Coronavirus quarantine: Book recommendations to get you through these times

Some of these don’t have to do with hockey, but now is as good a time as any to crack open that book you’ve been putting off.

Outside of using this time cooped up at home to throw together NHL 20 simulations of Vegas Golden Knights games, this has been a great time to catch up on some books I’ve been putting off.

Based on the number of people I’ve talked to over the course of the past week, reading has been the top item on everyone’s list.

With this escape from hockey, it’s allowed to broaden the horizons on what to read, and I wanted to share some of these titles with you all. If you’ve been wanting to crack open a book with a cup of tea, here’s what I’m reading.

The Silent Season of a Hero: The Sports Writing of Gay Talese

I remember grabbing this from a table of used books set up at the Student Union at UNLV for $5 and I never finished it after the first chapter. Now, I’m determined to finish it.

Talese was a sports writer for the New York Times dating back to the 1960s. He was one of the first sports writers whose works I was drawn to because of his ability to put a scene into words. This book is a collection of his best stories that range over six decades.

His stories range from boxing and bare-knuckle fighting, to football and soccer inbetween. Talese has always been someone I looked up to as a writer. Getting more of a chance to dive into his work will be fun. You can get the book on Amazon for $21.75.

Reporting the Kennedy Assassination: Journalists Who Were There Recall Their Experiences

I grabbed this book when I took a trip to Dallas in 2014. One place I was excited to visit was the Sixth Floor Museum, which is actually the old schoolbook depository building where Lee Harvey Oswald shot President John F. Kennedy in November 1963.

The depository has been turned into a fantastic interactive museum that highlights Kennedy’s presidency, before and after.

History is so compelling, and learning about history through journalism is another avenue that is easy to get lost in. Wondering how reporters reacted in real time through one of the most unforgettable tragedies in America history is fascinating. It’s primarily a roundtable that was held at SMU, a discussion from journalists who were there, but it’s fantastic.

Also, side note: I just ordered “All The President’s Men” and it’s arriving next week. Despite it being one of my top-3 favorite movies, this will be one of those moments where I the book might have a little bit more than the movie and I am looking forward to it.

The History of Gangster Rap: By Soren Baker

Another form of history that appeals to me is that of music; especially hip-hop and its evolution from the mid-’80s to what it is today.

Soren Baker has had thousands of articles published in avenues such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. Not only this book, but he’s published numerous titles on hip-hop and even about his favorite NFL team, the Baltimore Ravens.

One of my favorite projects I did in college was analyzing the evolution of hip-hop until the mid-’90s. Obsessing over that paper for three months, of course my wife would get me a book about it. Baker is a fantastic writer and even in historical titles, it shows.

Basketball (And Other Things): By Shea Serrano

Shea Serrano’s second installment of his “And Other Things” series ties in two of my favorite things: humor and basketball.

It’s not even a historical book: It’s primarily discussing what would happen in a world where certain things existed. For example, how would you create the ultimate basketball player? You’d combine Michael Jordan’s clutch gene with Steph Curry’s shot, sprinkled with a dash of Kawhi Leonard’s defense.

Now that I’ve put that in your head: How would you create the ultimate hockey player in 2020?

Serrano’s book works your mind a bit, but it’s a fun read with plenty of exciting things to contemplate.

Those are just a few, but rest assured I am reading a lot more beyond that. What books are you reading to pass the time? Comment your recommendations below.