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Fri, Aug 22, 2014

SPORTS: It's time again to 'Unplug & Read'

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When the weather is cold outside, we are mostly stuck inside our homes and likely in front of the television.

This week however, there is a movement around town, thanks to Read To Succeed, to “Unplug and Read.” RTS hopes that people will turn off the television and pick up a book instead.

In the past few years, technology has change the way we read books.

For most people, instead of going to the library and picking one up, they will either download or listen to it on a variety  of devices.  

But the basic idea of taking a journey inside is still the same.

For myself, I admit I am one of those people who watch way too much television. At the same time, I also do not mind reading a good book or magazine.

Believe it or not, I read more than books and magazines about the sporting world. Here are my top 11 (because, we have a vested interest in reading) fiction or nonfiction book, in no particular order.

• The Game by Ken Dryden - This book was written more than 30 years ago, but it is still one of the best hockey books ever. The former Montreal goalie gives a very honest in-depth look inside, while playing for one of the most legendary teams in the sports history.

• Ball Four by Jim Bouton - Along those same lines, this book was written during his playing days first winning a title with the Yankees, but is outspoken personality gets him traded to an expansion team.

• Any book by John Feinstein - This author has taken me on several journeys inside many sports, including the Army-Navy football game, PGA’s U.S. Open, and a season with the Indiana basketball team during the Bob Knight era. It is hard to pick just one.

• Blood, Sweat and Chalk by Tim Layden - I recently just finished reading this one, and learned more about football in those 300 pages written by current S.I. Reporter Layden than from anything else. He interviews several past and present gridiron coaches and breaks down every formation that stretches from the Wing T to the current Spread offense.

• When the Game Was Ours by Jackie MacMullan – I don't want to forget the terrific female authors, including this longtime Boston newspaper reporter.

MacMullan takes us into a look inside the love-hate relationship between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

• The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach - One of the best fiction books in 2011 deals with a small-town college baseball player who is looked at as the next great one, but all of sudden loses it all.

• Any book by David Halbersham - He has taken us through some of the most important moments of American history. At the same time, he is also known for his terrific sports books.

• Any book by Chuck Klosterman - Like Halbersham, this author has mixes in his love of sports and music in his original way with several fiction and non-fiction books. Like Feinstein, it is hard just to pick a favorite.

• Playing for Pizza by John Grisham - During his long career, Grisham has penned several masterpieces mostly dealing with the world inside the courtroom.

He also has written some sports books including this one that deals with professional American football in Italy.

• Empire Falls by Richard Russo - One of my all-time favorite fiction books ever. The Pulitzer Prize winner deals with a man that can not get out of the small town that he has spent his entire life in.

• Freedom by Jonathan Franzen - Another recent great novel deals with a love triangle between two long-time best friends and the married women that they both compete for.

So, this week turn off the television and pick up a good book. If you have any books that I should read – except for the Twilight ones – send me an e-mail at dhunter@murfreesboropost.com.
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David Hunter, Read To Succeed, Sports, Unplug & Read, Voices
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