Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 9: Ping Pong Rules the World

Remember when I said at the beginning of the 24 Days of Books that sometimes we'd talk about under-the-radar books? Well, Day 9 is definitely an under-the-radar book: Everything You Know is Pong: How Mighty Table Tennis Shapes Our World, by Roger Bennet and Eli Horowitz.  This illustrated unabashed love letter to all things ping pong includes essays from Nick Hornby, Jonathan Safran Foer, Will Shorts, and Davy Rothbart. As the authors describe the book "We are two passionate collectors of ping pong ephemera who have quietly scoured eBay, flea markets, and yard sales to amass a museum-sized collection of ping pong artifacts. This book uses them to tell the important stories only ping pong can tell: tales of geopolitics, demographic shifts, and velour headbands."

From the introduction: "Ping pong's unvanquished strength lies, paradoxically, in its shabby exterior....Neglected by the corporate hunger for the New New New Thing, ping pong has been allowed to flourish in dark corners and distant alleys around the world, nurturing a wealth of lore, legends, and die-hard fans. It is the magma lurking beneath the Earth's crust, piping hot and eternally bubbling."

The book is chock-a-block full of wonderful old ads, book covers, and fabulous photographs (some a bit on the racy side), including one of performers in Buffalo Bill Cody's traveling show playing ping pong some time around 1890, and a shot of Bill and Hillary playing a game on the 1992 presidential campaign trail.

Recently a group of New York literati types gathered to play ping pong, promote the new book, and raise funds for 826NYC, a nonprofit literary organization, as reported in the New York Times.

This book is loads of fun and is THE perfect gift for the ping pong fanatic in your life (because you know they already have their own paddles).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.