Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor - Warning: Book Club!
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Warning: Book Club! 09/27/2006 - 2:53 PM

With October being national book month in the U.S.—though as a one-time listener of WMMR in Philly, I 'll never think of it as anything other than Rock-tober (you know, the month that rocks)—Kamakshi Tandon, the editor of, and I are going to spend a week talking about one of the great tennis books, Too Soon to Panic, by Gordon Forbes.

This is Forbes' 1996 follow-up to his famous A Handful of Summers, and as I've been finding out over the last few days, it's very nearly as good. In Panic, Forbes, an ex-player from South Africa, wanders the tennis circuit in the early 1990s and looks back at his days on the amateur version of the tour in the 1950s and 60s. Of course, Kamakshi already knew this, as she read the book long before I had even heard of it.

We'll start posting on Monday, Oct. 2. If you want to check the book out, go here. Though Amazon lists just seven copies, so you may have to take our word on this one.

Next month, we're planning to read one that's a little easier to find: The Rivals, by Johnette Howard, about Chrissie and Martina.


Posted by Chris fan 09/27/2006 at 05:36 PM

The Rivals is great! Good pick! So excited to begin that discussion!

Posted by skip1515 09/27/2006 at 08:20 PM

"A Handful of Summers" is probably the finest book written about tennis in the world before the Open era.

No, check IS the finest book about what it meant to be a tennis bum, especially for readers who were born after, oh, say 1965, for whom "tennis bum" is an oxymoron. I mean, come on, the 100th player on the INDESIT board has earned $117,000 this year. The word bum does not apply.

I have not read "Too Soon to Panic", but Forbes' writing in "Summers" is so good that I'll go out on a limb and recommend "Panic", too. You don't have to understand what the phrase "tennis bum" meant to appreciate the word "elegiac", and that's Forbes' memoirs to a t, along with another word: humorous.

Posted by Joshua 09/27/2006 at 09:30 PM

I'm not an English genius that you are supposed to be but "it's very nearly as good" is not quite proper English. Get a clue, Tignor.

Posted by Forbes 09/27/2006 at 09:35 PM

Get a tree, Joshua

Posted by ptenisnet 09/28/2006 at 11:57 AM

What's wrong with "it's very nearly as good" ?

Posted by Daniel Stern 09/28/2006 at 02:55 PM


I'm in the process of reading The Rivals. Let me know if you want any help with anything.


Posted by vanfan 09/30/2006 at 05:57 PM

I loved The Rivals. Perhaps I shall reread it.

Posted by my 10/01/2006 at 01:00 PM

I am rereading The Rivals now and waiting for a copy of To Soon to Panic to arrive.

Oh yes, I am supposed to be grading....hmmm, what shall I pick to do?

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