Friday, August 19, 2016


What’s in the Monrovia Public Library New Books collection that will get you thinking about the unknown world of sports? 

Do you remember Bill Walton? This star basketball player at UCLA and protégé of super coach John Wooden brought fame to the Bruin team and went on to have a stellar career in the NBA (which included two All-Star nominations, two NBA championships, an MVP, and a Finals MVP) and as a broadcaster. The outspoken Walton has a new memoir called Back From the Dead, which not only shares his collegiate past, but also looks at how the game accelerated the breakdown of his body. This is an honest and often funny book for those who love a good autobiography. 

Santa Anita Race Track claims him as its own. American Pharoah is the story of the colt who rose to fame as a Triple Crown winner (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes). Covering the discovery of his racing talent, training, wins and the assortment of people involved in the fleet-footed horse’s success, this is a compelling story and an entertaining read.

Another new basketball book is The Legend’s Club about the rivalry of three storied college basketball coaches--Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, Jim Valvano of North Carolina State and Dean Smith of the U. of North Carolina.  New York Times sports writer John Feinstein peels back the gloss and looks at the physical and mental energy, ups and downs and rivalry it takes to produce winning teams. Great sports writing. 

Author Jeff Passan takes on baseball in The Arm: Inside the Billion Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports. The billion in the title refers to the amount of money teams spend on pitchers and to the great injury rate that pitchers suffer. Beautifully researched, this is an in-depth and captivating book that will give readers something to chew on next time they watch a baseball game.

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