Auto Racing

Burn rubber.



The Race and Ritual of the Indianapolis 500

By Terry Reed


For nearly a century, America has hosted one of the world's greatest sporting events, the Indy 500. Reed entertainingly expounds on the hundreds of men and handful of women who have competed as well as how the race has affected segregation, gender politics, and publicity stunts, among other things.




He Crashed Me So I Crashed Him Back

By Mark Bechtel


Before stock car racing became a major-money sport, its competitors were a collection of wild characters who occasionally brawled, sometimes crashed each other on purpose, and always made things... interesting. Sports Illustrated writer Bechtel puts the focus on one of racing's craziest years, 1979, and how what happened then shaped the NASCAR of today.




White Lightning, Red Clay, and Big Bill France

By Dan Pierce


When mechanic Bill France finally got NASCAR started in the 1930s, its drivers were racing during the day and running bootleg liquor late at night. And any disagreements on the track were handled with fistfights in the infield. Pierce boldly tells the story of stock-car racing's brutal, romanticized early years.



Fast Guys, Rich Guys, and Idiots 

By Sam Moses


Sports Illustrated motor-sports writer Moses goes all George Plimpton and joins a racing team, crashing a few times while getting the full immersive lowdown on what it's like to be in the pits for a major sporting event. He travels from small-town races to some of the sport's biggest events.





Driving with the Devil:
Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR

By Neal Thompson


NASCAR may promote itself as family-friendly to its more than 75 million fans, but its origins involve a truckload of extremely non-family-friendly characters looking to make a few extra bucks. Thompson chronicles how this gang of Prohibition-era bootleggers and ne'er-do-wells managed to build a billion-dollar industry.

July 26: On this day in 1602 "A booke called the Revenge of Hamlett Prince Denmarke" was entered in the Stationers' Register by printer James Robertes.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).