1. Call it serendipity but after one of the best hockey games EVER, I was thinking yet again how screwed hockey is when it comes to sports writing (baseball gets all the attention) and then I came across an odd link at Omnivoracious concerning Yann Martel (proud Canadian) and his blog project. Martel has been sending Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper a book every two weeks with a personal letter as why he thinks the book matters. Harper has not acknowledged a single title but Martel keeps on sending. Book #70 is Tropic of Hockey by David Bidini. Here's a bit from Martel's letter:
Nothing loved can be reduced to mere entertainment, to mere anything. So just as I have an exalted view of literature and bristle at the notion of art as mere entertainment and cannot fathom anyone having a good, thinking life that doesn't include reading, so Dave Bidini exalts, bristles and cannot fathom on the subject of hockey. Each one of us cares, defends and justifies what he or she loves. Put all those passions together, and you have a society, a culture, a nation. A last word, then, on Tropic of Hockey: it's the most Canadian book I've sent you.
2. My review of Notes From No Man's Land by Eula Biss is up in the new issue of Bookslut. I remain deeply impressed by her work and in awe of the first essay in particular.
3. Alan Bradley's The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag has gotten a favorable review from Booklist - it seems Flavia is still a winner, thank goodness. (I look forward to Doret's review of this one.)
4. Jenny D., ruminates on Dorothy Dunnett, The Perilous Guard, the book on style she's working on and a realization (brought with age) on what she can and can not write. As usual, the many directions her mind takes both inspires and delights me.
6. Finally, I think Michelle Obama is fabulous but how anyone could choose this biography of her for the NAACP Image Award over Mare's War or The Rock and the River is beyond me. Talk about a disappointment. I'll look for a good biography of her in a decade or so but for now, choosing this title over a very talented field for teen readers is both uninspired and weak. It's an obvious choice for the rah rah title. I'd love to know who was on the judging committee.
[If you don't know who Ryan Miller is, he won the MVP for the entire hockey tournament at Vancouver.] [And he rocks.]