SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: FIFTY YEARS OF GREAT WRITING
Sports Illustrated Books, 560 pages, $29.95
A half century of the magazine's best pieces (there are 52 in
all), including works by Dan Jenkins, who saw three eras of golf
legends come together at the 1960 U.S. Open; William Faulkner,
who watched Nashua get upset by Swaps in the 1955 Kentucky Derby;
Steve Rushin, who traveled to Germany for a crash course in
high-speed driving; Gary Smith, who wrote about the aftermath of
a boating accident that claimed the lives of two Cleveland
Indians pitchers; Garrison Keillor, who told about the time when
Babe Ruth came to Lake Wobegon; and John Steinbeck, who wrote a
lengthy story about why he couldn't write a story about sports.
WHO'S YOUR CADDY?
by Rick Reilly
Doubleday, 261 pages, $24.95
Columnist Reilly turns looper, carrying bags for the likes of
Jack Nicklaus ("Of all the friends a guy might like to have,
Nicklaus would be 1 through 10"), Donald Trump ("You do not
interview Trump. You just try to be in the Doppler radar when his
tornado blows by and sucks you in") and Reilly's comedic hero,
Bob Newhart ("Me drawing Bob Newhart was like Amarillo Slim
drawing aces and jacks"). In doing so, he makes love to the sport
of golf, whether golf likes it or not.
by William Nack
Da Capo Press, 376 pages, $26
Nack is often at his best telling the intimate tales of the men,
women and other creatures who inhabit the unique universe of
horse racing. But this collection of stories he wrote for SI goes
well beyond the track, touching on issues of race (with a piece
on boxer Sonny Liston), war (Bob Kalsu, the only U.S.
professional athlete to die in Vietnam) and celebrity (Nack's
search for reclusive chessmaster Bobby Fischer).
COLOR PHOTO: MEL LEVINE (STACK OF PLIMPTON BOOKS AND BOOKS BY SIWRITERS)