The 9 Books We're Currently Reading In The TSFJ e-Offices Right Now

michael irvin playmaker

During the summer months we're fortunate enough to receive anywhere from 14 to 16 hours of daylight in many parts of this country we call America. From that early morning ride via public transit on the way to work to being posted up on the porch sipping lemonade, the daylight provides an ample opportunity for one to break out a book and get lost in some words. We've profiled many a book here on The Sports Fan Journal in the past, but today we're giving you a sneak peek into what we're currently reading.

From sports books focusing on historical athletes to various philosophies that implore you to escape to a different mind-set, here are the 9 books we're currently reading in the TSFJ e-offices. Be sure to check them out.

the fight norman mailer

Title: The Fight

Author: Norman Mailer

Why I'm Reading This Book: Titans of literature from Jack London to Ernest Hemingway and Joyce Carol Oats have fallen in love with and written about boxing. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, Norman Mailer is another key addition to that list. He wrote several pieces about the sweet science, but none as famous as "The Fight." The book is Mailer's personal account of the "Rumble in the Jungle" — the fight in Kinshasa, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, which cemented Ali's legendary status amongst boxing heavyweights.  -- @FightLikeSugar

Title: Boys Will Be Boys

Author: Jeff Pearlman

Why I'm Reading This Book: Outside of Michael Jordan himself, there may have been no more polarizing sports entity in the '90s than the Dallas Cowboys. From the partying, the drugs, the women and every level of debauchery known to man, the exploits of "America's Team" is laid out in full and uncensored detail. And that's just off the field. The stories of the team's most loved, hated and recognizable names — Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, etc — and their game-day antics are perhaps even more outrageous. -- @JustinTinsley

Title: The Last Season

Author: Phil Jackson

Why I'm Reading This Book: All biases aside in regards to the Los Angeles Lakers, the man who delivered for the purple and gold colored franchise has been one I've always admired. While many hold in high regard books in the past like "Sacred Hoops" and more recently "Eleven Rings," "The Last Season" captures the ultimate clash of personalities while experiencing some success but ultimate failure during the 2003-04 NBA season. -- @edthesportsfan

i wear the black hat

Title: I Wear The Black Hat

Author: Chuck Klosterman

Why I'm Reading This Book: It's a collection of essays about villains, what it means to be a villain, and why some people we may have thought are villains really aren't (or vice versa). I'm a Lakers fan and evil according to Ed, so it makes sense for me to be reading this. Also, I just really like essays. -- @imsohideouss

Title: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Author: Shunryu Suzuki

Why I'm Reading This Book: Phil Jackson recommended it when he was on Oprah talking about "Eleven Rings." In terms of subject matter, it's completely different from anything I've ever read before.  -- @soulonice6

Title: Friday Night Lights

Author: H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger

Why I'm Reading This Book: I'm not reading it yet. But, with high school football season around the corner, I'm getting ready to read it for a fourth time. Nothing quite inspires me as a sportswriter the way "FNL" does. The descriptive language takes the cake as far as I'm concerned. Many who read the book, or watch the movie/TV show, want to hop up, grab a helmet and hit the field. Bissinger's work makes me want to grab my pen and pad and write the best game recaps I can. -- @mtrible


Title: JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy

Author: L. Fletcher Prouty

Why I'm Reading This Book: Actually, at the moment I am reading "Earl The Pearl," Earl Monroe's autobiography, but the second I'm finished with that, I'm going to pick up "JFK." The assassination of John F. Kennedy is one of the great fascinations and most popular conspiracy theorist go-tos. With the 50th anniversary of the event approaching this fall, what better to time to dive on in?  -- @RevPaulRevere

Title: Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend

Author: James S. Hirsch

Why I'm Reading This Book: A mix of finishing what I started and falling into a trend. Three years ago, I bought the book as intended in-flight reading en route to Frankfurt. Yet, while sitting in the British Airways terminal at JFK, I put it down about 1/5 of the way through to start reading the fantastic spy novel, "The Tourist," instead.

Fast-forward to last week as I finished "The Last Hero: The Life of Henry Aaron." Learning of the professional and somewhat personal rivalry between Aaron and Mays compelled me to pick up where I left off with Hirsch's tome. I wanted to see how the Say Hey Kid navigated some choppy waters, not just on the field, but off. I'm fascinated by his aversion to controversies, even those he couldn't avoid. By way of said aversion, his place (or lack thereof according to Jackie Robinson) in regards to civil rights is a vastly untold story.  -- @asportsscribe

Title: The Best American Sports Writing of the [Twentieth] Century

Editor: David Halberstam

Why I'm Reading this Book: It's simply the greatest collection of stories from the greatest era of sportswriting. Halberstam, a legend in his own right, selects pieces from luminaries such as Grantland Rice, Red Smith, Gay Talese, John Updike, Roger Angell and Jim Murray and from publications like Sports Illustrated, Esquire, The New York Times and... Playboy. Apparently I do read the articles. I've read and re-read profiles in the anthology of Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams, but also of Bobby Fischer, Tommy Lasorda's late, gay son, and a steroid abuser in the height of juicing that is equal parts illuminating and frightening. It's a must-have for any sports fan or any fan of fine prose. This is the standard to which we, sportswriters that is, aspire to reach.  -- @noclassfriday

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