Have gift cards or exchanges left over for the holidays? Looking for something to read over the rest of the break or on the upcoming road trip. Here are a few that we read in 2016 and are worth a look going forward.
A fun memoir from Bill Walton recounts his devastating injuries and amazing recoveries, set in the context of his UCLA triumphs under John Wooden, his storied NBA career, and his affinity for music and the Grateful Dead and for his family.
By Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead and Kevin Maney
Not about sports but about leadership, and the authors pieced together the inner workings of companies such as Amazon, Uber and IKEA in pursuit of transformative ways of doing business. They explain what it takes for companies and their cultures to be successful and how those basic principles can be applied anywhere.
“In the early twentieth century, down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, the Jones & Laughlin Steel Company built one of the largest mills in the world and a town to go with it. Aliquippa was a beacon and a melting pot, pulling in thousands of families from Europe and the Jim Crow south. The J&L mill, though dirty and dangerous, offered a chance at a better life. It produced the steel that built American cities and won World War II and even became something of a workers’ paradise. But then, in the 1980’s, the steel industry cratered. The mill closed. Crime rose and crack hit big. But another industry grew in Aliquippa. The town didn’t just make steel; it made elite football players, from Mike Ditka to Ty Law to Darrelle Revis. Pro football was born in Western Pennsylvania, and few places churned out talent like Aliquippa. Despite its troubles—maybe even because of them—Aliquippa became legendary for producing football greatness. A masterpiece of narrative journalism, Playing Through the Whistle tells the remarkable story of Aliquippa and through it, the larger history of American industry, sports, and life. Like football, it will make you marvel, wince, cry, and cheer.” Good Americana story from our friend Scott Price at Sports Illustrated.
The most amazing part of the Nike founder’s autobiography is that the big names…Jordan, McEnroe…are almost an afterthought. Great read about grit, luck, hustle and vision for those who wear the swoosh or not.
What was it like to be on Al Davis’ team and in the testosterone driven business of the NFL? Amy is an insiders insider who has not just great stories but tremendous advice for anyone with a passion for sports business or football.