September 1, 2008

A Stack Of Hockey Books

I'm back from vacation. I was off to Vancouver Island where the only thing more countless than beaches are used bookstores.

I was more successful at getting some good used hockey titles than a suntan. I'm not even sure how many I got, though I'm sure the unpacked pile must look something like the image above.

Of course, I have not really had much of an opportunity to read much of any of them, though I must say two recent titles look very promising.

The first is Brian McFarlane's World of Hockey. I'm guilty of dismissing much of McFarlane's work as regurgitated hockey history stories (hey, isn't that what I do at, but this McFarlane release has given me a great new respect for McFarlane.

This book is McFarlane's own autobiography and it is nothing short of amazing. Did you know his father wrote many of the Hardy Boys' novels? Or that he was junior/college hockey star in his own right? Or that a huge uproar was made when he was hired by NBC, making front page headlines? Or that he once owned a professional lacrosse team?

McFarlane opens up and gets downright personal at times. It is a really refreshing read, and I'm only 1/4 of the way through it.

The other title that really excites me is Paul Grant's Baptism By Ice. It is about an American discovering Canada through hockey. I suspect it is as much about society and culture as it is about hockey, and that is probably the best thing going for this book. That and it is hilarious, at least judging by the few snippets I have read so far.

Look forward to these two book reviews in the coming weeks. I'm back from vacation and ready for a whole new season of hockey book reviewing!


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