Jon Krakauer's books or one's like this. I understand that some are driven to assault the globe's most difficult peaks, but I just don't see the point. Almost all of the wonderful mountaineering books of the last decade involve death and mayhem among people who knowingly chose to place themselves in positions where those outcomes were a high probability.

The second question is the most difficult and the one the reader will ask himself over and over during this very well written book.

Joe Simpson and Simon Yates climbed a forbidding peak in South America alone, with their only support a neophyte camped a few miles from the starting point in a camp itself a day's mule ride away from civilization. The climb up went well enough, but on the way down the snow encrusted and storm tossed mount, Simpson broke his leg horribly in a fall. Improvising a plan for Yates to lower Simpson down a crevice riddled glacier one painful rope length at a time, the pair started their self-rescue at night. The first few hours went painfully slow, then Simpson reeled over a cliff into nothingness. Unable to see what had befallen Simpson, Yates hung on above -- the rope slowly but surely pulling Yates himself toward the abyss. Knowing (in both their minds at that time according to the book) that to hold on would kill them both, Yates made the supremely difficult decision to cut the rope -- condemning Simpson to a long fall and probable death -- to save himself.

The next morning after climbing down, Yates could only see a snow covered crevice which he assumed his friend had plummeted into from high above. Unknown to Yates, Simpson had miraculously landed on a snow ledge below the lip of the crevice -- mangled leg and all. The weak ice roof of the crevice had slowed his fall enough to permit survival. Yates went off to camp heavy with the knowledge he had killed his friend and sure the world would neither understand nor forgive.

Simpson, meanwhile, endured a 48 hour plus ordeal to drag his wrecked body 50 or so feet out of the crevice and then over miles over rough ground to camp. As you might imagine, the reuniting of Simpson and Yates was quite a scene.

This book is taught and well written. Although Simpson's book, Yates is given space to describe in his own words the story from his perspective from the point he thought his fateful decision had separated their paths.

This is a great survival story and leaves the reader asking: "Would I, could I, have cut the rope?"

5-0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable!
Once I started this book I could not put it down. The story is fascinating, and the writing is very intelligent and intense. The details of the climb and descent are gripping. After what he went through, it's amazing he still chooses to go climbing. Highly recommended! ... Read more

36. The Bad Guys Won! A Season of Brawling, Boozing, Bimbo-chasing, and Championship Baseball with Straw, Doc, Mookie, Nails, The Kid, and the Rest of the 1986 Mets, the Rowdiest Team Ever to Put on a New York Uniform--and Maybe the Best
by Jeff Pearlman
list price: $24.95
our price: $14.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060507322
Catlog: Book (2004-04)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 1336
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Once upon a time, twenty-four grown men would play baseball together, eat together, carouse together, and brawl together. Alas, those hard-partying warriors have been replaced by GameBoy-obsessed, laptop-carrying, corporate soldiers who would rather punch a clock than a drinking buddy. But it wasn't always this way ...

In The Bad Guys Won, award-winning former Sports Illustrated baseball writer Jeff Pearlman returns to an innocent time when a city worshipped a man named Mookie and the Yankess were the second-best team in New York. So it was in 1986, when the New York Mets -- the last of baseball's live-like-rock-star teams -- won the World Series and captured the hearts (and other select body parts) of fans everywhere.

But their greatness on the field was nearly eclipsed by how bad they were off it. Led by the indomitable Keith Hernandez and the young dynamic duo of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, along with the gallant Scum Bunch, the Amazin's won 108 regular-season games, while leaving a wide trail of wreckage in their wake -- hotel rooms, charter planes, a bar in Houston, and most famously Bill Buckner and the eternally cursed Boston Red Sox. With an unforgettable cast of characters -- Doc, Straw, the Kid, Nails, Mex, and manager Davey Johnson (as well as innumerable groupies) -- The Bad Guys Won immortalizes baseball's last great wild bunch of explores what could have been, what should have been, and thanks to a tragic dismantling of the club, what never was.

... Read more

Reviews (37)

2-0 out of 5 stars Good Book?. . . ummmmm, not so much.
If you're looking for a bad book about a good team, this is the book for you

I'm a die hard Mets fan. I was 16 in 1986; the best age you can be when your team has a season like that. It was truly a season of baseball like it oughta be.

Jeff Pearlman spins a fairly entertaining account of the events and characters that made up that magical Mets season, but unfortunately I found myself fighting through it 10 or 15 pages at a time. As I battled through, it occurred to me that perhaps Mr. Pearlman was just missing 3 crucial members from his project team.

1) Proofreader
2) Editor
3) Fact Checker

This could have been a good book if it had ben edited properly. Sadly it was not, and the result is a barely readable book with real live factual errors.

If you are a Mets fan and can't get enough of memories of '86, pick it up for an entertaining read. If you are not a Mets fan, don't bother.

Been a baseball fan living in the NY/NJ Metro area for a long time and this book brought back a lot of great memories about a unique team and a remarkable season that was unlike any in NY baseball history: The 1986 NY Mets. This book, especially for younger baseball fans, sets the stage when the Mets pretty much were THE team NY baseball fans cared about as the Yankees had not yet developed the championship forumula they'd forge into a powerhouse dynasty by the '90. The 1980s Mets were a fun, reckless, overly competitive, group of brawling misfits who knew HOW to play baseball, and played it their way! A team so far removed from today's more restrained, conservative great Yankee's that it's hard to realize there was ever a team that existed like this unrestrained bunch. But they DID exist...and for one magical season they played a style of "renegade" baseball unlike anyone had seen before in NY. In an era when there was no "wildcard" to extend the post season, these hated '86 Mets should have and could have won many more championships (they did win their division in 1988 and narrowly lost their division to the St. Louis Cardinals by perhaps a game in 1985). But what they did win in 1986, and how they won it, is the stuff of sports legend. And this is one legend that is as wild a tale today as it was almost 20 years ago.

4-0 out of 5 stars Get Metsmerized!
This book is priceless merely for the description of the recording session where some of the Mets try to cut a "Super Bowl Shuffle" style rap song, titled "Get Metsmerized!":

"When they need a batter filled with terror,
They call on me, Rick Aguleira!"

Look out Public Enemy!

This book is a great character study of a team full of characters, most of whom were borderline insane but were all gritty ballplayers. Jeff Pearlman makes the case that this was the last team of old school party boys to win a title before the onset of a more corporate era where the wackiest thing that ever happens is a rookie getting a shaving cream pie in the face. I don't know that his argument is entirely successful - it's more like the Mets were the last team of endearing jackasses to win - but the book is a very fun read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great baseball history book
If you are a fan of the Mets or a baseball history book, this is a must read. The book is very entertaining and an easy read.

5-0 out of 5 stars ha ha ha
this is the funniest baseball book ever!! i couldn't put it doown. ... Read more

37. Best Damn Garage in Town: My Life & Adventures
by Henry "Smokey" Yunick
list price: $24.95
our price: $19.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0972437835
Catlog: Book (2003-07)
Publisher: Carbon Pr Llc
Sales Rank: 13259
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Book Description

Best Damn Garage in Town: My life and Adventures was originally published as a 3 volume boxed set of 1,100 pages with over 400 photographs. This version of the book combines all the stories and most of the photographs into a single volume with smaller type and photographs in a bookstore package, as opposed to a coffee table package.

Smokey got the idea for writing a history of stock car racing after giving a talk to explain racing to a group of kids at Lowe's Motorspeedway, around 1995. He realized that all the people who were a part of the early days were dying and most of the ones who were still alive were too involved with racing to be able to tell the real stories. He started writing this book as a history of stock car racing and ended up with look at American history of the past 60 years through a very unique set of eyes.

The first volume, Walkin' Under a Snake's Belly, covers Smokey's life outside racing, beginning with growing up in Neshaminy, Pennsylvania on a farm, dropping out of high school to take care of the family and going off to World War II as a B-17 pilot. The war stories are told through the eyes of a young man who believed all that the Army Air Corps taught him, but he had a mind of his own and was also hell-bent on having fun at all costs. (If that meant irritating a few generals, then that was just par for the course.)

After the racing years, Smokey ended spending most of his time working on his inventions and working in the oil and gold fields of Ecuador. Along the way, Smokey had a knack for finding fun and adventure everywhere he went. Alcohol, women and speed were his main addictions - he eventually gave up alcohol, but never did give up the other two.

The second volume, All Right You Sons-a-Bitches, Let's Have a Race, chronicles the stock car racing years in living color. The warning on these books, that they are not to be read by those under 18 unless they are with a grandparent who can translate the social and moral implications of the stories, is not to be taken lightly. (Smokey even includes his own dictionary to explain the terms that racers used in the early days to the uninformed.) Smokey and his band of merry compatriots were racers and there were only two things on their mind when the sun went down Ð women and booze. Smokey had his share of both during 15 years of racing, when racers were looked down on as the dregs of society. Nothing could stop his dream of being the fastest at the sport he loved, no matter what happened along the way Ð the sign of a true racer.

During his years in stock car racing, Smokey fell in love with a mistress that he would visit every May for over 20 years Ð The Indianapolis 500. The first half of the third volume, Li'l Skinny Rule Book, covers his love of this famed event and the wonderful stories of the days before the big corporate sponsors; when it was just men and their machines, sleeping on the floor in the garage and most times coming home with nothing. As the title implies, Smokey loved Indy because the rules were so simple. His inventive mind and knack for thinking way outside the box were at their best when Indy was involved.

The fourth section of the book covers his years of inventing inside and outside of racing. SmokeyÕs 10 patents don't begin to cover the breadth and depth of his inventing. His work with the car companies and on the racetrack led to a host of developments that have improved surface transportation for everyone. The value of some of his ideas and inventions, like his famous hot vapor engine, were never fully realized.

Many books have been written about the last 50 years of American history, but few are this entertaining, revealing and introspective all at the same time. Real stories from World War II, stock cars, the automotive industry and the Mexican Road Race are just a few of the elements in Smokey's autobiography. They combine to make Best Damn Garage in TownÉThe World According to Smokey one of the most interesting books in a long time. ... Read more

38. Gold in the Water: The True Story of Ordinary Men and Their Extraordinary Dream of Olympic Glory
by P. H. Mullen
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312311168
Catlog: Book (2003-02-25)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Sales Rank: 33655
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In California, a team of talented young men begin pursuing the most elusive dream in sports, the Olympic Games. The pressure steadily increases as two best friends (a mentor and his protégé) reach the top of the world rankings and unexpectedly find themselves direct competitors. Their teammates include an emerging star methodically plotting to retrace his father’s path to Olympic glory, as well as a super-extraordinary athlete desperate to walk away from it all. Led by one of the most passionate coaches in sports, a brilliant and explosive strategist on a personal quest for redemption, this team of dark horses and Olympic favorites works through escalating rivalries, joyous triumphs, and heartbreaking setbacks.

Author P. H. Mullen chronicles their journey to the 2000 Olympic Games and presents one of the most powerful and moving sports books ever written. Boldly sweeping in literary power and pace, this startling book will permanently change how you view the Olympic athlete.
It is a fascinating world of suspense and emotion where human desire for excellence rules over all, and where there are no second chances for glory. But above all, Gold in the Water is a triumph of the human spirit.
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Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars dynamic human-interest story--Must read!
"Seabiscuit" is not about a horse. It is about the people around the horse and their competitive desires, ambitions, and very interesting lives. In exactly the same way, "Gold in the Water" is not just about the sport of swimming. It is about a handful of compelling people living the Olympic Dream and trying to learn the elusive secrets of being great.

Quite simply, I could not put this book down the first time I read it. After a second reading, I believe this is the best true-life sports drama I've ever read. The message is as strong as Lance Armstrong's "It's not about the Bike", and the writing is far better.

Personally, I think businesses could benefit from the motivation messages. Young people would do well to emulate the strong character of the books subjects, particularly two swimmers who don't even make the Olympics, Kurt Grote and Dod Wales. I thought the coach, Dick Jochums, is too hard and stubborn in places. But he got me to start working out again, so he can't be all bad. This is definitely a book to put on your list.

4-0 out of 5 stars *An inside look at elite training and coaching
Mullen writes well and provides insights that only a former competitive swimmer could convey about the physical and emotional rigors of elite training. Overall, I loved the book and was fascinated to learn of the sacrifices made by coaches and swimmers alike as they prepared for the olympic trials of 2000.

Mullen's detailed description of the inner thinking of Coach Jochums of the Santa Clara Swim club is enlightening, but also somewhat disturbing. Though Mullen provides much evidence to suggest that Jochums coaching practices are often punitive and even abusive at times, Mullen minimizes the potential harmfulfulness of Jochums' behavior and appears to overvalue Jochum's impact and effectiveness, even referring to Jochums as one of swimming's best motivators. I also wish that Mullen had focused more of his attention on some of the other, less well known swimmers who were training and swimming at the time.

Despite these drawbacks, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about swimmers' depth of committment and intensity of training and preparation during the months and weeks leading up to the Olympic Games

3-0 out of 5 stars Gold in the water.
This book was so inspiring to me.I have been a swimmer my whole life, and this book truely show the challenges and the hurttles that swimmer have to face. I think that they are true rolemodels, they had a dream of going to the Olympics and they chased that dream never giving up. They acheived the dream of olympic glory.This book beautifully showed the relasionship between the swimmers and there coach, and how together they achevied there dream.

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful and inspirational
I hate Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I'm not interested in reading a book that makes you feel warm and musy for three seconds and then allows you to live your life the same way thereafter. So normally, I won't read an "inspirational" book. But this book was amazing! First of all, it didn't just talk about who we would expect, like Moses or Krayzelburg. This just went into detail about one swim club, and shared the stories of the top swimmers from there, even though they weren't all gold medalists. Further, you got to see all sides of their story. How they got into swimming, what the press thought of them, how they interacted with each other, how they did at other meets. The whole book is so interesting, and you will laugh and you will cry. Most importantly you will stay up until 4AM all week until you finish it because this is not a book you can easily put down!

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Outstanding work by Mullen! Like, Larry Bird's book 'Drive' this book is perfect for all athletes not just the target sport. All athletes can appreciate the love, joy and devastation of the Olympic games.

The determination and courage of the swimmers combined with Mullen's smooth writing brings to the reader a tremendous experience. After finishing this book, I went out and ran 5 miles. Don't waste money on Harry Potter this year, read about the heroes of the real world. ... Read more

39. Ben Hogan : An American Life
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385503121
Catlog: Book (2004-05-11)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 4612
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Biography of a Complex Champion
Kudos to James Dodson, who enthralls readers with his account of the life of golfing legend Ben Hogan. From the suicide of Hogan's father, his newspaper hawking at crowded train stations to help his family make ends meet, and his dogged pursuit of caddying opportunities and, ultimately, his single-minded quest for success in the world of professional golf, Dodson portrays a great champion that was full of contradictions. Hogan craved solitude, yet occasionally basked in the adulation of his many fans. He could be short and rude with reporters, yet gracious and generous with so many others outside of the glare of cameras or the pens of reporters. Hogan suffered some epic tournament collapses as he struggled to master his game, yet he became one of the greatest fourth-round players in PGA history. Along the way, he fashioned one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, emerging from a potentially fatal and debilitating automobile accident to enjoy his greatest victories in tournament golf.

Dodson uses his unprecedented access to primary source materials and correspondance from Hogan's life to masterfully tell the complicated tale of this amazing champion. This book is a "must read" for any fan of golf, or anyone who cherishes stories of human triumph in the face of incredible adversity.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Real Hogan
I am so grateful for this book. A previous, unauthorized biography based much on the author's conjecture, painted a less than flattering picture of arguably golf's greatest hero, the only man to win five U.S. Opens, and nearly several more. This authorized biography, resplendent with stories and comments from family, friends, fellow golfers, employees, etc., reveals the real man the public seldom saw and the reasons why. It rivals the best of Horatio Alger's rags to riches stories and it is true.

The rich description of life on the Tour before the days of television was particullarly interesting, telling the story of how the Tour was really built by the likes of Hogan, Snead, Nelson, Demaret, and the other champions of their era. Their efforts and perseverance created the wave that latter day stars rode to unbelievable popularity via the benefit of TV.

Congratulations and thanks to Dodson for a wonderful work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth 10 stars
Finally a book that lets you see the golfer and the man more clearly than ever before. This is simply a great read about a complex and driven individual. Having been a Hogan "nut" for many years, this book is a close as we will ever get to him. It is also extremely well-written and I hated for the story to end. Not just for golf fanatics, this is a biography about an American who lived the dream.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Specatular Biography
I have read other Biographies on Ben Hogan but none are even in the same league. A subject with this much substance needed a more detailed view and this book delivers in a big way. I would rank this in-depth look into what some believe to be the best golfer ever to be one of the best stories ever told. With apologies to Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, I now believe that Ben Hogan is the best golfer of all the book, see what he went through, and decide for yourself.
Hogan was (and remains) one of the most enigmatic sports figures ever but the reader should come away with a different opinion of the man after reading the book. The level of detail is fabulous but the book is easily readable. I enjoyed this book more than I have enjoyed reading anything in years. I would never usually consider reading a book twice but this will probably change with this one. I would recommend this book to anyone, regardless of whether or not you are a golf fan but I know that any fan of golf will devour the book. This is a great American story...the epitome of what one can accomplish with an exhaustive work ethic and incredible perserverance...Hogan literally built an incredible career, became a permanent American icon, and ruled his sport like nobody had ever done...from scratch, out of the dirt. There are some great lessons in this book about the price to be paid to make it big. Read this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Biography That Anyone Can Savor
During the 1977 U.S. Open at Southern Hills in Oklahoma, sportswriter Dave Anderson asked golfer Tommy Bolt to compare the careers of Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan, two golfers who dominated previous decades of professional golf. Bolt's response was immediate. "Well," he drawled, "I've seen Nicklaus watch Hogan practice. I've never seen Hogan watch Nicklaus practice. Thus is the mystique of golfing legend Ben Hogan. He was the golfer's golfer, the man who other golfers sought to emulate. To capture the essence of a great man's life is a difficult task. BEN HOGAN: An American Life by James Dodson accomplishes that task in superb fashion. The biography is a homage to a man who overcame incredible obstacles to become the greatest golfer of his generation. It captures the essence and spirit of the sphinx-like man known to many as the Garbo of golf. Like all great biographies it builds on the life of its subject by allowing the reader to live in the Hogan era; to experience his accomplishments and share the disappointments of his life.

Those with even the slightest knowledge of golf history are familiar with the defining event in the life of Ben Hogan. In 1949, after having achieved stardom on the professional golf circuit, Hogan was nearly killed in a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus on a foggy two-lane Texas highway. Doctors feared for Hogan's life and doubted that he would ever walk again if he survived. Hogan not only recovered, but in 1950 he won the U.S. Open at Merion, a grueling physical feat that required Hogan to walk and play 36 holes of golf on the final Saturday of the tournament. Hogan's triumphant comeback was a story that Hollywood producers would reject as one that audiences would never believe.

Hogan's physical recovery in 1950 was not the first time that he overcame travail to achieve success in the golfing world. Dobson recounts several events that affected the bantam Texas golfer as he sought to achieve his goal of professional achievement and acceptance. As a young boy Hogan suffered a dark and terrifying event when his father committed suicide before his eyes. In today's Oprah confession society, Hogan would probably share such an event with a national audience. But in the post-depression era Hogan stoically kept the details of the incident to himself. Even his wife Valerie was unaware of the true facts concerning the death of Hogan's father until they had been married for many years.

Hogan was also required to overcome professional doubt as he attempted to succeed on the fledgling professional golf tour. It was not until his third attempt that he began to win with any regularity. Even though he won many tournaments, the goal of a victory in a major championship still eluded him. Three times he came to the final hole of a major event needing only to make a birdie putt for victory. Each time, he three-putted the final green to snatch defeat from potential victory. Through it all, the grim but dogged Hogan silently plodded onward, determined to become the greatest golfer in America. That he finally reached his goal was a tribute to his unremitting work ethic and self-reliance.

Any great biography is more than a story of one person's life. It must also be the story of those who touched the subject's life and the times in which the subject lived. BEN HOGAN: An American Life has all of these elements, and more. It is the story of Hogan and his wife Valerie, a woman as determined as her husband and perhaps equally as shy. She would travel with her husband to each tournament but could not bear to watch him on the course. She was with him in his car on the day of the accident, and his movement to shield her from the collision probably saved his life. She was his life partner who shared in his success.

James Dodson has also captured the essence of the early era of professional golf. The legends of golf in the 1930s and '40s all appear. Sam Snead and Byron Nelson who, in the public's eye, were everything Hogan was not, are an integral part of the story. Hogan's major championship victories, from the Masters to the British Open at Carnoustie, are recounted in detail. The reader is with Hogan for every critical shot and, like bantam Ben, probably reaches for a cigarette at a tense moment.

There is so much more of the life of Ben Hogan to experience in this extraordinary biography. Hogan was a unique and enigmatic man. Dodson has captured the true Hogan in this epic work. BEN HOGAN: An American Life is a book that golfers and non-golfers can savor. It is a must addition to any golfer's library and an inspirational saga of an American icon.

--- Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman ... Read more

40. The Ageless Warrior: The Life of Boxing Legend Archie Moore
by Mike Fitzgerald, Jake "Raging Bull" LaMotta, Bert Randolph Sugar, Pete Ehrmann
list price: $24.95
our price: $21.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582612552
Catlog: Book (2004-04-26)
Publisher: Sports Publishing
Sales Rank: 362148
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This beautiful, limited-edition volume is hand-numbered and autographed by boxing legends Archie Moore and Jake "Raging Bull" LaMotta. Certificate of Authenticity included, only 125 copies printed!

There was only one man who fought both Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali. There was only one man who recorded 141 professional Knock-Outs. There was only one man who trained both a young Ali and heavyweight champion George Forman. There was only one Archie Moore.

With a seven-decade boxing career, including 27 years as a prize fighter, Moore's vast career and exploits are finally chronicled in The Ageless Warrior. Author Mike Fitzgerald spent months with Moore before the boxer's death in an effort to capture the full life story of one of the 20th Century's most colorful and accomplished athletes.

And what a story it was. Moore's opponent list reads like a "who's who" of boxing; he fought nine world champions and seven Hall-of-Famers. Starting his career in the middleweight division, Moore moved up in weigh class in 1945 and ultimately dominated the light-heavy weight division, winning his first world title in 1952 (at age 39) and successfully defending title for nearly a decade. The versatile Moore often fought at heavyweight in the 1950s, twice challenging for the heavyweight crown, including an epic battle with Marciano in 1955.

Following the 1960 Olympics, Moore took over training duties for Ali (then known as Cassius Clay). Moore and Ali eventually parted ways before their fight in 1962. Retiring from the ring in 1963, Moore remained active in boxing for the rest of his life, helping guide George Foreman to the heavyweight title in 1973 and overseeing his legendary comeback in 1987. Moore was inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

Moore's life wasn't just boxing, though. The Ageless Warrior also spotlights Moore's Hollywood career in the 1960s, his five marriages, and his beloved "Any Boy Can" youth organization, which reached underprivileged youth.

Jake LaMotta provides his fond memories of Moore in the book's foreword, and Bert Randolph Sugar adds his thoughts in the book's preface. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Definitive biography on The Old Mongoose
"Ageless Warrior" is a definitive account on the life of boxing legend Archie Moore. Author Mike Fitzgerald masterfully weaves Moore's 200-plus fights and his personal life into an engaging and evenly-tempered biography. Until now, most books written on Moore tended not to let the facts get in the way of a good story. Fitzgerald, with the cooperation of Archie Moore and his immediately family, finally tells the true story of the "Old Mongoose" with pleasing results. If you're an Archie Moore or boxing fan, this book's for you. ... Read more

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