The sports pages, websites, and television channels are running their annual reviews of the year in sports. The 10 Best Photos! The 10 Biggest Plays! The Top 10 Athletes! Whatever your sporting taste, there’s a year-end list for you.
New Books in Sports offers a different take on the end-of-the-year review. This episode features a variety of guests–academics, journalists, and bloggers–from around the world. You’ll hear their expert views (or at least, just intelligent commentary) on events of the past year and some of the deeper issues of sport. And the episode does have a list, of sorts. Each guest suggests his or her favorite books from this past year, or a noteworthy classic from years past. So if you’re looking for a last addition to your gift list, we have plenty of recommendations.
The episode features a strong starting nine. Journalist and blogger Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (aka Sidvee) talks about Indian cricket and his favorite books on American football and baseball. Two American writers, Jonathan Eig and Jason Coskrey, give their selections from the baseball library from two very different vantage points: Chicago and Tokyo. We hear from Barry Nicholls, host of the Australian radio program 110%, about the differences in sports idioms used Down Under and in the US. Mark Norman, editor of the blog Hockey in Society, discusses how Canadian fans are managing another discontented winter without hockey. At the close of the year marking the 40th anniversary of Title IX, law professor, author, and former Olympic swimmer Nancy Hogshead-Makar talks about the continued obstacles to equal opportunity in US sports. We learn about women and sport in the Middle East, as well as the lingering effects of last February’s stadium violence in Port Said, Egypt, from journalist James M. Dorsey, author of the blog The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer. At the close of a year that brought the word “Tebowing” into the sports lexicon, theologian Graham Tomlin discusses the connections of faith and sport. And we close with Lisa Von Drasek, an expert in children’s literature, who gives her suggestions for some of the best sports books for young readers.
And for a more detailed overview of the year in sports, around the world, please visit the Facebook or Twitter pages for New Books in Sports. You’ll find a lengthy digest of thoughtful and even provocative articles by journalists and bloggers. We won’t list the Top 10. You can decide that for yourself.