Hi, everyone. I got a question in my Friday noontime live chat on CharlotteObserver.com about what sports books I would recommend. Among my all-time favorites would be: "Friday Night Lights" by Buzz Bissinger; "A Season on the Brink" by John Feinstein and both of Gary Smith's collections (most of those stories were originally published in Sports Illustrated).
In recent years I have also have really enjoyed Gary Pomerantz's excellent "Wilt, 1962" -- about Wilt Chamberlain -- and Dave Kindred's book about Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell and their intertwined lives called "Sound and Fury."
"Game of Shadows," about the steroid controversy, was superb. So was Art Chansky's "Blue Blood," about the UNC-Duke college hoops rivalry. "Seabiscuit" has to be the best book about horse racing ever written. "Into Thin Air" makes you feel like you're stuck in a snowstorm on Mt. Everest.
And there are literally dozens of other great ones out there, written by folks like Sally Jenkins, David Halberstam and Roger Kahn. Having authored or co-authored four sports books myself -- and believe me, none of them would make any of my "best of" lists -- I know firsthand how difficult it is to produce a really compelling sports book.
For more "great sports book" suggestions, check out this list Sports Illustrated published in 2002 of the 100 greatest sports books of all time. And if you guys have any others you think are great that I'm missing, feel free to post.
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