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Football Reads for the Non-Football Fan


Football Reads for the Non-Football Fan

football reads

Not really into football and the accompanying Superbowl hoopla?  Would you rather spend time with a book in a quiet corner?  How about a book themed around football?  

The recent biographies, fiction and nonfiction books listed below available with your Livingston library card don’t have to do so much with the game and how it is played, but are related to the world of football, the players and the teams and make for engaging reads.  

beauty and the baller

Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancee in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his…for one night. Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand. Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is. The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away. Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?

Don’t Know Tough by Eli Cranor

Trent Powers relocates his family from Anaheim to Arkansas to take over as head coach of the Denton Pirates, a high school football team powered by a volatile but talented running back named Billy Lowe. Billy comes from an extremely troubled home: a trailer park where he is terrorized by his unstable mother’s abusive boyfriend. Billy takes out his anger on the field, and it’s not long before he crosses a line. Instead of punishing him, though, Trent takes Billy into his home, hoping to protect his star player as the Pirates begin their playoff run. But when Billy’s stepfather is found murdered, nothing can stop an explosive chain of violence that could tear the town apart.

The Football 100 by Mike Sando

The definitive ranking of the greatest football players of all time.

Football Done Right : Setting the Record Straight on the Coaches, Players, and History of the NFL by Michael Lombardi

From Monday Night Football to Super Bowl Sunday, the NFL is a dominating force in the lives of millions of fans who tune in and passionately cheer for their favorite teams. And when the games are over, the conversation is just getting started. Who’s the greatest player of all time? Which coaches truly shaped the game we know and love today? What was the most unforgettable game? Why is professional football such an undeniable part of our culture?

Hometown Victory: a Coach’s Story of Football, Fate, and Coming Home by Keanon Lowe

A former NFL coach recounts his experiences coaching high school students from a marginalized community.  After college ball and a brief career coaching in the NFL, the author returned to his Portland, Oregon, hometown, “the whitest city in America”—in just about every neighborhood except that of Parkrose High School, a low-income area “where the first programs to be affected when it came to school budgets were the sports programs.” The previous three football seasons had yielded a record of 0-23. Lowe turned that around, against the odds, by insisting that his players were a kind of family and treating them accordingly—including the demand that the players treat him and each other with respect. To accomplish this, he had to sideline some of the best on the roster until they took his requirements seriously. In the end, they went up against one of the best squads in the city and, of course, won—even if they were defeated later in the championship cycle.

house of wolves

The House of Wolves by James Patterson

The Wolfs, the most powerful family in California, have a new head–thirty-six-year-old former high school teacher Jenny Wolf. That means Jenny now runs the prestigious San Francisco Tribune. She also controls the legendary pro football team, the Wolves. And she hopes to solve her father’s murder.

The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson by Jeff Pearlman

Drawing on 720 original interviews, sportswriter Pearlman captures as never before the elusive truth about the greatest athlete of all time who took the world by storm from the mid-1980s into the early 1990s–and then, almost overnight, disappeared.

The NFL Off-Camera : An A-Z Guide to the League’s Most Memorable Players and Personalities by Bob Angelo

In this book, the author shares stories from his 40 years working for NFL Films to reveal new insights into the players, coaches, owners, and media members he met.

Once a Giant : a Story of Victory, Tragedy, and Life after Football by Gary Myers

The inside story of the Super Bowl champion 1986 Giants, the extraordinary friendships that resulted–and stunning revelations about the hardships they faced, based on new interviews with Bill Parcells, Phil Simms, Mark Bavaro, and Bill Belichick. The 1986 New York Giants are legendary. A championship team coached by Bill Parcells and his wunderkind assistant Bill Belichick, featuring future Hall of Famers and All-Pros like Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor, Mark Bavaro, and Harry Carson. They were dominant on the field and formed a unique and lasting bond off of it. More than thirty years later, it’s the friendships that have proved more important–a matter of life and death. Here, football writer Myers tells the story of that team and what became of it.

Rocket Men : The Black Quarterbacks Who Revolutionized Pro Football by John Eisenberg

Sportswriter Eisenberg offers the definitive history of Black quarterbacks in the league-men who not only shaped the history of football, but made indelible contributions to the cause of civil rights in America. As Eisenberg recounts, white coaches, scouts, and team owners long perceived Black players as unfit for the quarterback position. Believing Black athletes could not play “in thinking roles,” they relegated them to running back, defensive back, and receiver positions. In the late 1960s, a few teams began to bring on Black quarterbacks once more. Players like James “Shack” Harris and Marlin Briscoe proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Black men could play the position just as well-if not better-than their white peers. Yet it wouldn’t be until the 1990s, when the league began hiring more Black coaches and general managers, that Black quarterbacks truly got the opportunity to shine. When they did, they transformed the game.

through the banks of red cedar

Through the Banks of the Red Cedar : My Father and the Team That Changed the Game by Maya Washington

An award-winning narrative and documentary filmmaker and daughter of a football legend retraces her father’s journey from the segregated South to Michigan State during the peak of the civil rights movement and his journey as an NFL pioneer after the 1967 draft.

When Your Back’s Against the Wall : Fame, Football, and Lessons Learned Through a Lifetime of Adversity by Michael Oher

Oher’s life has had a lot of unexpected highs: a college degree; two beautiful, healthy children and a happy marriage; drafted in the first round; a Super Bowl victory; and a second chance to play in the “big game.” He’s also run up against quite a few walls: poverty, hunger, homelessness, struggles in school, bullying, job loss, brain injury, anxiety, and depression. What he knows now is that your wall can be your opportunity. Here he offers encouragement and shows readers how to get back up-again, and again, and again.

The Yards Between Us : a Memoir of Life, Love, and Football by R.K. Russell

Told through the people and moments that have shaped him, the first out active NFL player to identify as bisexual shares his story, showing the life-changing power of embracing who you are and fighting to make space so others can do the same.

Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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