LIANE HANSEN, host:
From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.
Our Summer Reading series continues this week with Cobi Jones, a midfielder for the major-league soccer team the Los Angeles Galaxy. Cobi Jones has played for the Galaxy since 1996, the league's first year, and with the US national team since 1992. He played in the last three World Cup tournaments. Cobi Jones is on the road nine to 10 months a year with the Galaxy or with the US team. So he often asks teammates for reading suggestions. He recently picked up one of those recommendations, "The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band," co-written by the members of the glam metal group Motley Crue and journalist Neil Strauss.
The band mates share tales of the good life. They also come clean about their hard times. Singer Vince Neil describes grieving over the death of his daughter and drummer Tommy Lee includes letters he wrote from prison to his wife. Jones was fascinated by Motley Crue's rise to stardom in 1983 after the release of their second album "Shout At The Devil."
Mr. COBI JONES (Los Angeles Galaxy): And they're talking about going through the machine, and once that big album hit, they got thrown into the cogs in the wheel and how it kind of shoots you up and sometimes the cog shoots you up to the highest level, where you become, like, legends of your time, and that's exactly where they went. They were under a microscope and it was kind of overwhelming for them.
HANSEN: Jones' reading wish list also includes some politics. He plans to read former President Bill Clinton's autobiography, "My Life," and Edward Klein's new book about New York Senator Hillary Clinton, "The Truth About Hillary."
Mr. JONES: I'm looking to basically get the information, decide what I think is truthful and not and then form my own opinion, because I have so many people on both sides saying this or that, this or that, that I would like to get solid information down, what I know is true or not and then make my own opinion and decide.
HANSEN: Books on military battles and culture are also among Jones' favorites. He was drawn into "Ghost Soldiers" by Hampton Sides. It's the story of the Bataan Death March in 1942 and how a group of Army Rangers and Filipino guerrillas helped liberate Allied prisoners of war from their Japanese captors. Jones says war stories are engaging examples of what he calls the hero effect.
Mr. JONES: I like the aspect of how--even under the most grueling of circumstances, you know, the human spirit's willingness to survive. They were all soldiers that volunteered for this mission. They didn't have to go there and do it. They were heroes of their own kind, you know, not like an athlete or something like that, but these people were willing to put their lives on the line for their fellow soldiers, their fellow human beings.
HANSEN: Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Cobi Jones. He and his Galaxy teammates play at home against the New England Revolution tomorrow to celebrate the Fourth of July. To find out more about our Summer Reading series, visit our Web site, npr.org.
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