I’m still here in Western Massachusetts, very excited about Meghan and Maureen’s wedding , and eager to go with Jacob and Sarah for my initial experience at West Springfield’s The White Hut, a legendary hamburger and hot dog joint. I’ve been told I don’t need to shower before as I’ll be drenched in the sweet smell of grease afterward!
Here are a couple of books for those feeling the Massachusetts, and, more specifically, Western Massachusetts, love:
1. House, by Tracy Kidder. I wrote earlier this week about Among Schoolchildren, the book that chronicled a year in the life of Christine Zajac’s fifth-grade classroom in Holyoke, Massachusetts. House masterfully tells the story of the process of designing and building a house in Northampton.
Warning: this work is not for recent home builders, as it is likely to trigger post-traumatic house disorder.
Kidder’s panoptic abilities are on full display here, as he shows the push and pull between the owners, the architect, the contractor and his workers. The scene at the book’s end, when the house is finally built, the owners are ecstatic and the contractor’s melancholy sets in as he realizes how little he has made, is nearly perfect, and there are plenty of other gems that come before.
This breezy book by longtime Boston Globe sportswriter Peter May covers the historic turnaround and championship run of last year’s Boston Celtics team. As has been well-chronicled, the team defied the odds and beat the Kobe Bryant-led and heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers for the C’s record 17th championship.
May, who wrote an earlier book about the 1986 Celtics, which he argued was the best team of all time, provides a lot of familiar, and some not so familiar, material in this book.
While the death of coach Glenn ‘Doc’ Rivers’ father and the maneuverings of General Manager Danny Ainge to bring ‘The Big Three’ had been thoroughly discussed, I had not known that Kevin Garnett had spent much of his senior year at Chicago’s Farragut High School on his own.
May’s game descriptions of the game lack drama and you feel that his heart is still will Larry Bird and the rest of the original ‘Big Three.’ Still, for those looking for a charge as the Celtics makes this year’s push for the playoffs and seek to retain their crown, Top of the World is a quick and enjoyable read.