THE GREAT AMERICAN SPORTS PAGE
Edited by John Schulian, out now
Spanning a century, this anthology features the best work of scribes from Red Smith to Sally Jenkins.
THE FRENCH OPEN
May 26--June 9, Tennis Channel and NBC
Can anyone stop Rafael Nadal on clay? His top challengers are Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem.
CHUMPS TO CHAMPS
By Bill Pennington, out now
The longtime New York Times reporter chronicles the years of ineptitude that laid the groundwork for the Yankees' 1990s dynasty.
MIND AND MATTER: A LIFE IN MATH AND FOOTBALL
By John Urschel and Louisa Thomas, out now
When it comes to athlete biographies, numbers are usually limited to scores and stats. But former Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel's career totals—13 starts over three seasons before his July 2017 retirement—aren't the focus of his memoir, co-written with his partner, New Yorker contributor Louisa Thomas. That's because Urschel is best known for pursuing a Ph.D. in mathematics at MIT while he was playing in the NFL. So in telling his life story he also explains fifth-order polynomials and the effect of eigenspaces on matrices, and at one point he declares that an equation's "intricate elegance and difficulty ... spoke to me."
Mind and Matter isn't all theorems and proofs. Urschel compellingly recounts how football gave him a sense of belonging as a child in Buffalo before describing his time at Penn State, which coincided with the Jerry Sandusky scandal. But the book is at its best when Urschel discusses juggling identities. "So often, people want to divide the world in two," he writes. "Why can't something (or someone) be both?"