Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October Book Review Club

Happy October! I hope everyone is enjoying gorgeous cool autumn weather and gearing up for the holiday season.

The first Wednesday of the month means another edition of The Book Review Club hosted by Barrie Summy, author of the I So Don't Do Mysteries series. Today, I'm featuring the fabulous and super sporty, Christine A. Baker author of Why She Plays: The World of Women’s Basketball.

For my in-depth review of Why She Plays, check out Pretty Tough.

In the meantime, here's an interview with the author. Enjoy!

Five for Christine A. Baker

1. What made you want to sit down and write WHY SHE PLAYS?

I grew up playing basketball. I played competitive basketball in high school and in college. After college, I had the opportunity to play professionally in Israel but I turned it down. At the time, I was afraid I would never be good or succeed at anything else other than basketball, and I wanted to start my career. Several years later, I had a successful career in communications, but my life felt empty. I desperately missed being on the basketball court, and being around the game I loved so much. Add to all of this that one of my life goals was always to write a book. So, I decided to put the two together and write Why She Plays.

2. Tell us a little bit about your basketball career.

I started playing basketball at a very young age, and at the time, there were no girls' leagues. So I played with the boys. I played high school varsity for four years at Mercy High School in Middletown, CT and received many conference honors while in HS. I played four years at Mount Saint Mary College, in Newburgh, NY (NCAA Division III), where I was co-captain and team MVP for three of my four seasons. I broke the single season scoring record (both men and women) with 538 points, still holdthe single game scoring record (both men and women) with 38 points, broke the all-time leading scoring record with 1,523 points, and received over 15 different accolades in my senior year alone.

3. What is your advice to a teen who has athletic ability and heart, but maybe isn’t the most talented player on the court?

Work hard. It sounds simple, but it is not. By working hard, I mean the following: get stronger. Get in the weight room and develop your core strength. Study the game. Watch the WNBA, watch NCAA men or women. Be a student of the game. Watch it being played. Get in the gym and work hard every moment you are on the court. Play with boys, with girls, with anyone who wants to play. Take losses hard. Losses are lessons. They teach us where we have to improve. All players lose games. Great players learn from those losses and do the work to improve.

4. Name your favorite fiction book(s)? Why do you like this book(s)?

I'm an avid reader so this is a hard question to answer! The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein because I love animals and I thought the perspective of the dog was amazing. I also love the English Patient by Michael Ondaatje because that story was so visual and it is one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read. Finally, I'd have to say Beloved by Toni Morrison because it forced me to open my eyes and see the horrors of slavery in an extraordinarily personal and real level.

5. If you could have dinner with anyone (living or dead) who would it be and why?

Wow. I have so many! Larry Bird- he was my absolute favorite player growing up and that would be such an honor for me. Oprah because, well, she's Oprah! Finally, the comedian Robin Williams. How much fun would dinner with Robin be?

Thanks, Christine! And don’t miss more exciting reviews here.

Happy Wednesday! :)


Kelly said...

That sounds like an amazing book! Basketball was huge in my family growing up!

kaye said...

I'm not into sports, but it sounds like this is an interesting personal story to read. If you want to read my review for the month, Two Old Women by Velma Wallis you’ll find it here.

Keri Mikulski said...

It is, Kelly. You should check it out.

I'm on my way to check out your review, Kaye! Thanks for the link. :)

Kelly H-Y said...

Loved this interview. Such honest and refreshing advice about how to improve your game. Sounds like a good book!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Larry Bird was one of my favorite players too! Sounds like a great book!

Sarah Laurence said...

Fun to find another author interview! It sounds like she is writing what she knows, which bodes well. I love Toni Morrison too.

Barrie said...

Hi Keri! I really enjoyed the author interview. I cannot even imagine playing sports on a boys' team! And I got a kick out of the variety of people Christine would like to have dinner with!

Angela said...

Great interview. I like #3--I feel like that's advice that can be taken to heart in anything, especially writing.

Keri Mikulski said...

Hi, Kelly! Yup, Christine is full of a ton of great advice. :)

Hi, Alyssa! I second that. :)

Hi, Sarah! Yup. She sure is. :)

Hi, Barrie!! The boys are so much fun. :) Thanks for hosting!

Hi, Angela!! So true. :)