So nice I read it twice

I’ve read half a dozen books so far over this prolonged winter break, though I’ll admit one of those books I read twice.

Well, no, it’s two separate books, but damned if the two aren’t very similar.

Leigh Montville and Dan Shaughnessy are two of Boston’s most distinguished and longest-tenured Boston sportswriters. (They’ve done other things but they are Boston guys, no question.) Each of them has published a book recently about his days covering the Boston Celtics. Montville’s memoir covers mostly the 1969 NBA Finals while Shaughnessy’s scrapbook takes us behind the curtain on the Bird-era Celtics of the ’80s.

The two authors ran in similar circles for so many years that their stories often overlap. (Indeed, there are several of the same “scoops” presented in both books.) Furthermore–credit to the Celts on this one–the players, coaches, and management crossed so many generations that we encounter the same characters even if the anecdotes are decades apart. (Red Auerbach was present at the creation and lived until 2006, while Bill Russell and Bob Cousy are still around half a century after their days on the hardwood.)

For what it’s worth, it seems as though Montville put a little more effort into his work. (Though the sections of “I-just-don’t-remember-what-happened” are a little weak.) I get the feeling Shaughnessy put his book together a few months ago when we were all just sitting at home and probably heard his old buddy, Leigh Montville, was cashing in on a book about the Celtics. A certain I could do that! moment no doubt followed.

Did I mind reading the same book twice in a row?

Nope.

Okay… Bob Ryan? Peter Gammons? Lesley Visser?

Come on, one of you write another book quick so I have something to read.

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About moc

My name is Mike O'Connell. I am 38 years old and live in Northern Virginia. I am a teacher, a musician, and an enthusiast of all things American.

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