Today's "Booking Through Thursdays" question is:
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 can't recall actually having read a book specifically about the Olympics. But sports in general, yes.
I am a fan of the "idea" of sports. And how do I explain that one? I like the idea of the sense of "team" and "community pride" that sports brings to people.
I can cry just hearing "Casey at the Bat". I can tear up watching Michael Phelps win his medals. But as far as being a die-hard, forever fan... that's not me. I mean, for a specific team or sport... in general, yes, I love sports.
But as far as book about sports, I do love them. I raised 4 boys... who weren't always in the "mainstream" sports, but did swimming and cross country. My youngest did football, and they all tried baseball, but the sports that stuck with them were water sports and track and field.
So, we loved to read about the underdog, the kids who came from behind to win the game... or at least have a "coming of age" experience thru sports in the story.
I think it was that "coming of age" experience in sports stories that made me love the "idea" of sports.
I am not a rabid fan, nor a sports hater, but I do love a good sports story.... particularly as you can tell from my comments above, a Young Adult or Juvenile sports story. (and I guess you can tell I have a soft spot in my heart for Children's literature).
It's good to have an appreciation of sports even if they're not "your thing".... and that is where good sports books come in. You can live vicariously through a story and have empathy for the characters, suffering with them in their "agony of defeat" and celebrating with them in the "glory of victory" and perhaps learning something about yourself in the process.
Ninety-Nine percent of the sports books I read will be fiction, but I also love to read non-fiction about the Brooklyn Dodgers.
"the Boys of Summer" and Doris Kearns Goodwin's memoir "Wait till Next Year", are two great ones.
And I love, love, love sports movies too. (Field of Dreams, the Sandlot, Bull Durham) There is still that "coming of age" theme running throughout, even if it is aimed at adults.
Don't you think?
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