Hockey family, with all of us under work from home, social distancing, isolation orders, Hockey, by the book thought that it was high time that we posted a reading list for you. With all of the time that we are collectively spending in our homes and extra time with the lack of a commute, there is more time to read. If you want to start at the beginning, check out my other articles.
Side note to our medical, first responders, and anyone else that cannot work from home, you are the heroes that we all need.
Now to the reading list. I will break this down in the following categories with a little bit about each book. Some might have been covered in Hockey, by the book. For the others, you might see them in the future.
Let’s start with memoirs. The memoir is the cornerstone of hockey books. Who amongst us has not fallen into the pages of a magnificent and powerful book like Ken Dryden’s The Game?
This book is the most recognized and one of the most-read hockey books of all-time. With good reason. Dryden sets the stage for nearly every hockey memoir/book that followed after it. It is widely regarded as one of the best books on any sport, period. He expertly paints the picture of life as a goalie for the Montreal Canadiens. It includes anecdotes about life on and off of the road and in and out of the spotlight. His eloquence at a time when sports personalities were thought of as “dumb jocks” set the bar high for all that follow.
From Behind the Red Line
Hartje’s book: From Behind The Red Line, a North American Hockey Player in Russia, published in 1996, is an underappreciated work in my opinion. This book chronicles the first North American player to cross behind the red line . It has become commonplace now for players to move between the NHL and the KHL but at the time it was a one-way trip for former Soviet players to come to the NHL. Hartje outlines the life in Russia. The training, brutal and conducted in camps in which players lived for months at a time. The Russian players and their manner of playing and playing around, including some ways that they dodged the state to buy and keep cars and sneak around under constant surveillance. This is still great read 25 years later. If for nothing other than his descriptions of soot-covered cities and unusual living on and off of the ice.
Orr My Story
In My Story by Bobby Orr, the enigmatic character that is Bobby Orr breaks through his carefully crafted veneer. However, even with that crack, the end of the book still leaves the reader wanting more. We’ve all seen the footage of the flying goal. The incredible goal in 1970 in which Orr scored on the St. Louis Blues goalie Glenn Hall to seal the deal on Boston’s first Stanley Cup in 29 years. Sadly what we didn’t see were the aching knees that cut short the career of arguably the best defensemen to play the game. He outlines the betrayal of his brother. His brother also served as his agent and left Orr nearly broke before he was done. There are so many other moments like these in which Orr is ready to let his guard down and does so.
Looking forward to sharing more of these with you over the coming weeks.
Got a book recommendation or one you want to mention? Let us know over on the ABNT Forum!