Soccer Read Recs - Summer 21
Come summer time, many blogs and magazines pump out articles touting their favorite new summer reads. Most of the time, "summer reads" is code for "bad, trashy novels." In an attempt to buck that trend, I thought I'd share some of my favorite soccer books that I've read recently. Rather than simply focusing on the well-known titles, I want to share some lesser-known - but equally great - reads with the hope that you, dear reader, will check them out and hopefully enjoy them as much as I do.
Also, quick plug, if you can, look for these titles at one of STL's many great local bookstores. My personal favorite is The Novel Neighbor (https://thenovelneighbor.com/) in Webster!
Against the Elements: The Eruption of Icelandic Football
This is an awesome read that explores how the tiny country of Iceland has cultivated a relatively successful national program, despite both its size and harsh elements (hence the title...). Bonus - there are some absolutely stunning photographs from McGinn's travel for the book.
The Away Game: The Epic Search for Soccer's Next Superstars
A somewhat bleak (but fascinating) read that focuses on how the search for top soccer talent can often be fraught with exploitation.
Zonal Marking: The Making of Modern European Football
A follow-up to his classic, The Mixer, this book is equal parts history and soccer. With incredible detail, examples, and analysis, Cox explores how the modern evolution of soccer has taken place as micro-reigns across Europe's most influential countries.
The Fall of the House of FIFA: The Multimillion-Dollar Corruption at the Heart of Global Soccer
An incredibly well researched deep-dive into the less-than-ethical global soccer organizing body. This one can read a bit dense, but if interested in the topic, it's worth your time.
That's it for now; I'll check back in with some more recommendations soon. Have any recent soccer reads you loved (or hated, I suppose...)? Let us know in the comments, on the socials, or via email.
By Jordan Durlester