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Game On! 5 Winning Summer Sports Books

Illustration of a football player running with a book.

While the traditional "beach read" set heads off for the summer with pails and shovels in hand, those who prefer a box score and a beer in the bleachers might be just as happy to settle in with a few good reads of their own. Writing about sports can mean anything from a juicy novel about love among athletes to an academic study of the game — whatever game is your favorite — to the obsessive superstar biography that raises up or knocks down a hero.

A good sports book might drag you out onto the field or into the locker room; it might go spelunking in the brain of a master or visit the world of the fan. In these five offerings, baseball is a hero's playground and a parent's testing ground, basketball bumps up uncomfortably against heroin addiction, sports journalism undergoes one of its most important transitions, and the sports geek's endless need to understand flowers in full.

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