Unless you've been living in a cave you know that the World Cup started last week in South Africa. The Book Beast offers up a list of the best books to read about soccer to understand the beautiful game, whether you're a newcomer or a rabid, scarf-wearing supporter.
Soccer, more than other sports perhaps, lends itself well to literature and deep thinking. The pace of the game; the gradual buildup punctuated by frenzied moments of climax or despair; the heroes and the villains and the goats all weave quite a story. If you want to read more great writing about the World Cup, the best thing going on the internet right now is the New Republic's Goal Post blog, written by Frankin Foer, Aleksandar Hemon, Daniel Alarcón, Stefan Fatsis, and others.