Over the last few years, Hurley to Rise has read a few books about the sport of hurling that have helped us understand the game better. We Americans need all the help we can get understanding hurling and its finer points, and sometimes a book is just the ticket.
With that in mind, I can say I wholeheartedly recommend these as Christmas stocking stuffers for the hurling enthusiast on your gift list.
“Hurling USA: America Discovers an Ancient Irish Sport” by Denis O’Brien — An exploration of the sport as it arrived in America, disappeared and reappeared in modern times. History lessons aside, the author talks to a number of modern enthusiasts about how they first encountered the sport and brought it to their own little corner of the United States. Originally an e-book, it’s now available in print form too. (In full disclosure: I am quoted in the book.)
“Ireland’s Professional Amateurs: A Sports Season at its Purest” by Andy Mendlowitz – This was one of the first books I read about hurling (and its related sport, Gaelic Football) and it delved into explaining some of the background elements of the game in Ireland. In particular it looks at how the amazing athletes who play the game aren’t compensated for their play. Instead they do play out of pride for their homeland. It’s really a foreign concept to many Americans — these guys perform at a pro sport level, but don’t get paid millions for their work. Heck, they don’t even get paid thousands for their work.
“The Wolfhound Guide to Hurling” by Brendan Fullam — This thin book offers a look at the historical and mythical roots of the game and offers some early accounts of those who reported on the sport. It supposes that the reader knows quite a bit about hurling and its legendary players, but despite those complaints it’s quite interesting.
- My review of the book.
- Where to buy it (the typical places … Amazon, Barnes & Noble)
I also have a few other hurling books in my to-read pile, but I just haven’t got to them yet. They are:
- “Last Man Standing: Hurling Goalkeepers” By Christy O’Connor
- “Hurling: The Revolution Years” by Denis Walsh
Expect a review on those in later entries in Hurley to Rise.
Do you know of any more? Care to write a review of your favorite? E-mail me and let’s work together!