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She's Got Next : A Story of Getting In, Staying Open, and Taking a Shot Paperback – June 9, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Edition Unstated edition (June 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618264566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618264568
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,010,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

King grew up in Arkansas shooting baskets in the driveway with her brother. At 27, she moved to Chicago and found herself yearning for the court in an effort to erase an inner emptiness. Her tender memoir chronicles her playing pickup basketball, meandering from playground to gym to YMCA. King first joins an amateur league, but soon branches out to Chicago's many and various multicultural neighborhood pickup games. Basketball helps her escape her less than satisfying job and love life, but she's equally engaged by the character and psychology of her fellow players, like the "old park dude" who hangs out at Wicker Park, and Tina, "a little tomboy hotdog" living in the projects. King's basketball life—and this book—wander pleasantly from game to game until, at age 35, she discovers her skills are slipping. Her desire to stay tied to basketball leads her to coach a team of 10-year-old girls, and the book takes a new direction. Transformed from casual player to coach, King evolves from a slightly removed participant to a passionate leader. Her growth is a surprising, satisfying ending to a story with wide appeal.
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About the Author

Melissa King has written for Sports Illustrated, Chicago Reader, Sport Literate, Arkansas Times, and other publications. Her story "It's All in the Game" was selected by Richard Ford for The Best American Sports Writing 1999. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on May 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
After reading this book, I have no doubt King's star is rising. Don't worry, you need know nothing of basketball to appreciate this honest examination of an individual life and the complicated interactions of humans. A joyful and hillarious read, King also examines our shortcomings and most desperate needs. The work of a philosopher, comedian, and athelete, you can't go wrong with this lovely memoir. Fans of David Sedaris and Anne Lamott will be especially pleased.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Retired Lawyer on May 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
and, boy, I'm glad I was. My grown son brought this to me thinking I would love it because he's played basketball all his life and I've played with him and coached when he was younger. This a great story about the way sports can effect a life. If you've ever known the pleasure of casual play (of any game, not just basketball and not just sports) you'll find this familiar, fun, and inspiring. I'm going to hit the local Y today and shoot around and try test my powers of observation against King's amazing ability and I can't wait to talk to strangers and strange people again as we work towards a common goal (across race, class, gender, and, at times, skill), an experience I've not had in years and now hope to make part of my retirement. Be forewarned there is some explicit language, but nothing shocking or gratuitous--the author is clearly a master of the language and using just the right words at just the right moment. What gifts some of us get! To have her basketball skills and writing abilitiy. . .this writer has been blessed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover03 on May 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
I love this book! An industry friend loaned me his advance copy. I took it home and read it in one sitting. I plan on buying several copies to give to friends as beach reads for the summer and a copy for my daughter--this is not a kid's book, but King's life is an example of independence, the importance of taking risks and making hard choices, and balancing working hard with patience and fun.

King's voice is utterly appealing as well as fresh and unique. I've never read a book quite like this. Not just a memoir, almost a novel in it's narrative coherence and construction, not a self-help book yet relentlessly thoughtful, laugh out loud funny one moment and heartbreaking the next.

You'll root for King, want to be friends with her, rush through to find out what happens to her next. As another reviewer wrote, you don't need to know (or care, really) about basketball to enjoy this book. It's not chick-lit and men will enjoy it as much as women for the humor, the sports, and the lovely and brilliant author/protagonist. If you like southern literature, King's voice will fit right into the tradition for you, but the book takes place not only in the south, but in Chicago and LA as well, so city slickers will recognize their neighborhoods and neighbors and likely get a new perspective on city life.

A recent review in a newspaper compared King to Walker Percy and I hear the book will be featured in "Entertainment Weekly" magazine this summer. This book could get big, so enjoy the pleasure of reading it while it's still under the radar. Published in paperback, it's low price and great cover seem to match perfectly the plain spoken yet utterly lovely book inside.

Don't miss this one. There's not another book out there like this. A true original.
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Format: Paperback
This is a funny and inciteful book that looks into the life of a young lady as she moves from rural Arkansas to Chicago. Following a course that a lot of us have had to take she was lonely, bored, and generally unhappy. Eventually she remembered how much she had enjoyed playing basketball and turned to playing as a way to pass the time, meet people, develop a life.

Basketball was her thing, never with a thought of turning pro or anything like that (she admits to not being very good), but just finding a place to be.

That sounds kind of dull, but it's a story of finding oneself, of growing up. And through basketball she is able to discover things about the issues of race, class, gender, religion, sexual politics and love.

Hers was a trip that I had to take long before she was born. I can only wish that I'd had the literary skill to record it as well as she does. This is a delightful book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By reader on September 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was on my summer reading list and boy i was not happy i chose to read this book. The book is boring and her style of writing is not good. After the first 50 pages i gave up because all she would write about is pick up game after pickup game and there was no true or inner meaning in the book. Its almost as if she publish her journal of pickup games.
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