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January 1&15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Sports Audiobooks
The Art of Fielding. By Chad Harbach. Read by Holter Graham. 2012. 16hr. Hachette, CD, $26.98 (9781611132106).
Set at a fictional college, Harbach’s sprawling debut novel is expertly read by Graham, who does a superlative job capturing the large cast of characters, including baseball player Henry Skrimshander and friends.
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics. By Daniel James Brown. Read by Edward Herrmann. 2013. 14hr. Recorded Books, CD, $123.75 (9781470352509); DD, $109 (9781470352516); CS, $123.75 (9781470365820).
With steady pacing and commanding tones, Herrmann reads this compelling account of the “rough-and-tumble country boys” from the University of Washington rowing team who won gold at the 1936 Olympics.
Dick Francis’ Refusal. By Felix Francis. Read by Martin Jarvis. 2013. 9.5hr. Recorded Books, CD, $123.75 (9781470382032); DD, $109 (9781470382056).
As in previous titles featuring retired jockey and investigator Sid Halley, British actor Jarvis changes dialects and tones to reflect characters, ranging from Halley’s daughters to those who inhabit the horse-racing world.
Doc. By Dwight Gooden and Ellis Henican. Read by JD Jackson. 2013. 10hr. Brilliance, CD, $69.97 (9781455896936); DD, $39.97 (9781455897070).
Jackson’s impassioned reading is so real and authentic that listeners feel as if retired pitcher and recovering addict Gooden himself is narrating this mesmerizing memoir.
Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success. By Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehanty. Read by Matt Walton. 2013 11hr. Penguin Audio, CD, $39.95 (9781611761672).
Basketball fans will be enlightened by Jackson’s (the former coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers) reflections and become immersed in Walton’s impressive reading.
I’m with Stupid. By Geoff Herbach. Read by Nick Podehl. 2013. 7.5hr. Brilliance, CD, $49.97 (9781480533226); DD, $39.97 (9781480533202). Gr. 7–10.
In Herbach’s third novel featuring high-school football phenom Felton Reinstein, Podehl’s tones channel teenagers and adults, including Felton’s grandfather, whose inflections are laced with Yiddish.
Mickey and Willie: Mantle and Mays, the Parallel Lives of Baseball’s Golden Age. By Allen Barra. Read by Andrew Garman. 2013. 16hr. Recorded Books, CD, $123.75 (9781470333133); DD, $109 (9781470333140); CS, $123.75 (9781470358204).
Even those with little baseball knowledge are familiar with Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays; Garman’s earnest reading successfully delivers this portrait of two extraordinary athletes.
One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season. By Chris Ballard. Read by Mike Chamberlain. 2012. 9hr. Tantor, CD, $34.99 (9781452610290); DD, $24.99 (9781452660295).
Led by a coach who “looked like Frank Zappa had decided to coach baseball,” the high school team from tiny Macon, Illinois, reached the state finals in 1971, as related in this inspiring title, narrated by Chamberlain with sincerity and grace.
Satchel Paige. By Lesa Cline-Ransome. Read by Dion Graham. 2012. 21min. Live Oak, CD, $29.95 (9781430110880). Gr. 2–4.
In this read-along of Cline-Ransome’s picture-book biography of Negro Leagues pitcher Leroy “Satchel” Paige, Graham’s heartfelt, silky-smooth reading elevates the text and James E. Ransome’s lovely oil paintings.
Sum It Up: A Thousand and Ninety-Eight Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective. By Pat Head Summit and Sally Jenkins. Read by Sally Jenkins. 2013. 13.5hr. Books on Tape, CD, $45 (9780385360494).
Summit, the retired coach of the University of Tennessee women’s basketball team, is profiled in this affecting memoir read by Jenkins, whose accent reflects Summit’s southern roots.
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