Saturday, 6 September 2014
Sneakers are as an ingrained part of the culture of basketball as the soles of shoes are to the blacktops of playground, hoop purists heaven sent dreams. Like tar on the heels of baby blue North Carolina to the Windy City Air of baby Bulls Chicago. From Jordan's to Kobe's. Nike to Adidas. Those weapon colourways and commercials to the and1 mixtape age. Hey, basketball fan or not those Converse you wear on your feet are a Basketball shoe created by Chuck Taylor and worn by Wilt Chamberlain when he scored a centuries worth of points. 100 years later and they STILL wont need to be changed. Through all this history the basketball bible SLAM has been there. You only need to library reference their 'Kicks' supplement Hall Of Fame but now with their first book they enter a whole new corridor. To join their latest Kicks magazine and Jordan special (in a 2014 that has also seen a throwback magazine, Iverson special and 'ChiHoops' insert to add to their sensational, revolutionary , magazine game spin-offs) this year comes their highest spin move on the hardwood yet. Always known as a hip magazine full of hops worthy ripping out the magazine like a steal and hanging off your wall like a backboard, this beautiful book is laced with glossy dome shots as pretty as their perfect picture. This is THE collectible for the purist court connoisseur. Thanks to their wonderful writers and a collaboration contribution from their classic scribe Scoop Jackson the history to the future of these trainers fit through these chapters and verse like the sock sneaks of the future. With 'Kicks' once again SLAM changes the game as the basketball bible has a new testament. Amen to the air God Jordan with a tongue in sneak pun intended. This is fresh out the box.
ALONG CAME A SPIDER: Incy, wincy spider! Ask basketball legend John Salley it was only right I read this book now. 'Along Came A Spider' introduced both bestselling thriller writer James Patterson and his hugely popular Alex Cross character to the world and millions of books sold and seemingly wrote since 1993. Patterson's James Bond and Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed in a film of the same name by the voice himself Morgan Freeman (just read this book in his pleasing baritone) and its 'Kiss The Girls' book adaptation sequel before Tyler Perry replaced him in a recent hit movie. This book however is the bookshelf chicken before the Hollywood egg and you'll breeze through these almost 500 pages of thrilling suspense like I did on a Saturday afternoon. From Disneyworld to McDonalds and deception to madness this brilliant book takes you everywhere. A classic 90's thriller of 'Fugitive' proportions, just try and cross this runaway hit. Check your water spout, this spider is amazing. Time to catch it. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
WORLD WAR Z: Last year Brad Pitt took a bite out of Max Brooks' cult classic novel and took these flesh eating pages into the walking dead. His film was dead on, albeit a different taste on the zombie genre and story. Brooks' book is the legend though. Fleshing out the story via journalistic stories and interviews. This perfectly adds to the realism of an idea that has been done to death. So much so that people have researched the real life possibilities and implications of us all trapsing the earth like teenagers. This is so good it's scary. Scary prophetic. Add this to some real cultural and political satirical observations and you have one hell of a book that takes modern day social plagues to reading task. In zombieland Brooks' battalion wins the war.
NEIL YOUNG: WAGING HEAVY PEACE: Dylan's told part of his chronicles and we're still waiting on Springsteen's story but between that we have the legendary singer/songwriter Neil Young's autobiographical legacy. From CSNY to Buffalo Springfield its quite the career 'Harvest' too for the Canadian, making quite the story from Ontario to California. It's not just the musical and literal landscape that make for quite the artistic portrait over these pages of prose. There's also a deep dedication to love and the friendship of family and vice versa that make this so much more than money and fame and famous or fond of celebrity this is what it all should be about. Funny and forthright this sweet and sincere stream of consciousness is like one of the best songs he's ever wrote. From tangled tangents to words of wisdom this is the highest note Young has hit. Even if some of these chapters feel like an advert for his purist mp3 product there's still passion between the verses and he talks just as much about his beloved attic train set. Which believe me he isn't selling to anyone. This mans life has been heavy but as he writes and we reads together we feel peace and isn't that the connection fans want to feel with their idols? Especially one like the previously perceived aloof Neil. Still this is for everyone, old and Young.
SPIKE LEE'S AMERICA: A Spike Lee joint? Well, not exactly. This book is an aspiring movie makers tour through the force of this dynamic directors filmography. From 'Do The Right Thing' to 'Inside Man' and 'Malcolm X' to 'He Got Game'. Exploring the greatest hits and cult classics of one of this generation and all-times greatest directors you'll learn more about greats from 'Mo Better Blues' and 'The 25th Hour'. Not only will this book help you learn about Lee's rich history it will also have you yearning for Spike's future plans. As a matter of fact this non-fiction is a magnificent manual that should be used as a teaching tool in film studies education. It's that analytical in its expressive reflection. Praise-worthy but also profound some of these passages are as inspiring as its subject matter itself. Sure when it comes to our favourite Knicks fan Mars Blackmon himself, nothing comes close to this legend, not even this 'Inside Man' but in knowing this, this terrific text book does ultimately and (forgive me) the right thing. You gotta have it. TIM DAVID HARVEY.