I'm a serious bookworm. I love to read. I'll attempt to read anything that looks even slightly interesting and I'm absolutely one of those people who will ignore everything else going on around me if I'm involved in a book. The world ceases to exist until I'm done. I don't like to sit anywhere without something to read. My mom used to yell at me for reading at the table which I still do to this day. I always have something to read in the car. I'm a reader. So I'm always interested when an athlete says he likes to read but a little skeptical. There's nothing wrong with loving Mario Lemieux: Great Hockey Player or Greatest Hockey Player? but it would be nice to see some interests beyond hockey.
According to the profiles at the official NHL Entry Draft website, the Buffalo draftees have some pretty decent taste. The Tylers both list Harry Potter as their favorite book and while it's not exactly creative - or even particularly specific since there are seven Harry Potter books* - there's not a hockey player to be found in them anywhere. Corey Fienhage says his favorite book is A Million Little Pieces which is yet another real book with lots of (false) words. Justin Jokinen goes with To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the most perfect books ever written in my opinion. (He probably read it a couple of months ago in HIGH SCHOOL.) Usually Jokinen's excellent taste would put him squarely at the top but this year there's one player that stands above him: Luke Adam. I don't care if Luke's a future star or a future bust, he will always be my favorite draftee in the 2008 class because of his favorite book.
Mr. Popper's Penguins is quite simply one of the very best books of all-time. For those of you who have never read it - and good grief, what is WRONG with you? - Mr. Popper's Penguins is the story of Mr. Popper. Mr. Popper lives a happy, quiet existence with his wife (Mrs. Popper), working as a house painter. Mr. Popper never quite gave up on his dream of living a life of adventure however and he spends all his free-time reading about faraway places, especially the North and South Poles. When he writes a fan letter to explorer Admiral Drake, Drake responds by sending him a penguin. The Popper family quickly expands from one penguin (he lives in the ice box) to twelve penguins and eventually the whole gang hits the road as part of a traveling show. Madcap slapstick and hilarity (with a little dose of sweetness) ensues.
I love this book. I very clearly remember Mrs. Dabney, my third grade teacher, reading this aloud to us. I made my mom buy me a copy - which I still have, by the way - so I could read along. It's sweet, funny, and charming and I have to say, I think it's pretty adorable that a future NHLer freely listed it as his favorite book. Meg was a little concerned that the selection means Luke hasn't a read a book since he was 8, but I don't even care if that's the case. Anyone who remembers Mr. Popper's Penguins well enough to still love it years later is a-okay in my book.
I'm more perplexed by his shootout move, "going cheese." I have no idea what that means.
*- My favorite Harry Potter book is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. My favorite character is Snape.