One thing about not having a good television for the playoffs is I don't tend to leave the endless preview and post-game shows on to distract me. This, in theory, gives me more time to catch up on some book reviews, which is exactly what I've done this weekend.
I had the great opportunity to review Risto Pakarinen's book Off The Post: Hockey Stories From Around The World.
Pakarinen is an esteemed European freelance journalist, with a long resume including weekly contributions to The Hockey News and NHL.com.
His book Off The Post is essentially a collection of his blog entries at NHL.com into the book format.
At first that didn't terribly excite me. I read Risto's blog entries all the time, and enjoy every one of them as stand alone pieces. I was skeptical how this would read out in book format.
Let me tell you right now - it works well. Really well.
There's two ways to enjoy this book. If you're not familiar with his blogging, you can either read posts as individual pieces, much like they were originally intended.
But an astute reader can really enjoy Off The Post as a journey that must be experienced. It is very much Pakarinen's journey, as hockey for him is a lifestyle. The best part about the book is whenever Pakarinen allows himself to get personal and reflective, sharing childhood memories and wearing his current emotions on his sleeve for all to see.
It's a great, quick read, full of personality and obvious passion for the game. I think the book format of Pakarinen's blog posts works far better than anyone could have imagined.
You can read my full Off The Post book review here.