World Cup Reading for E-Book Fans: Two winning choices.

World Cup fever is spreading like a fan pandemic as teams from nations across the globe converge in Brazil to compete for the coveted 2014 World Cup playoffs title.

Billions of viewers have already witnessed incredible upsets, nail-biting finishes, last-minute winning goals, and plenty of drama – both on the turf and away from the stadium. Meanwhile the field of contenders is narrowing as the excitement builds toward a crescendo and grand finale. Anything can happen in this tournament, which is why football – or soccer if you prefer the United States lingo – is the most popular team sport on earth.

Of course some may argue that when it comes to solo sports, nothing beats reading. Thanks to authors who are also rabid football fans, there is plenty of interesting and informative World Cup related material for you to devour during football season.

Football Clichés: World Cup Guide

One little book that packs a surprising punch and scores a goal this year is journalist Adam Hurrey’s 61-page e-book “Football Clichés,” which covers many of the back stories of World Cup football. You’ll be educated and entertained on topics such as dark horses and underdogs, Dutch team in-fighting, the notoriously challenging “Group of Death” match-ups, why fans should not write-off the German team prematurely, and what constitutes the proverbial “perfect World Cup competition.” 

Hurrey is a London-based sports writer who specializes in soccer and has blogged about the game for more than seven years. His insightful pieces have appeared in numerous publications and on the websites of both the Guardian and the Mirror. As an Englishman Hurley has plenty to say about England’s expectations, of course, and he provides a solid preview of World Cup TV broadcasting to help fans follow all the action. Best of all, the valuable book is free (for a limited time only) from Amazon,as an Amazon Kindle e-book download.

A to Zico: An alphabet of Brazilian football.

But with the World Cup taking place in Brazil this time around, it is hard to find a more appropriate book than the brand new publication “A to Zico: An alphabet of Brazilian football.”

This gem was penned and made available by e-book just in time for this year’s World Cup. Two journalists (Mauricio Savareseand Euan Marshall)who have been following and covering football for ages, teamed up with illustrator Harry Marshall to create a gold mine of soccer data, history, and stories – all connected through the shared context of a distinctly Brazilian cultural lens.

Mauricio Savarese has a 10-year-career in journalism and has worked at Reuters, FourFourTwo Brazil, and the news website UOL – covering politics, sports, economy and general news. Major assignments to his credit include two Olympic Games, two presidential elections in Brazil, three elections abroad, and a Pope conclave. He is an expert on all things related to Latin America and Brazil in particular, and has appeared on TV, radio, and in the print media. His co-author, Euan Marshall, hails from Scotland – another country fiercely in love with football. He has worked as a South American  correspondent since 2011, based out of São Paulo, Brazil. His work has appeared in major publications such as The Mirror and The Metro, and he maintains a blog devoted entirely to the sport of soccer.

Their collaborative book, now available on Kindle, uses an A to Z format, to cover 26 principle subjects that introduce Brazil within the fun framework of soccer. You’ll find chapters dedicated to the people who play and coach the game, for example, as well as sections that describe struggles related to violence and racism within the sport. You’ll find out the exhilarating details of the historic 1950 World Cup final, when Brazil lost a home game to Uruguay. Then the authors trace that singular event through the history of Brazil’s culture, sharing insight into how it managed to have an enduring cultural impact. There are also stories about how the role of dictators and military regimes in Brazil influenced the game for more than two decades. There is even a chapter about how Brazilan football and music work in tandem to inspire one another to greater creative heights.

Taken together the 26 different facets of Brazilian football that the book delves into provide a panoramic overview of the country hosting this year’s World Cup and the sport itself, making it a valuable resource for any fan or student of world culture who loves engaging non-fictional narratives.