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Summer Reading List, Pt. I

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Back to school prep, get to reading.

Read. It’s good for you.

I know at this point in the summer you’re digging deep to find an Auburn fix of any kind. It is the dog days after all (but not the dawg days, thank goodness). If you’re still into the feel of a good old-fashioned book in your hands, then some of these might help fill the hole left by the middle of July and its lack of Auburn football.

LIGHT BEDTIME READING

THROUGH THE EYES OF A TIGERS: A Book By Auburn Fans... For Auburn Fans

Read. It’s good for you.

This collection of over 50 short stories compiled by Tim Stanfield, Mark Stanfield, Illia Ayers, and David Kessler is “tailgating in book form” — essentially what you hear about years past while waiting for Tiger Walk or meeting with you friends in the shadow of Jordan-Hare Stadium. First published in 2003 and dedicated to Jim Fyffe, the book features memories of Auburn from dozens of writers, ranging from Greg Carr rehashing his time on the field, to The Syracuse Post-Standard’s Bud Poliquin and his well-known piece, “Go to Auburn, Be Forever Changed”. It even features such tales as a makeshift Iron Bowl fought during the Battle of the Bulge, but it includes many more stories that could’ve been lived by you or me. They’re the ones that we’ve all experienced — the benign Saturdays with family that hold more memories from the tailgate than the game, or the raucous road trips that result in a hard-earned win over a top team. All in all, there’s not a story that won’t reach you in some way, and it’s a great book for five to ten minutes of light reading.

THE KICK SIX

SEASON OF SATURDAYS: A History of College Football in 14 Games

There really hasn’t been a full-on book written about the Kick Six just yet, so we’ll have to stand for a chapter at a time for now. Don’t literally judge a book by its cover in this regard, even though it’s got Bear Bryant on the front. The author, Michael Weinreb, saves the best for last.

SEASON OF SATURDAYS is laid out in a perfectly interesting way — a single game in history chosen to represent a single weekend in a football season. The fourteen most important games in history complete an entire year. Weinreb, a Penn State grad, begins with the original game (Rutgers-Princeton 148 years ago), and tracks college football through its largest moments: Notre Dame-Army 1913, and the popularization of the forward pass; Michigan-Ohio State 1969, the beginning of Woody vs Bo; and November 30th, 2013 and the Iron Bowl.

For roughly ten pages of the chapter you get to read about the buildup of Saban being Saban, and then the final few pages are deliciously sweet, as a fan of an uninvolved team explains his version of the “Holy *&%#” factor of the moment, the play, and the aftermath.

The rest of the book is fantastic as well. You’ll learn a lot about some of football’s biggest moments.

FOR THE PICTURES

BODDA GETTA: Auburn’s Remarkable Run

A coffee table book that I’d attempt to steal if I didn’t already own it, here we get to see a compilation of the Opelika-Auburn News’ game articles and photos from the 2010 season. Vasha Hunt’s fantastic camera work is on display with plenty of Cam, Fairley, Darvin, Blake, Lutzenkirchen, and all the rest. It’s organized game-by-game so you get to read a standard game recap and a more in-depth article, all surrounded by photo after photo of gritty on-field action.

Also included are sections on Cam Newton’s Heisman victory, and several pages of fan shots from the season. If you were lucky enough to have seats close to the field, witnessed Tiger Walk, or sat in the student section during the 2010 season, there’s a pretty good chance you might find yourself or someone you know shouting in the pages of this one. Plus, there are plenty of shots of the infamous Chizik jacket-shirt. Can’t lose.

Disclaimer: I promise I’m not being paid to promote these books.