Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Desert Island Reading

Kate and Damian have tagged me. Excellent! This should give you all some real insight as to the inspiration for a lot of my deep political thinking.

Number of books I own: 200-ish. Well over half are sports-related, mostly biographies. My grandpa died in 1990; he was a big collector (accumulator?) of these types of books, and I was fortunate enough as a 16-year-old to come into possession of his sports library. (Some of it I could never "read", per se, but it's kind of incredible - I have a book called "How To Sprint" edited by Archie Hahn).

Last book I bought: Seabiscuit - Laura Hillenbrand. Anyone who has only seen the movie is really missing out.

Last book I read: Bud, Sweat, & Tees - Alan Shipnuck. He set out to write the tale of an unknown rookie on the PGA Tour; he picked Rich Beem, who went out and made the story go a little differently by winning one of his first tournaments. Good golf book, but I wouldn't call it great. A Good Walk Spoiled is still a better choice for giving you a really good impression of life on the Tour.

5 books that mean a lot to me: Very tough question, principally because I read much, much less than I once did. Here's five that I can think of now, I reserve the right to change my mind.

1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl. The first real book I read by myself, as I recall. There's probably other Roald Dahl books I came to love more, but I'm really looking forward to introducing this one to my boys (and hoping Tim Burton doesn't cock it up this summer).

2. The Odyssey - Homer. I can think of precisely one book written more than 50 years ago that I really like, and this is it.

3. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee. My favourite classic novel, although I'm a sucker for the setting, so I really couldn't tell you if it's objectively a fine work.

4. The Mad Men of Hockey - Trent Frayne. Awesome old-time hockey primer. The story about Eddie Shore's travails trying to get to a game in Montreal (which makes this [ahem, this] look like a carriage ride in Central Park) is probably the best sports anecdote I've ever read.

5. You Could Look It Up: The Life of Casey Stengel - Maury Allen. This is merely one of the many sports biographies I'm fond of, but it's certainly one of the best. Stengel was a very interesting fellow, and as a bonus, following his playing and managing careers takes you through the heart of 50 years of baseball history.

Who are five others whose answers to these questions I'd be interested in? How about Selley, Myrick, Nancy, Harlem Spanish, and my old friend Bob Sacamano -- maybe this will prompt him to post something. All those tagged should rest assured that my feelings will not be hurt in the slightest if you duck this meme.


At 9:26 a.m., Blogger Jay said...

What have I wrought?

I'm still waiting for someone to say: "books are for insufferable pansies who never learned how to throw a good spiral"

At 10:48 a.m., Blogger Matt said...

How about, "Why aren't these memes ever about TV? You think you're better than me, Mr. 'Owns-and-Reads-Books'?"

At 12:42 p.m., Blogger *~*Michelle*~* said...

I have to tell you, I am loathing the Burton version of the Dahl classic! I grew up with that movie and can almost recite it word for word. Johnny Depp as Wonka is simply frightful!


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