Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year, New Books: Sneaker Century

Well, the holidays are now officially over (the twelfth day of Christmas was Monday), and we're all back for a full week at the office at Lerner. However, we're keeping a bit of our holiday cheer; the spring season launched on January 1!


In the next few months, we'll be releasing highly anticipated young adult titles, including Kevin Brooks' Carnegie-winning The Bunker Diary; adorable picture books; and pitch-perfect middle-grade novels.


The book I want to tell you about today, though, is Amber J. Keyser's Sneaker Century: A History of Athletic Shoes, available as of last Thursday. Packed with fascinating stories and full-color photos, this school and library title should not be missed by anyone who regularly laces up a favorite pair of kicks. 


Sneakers are much much more than footwear. For example, two brand of sports shoes have engendered such a deep rivalry that one Wall Street Journal article called Adidas and Puma wearers the Hatfields and McCoys of a small town in Germany. Why, you may ask? Adidas and Puma were once one company (Gebrüder Dassler) run by brothers Adi and Rudolph Dassler. The two brothers split the company in 1948 after disagreements over policy during World War II. (I bet you can't guess which company Adi founded...) The schism resulted in an intense competition that continues to have ramifications on the two businesses today.

Keyser goes in depth on the Dassler duo, outlines the history of waffle soles, and takes a look at how brand endorsements have evolved over the decades. She also brings up the jogging fad, Run-D.M.C., changes in shoe design, and other intriguing moments in the last century-plus of sneakers. 

If you're interested in taking a peek at Sneaker Century or other spring titles, request them on NetGalley!


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