Soccer books on the Kindle
June 22, 2012 6:41 AM   Subscribe

What are some great soccer/football books available for the Kindle? I'm looking specifically for books that were released in the UK but not in the USA. I'm also looking more for magazine/non fiction type of writing rather than books about tactics or the more mechanical aspects of the game.
posted by josher71 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I was going to recommend Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch but bizarrely it doesn't seem to be available for the Kindle. Get the paperback instead!
posted by humph at 6:46 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Blizzard is technically an online magazine, but each issue is pretty much book-sized in terms of how much content it has. I mean, look at the stuff in the current issue: Interviews with Roy Hodgson and Socrates! An article about post-nationalism in international football! Olympic football!

It's meaty stuff and the best present I ever got my footie-obsessed SO.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:25 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

I don't think Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger's book Tor! The Story of German Football was published in the US, although Amazon do have a paperback available.

It's a fascinating book about the history of German football. It's not really about mechanics in the 'how to play' sense, but there is a lot of detail about the formation of the various clubs and leagues. Even if you don't read it, this is a fact worth knowing: Germany had no national professional football league until 1963. By then, West Germany had already won the World Cup once, and Eintracht Frankfurt had reached the European Cup final.
posted by smcg at 7:27 AM on June 22, 2012

(Which is to say, that we have the digital subscription to the Blizzard, in a format where all I do is drag and drop onto our Kindle four times a year.)
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:27 AM on June 22, 2012

I've never read it but I've heard good things about The Damned United by David Peace about Brian Clough's time as manager of Leeds in 1974 but that seems to have been released in the USA.

Pretty much anyone who is anyone football wise in the UK seems to have an autobiography these days, I can't vouch for the quality of any of them but I imagine there are a ton of those that never made it across the Atlantic, not sure if you'll have any success finding them on kindle.
posted by purplemonkeydishwasher at 7:40 AM on June 22, 2012

I have always heard good things about Calcio: A History of Italian Football. I don't think, although I'm not certain, that it was ever released in the U.S.

How important is it that the books were released only in the UK? Because I know a ton of good soccer books, but these days it seems like just about all of the quality stuff makes it across the Atlantic.
posted by tiger tiger at 7:45 AM on June 22, 2012

The Damned United is a great book that even non-footie fans like. Another book that's quite good is Jonathan Wilson's (of The Blizzard and Inverting the Pyramid) new biography of Brian Clough, Clough: Nobody Ever Says Thank You. Another recent biography that's quite good is Robert Reng's A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke, about the German goal keeper who committed suicide in 2009.
posted by kendrak at 7:53 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

There's a book about Brazilian football, Futebol, which is well regarded.

There's also one called 'My Father and other Working Class Football Heroes' by Mick Imlach, which I was going to get for my dad for Christmas (and would have done if he hadn't died).
posted by mippy at 8:06 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fever Pitch kindle edition
posted by adamvasco at 8:33 AM on June 22, 2012

How important is it that the books were released only in the UK? Because I know a ton of good soccer books, but these days it seems like just about all of the quality stuff makes it across the Atlantic.

Actually not super important. Will take any good recommendations from where ever. Was at first thinking I might like to go a bit more obscure but I think the Kindle thing probably blows that out of the water.
posted by josher71 at 8:39 AM on June 22, 2012

I really enjoyed David Goldblatt, The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer. That should keep you busy for a while.

Others I'd recommend:
David Winner, Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer (oops, not available for Kindle)
Simon Kuper, Soccer Against the Enemy: How the World's Most Popular Sport Starts and Fuels Revolutions and Keeps Dictators in Power

Note that these are the U.S. versions of the books. There may be other editorial changes, but largely it's a matter of changing "football" to "soccer" within the titles and text of the books.
posted by RabbleRabble at 8:52 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, and +1 for the The Blizzard (mentioned towards the top) as well. Works great on my Kindle.
posted by RabbleRabble at 8:53 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am not much of a sports fan, but I love John Doyle's writing about football in the Globe & Mail and the excerpts I've heard from his book The World is a Ball.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 9:58 AM on June 22, 2012

Among the Thugs is a fascinating read.
posted by .kobayashi. at 11:18 AM on June 22, 2012

My favourite books about football (Fever Pitch aside) are by Pete Davies and Tim Parks and I am not sure you can get all of them for the Kindle, but I'm going to recommend them anyway

Pete Davies first: All Played Out has recently been rereleased as One Night In Turin because it was turned into a documentary film, and is about the England team's journey to the semi-finals of Italia 90. Davies had unprecedented access to a bunch of players who were uncommonly interesting just as football was emerging from the horrible eighties of hooliganism and official disdain and into the into a popular culture-dominating force.

My absolute favourite though, is I Lost My Heart to the Belles, which is a wonderful, funny, sad book about a women's team from Yorkshire. The Doncaster Belles, against all odds and despite having flap all money, playing on dodgy pitches and being neglected by the FA, became one of the best teams in England and this is the story of one season in their lives. It's full of earthy characters and humour and a huge love of the game. Can't recommend it highly enough.

Tim Parks: If you want to know about Italian football, A Season with Verona isn't going to give you a magnificent overview, but it's a cracking read about an Englishman who follows a fairly shite Italian team, Hellas Verona, all over Italy. You get travelogue but what really makes it stand out is his portrayal of the ordinary Italian fans, some of them Ultras, and his dissection of Italian society from an outsider's point of view. It's not going to make you all romantically swoonish over Tuscan sunshine like some treacly paean to the wonder of Italian life, because some of the fans are right arseholes, but it is funny and honest and fascinating. [This one appears to be on the Kindle]

If it has to be Kindlated, then I can also recommend Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life by Alex Bellos, which I enjoyed. Just not as much as the other three.
posted by finisterre at 3:23 PM on June 22, 2012

I've never read it but I've heard good things about The Damned United by David Peace about Brian Clough's time as manager of Leeds in 1974...
You heard right, excellent work and the film didn't quite do it justice for my money.
posted by Abiezer at 10:57 PM on June 22, 2012

A +1 for Among the Thugs and The Damned United (though the latter is a fictional account of real events).

I'd guess you know this one, but Why England Lose (Soccernomics in the US) is a fascinating and very readable application of economics to football (and only one chapter actually discusses why England lose).
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:04 AM on June 24, 2012

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