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'Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart'

By Gordon Livingston, M.D.

DaCapo, $12.95 (softcover)

This book, subtitled "Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now," was a bestseller in hardback. In a collection of essays, the author, a psychiatrist, discusses how we can face loss, misfortune and regret, then move on to become a better person.

Somehow it seems comforting to have 30 things to learn rather than the usual 10. Livingston also writes in paragraphs rather than sound bites. Some of his topics are realizing that childhood traumas have expired; we sometimes build prisons for ourselves; only bad things happen quickly; doing the same things will probably bring the same results; we should not lie to ourselves; we are often afraid of the wrong things; parents have limited ability to shape the behavior of their kids, except for the worse; the ability to laugh is profoundly therapeutic.

The author creates an aura of wisdom about a great many things.

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'A Champion's Mind'

By Pete Sampras with Peter Bobo

Crown, $24.95

Some say Pete Sampras is the greatest tennis player ever. Until now, Sampras has been shy about saying what he thinks or letting anyone inside his head.

But in this book, he concedes that he has a "gift," but also points out the price he has paid to win game after game.

Sampras speaks frankly about an early devastating loss to Stefan Edberg; a four-hour match against Alex Corretja; difficult on-court battles with rival and friend Andre Agassi; and a highly successful match at the finals of the 2002 U.S. Open.

He also writes about how he met his wife, Bridgette Wilson, their first awkward date, their first child and the important role Bridgette plays in his life.

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'Always By My Side'

by Jim Nantz with Eli Spielman

Gotham Books, $26

Jim Nantz, the voice of CBS Sports, has covered most of the network's sporting events since 1985. His book, subtitled "A Father's Grace and a Sports Journey Unlike Any Other," pays special tribute to his father, who is suffering from Alzheimer's.

Nantz describes the unprecedented 63-day stretch from February through April 2007 when he became the first broadcaster to call the Super Bowl, the Final Four and the Masters. There's quite a lot of name dropping here, starting with the first President Bush and concluding with a plethora of sports greats, but it's an interesting book.