Posted by: Sally Ingraham | January 24, 2009

Odd Reads, Good Reads

Looking over the new reading list I started at the beginning of the year makes me laugh a little. I’ve been reading an odd assortment of books. Take the last three I’ve finished: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, The Rusticator’s Journal: Essays About Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park edited by Tammis E. Coffin, and The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac by Freedarko.

A novel about hacking (computers, cell phones, security systems, XBoxes, anything goes,) a collection of writings about my Island home covering everything from the building of the Duck Brook Bridge to the amount and whereabouts of the coyote population, and a book about basketball.

basketballThat last book was quite fascinating. Created by a group of 5 friends and fans who live scattered about the world, it brings to vivid life some of the players the “Freedarko Collective” consider to be the “master builders”, “lost souls”, or “people’s champs” in the NBA league. With interesting biographies, bizarre charts, and funny stats, the authors and artists who crafted this book throw a fire bolt into basketball fandome, daring one and all to look at the game and the players in a new way.

I read about the book in the Mount Desert Islander and was mildly interested. One of the co-authors had lived on the Island, and his father is a current resident, so there was a little fanfare over the books publication. It was at the library the next time I went in, so I checked it out.

Even though I don’t care two figs about basketball, and know nothing about the sport except in a very general sense, the book drew me in and kept my interest. It was well written, funny, intriguing, with excellent illustrations and colorful descriptions of stats and styles. Obviously a labor of love, it seemed to me to be written by intense, passionate fans who never-the-less didn’t take themselves too seriously.

I would recommend the book to the basketball fan, but also to anyone with an interest in what makes people tick.

After all, with a heaping spoonful of curiosity, almost any book can be interesting. Apparently I’ve been proving that again to myself this month, and I plan to continue the trend throughout the rest of the year.

Hopefully my “lively curiosity” will help me get through the stack of Proust books I intend to read!

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