This the Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 5 installment of newly published (or forthcoming) titles from around the world of sports.

We Will Win the Day, Lou Moore, Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 5Included in this post are books about the history of black athlete activism, the pitching dominance of Bob Gibson and Denny McLain, Maria Sharapova’s new memoir, a global travelogue of women’s soccer and New Zealand’s rugby All-Blacks during World War I.

A total of 50 books are included in this guide, covering 10 titles in each post. Among the other book subjects in this series are a new biography of Muhammad Ali, sportswriting anthologies, the 1947 World Series and the links between the great L.A. Lakers and Golden State Warriors teams.

This list will be updated, and it is arranged in alphabetical order by title. If you’d like to suggest a book for inclusion that you don’t see here, or that is publishing later this year, please contact me at I also will be compiling a November-December guide as the Christmas shopping season isn’t far away.

Here’s are the Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 5 titles. Happy reading!

Under the Lights and in the Dark: Untold Stories of Women’s Soccer, by Gwendolyn Oxenham (Icon Books), Sept. 5 

The author of “Finding the Game” scours the globe in a rare exploration—a women’s soccer travelogue—to find out what the sport for females means not only in her native United States, but also Brazil, England, Siberia and a Danish refugee camp.Under the Lights and In the Dark, Gwendolyn Oxenham

Links: Copa90 | Wash Indy Review | Equalizer Soccer

The United States of Soccer: MLS and the Rise of American Soccer Fandom, by Phil West (The Overlook Press), Oct 17

The paperback edition to the original published in 2016, this book takes a broad look at the league’s often-struggling history, but focuses on its recent wave of popularity. Expansion continues, tapping into a fan base of under-40 Americans who’ve grown up with the game. The author, a veteran soccer journalist, takes the long view of how soccer as a spectator sport finally reached something of a critical mass  that continues to gain new followers.

Unstoppable: My Life So Far, by Maria Sharapova with Rich Cohen (Sarah Crichton Books), Sept. 12

The tennis star’s memoir, published shortly after the end of her doping ban. She recalls her childhood in Russia, her move to the United States and her stunning upset over Serena Williams to win Wimbledon in 2004 at the age of 17. Her career and life seemed destined for unparalleled greatness, with five Grand Slam titles to her name. She writes frankly about her downward spiral and why she’s estranged from many players on the women’s pro tour.

Links: Wash Post | Vogue | Time/Money | NYT | Financial Times

War Blacks, Matt ElliottWar Blacks: The Extraordinary of New Zealand’s World War I All-Blacks, by Matt Elliott (HarperCollins), Sept 26

Originally published in 2016, a story of how a squad of soldier-athletes helped forge a slice of New Zealand identity. Elliott presents the tales of more than 90 men who turned in their All-Black stripes for another kind of uniform, bearing the double silver red fern of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Thirteen of those men never returned from the killing fields of Europe, including Dave Gallagher, captain of the “Original” All-Blacks in 1905 and who died at Passchendaele in 1917. Others survived and went on to suit up for the All-Blacks and help cement its status as New Zealand’s national sport. Author website

We Will Win the Day: The Civil Rights Movement, the Black Athlete and the Quest for Equality, by Louis Moore (Praeger), Sept. 30 

A timely release of a comprehensive history of the African-American athlete’s search for equality in their respective sports and the larger society. The author, an historian at Grand Valley State University, draws heavily from the archives of black American newspapers, bookending his examination of the likes of Jackie Robinson, Jim Brown, Althea Gibson, John Carlos and Muhammad Ali with two journeymen figures who loom large in the social justice stakes at hand: pitcher “Mudcat” Grant and quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Sports Biblio’s Fall 2017 Sports Books Preview Guide

• Part 1 | Part 2 Part 3 | Part 4

What We Think About When We Think About Soccer, by Simon Critchley (Penguin), Oct. 31 

A brainy exploration of what the game means for those who play it and experience it as spectators around the world. The British-born philosopher, who teaches at the New School in New York, examines soccer’s contemporary social lines that involve race, class and gender, national, political and tribal identities, and how individuals no matter their background continue to interpret the game in fresh, new ways.Wisden at the Oval, Jon Surtees

When Lions Roared: The Lions, the All Blacks and the Legendary Tour of 1971, by Tom English and Peter Burns (Berlinn Ltd.), Sept. 1

A deep look at the British Lions’ first-ever rugby win over New Zealand in a four-match test series, and on the All Blacks home turf. Led by enigmatic coach Carwyn James, the Lions’s victory remains their only Test victory Down Under. Their achievements also galvanized a resurgence of popular interest in rugby in the U.K., leading up to the first Rugby World Cup in 1987.

Wisden at the Oval: An Anthology, edited by Jon Surtees (Bloomsbury U.K), Aug. 15

A collection of essays from the archives of the Almanack about memorable cricket tests and matches at the famous Kennington ground in South London, including the first One Day World Cup in 1975, a host of Ashes events and individual feats, among them Don Bradman’s final innings.

A Year in the Wilderness: Bearing Witness in the Boundary Waters, by Amy Freeman and Dave Freeman, (Milkweed Editions), Sept. 19

The authors, who are adventurers and educators from Minneapolis, traverse by canoe, ski, foot and dog team nearly 2,000 miles of federally protected lands in northern Minnesota, near the Canadian border, to examine its potentially fragile state due to years of nearby mining and other human activities. They write about the simple, peaceful joys of paddling through the Lake Superior National Forest, eating and camping under the moonlight and taking in the first breaths of the winter season.

The Year of the Pitcher, Sridhar PappuThe Year of the Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, and the End of Baseball’s Golden Age, by Sridhar Pappu (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Oct. 3

The 1968 baseball season that culminated with the Tigers-Cardinals World Series featured two pitchers whose dominance form the spine of Pappu’s book. The author, a freelance writer who pens “The Male Animal” column at The New York Times, sees the duels between Denny McLain and Bob Gibson as the final stage of a period of baseball before expansion, free agency and more television exposure changed the game in profound ways. Pappu interweaves the American social and cultural upheaval of the times, and during a momentous year in the country’s history.

Links: The Rumpus | Sports Illustrated | Author website

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