My Account


Embrace The Madness: Reads for “March Madness”


Embrace The Madness: Reads for “March Madness”

For many Americans, the last two and half weeks in March are among the most entertaining of the year. Dubbed March Madness, they will be filled with dozens of college basketball games, featuring major surprises and thrilling finishes.  They are among the few sporting events that capture the attention of non-fans as well.

To celebrate this annual sporting event, here is a list of basketball-themed books, including biographies and memoirs of basketball legends– and a couple of adult fiction titles based around the sport.

(Descriptions are taken from the publishers)

back roads to march

The Back Roads To March : The Unsung, Unheralded, And Unknown Heroes Of A College Basketball Season by John Feinstein

 Feinstein pulls back the curtain on college basketball’s lesser-known Cinderella stories — the smaller programs who no one expects to win, who have no chance of attracting the most coveted high school recruits, who rarely send their players on to the NBA. Feinstein follows a handful of players, coaches, and schools who dream, not of winning the NCAA tournament, but of making it past their first or second round games. Every once in a while, one of these coaches or players is plucked from obscurity to continue on to lead a major team or to play professionally, cementing their status in these fiercely passionate fan bases as a legend.


Barkley : A Biography by Timothy Bella

He’s one of the most interesting American athletes in the past fifty years. Passionate, candid, iconoclastic, and gifted both on and off the court, Charles Barkley has made a lasting impact on not only the world of basketball but pop culture at large.  This is the definitive biography of Charles Barkley, exploring his early childhood, his storied NBA career, and his enduring legacy as a provocative voice in American pop culture.

black ball

Black Ball : Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Spencer Haywood, and The Generation That Saved The Soul Of The NBA by Theresa Runstedtler

Spotlighting legendary players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bernard King, and Connie Hawkins, scholar Theresa Runstedtler expertly rewrites basketball’s “Dark Ages,” weaving together her deep knowledge of the game’s key icons and institutions with incisive social and political analysis of the era. Black ballers created an aerial, improvisational, and creative style derived from the playground courts of their neighborhoods, laying the foundation for the explosive popularity and profitability of the league in subsequent decades. They also transformed labor in the pro-basketball world, filing lawsuits and organizing unions to demand better salaries and greater autonomy.

black fives

The Black Fives : The Epic Story Of Basketball’s Forgotten Era by Claude Johnson

A groundbreaking, timely history of the largely unknown early days of Black basketball, bringing to life the trailblazing players, teams, and impresarios who made the game.  This period, known as the Black Fives Era (teams at the time were often called “fives”), was a time of pioneering players and managers. They battled discrimination and marginalization and created culturally rich, socially meaningful events. But despite headline-making rivalries between big-city clubs, the savvy moves of innovative businessmen, and the undeniable talent of star players, this period is almost entirely unknown to basketball fans.

blood in the garden

Blood In The Garden : The Flagrant History Of The 1990s New York Knicks by Chris Herring

Herring delves deep into the origin, evolution, and eventual demise of the team. Based on original reporting and over 105 interviews with the principal characters, Herring takes readers into the locker room, executive boardrooms, and on to the court.  Herring will detail how, over the course of the decade, this seemingly disparate collection of castoffs came this close to achieving their dreams, only to see them face the end of the 90s as older, grizzled men who fell just short of the promised land.


Bracketology : March Madness, College Basketball, and The Creation Of A National Obsession by Joe Lunardi

Lunardi delves into the early days of Bracketology, details its growth, and dispels the myths of the process.  He compares great teams from different eras with intriguing results, talks to the biggest names in college basketball about their perception of Bracketology (both good and bad), and looks ahead to the future of the sport and how Bracketology will help shape the conversation.


Dwyane by Dwyane Wade

This photographic memoir from the NBA superstar looks at his upbringing on the South Side of Chicago, his college career at Marquette and his extraordinary rise to stardom with the Miami Heat.

education of kendrick

The Education Of Kendrick Perkins by Kendrick Perkins with Seth Rogoff

An intimate memoir about race, fatherhood, and basketball, from former NBA player and outspoken cultural critic, Kendrick “Perk” Perkins.  Readers follow Perkins on his journey from small-town Texas athlete to the NBA. Both on and off the court, Perk gained a reputation for his candor and conviction–his unabiding sense of right and wrong. Now he tells all, offering the sports insights for which he has become a stellar ESPN commentator, and for the first time ever, sharing frank opinions about racial justice, political consciousness, and fatherhood.

game grant hill

Game : An Autobiography by Grant Hill

The full, frank story of a remarkable life’s journey-to the pinnacle of success as a basketball player, icon, and entrepreneur, to the depths of personal trauma and back, to a place of flourishing and peace-made possible above all by a family’s love.

how basketball can save the world

How Basketball Can Save The World : 13 Guiding Principles For Reimagining What’s Possible by David Hollander

A thought-provoking exploration of how basketball-and the values rooted in the game-can solve today’s most pressing issues, from the professor behind the popular New York University course. Hollander moves beyond the classroom to present a beautiful new philosophy with contributions by many of his past guests and based on values inherent to basketball, such as inclusion and the balancing of individual success with the needs of the collective. These principles move us beyond conflict and confusion toward a more harmonious and meaningful future.

inaugural ballers

Inaugural Ballers : The True Story Of The First US Women’s Olympic Basketball Team by Andrew Maraniss

Twenty years before women’s soccer became an Olympic sport and two decades before the formation of the WNBA, the ’76 US women’s basketball team laid the foundation for the incredible rise of women’s sports in America at the youth, collegiate, Olympic, and professional levels. Though they were unknowns from small schools such as Delta State, the University of Tennessee at Martin and John F. Kennedy College of Wahoo, Nebraska, at the time of the ’76 Olympics, the American team included a roster of players who would go on to become some of the most legendary figures in the history of basketball.

last enforcer

The Last Enforcer : Outrageous Stories From the Life and Times Of One Of The NBA’s Fiercest Competitors by Charles Oakley

A memoir from Charles Oakley-one of the toughest and most loyal players in NBA history-featuring unfiltered stories about the journey that basketball has taken him on and his relationships with Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, James Dolan, Donald Trump, George Floyd, and so many others.

lessons from lute

Lessons From Lute : Reflections On Legendary Arizona Basketball Coach Lute Olson by Steve Rivera

Lute Olson is a college basketball coaching institution, from Tucson and the University of Arizona through the Pac-12, and forever in the annals of the sport as one of the best to ever do it. In this celebratory collection of stories and memories about coach Olson, UA players, coaches, administrators, and opposing coaches lovingly look back on the warmth and wisdom of Olson, and reflect on the impact of the unforgettable quarter century he expertly guided the program, both on and off the court.

nba in black and white

The NBA In Black and White : The Memoir Of a Trailblazing NBA Player and Coach by Ray Scott

Ray Scott was part of the early wave of Black NBA players like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who literally changed how the game of professional basketball is played-leading to the tremendously popular financial blockbuster the NBA is today. His story is a story of quiet persistence, hard work, and, most of all, respect.

rise kobe bryant

The Rise : Kobe Bryant and The Pursuit Of Immortality by Mike Sielski

The inside look at one of the most captivating and consequential figures in our culture with never-before-seen material.  Readers will travel from the neighborhood streets of Southwest Philadelphia–where Kobe’s father, Joe, became a local basketball standout–to the Bryant family’s isolation in Italy, where Kobe spent his formative years, to the leafy suburbs of Lower Merion, where Kobe’s legend was born. The story will trace his career and life at Lower Merion–he led the Aces to the 1995-96 Pennsylvania state championship, a dramatic underdog run for a team with just one star player–and the run-up to the 1996 NBA draft, where Kobe’s dream of playing pro basketball culminated in his acquisition by the Los Angeles Lakers.

sense of wonder

The Sense Of Wonder : A Novel by Matthew Salesses

When Won Lee, the first Asian American in the NBA, stuns the world in a seven-game winning streak, the global media audience dubs it “The Wonder”–much to Won’s chagrin. Meanwhile, Won struggles to get attention from his coach, his peers, his fans, and most importantly, his hero, Powerball!, who also happens to be Won’s teammate and the captain. Covering it all is sportswriter Robert Sung, who writes about Won’s stardom while grappling with his own missed hoops opportunities as well as his place as an Asian American in media. And to witness it all is Carrie Kang, a big studio producer, who juggles a newfound relationship with Won while attempting to bring K-drama to an industry not known to embrace anything new or different.


Sooley : A Novel by John Grisham

After seventeen-year-old Samuel “Sooley” Sooleymon receives a college scholarship to play basketball for North Carolina Central, he moves to Durham from his native, war-torn South Sudan, enrolls in classes, joins the team, and prepares to sit out his freshman season, but Sooley has a fierce determination to succeed so he can bring his family to America, working tirelessly on his game until he dominates everyone in practice, and when Sooley is called off the bench, the legend begins.

Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Stay in the loop and never miss out! Our weekly newsletter is the best way to stay informed on all things Library!
What are you waiting for?
24 May 2024
Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, and it is time to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice...
Read More
23 May 2024
Ollie and Fiji had a wonderful time when they visited Livingston Library for our Paws to Read program! ...
Read More
23 May 2024
In addition to being one of the best TV shows of the year, Netflix’s Ripley has put a fresh spin on one...
Read More
22 May 2024
Celebrate Pride Month with a Pride Take Home Craft and some stories Marley’s Pride Rainbow a First...
Read More
22 May 2024
Combining riveting backstories with enchanting performances, these music documentaries (currently available...
Read More
21 May 2024
For 75 years now, May has been designated by Mental Health America (MHA) as Mental Health Awareness Month....
Read More
20 May 2024
Livingston Library Community, “Adventure Begins at Your Library” and so does summer fun! We invite you...
Read More
20 May 2024
Did you know that with your Livingston Library card you can listen to full albums by popular artists...
Read More
19 May 2024
Livingston Library Community,  True crime is one of the most popular genres at the library and it shows...
Read More
17 May 2024
Are you looking forward to reading Kristin Hannah’s “The Women,” or have you already read it and are...
Read More
The library will be closed Sunday, 5/26 and Monday, 5/27 in observance of Memorial Day.
The library will be closed Sunday, 5/26 and Monday, 5/27 in observance of Memorial Day.