Yesterday on the way to the airport I realized I'd forgotten to bring a book (since I'm between books, I put-off my final decision on what to read next until the morning of departure, having narrowed down my choices the evening before) to read on the plane. Faced the the grim prospect of purchasing something in the airport bookstore, I slogged in, expecting to settle for the latest from Oprah's book club. Imagine my delight when I saw two copies of Seabiscuit: An American Legend sitting on the display table.
I'd put Seabiscuit on my wish list ages ago, when it first came out. So I snapped it up and settled in for some good reading over breakfast on my way to New York. What a book! "A first-rate piece of storytelling" says the New York Times, and I couldn't agree more. I'm already half-way through and would like nothing more than to spend the rest of the day reading about the Depression and horse racing.
I'm really enjoying this book for several reasons: 1) I don't know anything about Seabiscuit, so hearing his story is compelling in and of itself, 2) the book opens up the world of jockeys and Thoroughbred racing, something about which I'm not very familiar, 3) I love it when books do that — absorb you into unfamiliar surroundings and make it engaging and real, 4) I love this horse! There's a picture of his face about a third of the way through and I found myself thinking, "that's such a Seabiscuit expression!" when I saw it. That's how thoroughly and wonderfully Ms. Hillenbrand pulls you into the world and character of Seabiscuit.