Introducing ... the Rock M Book Club

It's a long offseason, and while football and the Guide to Columbia will still generate a good amount of discussion, I thought I'd introduce an idea that's been percolating in my head for a while (and likely came to fruition after I saw the possibilities of book discussions in yesterday's Roundtable comments): the Rock M Book Club.

In the coming weeks, I will begin a series of reviews of books that may or may not be Mizzou- or sports-related -- books I think the community may be interested in reading and discussing.  The urge for something like this came about from two sources: 1) the fact that I've been reading a ton of books I think others may find interesting, and 2) the Roll Bama Roll reviews section has been very interesting and entertaining to follow.  While I intend to discuss a wide assortment of books on my own, I want to encourage others to do the same.  Post book reviews in FanPosts, and we'll promote some of them to the front page.  Want to take a stab at Atchison's True SonsTo Kill a Mockingbird?  Anything in between?  Go right ahead.

I'm not actually writing a review today -- instead, I'm going to introduce three books I'll be talking about in the future, in case anybody wants to purchase it and join the conversation.  Here are three I will definitely be talking about:

Forty Minutes of Hell: The Extraordinary Life of Nolan Richardson


I'm halfway through Rus Bradburd's Nolan Richardson biography, and it is thus far excellent, covering in interesting detail Richardson's young life in El Paso; his move from the junior college ranks to Tulsa, then Arkansas; his daughter's struggle with Leukemia; his battles with Frank Broyles, and more.  Every step of the way, he goes into great detail about the history of each location and the background of the key characters.  I'm zooming through this one pretty quickly (for me, anyway), so expect a review soon.

Ol' Mizzou: A Story of Missouri Football


The most definitive (and uniquely-written) summary of Mizzou's football history (even though it cuts off in the early-1970s), Bob Broeg's book, which I have referenced approximately eleventy billion times in my Mizzou History pieces, is required reading ... if you can find a copy.  Amazon usually has a handful of used copies (side note: the Amazon used books section is one of the greatest creations in the history of the world ... you can find just about any book ever written from some seller somewhere, and I have utilized it significantly ... almost too much, really), and I would recommend snatching this one up if you get the chance.  Broeg's breezy, old-timey writing style offers you quite the unique reading experience.

The Thin Thirty


I referenced this book in last year's write-up of Missouri's 1965 season (and exchanged e-mails with author Shannon Ragland), and I feel I should give it more than just a passing reference.  I'm sure you've heard all about Bear Bryant and the Junction Boys ... well The Thin Thirty shows you what happens when the brutal, almost inhumane style of training and coaching that Bryant used so successfully backfires.  I mean ... they set up basically an ultimate fighter ring in a racquetball court, for god's sake.  Anyway, this book starts slow but is a very worthy read.

So there you go.  Those are the first three books on the docket.  Feel free to snatch them up and join along -- if I do my job well, you'll want to buy them and read them when I'm done with the review anyway ... so you might as well go ahead and do it!

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