Criticism & Features

NBCC Reads

What Are You Recommending, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

LAST week, the National Book Critics Circle launched a Best Recommended List, drawn from the votes of our members and over a hundred former finalists and winners of our award. (For more on that scroll down to the list, or go here).

Separately, we figured we’d ask other notable readers what they’ve been recommending. So we got in touch with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who has written six books to to date, including two autobiographies—Giant Steps and Kareem—as well as several works of history, including Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement, Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes, and, most recently, On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance. All this from a guy who just happens to hold the NBA record for points scored, along with six other records, from minutes played to all star selections (19!). This is what Abdul-Jabbar about what’s been keeping his mind busy of late:

Stalin’s Ghost
By Martin Cruz Smith

“This is a detective novel about one of my favorite characters, Arkady Renko. He is a very determined detective in the former Soviet Union and I love the way that Mr. Smith depicts Russian society. It helps me understand what’s going on in Russia today”

Blonde Faith
By Walter Mosley

“Easy Rollins is one of my favorite detective characters and Mr. Mosley uses that character quite effectively to show his view of life in America in the 50’s and 60’s. Mr. Mosley shows us the good and bad aspects of America without reservation which makes me feel like I learn something everytime I read one of his books.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Scholar, Athlete, Historian