Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Books about Hockey

Not too long ago my hermano was rummaging through our dad's book collection acting like he actually cared about fine literary pieces. I have no shame so I proudly confessed that I only read books about hockey. I think he thought I was joking, but I wasn't. Throughout my schooling I was never a fan of English classes and only read novels because I had to, not because I actually wanted to and that sentiment has carried on till this day. During college, to take a break from the science related textbooks, I would read the usual chick book, 'Jemima J', 'The Nanny Diaries', Devil Wears Prada ' (before the movie came out), etc.

However, recently I discovered my interest in reading books about hockey. I can only remember reading one hockey book when I was younger. It was a biography about Wayne Gretzky and if I'm not mistaken, I read it when I was in the 6th grade and did a book report on it. It was the year following the Kings' trip to the Stanley Cup Finals and I was a HUGE Kings fan at the time. I don't remember the name of the book but it was a smallish paperback that I probably still have in my childhood bedroom. From what I remember it was a fun read. I learned all about Gretzky and his family and what he was like as a young hockey prodigy.

A couple years ago I read, 'The Boys of Winter', a book that briefly profiles each member of the 1980 US Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Team. I read this book not too long after the movie 'Miracle' came out and if you're thinking of reading this book, I highly suggest watching the movie before you dive into the book because of the contrast between each piece. It's really fascinating and somewhat surprising to learn that most of the players spent the rest of their lives searching for a way to regain the feeling they had when they won the gold medal. Some, like Mike Eruzione, took the medal and essentially made a career out of it. Others, like Mike Ramsey continued to have minor success in hockey and went on to play in the NHL. But for most, winning that gold medal wasn't just the high point of their hockey careers, it was the high point of their lives. Even if you hated the movie and everything it preaches, or you're a non-American and you absolutely despise hearing another story about this unbelievable moment for Americans, I seriously suggest you read the book. It's interesting to hear how twenty different people from the same gold medal winning team, could live their lives in such different states of mind due to one medal that shaped their lives for better or worse.

Next up I'll have a post on three hockey books I read within the past year.


A.Spreewell said...

First, that Gretzky book was mine and I only let you read it because I'm such a fantastic hermano.

Second, I DO care about fine literary pieces from our dad's book collection, as evidenced by the fact that those books are sitting pretty in my bookshelf collecting insane amounts of dust.

Third, anyone who didn't like the movie "Miracle" is most definitely not American.

Fourth, if you're not American and you didn't like the movie "Miracle," then you're not allowed to read or converse in the English language as you are now my mortal enemy and it's easier for me to demonize and destroy you if you don't speak English. Thanks.

k.m.stiles said...

hmmm...I vaguely remember that book being yours before it became mine...

I suppose I can understand why non-Americans don't like the movie 'Miracle' because I guess it might get old having to constantly hear that the United States is such a superior country to all the others.

Kirsten said...

Mike Ramsey is now a fantastic coach for the Wild. They lost almost every game he had to miss this season due to eye surgery.

I read the Boys of Winter my senior year of high school (so like three years ago?) and I liked it for the most part.

I don't really have time to read any more. I read a ton for school, and I kind of burn out. This summer I have a 40 hour a week job and I'm just too tired to pick up a book. It's kind of sad really.

k.m.stiles said...

working 40hrs/wk is surprisingly tiring, isn't it? I'm currently reading a book but usually only get to it when I'm on the crapper. And the weather hasn't been warm enough for me to enjoy a nice weekend afternoon reading at the beach. Life is so rough.

Kirsten said...

I know. It's horrible! Worst summer ever. First time school will ever be less work than real life.

It's always hot in SoCal, I don't see how it can be "not warm enough". I'd be reading on the beach in January there. In fact, I keep threatening to come down. I should take a look at my sports schedule and plan a trip. I think I need to see Baby Goalie in person. Smokin.