March 20, 2018
(For all of you south of the border or otherwise uninitiated into the culture of hockey, Montreal Canadiens fans will recognize that as "It's a goal!")
It seems that no one in Canada can escape hockey season. Many of my first memories of dating my husband revolve around the sport (go Habs go!). I met his friends during the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs when we watched the Montreal Canadiens eliminate the defending champions the Pittsburgh Penguins. He met mine during the Vancouver Winter Olympics that year, and we rooted for Canada to beat the United States (which they did!) during the gold medal final. I’ll never forget the screams of dismay during that game when my friend accidentally unplugged the satellite right before a crucial goal. So while I’m not the biggest fan -- I couldn’t tell you who the general manager for the Montreal Canadiens is -- I associate the sport with fond memories.
When I took over the position as Canadian Collection Development team lead, a team aimed at ensuring our Canadian customers have what they need, I was a bit taken aback at how many titles about hockey NoveList receives. It’s a popular subject and I would guess I catalog at least 2 nonfiction works about it per month. More recently I have noticed some books coming across my desk that seem to be compelling reads, despite my lower interest level. How We Did It, by hockey dad Karl Subban, follows the story of the Subban family and their quest for hockey stardom. P.K. Subban’s commitment to the Montreal Children’s Hospital even after he was traded to Nashville impressed me, so I am interested in reading about how he became such generous person. Another title that piques my interest is Ice Capades: A Memoir of Fast Living and Tough Hockey. Sean Avery seems like an interesting character, and I enjoy reading about controversy so this seems up my alley. Hockey fan or not, if you love memoirs about famous people behaving badly, this book is for you.
But hockey books aren’t just limited to nonfiction! One of the stand out books from my childhood is The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier. I watched the animated version of it in French class, but the book is more powerful (as is often the case). You also don’t have to be into hockey to appreciate the writing surrounding it. And as I was writing this post my coworker sent me these tweets by Paul Scheer who judged a book by its cover and then found he loved hockey romances!
Curious to find more for a book display or to satisfy a hockey fan? NoveList has nonfiction genres for both adult and juvenile audiences. Use the genre (GN) search tag and type Sports and competition – Hockey for adult titles and Sports and recreation – Hockey if you’re looking for juvenile materials. If you want to try it, copy and paste this search into the NoveList search box: GN (sports and competition – Hockey). Hit enter and go! Want to learn more about searching NoveList by genre? We’ve got a short tutorial that to get you started.
If you’re looking for a specific hockey player you could use the subject (SU) search and enter their name. We also have other subject headings that might help narrow your search even further, such as Hockey players, Violence in hockey, Goalies (Hockey), and so on. Use a similar type of search to the genre search. For example, type SU (Violence in hockey) into the search bar to find books with that subject heading. Looking at a book and interested in reading more books on the subject heading? Clicking on a subject heading from a record will give you a list of all the titles where it is added. Once you have complied a list, it’s easy to send it to yourself or print it out. Here’s a handy tutorial if you’re trying to figure that out.
I think it would be easy to say that there’s something for everyone surrounding the subject of hockey, so I encourage you to give it a try!
Kate Fletcher is a Metadata Librarian at NoveList, and leads the Canadian Collection Development team.