Does that special pool lover in your life already own 20 instructional books? How about going another direction this year and getting him or her the gift of pool history? As we like to say at poolhistory.com, a sport without history is a sport without consequence. But there's plenty of literature out there to help fill the gaps. I've included some of my favorite selections (including a couple of my own books) plus some video resources and other material. You can find each of these potential stocking stuffers online. Keep reading for all the details.
THE HUSTLER & THE CHAMP
3 GREAT BOOKS BY THE LATE, GREAT FREDDY "THE BEARD"
BANKING WITH THE BEARD
GOSPOOL OF BANK POOL
Freddy's second book, "The GosPool of Bank Pool," also runs about 200 pages long -- but about half of it is devoted to colorful anecdotes. I found myself laughing out loud as I read about Minnesota Fats, Eddie "The Knoxville Bear" Taylor, Cornbread Red and Harold Worst.
AND MORE BOOKS...
Jay Helfert's great book Pool Wars is subtitled "On the Road to Hell and Back with the World's Greatest Money Players." That's particularly apt, given that Helfert here has collected stories about Charlie the Ape, Ronnie Allen, Cuban Joe, and of course Minnesota Fats. Helfert writes about brawls and sleeping in pool rooms. He has some wonderful old pictures of a crazy skinny Earl Strickland and Buddy "Rifleman" Hall. A great read.
OTHER STUFF ...
PHOTOS BY HELAINE GARREN
In 1970 Helaine Garren shot a series of images at Bensinger’s Pool Hall while she was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago. Garren's astounding photos have won rave reviews from Slate, the Chicago Reader and every pool publication you can think of. Buy prints directly from Ms. Garren at her website, www.helainegarren.com.