#2 -- "Brilliant Orange: the Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer" by David Winner
There's a section in this book that discusses the "moral aspect" of penalty kicks, and I found myself trying to imagine how it would go over if you tried to talk about the "moral aspect" of the shootout in the NHL or instant replay in pro football. You'd probably get your head kicked in. "Brilliant Orange" is marvelously quirky. Winner's smart enough to not push his general idea (the Dutch personality is mirrored in an odd attitude toward soccer, one that prizes form above results) too much and just go to it when it's fitting or fun. I haven't been to the Netherlands since I was five; everything I read makes me want to go now. And reading this makes me wish that similar skill would be applied to writing about some other sports.