Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Three Mid-Winter Book Recommendations For The Sportsman

by Monte Burke)

For the fisherman who is wearied by this brutal winter: “Salt: Coastal and Flats Fishing.” Photographs by Andy Anderson and essays by Tom Rosenbauer

I’ve read and owned plenty of coffee table photography books about fishing. Most tend to concentrate on a species, like trout or Atlantic salmon or even bonefish. But I’ve never come across a fishing book like this: One that concentrates on inshore fishing, from places like Montauk to places like the Bahamas. Anderson’s photos within are amazing, especially the cover shot, which will take your breath away. Rosenbauer’s prose nicely fills the space between the shots. What I found particularly cool about this book was the photos and descriptions of various haunts in the northeastern salt, a geographical area that’s been under-represented in past books about fishing. The only bad thing about this book? It’s only available for pre-order for the next month or so.

For those who are in football withdrawal: “Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football.” By Nicholas Dawidoff

This is a book for real insiders. By that I mean a book for those who really love football, and the NFL in particular, and who have a yearning desire to know more, from the inside. Dawidoff gets us there. He spent a year embedded with the 2011 New York Jets, access unheard of since the days of Roy Blount, Jr.’s, 1974 classic, “About Three Bricks Shy Of A Load.”

The Jets that year had a novel’s worth of interesting characters, from the earnest but at times blithe quarterback, Mark Sanchez, to the neurotic general manager, Mike Tannenbaum, to, of course, the Falstaffian head coach, Rex Ryan, the straw that stirs the drink. Mike Pettine, then the Jets defensive coordinator and now the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, also plays a big role. This book might just help get you to the NFL Draft in May.

For the historian: “Colt: The Revolver of the American West.” By Jeffrey Richardson

There’s an old frontier saying that’s a bit ghastly but nonetheless true: “God created men. Samuel Colt made them equal.” Indeed, the Colt revolver had a big hand in settling the American frontier, in large part because it was “the first practical revolving firearm capable of firing more than one shot without having to be reloaded,” as Richardson writes. In this coffee table book, Richardson lays out 100 examples of the Colt, tracing its evolution with the help of essays on the revolvers and some of their owners, including Wyatt Earp and Theodore Roosevelt.