When I first learned that fellow PenguinPoop blogger Rick Buker had written a new book about the Pittsburgh Penguins, I must confess that I wondered what he could’ve found to write about. After all, his first book — “Total Penguins” — was 705 pages and covered just about everything you’d ever want to know about the team but was afraid to ask.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that “100 Things Penguins Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die” contains plenty of fresh material. Unlike Rick’s first book, which is a true encyclopedic compilation of season summaries, profiles, and stats, “100 Pens” focuses on the top 100 players, personalities, and events that helped shape Penguins history, ranked in order of significance.
Naturally, a bio on Mario Lemieux tops the list, followed in short order by a feature on Sidney Crosby. Rick writes about each of the glorious Cup runs, along with events such as “the Save” and “the Trade.” I especially like the sidebars generously sprinkled throughout the book that feature stories and anecdotes about some of the team’s lesser known players such as Dennis Owchar, Brian “Spinner” Spencer, and Dunc Wilson.
Included among the to-dos are attending a Pens-Flyers game in Philadelphia (at your own risk), and Rick’s humorous first-hand account of learning how to skate. And, of course, there are lots of new photos of Penguins stars past and present.
Written in an upbeat, entertaining style, “100 Pens” is a remarkably easy read at 296 pages. Available in paperback, it’s priced at $14.95, so it’s not going to break your piggy bank. I rate it a “two thumbs up” and a must-have for any true Penguins fan.
“100 Things Penguins Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die” is available online through outlets such as Triumphbooks.com, Amazon.com, and Barnesandnoble.com, and at bookstores like Barnes & Noble.