Thursday, August 14, 2008

Booking Through Thursday--Gold Medal Reading

Here's this week's Booking Through Thursday question:

You, um, may have noticed that the Olympics are going on right now, so that’s the genesis of this week’s question, in two parts:


  • Do you or have you ever read books about the Olympics? About sports in general?
  • Fictional ones? Or non-fiction? Or both?

And, Second:

  • Do you consider yourself a sports fan?
  • Because, of course, if you’re a rabid fan and read about sports constantly, there’s a logic there; if you hate sports and never read anything sports-related, that, too … but you don’t have to love sports to enjoy a good sports story.
  • (Or a good sports movie, for that matter. Feel free to expand this into a discussion about “Friday Night Lights” or “The Natural” or whatever…)
And here's my answer: I've never read anything about the Olympics, though I am enjoying watching them, as usual. I tend not to read sports books at all, unless the sport element is incidental. For example, I just finished and enjoyed Joseph O'Neill's novel Netherland, which is sort of about the world of cricket, though fortunately, he does not spend much time describing the actual game play.

I'm not a sports fan, but I come from a family of sports fans. I enjoy playing some sports, but not the team variety. I haven't read many books with sports in them, but I've enjoyed many movies with a sports setting, like "The Natural", which was mentioned above. I also loved "Bull Durham", which I just watched again recently. Baseball seems to have a lot of quirky atmosphere that lends itself to movie storytelling, at least.  A good friend of mine wrote a fun baseball movie called "Little Big League", which is very entertaining, too.  He's kind of a renaissance guy, my friend Greg, as he is a fiction writer, poet, and also a blogger--check out his poetry and other great stuff at Gotta Book.

As far as other sports go, I'm sure there must be some good books out there in a sports setting.  Do you have any recommendations?


SmilingSally said...

Sports are best watched not read.

Gentle Reader said...

smilingsal--I think you're right. Either watched or participated in :)

Jeane said...

How funny that this is BTT's question of the week. I've never been a sports fan nor read books about them, although watching the Olympics has made me curious about some that I might someday. My husband is an avid sports fan and keeps trying to find good books about sports to get me more interested!

Gentle Reader said...

jeane--my husband has definitely read more books about sports than I have. But he's never read anything that he thought I must read. He keeps on looking, though!

Bybee said...

I love to watch baseball and read about baseball...and I'm a fan of Bull Durham.

I saw a cute movie recently about curling called Men With Brooms. Canadian.

Anonymous said...

I'm no a sports fan and I haven't read anything about the Olympics. I do have started a novel with a sports setting. It's about a coach who falls in love witha football player. Gay theme. It's written by a woman and the book is called The Front Runner.

Anonymous said...

This seems pretty tough. I can't think of ONE book on sports! A few movies yes, but a boo? Hmm ...

Gentle Reader said...

bybee--I like going to live baseball games, but don'st stay focused watching on TV, or listening on the radio. Haven't seen Men With Brooms, but looked it up--does sound cute!

matt--hope The Front Runner is good--let me know!

aloi--I know, it's hard to think of any books with a sports theme...I think Anne LaMott wrote a novel set in the world of tennis, but that's about all I could come up with when I thought about it :)