the ordinary blog
I am a lifelong football fan and am a season ticket holder at Reading FC. As I got more into podcasts so I have found mysef drawn to a twice weekly show "by Reading fans for Reading fans" called The Tilehurst End which compliments their website of the same name. I am so impressed by their effort and quality of work which is done in their spare time that when they asked for offers of help on the website I got in touch.
So for the first time my writing was to be judged by others which I was more nervous about than I expected. It should come as no surprise that when choosing a topic to write for them I chose the safe ground of books.
I was really pleased when they said they liked it and they even gave this site a mention and a link too which was incredibly nice of them. When the author of "The Sum of the Parts" Jon Keen liked it on Twitter too it was the icing on the cake. I have a detailed it below but it looks far better on The Tilehurst End site
royals books to ease football withdrawal
With two more months until the start of the new season what better way to get a Reading FC fix than by reading about them by the pool, drink in hand on holiday.
But which to choose? Books about specific teams are by their nature, niche but I am very pleased to say that there are a number of books about the Royals and I'll look at the three i've read below.
THE SUM OF THE PARTS - JON KEEN
What better way to keep the positive end of season atmosphere at the Mad Stad than to read about Sir Steve, the magical 106 point promotion and our two seasons in the Premier League.
Jon Keen is a founding member of the Supporters Trust so passion and accuracy are guarenteed but what could of so easily been a simple narrative of the players and major games is impressively crafted, by the questions he asks into an insightful and complete story. Was it simply the mastery of Sir Steve or were other factors equally or more important? The legacy of Alan Pardew, the evolution of Nicky Hammonds role and the crucial influence of consultantcy firm Catalyst are interwoven with the sheer joy of remembering those unforgetable moments.
If you have not read it I can think of no better book to get your Reading fix this summer. My next choice is a very different book. It is about the fallable superstar and when it comes to Reading FC this can only mean one man.....
The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw - Paulo Hewit & Paul McGuigan
Of all the great Reading players of the past only one is still frequently seen on the back of a replica shirt. Robin Friday. Yet I knew so little about the player or the man who has taken on mythical status until I read this book. A flawed genius he played and lived by his own rules, partying as hard as he played. As a Reading fan it is amazing that his star only shone bright whilst in our blue and white hoops.
Written by Paulo, a music journalist and ex Oasis drummer Paul with no prior knowledge of their subject they tell the story through the memories of family, players, Reading manager Charlie Hurley and a LOT of edited newspaper reports. I would of preferred far more from the authors themselves but stories are entertaining and I found myself wishing I could of been at Elm Park for the goal that lead World Cup referee Clive Thomas to say it was the best he'd ever seen.
The only similariy with Jon Keen's book is the tragic ending but it also a book about pure footballing genius and a memory of just how different football was in the 1970's
My final book attempts to cover the rest the rest of Reading's history in just 220 pages
The Little Book of Reading FC - Alan Sedunary
If you have lots of distractions on holiday or you prefer newspapers and social media this might just be the answer. A compilation of facts and stories of anything and everything related to Reading FC which is easy to pick up for a few minutes and can be read in any order.
Alan is a lifelong Reading fan who has written for the matchday programme for over 30 years and so he has a vast collection of stories and facts covering subjects as diverse as the history of womens football at Reading, quotes about all our former managers and the six best penalty shoot outs with the Simod Cup Semi Final getting the top spot.
Although it is a few years old now it is treasure trove of information about our club and well worth checking out.
If you have time for more football books this summer then here are three that will be on the plane with me on holiay in July
How To Be A Footballer - Peter Crouch
The summer sports blockbuster. Shortlisted for the Telegraph Sports Book of the Year, the reviews are fantastic. His podcast is really funny and this promises more of the same.
The Boy on the Shed -
A very different kind of autobiography this is a story of the superstar who never made it. Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book award its promises a moving account of a life in the beautiful game .
I am 43 and lucky to have a fantastic wife and 3 kids who give my life purpose and make it fun too. To pay the bills I am a Software Consultant and have been for the past (mostly enjoyable) 18 years.