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Monday, May 7, 2007

bookstuff: word freak by stefan fatsis

this is what i've been carrying around with me (other than knitting) for the last few weeks.

word freak: heartbreak, triumph, genius, and obsession in the world of competitive scrabble players, by stefan fatsis.

For a moment I wonder, like Roz, what my obsession is proving. Maybe nothing. Maybe more than I care to admit. With the board and tiles and word books splayed across my living room, and my regular circuit of tournaments, and leaving work early on Thursdays to get to the club on time, I have managed to reorder my life so that I can play a board game. This doesn't seem healthy, especially because I still suck. But it doesn't seem avoidable, either. I entered this world because it was a curiosity, a good story. Then it became an infatuation. I'm having trouble typing these words, but right now Scrabble is the most important thing in my life. - stefan fatsis

i come from a scrabble family, where it regularly comes out at get togethers. certain people, like my mother and my aunt and my uncle, are deadly at this game. i'm sure that my uncle, at the very least, could play competitively. me, i'm not terrible, but i'm not fantastic either. my vocabulary, as large as it's supposed to be, usually deserts me when i have seven tiles racked up in front of me.

this book shows you an entire different world from the scrabble you would expect. and as much as it might not seem like a page-turner, i haven't been able to put it down!
i'm not sure whether it's the potential increases to my vocabulary, the lesson in scrabble strategy, or the truly bizarre characters that turn up in every chapter, but this is really just a damned good read, especially for anyone else out there that's a word freak.

anyway. read it. it's awesome.


Katie said...

I love scrabble! I'll definitely have to check that book out!

Rebecca said...

Ah, Scrabble families. I am still incapable of beating my mother at Scrabble. I'll have to check out the book.

pixies pal said...

Our family played Scrabble sometimes but we mostly played other board games like Clue, Monopoly, Life, Yahtzee (which we always played when we went camping) or UpWords, which is like Scrabble except you make your words on top of the existing words.

There was nothing like my family all sitting at the kitchen table on a snow day playing a game - lots of fun!