If we're in a bookstore, we'll generally pick up a book that interests us, read the dedication, the blurb, the chapter headings, and ... the first lines.
Of course, it's different when you buy a book online - and we do like it when you buy a book online from us! 😃 - you can't pick up the book and flick through a few pages. So to help you know a little more about our really good football books, we thought we'd pull out the first lines of our most recently published books to give you a taste of what they're about.
We're calling it our #firstlines series and we hope it inspires you to buy the book - for yourself or for someone else for Christmas - and support the authors (and the publisher!) who are helping to tell the history, culture and stories of Australian football one book at a time.
"It took a pandemic to trigger a global pause and some self-reflection. In 2020, Australian football was no different. Already facing a reality check on the legacy left behind by years of the Lowy family's autocratic administration of the game, it turned out an international shut down would be the trigger to have conversations we'd all previously avoided."
Matthew Hall, The Away Game (20th Anniversary Edition)
"When I was growing up, I distinctly recall dreaming of becoming a Socceroo. I couldn't see the Matildas. Girls of today - I am SO jealous! Now, every girl can dream of running out for their country one day because their heroes are right in front of them, many fast becoming household names ... and thanks to this beautiful book, they can also learn a little about their heroes along the way."
Melanie McLaughlin's Foreword, Encyclopedia of Matildas (fully updated) by Andrew Howe and Greg Werner
"The players had been given specific instructions to be at the Rosco Pronto restaurant for a 6pm sitting, no partners, no driving, no curfews and smart casual attire. Any potential fines for being late would be administered by goalkeeper Wes, although now the season was over the fines might be over too. The threat of a fine was enough to make everyone arrive in good time, and as Jarrod pulled up in his Uber, there was a throng of players at the door waiting to gain entry."
Texi Smith, Jarrod Black Guilty Party
"I had attended Greece's opening match against Argentina at the 1994 FIFA World Cup with my father. I was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 14-year-old who had charted for months how Greece could advance to the knockout rounds in that tournament. There was no limit to my optimism or for that matter my football naïveté. My dad was different. As with so many Greek immigrants, he had experienced too much of life and seen too much in football to believe that success comes so easy."
George Tsitsonis, Achieving the Impossible - the Remarkable Story of Greece's EURO 2004 Victory
It isn't possible to meet Matthew or George at the Football Writers' Festival in a few weeks, as they're both in the USA. However, Andrew Howe, Greg Werner, Texi Smith and a bunch of other writers, journalists, authors, broadcasters, football fans, readers and some very serious administrators will be there, along with each of the books quoted above - and more. Hope to see you there also!