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Sam Gagner's Book Collection

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  •  Future Greats and Heartbreaks - Gare Joyce.  Perhaps the best recent work about the NHL draft, and perhaps not coincidentally containing some comments on, you guessed it, Sam Gagner.  Joyce himself has a high opinion of Gagner, but does criticize him in places.
  • The Shock Doctrine - Naomi Klein.  This is a hockey blog, not a political one, so I won't give my personal opinion of the book but it is a rather abrasive look at what Klein calls "disaster capitalism" where unpopular economic policies are enacted while the public at large is dealing with large-scale upheavel. 
  • Mind Gym - Gary Mack and David Casstevens.  I haven't read this book, but here's what Barnes & Noble says about Mack:

    Gary Mack is a leading sports psychology consultant and counselor who has worked with athletes in the NBA, NFL, NHL, WNBA, and Major League Baseball. He is president of two consulting firms, Sports Assist and Planning Solutions; the director of sports psychology for Griffey International; and team counselor for the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury.

  • The Audacity of Hope - Barack Obama.  A political document in many ways, the book outlined Obama's core policy positions before his election.  It isn't a highly partisan book; a rarity in and of itself, and it's also surprisingly readable.
  • The Satanic Verses(?) - Salman Rushdie.  The title isn't completely legible, but I believe this is the book that resulted in Ayatollah Khomeini pronouncing a fatwa (a religious opinion) calling for Muslims to kill Rushdie and his publishers.  The fatwa resulted in the assassination of one translator, attempts on many others, and the Sivas massacre.  The novel itself deals with the alienation faced by immigrants (although that's a gross oversimplification), but many Muslims regard the references it makes to Muhammed and the Quran as blasphemous.
  • Playing for Pizza - John Grisham. Wikipedia makes the novel sound like the story of Ty Conklin; a third-string NFL'er is pressed into service and blows a 17-point lead in a pivotal game in only 11 minutes.  He's subsequently vilified, unable to find work except for a pittance on an Italian team, and falling back in love with the game he plays.
  • The Race -  Richard North Patterson.  A political novel about a left-leaning Republican senator and war hero who falls for a liberal African-American actress while running for presidential nomination.
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    On a different note, fast-forward to the end of the video to watch Scott Oake talk to Snoop Dogg.  It's worth watching.