Our Last Season: A Writer, a Fan, a Friendship (Hardcover)

Our Last Season: A Writer, a Fan, a Friendship By Harvey Araton Cover Image
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The moving story of a bond between sportswriter and fan that was forged in a shared love of basketball and grew over several decades into an extraordinary friendship

"This is a story about friendship, sports, aging, and ultimately time itself--the things it strips away and the things it cannot touch. I loved it."--Wright Thompson, author of Pappyland

Harvey Araton is one of New York's--and the nation's--best-known sports journalists, having covered thousands of Knicks games over the course of a long and distinguished career. But the person at the heart of Our Last Season, Michelle Musler, is largely anonymous--except, that is, to the players, coaches, and writers who have passed through Madison Square Garden, where she held season tickets behind the Knicks bench for 45 years. In that time, as she juggled a successful career as a corporate executive and single parenthood of five children, she missed only a handful of home games. The Garden was her second home--and the place where an extraordinary friendship between fan and sportswriter was forged.

That relationship soon grew into something much bigger than basketball, with Michelle serving as a cherished mentor and friend to Harvey as he weathered life's inevitable storms: illness, aging, and professional challenges and transitions. During the 2017-18 NBA season, as Michelle faces serious illness that prevents her from attending more than a few Knicks games, Harvey finally has the chance to give back to Michelle everything she has given him: reminders of all she's accomplished, the blessings she's enjoyed, and the devoted friend she has been to him.

Chock-full of anecdotes from behind the scenes and cameos from Knicks legends--from Frazier, King, and Ewing to Riley, Van Gundy, and many more--the story of Harvey and Michelle's nearly four decades of friendship is a delight for basketball fans. But at its core, Our Last Season is a book for all of us, offering a poignant and inspiring message about how to live with passion, commitment, and optimism.

About the Author

Harvey Araton is a longtime New York City sports journalist who worked for 25 years at The New York Times, to which he still contributes. He is the author or co-author of seven books, most recently Driving Mr. Yogi, which was a New York Times bestseller. His book When the Garden Was Eden was made into an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, which Araton co-produced. In 2017, he received the Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

Praise For…

“Downright charming. . . . This is a memoir about life as much as about sports, although the ever-wise Musler would have likely argued that the two are inherently connected. . . . This heartfelt story of friendship is one to be savored.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“A wonderful and engaging book, not only for basketball and Knicks fans, but also a meaningful look about the importance of friendship.”Library Journal, starred review

“In Our Last Season, Araton shares his years in sports media and covering the New York Knicks against the backdrop of his long, lovely and perhaps unlikely friendship with superfan Michelle Musler. . . . Araton writes with a reporter’s pen and a friend’s heart, providing great copy while making readers wish they had a Michelle Musler in their life.”—Shelf Awareness
“Harvey Araton is a Hall of Fame sports journalist who has taken his game to new heights with his compelling and heartwarming Our Last Season. This is a beautiful book about basketball and the wonders of being a sports fan. It also tells a delightful story about the power of friendship and the life lessons it can reveal.” —Christine Brennan, author of Best Seat in the House

“A fascinating memoir. . . . This heartwarming look at the life of a friend and die-hard sports fan is effortlessly charming.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Being a fan, at its core, is about believing in something bigger than yourself. This lovely book is about the biggest things to believe in, and some of the best—enduring friendship, unflagging loyalty, and love. In so many losing Knicks seasons, Harvey and Michelle forge a resounding victory—in a bond we can all share.”—Tom Rinaldi, author of The Red Bandanna

“Harvey Araton illuminates why he is the dean of New York sports journalists, navigating readers to the better story hidden inside the bigger story. The Knicks are in their post-glory era when they unite Araton and Michelle Musler. Through the next several decades, they seldom miss a game—he on press row and she in the first row, perched close enough to the bench to hear conversations between players and coaches, and to become Araton’s eyes and ears, his trusted source. As the NBA matured and evolved, so did their unlikely bond. Our Last Season is full of basketball wisdom but on a higher plane captures life’s complexities and the value of what matters much more than the games.”—Jonathan Abrams, author of Boys Among Men

“This is a story about friendship, sports, aging, and ultimately time itself—the things it strips away and the things it cannot touch. I loved it.” —Wright Thompson, author of Pappyland
“As his generation’s signature basketball poet, Harvey Araton artfully writes of how his friendship with a woman even more passionate about the NBA and the Knicks than he is captures the romantic link between the world’s greatest city and the city game. This is Araton in full, career-defining flight, telling a heartwarming and heartbreaking story of compassion and trust, love and loss, and the simple pleasures and pursuits that bind us all.” —Ian O’Connor, author of Belichick and The Captain
“Harvey Araton gives us a gem of a memoir, a paean to a beautiful friendship. Backlit by Madison Square Garden, there is grandeur to it, and intimacy. More than Frazier or Reed, Ewing or Porzingis, it is Michelle Musler, Knicks uberfan, who rises triumphantly from these pages.” —Gary M. Pomerantz, author of The Last Pass
Product Details
ISBN: 9781984877987
ISBN-10: 1984877984
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: October 27th, 2020
Pages: 256
Language: English

How to read more

( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.


And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.


15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.


50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.


Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.


Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.


Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.



Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.


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