The Olympics' Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Gold Medal Gaffes, Improbable Triumphs and Other Oddities, by Floyd Conner (Brassey's, 288 pages, $12.95)
Feeling suffocated by Olympian immediacies and hyperbole? Fight back. This Olympic trivia omnibus is abrim with just the sort of stuff that can set right the foolishness that takes over people who prattle that the international bask is more than just a game, or a cornucopia of games. To pay for transport from the U.S. to Athens for the 1896 Olympiad, where he won the triple jump, James Connally relied on bake sales. In the 1900 games in Paris, live pigeon shooting was a hot event -- two nonlethal rounds and you were out. From 1896 to 1932 rope climbing was an event. There is more, lots more, much of it utterly obscure and equally entertaining.