This is the first year in a while that I haven’t had a new book released or one still on the market, and that was as much by my choice as anything as writing books really takes a lot out of you. It’s also the first time in a while that I can recall that there haven’t been any new curling books out. Colleen Jones’ book Curling Secrets was released last February and that appears to be the most recent.
In any case, if you’re trying to pick up a book for someone you know curls, here are my top picks, excluding my own handcrafted tomes and any instruction- or fitness-based books. You can probably find all of these somewhere through the internet.
1. Burned By The Rock – Jean Sonmor
In my humble opinion, the best curling book ever written. It’s a bit dated these days but it follows the lives of the top curlers of the day, which was the early ‘90s. Great stories about Hackner, Werenich and Howard really peeled the cover off what was going on in the competitive scene. A very entertaining read.
2. Open House: Canada and the Magic of Curling
Scott Russell crafted a great look at the game and why it’s so appealing to Canadians. I love how he tries to expose the attraction of the game, something tough to understand for an outsider.
3. The Roaring Game
Author Doug Clark rambles through some interesting topics of note in the game, covering off everything from Shorty Jenkins to the business of the sport. I like his style and approach in this one.
4. Canada Curls
The late, great Doug Maxwell probably knew more about the sport than anyone and put together a great opus on its history. It’s done in a light manner and tells some of the great tales of the game that only Doug could deliver.
5. Sandra Schmirler
The heart-wrenching story of the Olympic gold medalist who passed away far too early in life. Perry Lefko wrote a beautiful book here that will move you even if you never knew Schmirler the Curler.
Warren Hansen’s coffee table style book is one you can sit down with and flip pages getting engrossed in the pictures and words.
7. The Black Bonspiel
W.O. Mitchell’s great Faustian story of a curler. I’ve read this one so many times the pages are getting worn out. Great fun and truly a Canadian legend.