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?
- 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…)
I watched part of the opening ceremonies last Friday, and I've watched more than that in past years, but for the most part I simply can't muster the interest in sitting in front of the TV screen. In other words, no one would ever mistake me for a sports fan.
I've read about the original games in my history reading, but never a book about the Olympics. I feel that I ought to read Tom Wolfe's The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamlined Baby, or at least the part about Wilkes County and Junior Johnson (one of L.'s cousins was a race car driver--killed when a tire blew up-- and another relative's family owned the track there), but so far I haven't made an effort to secure a copy. NASCAR, eh. I try to ignore it but it's always there in the background.
My lack of interest does not apply to sports that involve horses. From the Black Stallion and National Velvet and Ralph Moody's Come On, Seabiscuit when I was a child to Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit, I've read a lot of books about horse racing.
Outside that area of interest, I've managed to read either Dan Jenkins' Semi-Tough or Peter Gent's North Dallas Forty (I honestly cannot remember which) for a novel about football, and, for baseball, David James Duncan's The Brothers K and Russell Rowland's In Open Spaces. And I did actually read nonfiction about basketball back in high school: I'd been hired by the local newspaper to be the sports stringer (can you imagine?!?!) for my high school and I figured I ought to learn something about the game.
Anything beyond these will require a bit more caffeine flowing through the system.
Booking Through Thursday