Category Archives: Books

Worth reading

I don’t have time to write much but want to recommend an article and book that I’ve read recently.

The article, The forgotten story of … Jeff Hall, the footballer whose death turned tide against polio, was in the Guardian yesterday. I haven’t forgotten him. He was my favourite player and I was devastated when he died. As well as being a good but sad read, it has a great photo of him making a sliding tackle on a snow covered pitch.  Continue reading

Football or friendship?

Turning My Back on the Premier League is the story of a Man U fan who decided to follow his local team instead.  His local team is Dagenham & Redbridge and the book is an account of going to their games in the 2013/14 season. I haven’t finished reading it yet but would recommend it; it’s a good read. Continue reading

You draw some

As Jasper Carrott once said, “You lose some, you draw some.”  And Birmingham City have drawn their last four league games. And a draw doesn’t seem quite so good as it did when we drew with Wolves in November, a magnificent result in comparison with our 0-8 loss in the previous game. Continue reading

Tor! The story of German Football by Uli Hesse

You don’t have to be a fan of German football to enjoy this book. It’s packed with great stories of the characters that have enlivened German football from the days when it was seen as a dangerous foreign pastime up to May 25, 2013 when two German teams met in the Champions League final. It also discusses the difference between German and British fans’ views of their clubs. I have a feeling that Birmingham City fans are divided into two groups: those that are content to be customers and those that want to be more connected as German fans are. Continue reading

No magic solutions

I try not to spend my whole life thinking about Birmingham City but the worry about it lurks in the back of my mind. I can start off thinking about something completely different and my mind finds a way to relate it to the sorry state of modern football.   Continue reading

A pile of books

I did it again today. I went into a bookshop intending to collect two books I’d ordered and ended up buying two more that I saw as I walked through the shop.  The two books I’d ordered were to give away to friends. Not only am I addicted to books, I also try to push them on friends. Continue reading

“Richer than God” by David Conn

My aim in writing this review is not to give a balanced account of the whole book but to explain why I think it should be read by fans of all English football clubs and not just those who support Manchester City.  The subtitle of the book is “Manchester City, Modern Football and Growing Up” and the middle phrase, “Modern Football”, refers to David Conn’s account of the business of football.

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Thank God for antidepressants!

The title of this post is the title of a book written by Jane, a friend of mine.  It tells the story of her journey through depression and all the questions that it threw up. She moved from asking if she should be taking antidepressants to trying to find the one that was best for her, with side effects that she could live with.  It’s a personal memoir not a text book and she stresses the need for expert help in her search to find out what worked for her. She also makes it clear that the medicine that suits her won’t suit everyone.

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Night and day views of concentration camp

People react to suffering in different ways and the authors of two books* on my worth-reading list came to diametrically opposite conclusions about God following imprisonment in a concentration camp. Elie Wiesel’s faith died when he arrived at Auschwitz and saw bodies in pits being consumed by fire. Corrie ten Boom also saw terrible sights in Ravensbrück but emerged with her faith in God intact.

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“The Gift of Pain” by Dr Paul Brand and Philip Yancey

This book is about pain and its value.  It is written as a memoir of Dr Paul Brand, whose professional life revolved around the theme of pain.  As a child in India he observed pain and suffering as he watched his missionary parents treating those who came for help.  His parents were not doctors but had a little medical training that enabled them to treat ailments and, when necessary, extract teeth.  Some of the treatments Paul Brand watched were messy and revolting and made him decide that the last thing he wanted to do was to become a doctor.

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“The Beautiful Game?” by David Conn

There is no mention of Birmingham City FC in this book but it contains much that explains the current plight of the club I support.  The book explains how the clubs that were started in workplaces, schools and churches evolved into professional teams and why ticket prices have risen so much that many people can no longer afford to go and watch what used to be called the people’s game.It explores the reasons why so many clubs have been insolvent at a time when there is so much money in the game. It is well researched and well written by a fan who loves the game.   It’s a must-read for anyone who cares about football and wants to understand what has gone wrong with football in Britain.

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