NEED GIFT IDEAS? JUST THROW THE BOOKS AT ‘EM

Give the gift of reading. That’s what we say around here. And with only two weeks until Christmas, you’d better get moving to catch these brand new sports books, hot off the presses for the holiday season:

* “BETCHA FIVE BUCKS THAT CAKE DON’T RISE” — The Pete Rose Cookbook.

* “THEY SAID WHAT?” The Jon Koncak Story.
* “EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW, I AIN’T LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN” — The World According to Sparky Anderson.
* “THE 1989 NFL BOUNTY GUIDE,” by Buddy Ryan. In which the Eagles coach admits there is indeed a bounty system in professional football, and lists names and prices. Biggest Catch: John Elway. “We’ll pay up to $475 for knocking him out,” writes Ryan. “Of course, if you break his leg, it’s $500.”
* “NO MAS SUGAR RAY, MAS CREAMPUFF,” by Roberto Duran. The former champion takes readers on a “personal journey of self- discovery” — stopping at every doughnut shop in North America.
* “PETER KLIMA PACKED A POKE OF PICKLED PISTONS,” by Jacques Demers. The jolly Red Wings coach writes children’s stories in his unique style. Holiday favorites include “Goldiloops and Da Tree Defensemen” “Rudolph, Dat Checking Reindeer” and “Frosty Da Snow Head.”
* “SCRATCH ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM” — The body language of baseball. That’s some attentive attendant
* “YOUR KEYS, MR. JORDAN” — The private life of NBA superstar Michael Jordan, as written by the parking attendant in his apartment building. “Sometimes Michael does a 360-degree turn,” says the author. “Other times, he just banks the car off the wall.” 118 pages, action photos.
* “HAF U SEEN MY TEEF?” by Claude “Efferdent” LeMolar. The confessions of a veteran NHL hockey player who locked himself out of his hotel room one night, and has been incomprehensible ever since.
* “IT’S HARD TO BE HUMBLE WHEN YOU SPARKLE IN THE DARK,” by (Neon) Deion Sanders. In this no-holds barred autobiography, the outspoken Atlanta defender takes on the media, his teammates, and the American Jewelry Association, for not using enough rhinestones in their Zodiac pins.
* “WHY MEN STINK,” by Margo Adams.
* “WHY WOMEN STINK,” by Wade Boggs.
* “THE WHINING IRISH,” by Lou Holtz. The famous Notre Dame coach complains about opponents, airplane food, body odor, and the sun being in his eyes. He also writes that “SMU will be much tougher next time, and we could lose.”
* “I’M OK, YOU’RE LOST,” by John Salley. A pictorial guide through Salley’s 62-room mansion.
* “TRUST ME” — An anthology of short stories by Dexter Manley, Barry Switzer, Jackie Sherrill, Roy Tarpley and Marvin Barnes.
* “THE 15 MINUTE MILLIONAIRE,” by Bill Lajoie — A novel about an imaginary Detroit general manager, who, after being turned down by five premier free agents, decides what the heck — he might as well keep the $16 million for himself. Foreword by Tom Monaghan, who would like to know where Lajoie is right now.
* “TYSON IS A SISSY,” by Salman Rushdie. Have you got ‘Got it . . . ” yet?
* “GOT IT, GOT IT, DON’T GOT IT…” by Jack McKeon. The true story of the San Diego Padres general manager, who last week snapped up Joe Carter, Craig Lefferts, and Fred Lynn — then went to lunch. McKeon reveals how he earned the nickname “Trader Jack” beginning with the day he traded his first baseball card and ending with the day he traded in his mother and father for a new boat. With photos, 396 pages.
* “HELLO, I LOVE YOU,” by Steve Garvey.
* “THE CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND,” Conversations with professional wrestlers.
* “NOW I’M COOKIN’ ” — The long awaited autobiography of Vinnie “Microwave” Johnson, who reveals that, among other things, he is great with baked potatoes and bad with aluminum foil.
* “THE COLLECTED MIKE DITKA, 1989” — Here, in one canvas-bound edition, are the best press conferences by the irascible coach. Read such classics as “Jim McMahon is our quarterback for now,” “I’m not sure we can win another game,”
“We stink!” and “I blame myself.”

Surprise bonus: the pages are made of thin white bubble gum, which you can rip out and chew at least 14,800 times.
* “DECADE OF CHUMPIONS” — A collection of raw sports stories that might have appeared in Detroit newspapers, if not for the swift eyes of the copy editors. Includes “PIBSTONS WIN THE TITEL!” “LYIN’S BEAT BEARS,” and ‘SCHEMBECHLER TAKES A.D.’S POSITION: DANTLEY UPSET.”

Mitch Albom will sign copies of the book “Bo” and “Decade Of Champions” Friday, 5-6 p.m., at the Community News Center, Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, and Saturday, 3-4 p.m. at Little Professor of Farmington, Grand River and Halsted.

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