best tennis books

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by urban, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Good Writings on tennis are not so frequent, if you compare it with boxing, where people like Jack London, Hemingway or Paul Gallico have left their traces. There are some nice pieces by German speaking writers like Robert Musil and Erich Kästner, who defined tennis as "duel on distance". I would make some personal choices of books, you may find on amazon oder ****, maybe its the right Christmas time now. It would be nice, if someone would add his personal favorites.
    Gordon Forbes, A Handful of summers (Foreword by Peter Ustinov). Great read on the old circuit and its great charakters like Torben Ulrich or Tappy Larsen.
    John McPhee, Levels of the game. Description of the Arthur Ashe-Clark Kent (Graebner) match, with deep sociological insight.
    Frank Deford, Big Bill Tilden. Great biography of a complex man, who invented tennis.
    Rex Bellamy, Love thirty. Best prose of a tennis writer on 30 modern greats.
    Gianni Clerici, 500 years of tennis. Wonderful pictorial book, including the picture of the racket in the painting 'Death of Adonis' by Venetian painter Tiepolo.
    Bud Collins, Total tennis. Best reference book.
    David Gray, Shades of Gray. Analytical essays on the transition of the game in the 70s (her on can add Richard Evans, Open tennis).
    Dan Maskell (John Barrett), From where i sit.Very insightful alltime lists.
    Eliot Berry, Topspin. Excellent writing on the modern game of the 90s.
    Peter Bodo, Courts of Babylon. Crictical, but sympathetic discourse on the tribulations of the modern game.
    Best Christmas wishings to all.
     
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  2. gully

    gully Semi-Pro

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  3. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    Ilia Nastase....Break point...fiction...inside scoop on the worlld of drugs , dames and professional tennis

    Laver, Rod & Emerson, Roy. Tennis for the Bloody hell of it! Tennis for the recreational player....

    Burwash, Peter. Total Tennis; a complete guide for to-day's player. (Former member of Canadian DC team, profesional coach, & TV commentator...

    All of print, but try www.abebooks.com
     
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  4. Klippy

    Klippy Semi-Pro

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    Intelligent Tennis by Skip Singleton aint too bad.
     
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  5. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Think to Win by Dr. Allen Fox
     
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  6. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Tennis for Dummies by Patrick McEnroe, a trip inside the head of our Davis Cup Captain.
     
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  7. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    300 blank pages inside 2 covers???
     
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  8. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    The Physics of Tennis

    and Technical Tennis both have great info
     
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  9. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    I've been reading "The Art of Lawn Tennis" by William T. Tilden.

    I know, it was written in 1922, but you get insight to the early greats of the game. Also, I am surprised how much and how little things have changed since then.
     
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  10. BaselDazzle

    BaselDazzle Rookie

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    Inner Game of Tennis - Timothy Gallwey. All about the psychology of your game and can apply to any other sport or activity that is heavily based on performance (e.g. music students). It's a classic, I'm surprised no one mentioned it earlier.
     
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  11. grimmbomb21

    grimmbomb21 Professional

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    I agree. By far the best tennis book, imo. "Tennis for Dummies" sucks. That was my first tennis book. It didn't help much at all.
     
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  12. Yours!05

    Yours!05 Professional

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    And the best to you urban. What a great gift your list is. "A handful of summers" is my bible and I have 5 others.
    Most of these are out of print and only available from those extortionists the "Rare Book Dealers", so I suggest the following for anyone interested:
    Abebooks http://www.abebooks.com/ is a good starting point for purchasing, but consider this as a (very) economical alternative - Find in a Library - here's an example: http://tinyurl.com/7l44p
    In case the link expires, it shows that the book is available in 4 libs in Calif. Any Public Library in the US, or Australia, can get books in from another lib for you at minimal cost.
     
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  13. bigserving

    bigserving Semi-Pro

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    Hard Courts by John Feinstein. Life on the pro tour in the pre-Courier, Graf era.
     
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  14. Tundra

    Tundra Guest

    Bud Collins Tennis Encylopedia...:D
     
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  15. Klippy

    Klippy Semi-Pro

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    Has anyone read the book "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach? I know it's not related to tennis, but it is a great inspiration for everyday life. Just wondering, because I've ordered the book. :D
     
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  16. Klippy

    Klippy Semi-Pro

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    And another classic, "The Little Prince". Has anyone read it? If so, what would you rate it out of ten?

    Sorry about getting a little off-topic here :razz:
     
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  17. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    R. Any story where a middle aged man falls in love with a child is indeed suspect.

    Or are you referring to the famous book about one of the popular and affordable wooden rackets ,of the 1950.s , suitable for juniors , the "Prince" , in which case it was 7/10 in its time. (very small sweet spot)
     
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  18. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    Thought I'd revitalize an old, excellent topic.

    The most enjoyable tennis book I've read is called Tennis Styles and Stylists by Paul Metzler (1969). It's no longer in print, but you can easily find many cheap, used copies on Amazon. The book is 218 pages long, with hundreds of excellent photographs of players, some of which I've been able to find nowhere else. Metzler's prose great, at times somewhat flowery, and he conveys a wonderful sense of excitement about the great players of the past. His descriptions of the Doherty brothers, Brookes, Tilden, Vines, Perry, Budge, Kramer, Gonzalez, Hoad, Rosewall, Laver, and many others, are more than worth the price of the book. After covering the history of the game in excellent detail, and providing acute analyses of various players' styles, Metzler gives his answer to the timeless question of who is the GOAT (c. 1969, anyway). I know it's a well-worn question, but Metzler's discussion of it is probably the best I've read, and his conclusion would surprise pretty much anyone.

    As a collector's piece, I have a fantastic book called R.F. & H.L. Doherty on Lawn Tennis (1903), written by two of the finest and most charismatic players of the pre-World War I era. If you're under the impression that stroke technique and game strategy weren't seriously considered or discussed before Tilden's time, this book would quickly change your mind. As Metzler writes: "It has been argued by the old school that from the first Wimbledon to the Doherty era the main improvement was in players, and that since the end of the Doherty era the most noticeable improvements have been in rackets, balls, and court surfaces rather than in play" (p. 17).
     
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  19. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    which do you think is better, “Tennis Record Book” compiled by Rino Tommasi, or Total Tennis?
     
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  20. Chadwixx

    Chadwixx Banned

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    Yep one of the best books ive ever read.

    I liked brad gilberts winning ugly too. His other stuff isnt good but that book was.
     
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  21. Starlite

    Starlite Semi-Pro

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    I'm currently reading it in French! Very good story, I'll rate it when I'm finished, but so far I give it an 8.
     
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  22. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    McPhee also wrote another great sports book,
    "A Sense of Where You Are: Bill Bradley at Princeton".
    It is interesting to note that this book was written when Bill Bradley was 22, a testament to McPhee's eye for true greatness.
    This book is really about LIFE, the reader can be totally disinterested in playing or watching sports and still learn from it.
     
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  23. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Nice add, Camilio. McPhee wrote another good tennis book 'Wimbledon-A Celebration', 1971, with good pictures of the Life photographer Eisenstein.Its a long essay on the Wimbledon tournament in 1970, starting with a expressive description of the aging Lew Hoad.
     
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