Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is widely considered to be one of the best professional basketball players of all-time. He scored more than 38,000 points during his long NBA career, which is more than any other player in league history. While Abdul-Jabbar is best known for his athletic skills, he is also extremely accomplished off the court. He has been a cultural ambassador, activist and best-selling author since retiring from basketball. This makes him the perfect source for book recommendations. These are five of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s favorite books.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is a novel written by John Le Carre in 1974. The book revolves around a British spy looking to undercover a Soviet mole during the Cold War. The book accurately details the life of a hardworking spy because Le Carre actually worked as a spy for the British government for two decades. The novel was turned into a successful film starring Gary Oldman in 2011.
To Kill a Mockingbird
“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a literary classic that follows lawyer Atticus Finch as he attempts to save an innocent man from a wrongful conviction. No book as ever portrayed racism and prejudice in our society better than “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Harper Lee may have wrote the novel 60 years ago, but the story is still relevant today. The book became such an instant hit that it was transformed into a film starring Gregory Peck two years after its release.
The Maltese Falcon
“The Maltese Falcon” is a crime novel written by Dashiell Hammett in 1930. The book follows private detective Sam Spade as he attempts to track down the killer of a man he was hired to find. Despite only being featured in one novel, Sam Spade is still one of the most iconic literary detectives. His trademark loyalty and honor is what makes Sam Spade such a great character. “The Maltese Falcon” was turned into a movie in 1941 starring Humphrey Bogart.
“Gorky Park” is a crime novel that follows a detective as he investigates the highest rankings members of the Russian government after three dead bodies are found in a local park. Martin Cruz Smith wrote the book in 1981. Smith’s time as a journalist allows him to provide an accurate description of the corruption inside the Russian government during the Cold War. A film adaptation of “Gorky Park” was released in 1983 starring William Hurt.
Devil in a Blue Dress
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar continues his love for crime novels with “Devil in a Blue Dress.” This iconic mystery book was written by Walter Mosley in 1990. “Devil in a Blue Dress” follows unemployed veteran Easy Rawlins as he starts his career as a detective by trying to find a missing woman. The book’s ability to portray the lives of poor African Americans and the racism they deal with on a daily basis is what truly sets it apart from other detective novels. A film adaptation starring Denzel Washington was released in 1995.