Hello, friends. How’s your summer going? Hot enough for you? Ha, ha! I’m kidding; but seriously is it hot enough for you? What’s your exact threshold for heat and how much is your body able to stand? I hope it does not exceed that temperature this summer.
Friends, it’s vacation time in the Bluegrass and, much like our own Matt and Drew over the past couple of weeks, I’m sure many of you are pondering and making plans for your own summer getaways. And nothing goes hand-in-hand more than sitting on the beach than summer beach reading. This year there’s certainly no shortage of SEC-related books to catch up on — why, since last year alone we’ve seen paperbacks emerge by or about familiar names like Nick Saban (Nick Saban Vs. College Football), Paul Finebaum (My Conference Can Beat Your Conference) and our own Cal (Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out). So where should you point your eyes in the summer of 2015 to stay abreast of all the latest SEC literature? Look no further than KSR’s guide to SEC-Related Summer Beach Reading for all your answers. And I’ll see you next week. Have a great vacation, gang.
Title: Finding a Home in Basketball
Author: Anthony Grant
Date of release: April 2, 2015 (Memento Publishing)
Synopsis: Anthony Grant reflects on finding his ideal job and surrounding himself with people he can respect and cherish.
Excerpt: “As the final buzzer sounded on our final regular-season game against Florida I looked up at the scoreboard and knew that, even though we lost, I was where I belonged. I was among the people who loved me and I knew I would stay here forever. March 12 may not have been a great day but I knew that March 13, March 14 and March 15 would still come and I would still be happy. Yes, nothing bad could ever happen on March 15. What could possibly happen on March 15, 2015 that would make this dream job less perfect? Nothing, probably.”
Title: Crazy from the Heart
Author: Will Muschamp
Date of Release: May 3, 2015 (Dandelion Books)
Synopsis: The wildly outspoken former Florida football coach details his personal strategies for success both in football and in life.
Excerpt: “A lot of people call how I react to certain situations ‘crazy,’ but I’m just a man, like any man, who goes to his work each day and does his best, screaming at referees and sidelines reporters and shrieking while I throw air-punches. And, just like any man, after work I come home and cut the eyes out of all my magazines for a collage of fear that I’m going to send to my enemies and then go downstairs to have a tea party with my cats and roll myself in saran wrap so my secrets don’t escape.”
Title: Winning by Design
Author: Frank Martin
Date of Release: June 2, 2015 (Hammer and Grain Press)
Synopsis: The South Carolina basketball coach details his rise from his early days as a high school coach in Miami to his experiences coaching collegiate basketball.
Excerpt: “I worked for what I’ve accomplished and I refuse to let anyone take it away from me. In this world there will always be those who want what you have and they’ll always be watching you, peering at you from behind your back. Just the other day I was out with my family and saw a man watching me while my back was turned. He was wearing a vest, a shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a sideways baseball cap. I could feel him judging me. Every time I looked back he was watching. Finally I turned and flew at him, bringing him to the ground in a furious explosion of plaster and metal, his arms and legs both broken off and lying on the ground and his expressionless face looking up at me, cracked and broken into a thousand pieces. And that’s why I’m not allowed in TJ Maxx anymore.”
Title: My Way
Date of Release: June 18, 2015 (Oxham Books)
Synopsis: Former NBA player and coach Avery Johnson writes on his personal style of coaching and how his methods can mean high accomplishments in the college basketball world.
Excerpt: “Every meeting with another person is the opportunity to make a connection. It’s important to remember this. When I’m at a dinner with someone I haven’t met, I go to great lengths to make a connection. First I hop up onto the table, and then I walk across the tablecloth to where the new person is sitting. Sometimes this can take forever, because it might seem like miles to me, and the salt and pepper shakers look like mountains and forks and knives are dangerous spikes, and falling food crumbs from other diners might fall from the sky and crush me at any moment. Then I hop up on a thimble with a toothpick for a sword and have a conversation with my new friend, but I have to yell really loud just so he can hear me, and also hope he doesn’t set his napkin on me.”
Title: Cooking With Kevin
Date of Release: July 7, 2015
Synopsis: Vanderbilt basketball coach Kevin Stallings shares some of his favorite recipes.
Excerpt: “…and some beef tips, some orange juice and butter, banana pudding, bacon, peppermint candy, ketchup, imitation crab meat, pork chops, potato wedges, beans, croutons, chocolate pie and macaroni, then put it all in the blender and mix it all up and eat it in a big serving bowl with a giant spoon. It’s both delicious and you’ve cleaned out your refrigerator again. It’s win-win.”