A great book is a great book, no matter the subject. So
why do sports books often get such a bad name? Sports editor
Hayden Meikle - who answers his own question by acknowledging
the sports book market has more dross than most - names the
12 sports books you simply must read.
Sport: Horse racing.
Sample: ''Seabiscuit cruised into the backstretch with
a one-length lead, with Woolf holding his chin down. War
Admiral chased him, his nose nodding up and down behind
Seabiscuit's right hip. The blur of faces along the rail
thinned, then vanished altogether, and the din from the crowd
quieted to a distant rumble. War Admiral and Seabiscuit were
The setting: The United States race tracks between
1933 and 1947.
The protagonists: Seabiscuit - a ''small,
crooked-legged racehorse'' - plus owner Charles Howard,
trainer Tom Smith and jockey Red Pollard.
Why it is brilliant: A compelling story is a
compelling story, whether it's in sport, politics, the arts,
history ... or even in the world of horse racing, which is a
mystery to many of us. And the story of Seabiscuit is one of
the GREAT stories. Undersized, gritty horse. The golden era
of a sport. Intrigue, drama, controversy, politics. If you
read one racing book, make this the one.
Don't just take my word for it: ''A first-rate piece
of storytelling, leaving us not only with a vivid portrait of
a horse but with a fascinating slice of American history as
- Michiko Kakutani (New York Times).
The aftermath: The 2003 movie, Seabiscuit, was
nominated for seven Academy Awards.