by Sheila Lence, Ripley Librarian
Fall is in the air and football season is upon us. Practice has begun. Fantasy teams have been drafted. Team allegiances have been declared. Tailgate parties have been planned. Are you ready for some football? Here is a selection of books to help you get geared up for game-day. These and many others are available at the Ripley Public Library.
An Ex to Grind by Jane Heller ~ Divorcing her unmotivated, non-working spouse only to find herself paying a heavy palimony settlement, Manhattan financial planner Melanie Banks secretly hires a matchmaker who will end the palimony agreement by getting her ex into another relationship, a plan with unexpected consequences.
Bahamarama by Bob Morris ~ Having served two years in prison for a crime he did not commit, former professional football player Zack Chasteen hopes to reunite with his girlfriend in the Bahamas, but when his trip turns dangerous and his girlfriend’s ex-lover is murdered, he turns to a police superintendent and a mystic for help.
Between Sundays by Karen Kingsbury ~ Three people – a self-centered star running back; a pro football player who has strayed from God; and a social worker who is struggling to adopt a little boy – are brought together during a season of hope, self-discovery, and faith.
Ruffians by Tim Green ~ A young first-round-draft pick NFL rookie confronts the realities of the world of professional football, in a firsthand, insider’s fictional study of the pressures, corruption, and win-at-all-costs attitude of high-level sports.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain ~ Asked to be part of the Dallas Cowboys’ Halftime Show on Thanksgiving, Specialist William “Billy” Lynn, one of the eight surviving men of the Bravo Squad during America’s war in Iraq, finds his life forever changed by this all-American event that causes him to better understand difficult truths about himself and those around him.
Bleachers by John Grisham ~ High school All-American Neely Crenshaw was probably the best quarterback ever to play for the legendary Messina Spartans. Fifteen years have gone by since those glory days, and Neely has come home to Messina to bury Coach Eddie Rake, the man who molded the Spartans into an unbeatable football dynasty.
Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson ~ Ten years after leaving her hometown for college, Arlene Fleet finds she still has not escaped Possett, Alabama, when an old classmate turns up asking questions about a crime Arlene committed in her youth, forcing her into a confrontation with her past.
Knights of the Hill Country by Tim Tharp ~ In his senior year, high school star linebacker Hampton Green finally begins to think for himself and discovers that he might be interested in more than just football.
Life Among Giants by Bill Roorbach ~ A star quarterback and his sister spend decades trying to figure out who murdered their parents, uncovering the involvement and possible motives of a ballerina and her rock star husband who lived in a mansion across the street.
Natural Born Charmer by Susan Phillips ~ Taking to the road between seasons, attractive Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard meets the beautiful and infuriating Blue under unusual circumstances and draws on his competitive skills to overcome her wariness of relationships.
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham ~ Cut from the Cleveland Browns after the worst performance in the history of the NFL, third-stringer Rick Dockery, desperate to play football, is hired by the Panthers of Parma, Italy, to be their starting quarterback and finds himself confronted by the confusing diversity of Italian culture, language, and romance.
Rash by Pete Hautman ~ In a future society that has decided it would “rather be safe than free,” sixteen-year-old Bo is sold into forced labor at a pizza factory in the Canadian tundra where he’s promised early parole if he joins an illegal football team.
Tumbleweeds by Leila Meacham ~ In a small Texas town that thrives on Friday night football games, three friends try to move on after a fateful event colors each of their futures.
Tupelo Nights by John Bradley ~ John Girlie, a disillusioned all-American football player, returns to the haven of his hometown – Old Field, Louisiana – but receives no consolation from his wayward family and friends.
Brett Favre by Sports Illustrated ~ Profiles the life of the Green Bay Packers quarterback, discussing his childhood in small-town Mississippi, his college days, and his long professional career, which included three Most Valuable Player awards and two Super Bowl championships.
Gridiron Gold by Xavier Frascogna ~ Gridiron Gold is the first book by the authors, who each played high school and college football, and played for well-respected Mississippi coaches. The authors present a discussion of the coaches who have helped Mississippi’s high school football teams. Coaches are an important part of the game and contribute to the morale and development of the team and the community. To this end, the experiences of working with Mississippi high school coaches to develop not only team spirit and skills, but also emotional bonds that last a lifetime are presented.
In a Heartbeat by Leigh Anne Tuohy ~ The couple at the center of the hit book and movie The Blind Side finally tell their side of the amazing story of their adoption of homeless football prodigy Michael Oher, detailing how they instilled their Christian values in their two biological children and delivering a profound message about the power of giving.
Never Die Easy by Walter Payton ~ In an inspirational memoir, the late football great describes his love affair with his sport, his achievements on and off the field, his private life, his personal beliefs and goals, and his battle with the liver cancer that would claim his life in 1999.
Ole Miss Rebels by William Sorrells ~ This is the story of University of Mississippi football – the players and coaches, the good times and hard times, in words and pictures, from 1893 to 1975.
The Maroon Bulldogs by William Sorrells ~ This is the story of Mississippi State football – the players and coaches, the good times and hard times, in words and pictures, from 1895 to 1975.
Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer ~ Traces the controversial story of NFL player and soldier Pat Tillman, describing the military’s efforts to hide the truth about his death by friendly fire, in an account that draws on Tillman’s journals and letters as well as interviews with family members and fellow soldiers.