Hello, Loyal Readers!
Here’s some news: My tenth book, Best of Bacon: Select Cuts, will be published UM Press on May 8!
This is a collection of my 40 favorite stories I wrote between 1992 and 2018, all centered on the state of Michigan. They cover a dozen different sports for a dozen different media outlets, from the Ann Arbor News to National Public Radio, they stretch from a couple pages to a dozen, and they include features on Bo Schembechler, Gordie Howe, Ernie Harwell, and Jim Abbott, among others, plus first-person stories about getting crushed at the U.S. Open, a Detroit Vipers practice, and in Mike Barwis’s School of Pukitude. More often, they explore timeless themes—why we love sports, how we pass that passion down to the next generation, and how it will be threatened or preserved in the future. These stories speak to the value of sports, but also to our values. But they have one thing in common: they all meant a lot to me when I wrote them, and they still do today.
These stories led to the publication of six of my books, including Blue Ice, Bo’s Lasting Lessons, Three and Out, Fourth and Long, Endzone, and The Great Halifax Explosion. Almost half these stories won national awards. The Table of Contents is below.
After it comes out May 8 — just in time for Mother’s and Father’s Days — the good folks at Literati Bookstore and I will be launching the book at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 11, at the remodeled top floor of the Ann Arbor District Library, with capacity for 200 folks. So please feel free to tell 199 of your best friends!
Here’s the list:
-May 23, Chicago. Location TBD.
-May 29, Traverse City. Location TBD.
-June 12, 7 p.m. Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor.
Hope to see you on the book tour trail!
As always, THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO DO WHAT I LOVE FOR A LIVING!
“While every vignette here takes you to a different place and time, it all resonates in a familiar way: John U. Bacon reports and writes with heart.”
—Eric Adelson, Yahoo! Sports writer, awarded nation’s top sports feature, 2013
“People who think they don’t like sports probably haven’t read John U. Bacon.”
—Cynthia Canty, host of “Stateside,” Michigan Radio
“John U. Bacon tells stories the same way a coach carries out a brilliant game plan. With passion and wisdom, hilarity and poignancy, he guides you to every corner of Michigan, a place where he has an unparalleled home court advantage.”
—Linda Robertson, Miami Herald, seven-time contributor to The Best American Sports Writing
Table of Contents
A Father’s Day Gift
Don’t Try This At Home
How Coach Mac Changed My Life
The Almighty Cleavers
Hoops the Potawatomi Way
Our Unforgettable Assistant Coach
You Should Have Met Fennville’sWes Leonard
The Camp Director Puts Out the Candle
Confessions of an Idiot
Monster Bites Man at U.S. Open
Spinner Takes the Wheel
What Coaching Women Taught Me
A Crash-Course in the Barwis School of Puke-itude
Pond of Dreams: Build It, and They Will Come
Joe Louis, the Gentle Giant
Remembering Mr. Hockey
Man vs. Machine
Jim Abbott’s Biggest Struggle
Bo’s Back Where He Belongs
Tom Izzo: Iron Mountain Man
Carol Hutchins: The Biggest Winner on Campus
Harbaugh Comes Home
Red Berenson Did It All, with Honor
Halifax, Extraordinary Heroism, and Hockey
The True Story of “The Gipper”
The Big House After Hours
Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson
How President Hannah Made MSU
The Tigers’ Love for Lakeland
The Voice of the Tigers
William Clay Ford: Misunderstood Man
Money and Madness
How Title IX Changed the Nation
Ann Arbor News’ Death RuledSuicide
EMU Football Still Not Worth It
Travel Team Madness
How Michigan’s Greed Alienated Fans
How to Fix College Sports
What I Want for My Son