Monday, October 25, 2004

Essential reading to pass the lockout  

A couple of weeks ago, I compiled a list of hockey books that I wanted to write an article about. Since it looks like I won't be getting to that for a while, here's the list with Reader's Digest Condensed comment/description of each. I hope to provide more detailed reviews of many of them throughout the long, NHL-less winter.

The Silver 7

The must reads...

1. Tropic of Hockey - Dave Bidini

The best of the best. Ode to hockey meets travel diary. Funny, engaging read.

2. The Game of our Lives - Peter Gzowski

A season with a budding, dynasty-bound Oilers team. Especially good for Oilers fans, but a great read for anyone.

3. The Game - Ken Dryden

The classic. The most intelligent, insightful, hockey book ever written.

4. Anything by Roy MacGregor (Home Team, Home Game (with Ken Dryden), Road Games, or The Last Season (novel))

Can't go wrong with Roy MacGregor.

5. Finnie Walsh - Steven Galloway

My favourite hockey novel. Funny, touching, quick read with memorable characters.

6. The Good Body - Bill Gaston

An aging (and ailing) minor league journeyman adjusts to college and single life after hockey.

7. The Hockey Sweater - Roch Carrier

A classic.

"Wearing my Maple Leafs sweater I went to the church, where I prayed to God; I asked him to send, as quickly as possible, moths that would eat up my Toronto Maple Leafs sweater."

Top Prospects

Have yet to read, but look promising...

1. Hockey Night in the Dominion of Canada - Eric Zweig

A fictionalized account of hockey around the turn of the century featuring the Ottawa Senators and Renfrew Millionaires. Since originally making the list, I've finished this one and although it's great at giving a sense for hockey as it was played in 1910 (and life in general during that time), there's also a superfluous conspiracy plot that the players must thwart. Worth a read, but it doesn't crack the top list.

2. Salvage King Ya!: A Herky-Jerky Picaresque - Mark Jarman

From what I've read, one of the best hockey novels written. Currently the Sidney Crosby of hockey book prospects, I'm hoping it won't turn out to be the Alex Daigle or Pat Falloon of prospects.

3. Hockey Dreams: Memories of a Man Who Couldn't Play - David Adams Richards

A hockey book (with a title that could describe many of us) from one of Canada's best writers.

4. The Physics of Hockey - Alain Hache

For us geeks, a look at the science behind the game.

5. Roger's World - Wayne Scanlan

A soon to be released bio of Hall of Famer, and former Sens coach Roger Neilson by Citizen columnist Wayne Scanlan.

Sentimental favourites

The first hockey books I remember reading...

Gordie Howe Number 9 - Jim Vipond (Permanently "borrowed" from Grandaddy's bookshelf)
Pi-Oui - Suzanne Martel (the only french book I've ever read twice!)