Recommended Summer Reading

Top 8 Paperback releases, May-Sept 14

1. Red or Dead by David Peace (Faber & Faber, 1st May)
Peace’s much-anticipated follow-up to The Damned United sees Bill Shankly’s Liverpool reign given the Brian Clough treatment. Expect tension, repetition, interior monologues, and profanities aplenty. At over 700 pages it’s no light read but Frank Cottrell Bryce has called the novel ‘a masterpiece’.

2. GoodFella: My Autobiography by Craig Bellamy with Oliver Holt (Trinity Sports Media, 2nd May)
With beach season approaching, May sees the release of a bumper crop of autobiographies. Keith Gillespie, Alan Stubbs, Kevin Kilbane and Clarke Carlisle all have interesting things to say but Craig Bellamy would be my pick of the bunch. The Welsh forward is a love-hate figure and his colourful career is sure to contain a fair few juicy anecdotes.

3. Stillness and Speed by Dennis Bergkamp with David Winner (Simon & Schuster, 8th May)
This highly original look at the Non-flying Dutchman’s career has already been longlisted for the Best Autobiography/Biography British Sports Book Award. Click here for my review.

4. The Manager: Inside the Mind of Football’s Leaders by Mike Carson (Bloomsbury, 8th May)
More Premier League bosses have been sacked this season (10) than in any previous campaign. In this thorough and insightful study, Carson speaks to 30 of the biggest names in football management including Jose Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger to find out what it takes to succeed.

5. Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life by Alex Bellos (Bloomsbury, new ed 8th May)
There are plenty of books looking to cash in on World Cup fever this summer (most notably David Goldblatt’s Futebol Nation) but this updated classic is the one-stop shop for all matters Brazilian. The detail is astonishing, yet it’s also as entertaining as the players themselves.

6. The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Football is Wrong by Chris Anderson and David Sally (Penguin, new ed 5th June)
It seems it’s not just books about Brazilian football that are getting a summer makeover. Inverting the Pyramid, Jonathan Wilson’s definitive history of tactics, has been brought up to date and this stats myth-buster has a bright new jacket and a World Cup chapter. Prepare to have your view of the beautiful game changed forever.

7. Fear and Loathing in La Liga: Barcelona vs Real Madrid by Sid Lowe (Yellow Jersey, 7th Aug)
A great title for a great book about a great rivalry. Spanish football expert Sid Lowe gives us the full and bloody history, both on and off the pitch. Politics, culture, economics, language and of course football – tension and drama as far as the eye can see. Click here to read John Mottram’s review.

8. The Nowhere Men: The Unknown Story of Football’s True Talent Spotters by Michael Calvin (Arrow, 14th Aug)
Ever wondered how the likes of Jack Wilshere and Raheem Sterling were discovered? This fascinating look at the hidden world of football scouts tell you everything you want to know about the sport’s unsung heroes. One of 2013’s most highly-acclaimed sports books.

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