My general impression of the hockey book class of 2009 is it is rather average. There is an okay selection of titles, but little in the spectacular, must-have category.
Yet you might not know that if you judge the class strictly from the headlines on television and in the newspapers. The publisher's marketing teams have done an amazing job of getting their books in the spotlight in 2009.
The most recent is example is Bob Sirois' French release Québec mis en échec, where he suggests their is racial discrimination against Quebecois players by Hockey Canada and the NHL. This story dies down by the end of week, just in time for Don Cherry to reignite the fury on Saturday night.
There have also been revelations about the inner workings of the Wayne Gretzky trade in 1988, suggestions the Leafs and Oilers almost traded cities,
And of course then there is Theo Fleury. His allegation of sexual abuse at the hands of junior coach Graham James and admission of a suicide attempt takes all the headlines, although I'm sure the marketers would rather have not had to rely on those disturbing stories.
Then if you look at the Globe & Mail best sellers lists, you'll find Gretzky's Tears, Leafs Abomination, Hockey Dad and Why The Leafs Suck all as regulars, with Fleury's Playing With Fire sure to join them.
I'm not convinced it is a spectacular year for hockey books, but all the media attention suggests otherwise.
Here's a listing of books I've reviewed so far, with more to come:
100 Rangers Greats
Biggest Book of Hockey Trivia
From The Broadcast Booth: Brian McFarlane
Goaltenders: The Expansion Years
Gretzky's Tears: Stephen Brunt
Hockey Dad: Bob McKenzie
Le Québec mis en échec
Let's Talk Hockey
Let The Games Begin
NHL Guide & Record Book
Pick Up Hockey
Playing With Fire: Theo Fleury
7 Pre-Game Habits of Pro Hockey Players
Squaw Valley Gold
The Hockey Goalie's Complete Guide
The Pursuit of Hockeyness
The Rangers, Bruins & End Of An Era
The Rocket: A Cultural History
TSN: 25 Years
The Year of the Penguins
Warriors of Winter
World Class Hockey Trivia
2009-2010 Hockey Superstars
On This Day In Hockey
Polar Bears On Ice
Rebel Power Play
The Rocket: Mike Leonetti
2009 Paperbacks and Re-Releases
I spend a lot of time reviewing hockey books at HockeyBookReviews.com. Making your online purchases via my links offsets costs of running my free websites. Look at it this way: If you like my work, and you think it's worth buying me a cup of coffee, then shop Amazon or Chapters via my links. I'm going to keep doing my work for free because I love doing this, but I'd greatly appreciate your support!