Thursday, June 17, 2010

Top 5 World Cup Football books (list 2)

List by Mark & Natalie

"Football is all very well as a game for rough girls, but is hardly suitable for delicate boys."
Oscar Wilde

Soccer madness has taken hold of the world. I don't understand it - the madness fever or the game itself - but I do appreciate the skill and drive of the players involved. As I sit here typing this intro Danielle is saying, 'That's right, Tosca, alienate our fan base.' Hah!

A week ago we posted Paul's 'Top 5 World Cup Football books' and then, just the other day, I received an email from Mark (Manurewa Library) who said he had his own version he'd like to have posted to the blog. YES! I'm always happy to add staff/customer lists :) I expected that Paul's selection would be quite similar to Mark's - why I have no idea because they're as different as chalk and cheese! - and was very surprised to find that only 2 titles matched. As Mark notes in his email, 'Pity we don't have anything on Brazilian football - there was an excellent book in the library a while back. Could also add others but these are a reasonable mixture.' Amen ;)

As always, I'm happy to add your own version - simply email me or leave your suggestions as a comment. Enjoy!

Feet of the chameleon: the story of African football / Ian Hawkey
"In June 2010, Africa will host the World Cup, the most significant global sporting spectacle ever to take place on the continent. South Africa's successful bid was in many ways unsurprising: soccer thrives in every country in Africa, and is a vitally important aspect of communities. This fascinating history traces the development of soccer in Africa and investigates what makes African football unique. Drawing on a wide range of sources, it also examines how the game fits into the social and political life of the continent." -- Publisher's description.

Mark's note: The tournament takes place in South Africa - this is a history of football on the continent. Why is African football different?

The global game: writers on soccer / edited by John Turnbull, Thom Satterlee and Alon Raab
"The world's most popular sport, soccer, is also one of the planet's prevalent cultural expressions, celebrated and debated as an art form, observed with ritual and passion. Thus it has inspired literary efforts of every sort, from every corner of the globe, by women and men. The writings gathered in this volume reflect the universal and infinitely varied ways in which soccer connects with human experience. Poetry and prose from Ted Hughes, Charles Simic, Eduardo Galeano, Gunter Grass, Giovanna Pollarolo, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Elvis Costello - to name but a few - take us to a dizzying array of cultures and climes. From a patch of ground in Missoula, Montana, to a clearing in a Kosovo forest, from the stadiums of Burma and Iran to the northern lights over Greenland to remotest Sierra Leone, these writers show us soccer's stars and fans, politics and rituals, as well as the game's power to encourage resistance, inspire faith, and build community." -- BOOK JACKET.

Mark's note: Well known writers (and some less well known) from all over the world discuss the global game and why it connects so many people.

Soccernomics: why England loses, why Germany and Brazil win, and why he US, Japan, Australia, Turkey - and even Iraq - are destined to becoem the kings of the world's most popular sport / Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski
"Why do England lose? Why does Scotland suck? Why doesn't America dominate the sport internationally... and why do the Germans play with such an efficient but robotic style? These are questions every soccer aficionado has asked. Soccernomics answers them. Using insights and analogies from economics, statistics, psychology, and business to cast a new and entertaining light on how the game works, Soccernomics reveals the often surprisingly counter-intuitive truths about soccer. An essential guide for the 2010 World Cup, Soccernomics is a new way of looking at the world's most popular game." -- Global Books in Print.

Mark's note: Interesting as it expands to include social and economic factors on sport.

Ryan Nelsen's road to the World Cup / with Tony Smith
The All Whites and their captain, Ryan Nelson's road to the football World Cup, 2010.

Mark's note: Gives a New Zealand viewpoint.

How to win the World Cup / Graham McColl
It is biggest sporting event in the world, watched by billions, in a game played on every scrap of land on the planet. It is every boy's dream to win it. Yet just seven countries, from only two continents, ever have. Why? And, most importantly, how? "How to Win the World Cup" takes apart all the previous 18 editions of football's pre-eminent competition to look at the sporting DNA as well as the vital statistics of winning teams. It debunks myths and turns accepted truths on their heads in search of the essence of victory. Home advantage helps, surely? Only once in the past three decades. Well, the best team wins, then; it's only seven matches, after all. Not since Brazil in 1970 - and don't ask a Dutchman. By going beyond tactics and teams to examine factors as diverse as team spirit and the choice of captain, media hype and public expectation, the political climate and even the weather (luck, penalties and cheating play a part too, of course), Graham McColl has produced a World Cup book unlike any to have gone before it. And at the end of the day, he looks at what the 32 nations who have qualified for South Africa 2010 are bringing to the table, and if they have what it takes. Do England have the recipe for success? Can they win the World Cup, for the first time in 44 years? You read it here first.

Mark's note: Broad overview of the history of the tournament.

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