Monday, 12 September 2016
BOOK SHELF-9 Months Of Reading
Long time. All read. We've been M.I.A. for 9 months! You know us. But no nothing like that...although we have been nursing a lot of books this year. 27 to be exact. A little off the 52 for 52 goal at week 38, but let's take some off the shelf.
We started the year with some iconic pieces of literature. Including the mind-weaving plot strands of 'Cats Cradle' and 'In The Heart Of Darkness' by Joseph Conrad. Two absolute classics for any collection.
Then we moved into the arena of hoops after we found Bill Simmons epic, essential 'Book Of Basketball' in New York's Strand store for just two bucks. That's something that doesn't happen 'Any Given Wednesday'. You want some history on court? Than this textbook that references everything from 'The Godfather' to 'Rocky' is the law. This lead us to invest in more musts like the concrete classic 'Heaven Is A Playground' by SLAM columnist Rick Telander and the incredible 'Life' of Michael Jordan by our friend Roland Lazenby. You can look for our interview and review about it here if you like and watch this space for the forthcoming 'Showboat' on Kobe Bryant coming soon.
We kept it only a little off court for some inspirational reads while away. Reading late, great sports presenter Stuart Scott's moving memoir, 'Everyday I Fight'. Literally the most inspirational book we have ever read from a powerful personality who kicked cancers ass before he passed. And then whilst alone in Tokyo former NBA player turned panelist Jay Williams told us 'Life Was Not An Accident' as we found ourselves in the Far East.
Not to boast but being in Japan really meant something this year. Maybe even the next one too. So reading up was a requirement as we reached for the classic 'Memoirs Of A Geisha'. And after a good friend from work lent us a taste of 'In The Miso Soup' and the classic '69'. We learned that our boys down the train line The Beatles released four iconic albums 'Abbey Road', 'Yellow Submarine', 'The White Album' and 'Let it Be'. All in 1969.
A lot of flights meant a lot of airport reads and the only thing better than Californian crime writer Michael Connelly mixing classic characters Harry Bosch and The Lincoln Lawyer for 'The Reversal' is James Patterson moving into his inventive Book Shorts for those connections. 'Cross Kill' keeps us in the scope of our favourite detective Alex for the cross-hairs of under 150 pages. Whilst the 'Miracle At Augusta' swing was the perfect thing to get us ready for the Masters.
Speaking of memoirs you know we love movies based on books. And the start of the year had us practicing for the Oscars speeches with the revolutionary 'Revenant' as real as it is raw, 'Moneyball' writer Michael Lewis' statistical 'Big Short' and 'Concussion' probably the most important sports book and movie ever wrote. Reaching back to recent Academy classics we saw just how important 'Still Alice' is...especially when it comes to family. While 'The Drop' is definitly something you should pick up. As underrated as the Tom Hardy film it was adapted into, this is a gem from the acclaimed writer of top pages turned films 'Mystic River' and 'Shutter Island'. We even have to break our no screenplay rule here for the script of 'The Counsellor' and you should take to the sofa too. After all it is Cormac McCarthy.
Not really a movie adaptation or even a real memoir, 'The Autobiography Of James T. Kirk' is a fictitious but force of a book for any star fans who prefer treks to wars. Especially to commemorate Gene Roddenberry's creations 50th anniversary. And sorry Pine you know we're reading it in a Shatner stop-start tone, no matter how much we salute you captain. Also toeing the spine of memoirs our 'Rebel Heroes' by Fun Lovin' Criminals frontman Huey Morgan pays terrific testimony tribute to all the musicans that they just don't make like they used to and the Springsteen scribe 'Talk About A Dream'. A collection of interview transcripts from Bruce that is the closest thing we'll get to an autobiography from the Boss until the long-awaited, highly-anticipated 'Born To Run' book makes it in the post.
And then of course we had to add some greats from legendary authors to the coffee table starting with the dear departed Harper Lee's long awaited sequel to 'To Kill A Mockingbird' in 'Go Set A Watchmen' and a true chiller from the King. A shining science fiction from Stephen in the alien 'Tommyknockers'. The perfect thing to get us ready for the best show on T.V. this year, the 80's 'E.T.', 'Goonies' of Netflix's 'Stranger Things'. Not to mention an actual non sci-fi (apart from the scripted aside) from the forefather Phillip K. Dick in 'The Broken Bubble', bursting with nuclear family combustion.
But 2016 has been a sad year were we lost too many great people. And after the 'Soul Of A Butterfly' has remained our favourite book for years it was time we read more into the late, greatest Muhammed Ali, aside from the iconic cover tributes in 'Time', 'Sports Illustrated' and 'Rolling Stone'. 'King Of The World' from the editor of 'The New Yorker' David Remnick has aways been one of the greats, but to get the real picture from the page the best sportsmen of all-time himself had to have the last word with his own story. And King Ali's full autobiography really showed that the man who stung like a Bee really was, 'The Greatest'. TIM DAVID HARVEY.