on the 1st day of giftmas: tennis lit

2010 has been a pretty good year for the tennis literary community (if you can even call it a “community”). There was an as-always this-is-what-my-tennis-life was (and is!) book in Patrick McEnroe’s Hardcourt Confidential, while Venus Williams put out a best-selling business book called Come To Win. Right, we said business book. We give you a few other selections that might fit well as fit-in-your-suitcase take-home gifts this holiday season.

Hardcourt Confidential might be the only book on this list that I’ve actually completed, and after a bit of skepticism to start, I surely appreciated it. McEnroe write with Tennis‘s Peter Bodo and Bodo’s signature phrases can be found throughout the book. But it’s still McEnroe’s voice that shines through and tells some good stories. The book follows a calendar format (Jan. to Dec.) instead of a biographical one, which grew on me as I progressed. A great read from – what a tennis friend recently told me – “one of the nicest guys in tennis.” | Hardcover on Amazon.com for $10.40

Come to Win is Venus’s take – along with a host of other “visionaries” – on how to rise above the rest in whatever you choose.”Every single story in this book is very motivating. Sports give you knowledge that you can take with you and apply into other fields,” says Mihaela Hagiu in her review of Come to Win on Bookstove.com. “Many people do not realize the benefits of playing a sport. The lessons that could be learned are too valuable.” | Hardcover on Amazon.com for $17.15

Doubles Agatha Donkar’s take on the book on the Art & Literature blog: “Taking the reader along for the ride as Slow tries to crawl out from this bottom that he’s hit, Doubles explores tennis, friendship, and love, and the truly strange lengths human beings go to in pursuit of those things — the idea that we’re all just muddling along, and there’s only so much indulgence you can take before you have to do something else.” | Paperback on Amazon.com for $11.41

The Doubles cover. More Nic Brown: TSF Flashback: Nic Brown’s quirky and entertaining USO picks

Other reads: A Terrible Splender is the tale of the deciding 1937 Davis Cup match between Germany’s Gottfried von Cramm and the U.S.’s Don Budge. Written by Jon Marshall Fisher, the paperback edition was released this spring and is available on Amazon for $10.20 | Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match is a book by former tennis pro Cliff Richey about his battle with depression. The book was written with Richey’s daughter, a college professor, and the foreward is written by Jimmy Connors. Paperback on Amazon.com for $13.57 | Holding Court takes you inside the world of The Championships, Wimbledon with author Christopher Gorringe Paperback on Amazon.com for $13.22 | Peter Bodo has been a tennis writer for Tennis for over 30 years, and this year, the writer dipped his toes into several different book adventures. The most well known of those ventures was the aforementioned Hardcourt Confidential which he ghost wrote with Patrick McEnroe, but meanwhile, Bodo was busy at work on The Clay Ran Red, a Kindle edition book about the Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer rivalry at the French Open. Kindle edition on Amazon.com for only $5.99 | Bodo was also at work on another one of this passions: hunting. The writer spends time each year away from the city exploring (and hunting) in the wild, and has chronicled those trysts in a new book, Whitetail Nation: My Season in Pursuit of the Monster Buck.

(partial screen grab of Hardcourt Confidential via Amazon.com; Doubles image from nicbrown.net)

Tags: 12 days of giftmas, books, gift guide, literature, Nic Brown, tennis literature

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