Check your mail Archie.
Check your mail Archie.
Hey guys, I'm looking at getting a few cricket books in the next month or so. What are some of the best you have read?
The Future of International Cricket - Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravi Bopara, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Shahriar Nafees, Raqibul Hasan, Salman Butt, JP Duminy
Proud Supporter of the Bangladeshi Tigers
Ryan ten Doeschate - A Legend in the Making
That's a tricky one actually, it kinda depends on what you're after ... personally, I tend to steer clear of players autobiographies (with a few exceptions - Nasser Hussain's was very good, but those from current players tend to be rather 'safe'). My own favourite writers are probably David Frith, Stephen Chalke, David Foot and Gideon Haigh, and you can't go too far wrong with Wisden - although New Zealand has its own almanack I believe. Might I suggest the best starting place is perhaps to click on the 'Book Reviews' section and seek out some of the four star reviews?
Firstly, in autobiographies, I prefer those written after the end of a players career. Those written midway are mainly to en-cash on their popularity to make some quick money and rarely does any great effort go into doing a good and thorough job.
In biographies, I prefer those from writers who have seen the player in action rather than those who are writing based purely on research. I mean, if I need to buy a biography on Victor Trumper written by Ashley Mallett, I would seriously think if I really need it. I might write it myself Sometimes, of course, one does not have a choice and if you still want to study the subject cricketer, you will buy the book based on research. In that case, I wil try and stick to a known reputed writer like Gideon Haigh on Warwick Armstrong life.
In both cases, I prefer the life stories of older players (those I havent had the good fortune to see myself) over the more recent ones.
In the case of essays and general writings on the game including portraits of great players etc., I go for the quality of the writer more than the subject matter. The books by the master writers like Cardus, Thomson, Swanton, Ray Robinson, Martineau, Brodribb, CLR James etc are always great to read.
The more recent quality writers include Gideon Haigh, David Frith, David Lemmon, etc.
All cricketer turned writers do not make great writers (excluding the autobiographies of course) so I stick to those amongst them who I know write well like PGH Fender, Ian Peebles, Monty Noble, Trevor Bailey, Arthur Mailey and Jack Fingleton etc.
Then there are the comentators who have written books. Amongst them John Arlott, Alan McGilvray and Brian Johnston are eminently readable.
When reading books by cricketers, I never think twice if there is a book from one of the legends. Thus a book by WG Grace, or by Ranji, or Bradman or Larwood or Jessop is a must buy for me.
Finally there is the early cricket literature. The books by Nyren, James Pycroft, Richard Daft, EV Lucas or the hundreds of priceless action pictures by cricketer turned early photographer Beldam, in two massive volumes, are absolutely invaluable if one is interested, as I am, in transporting myself, spiritually, into those really ancient times cricket-wise. These books, unfortunately, are invariably expensive and except in the few cases where later reprints are available, they will make big holes in one's pocket..
Last edited by SJS; 17-08-2008 at 12:19 PM.
There are a lot of ways to start your cricket book reading, I would be tempted to read some general history books or some pen portrait type publications
There has not been a really good history of cricket book written for quite awhile, but there are some older ones around.
Try the one by Frith England V Aust. a pic. book of the history of the Ashes, there have been so many of these (I have about 5 myself) that you should find it in most 2nd hand book stores and not pay very much for it.
On Aussie cricket 'The Top 100 and First XI' is not too bad, although getting a bit old now (1987), it is quite fun as you try and work out who will be in the all time XI which is at the end of the book in a colour drawing (see if you can resist peaking before the end)
As for Bios try the Wally Hammond effort written by David Foot, great stuff
You know it makes sense.
"To go to a cricket match for nothing but cricket is as though a man were to go into an inn for nothing but drink." - Neville Cardus
"What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?" - CLR James
It is interesting to see how the players in the past, even the SUPER-super stars like Hammond, wrote much slimmer volumes than we see nowadays. The Steve waugh autobiography is a monstrosity. Since, due to generosity of my former employees, I got two when I retired, I am thinking of giving both to the gym in our club to use for weight training.
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