Stan Mikita

Stan Mikita evades Boston Bruins defence on Jan. 16, 1974. (Tribune file photo, Chicago Tribune / January 16, 1974)

I write in the immediate aftermath of the Chicago Blackhawks winning the 2013 Stanley Cup in a fashion so sudden and stunning that I barely had the wherewithal to jump up and down screaming like a maniac. By the time this shows up in print, the cheers will have died down, the parade will have passed by, and we'll be looking at three hockey-less months in front of us.

But we always have books — hockey books. My list of recommendations could go on for three columns-worth, so the culling process was almost as painful as a puck to the face. But in the spirit of the Hawks' Andrew Shaw, who had more zippers on his face than Frankenstein's monster by the end of Game 6, I offer some titles to tide you over.

"I Play to Win" by Stan Mikita, and "Stan Mikita: The Turbulent Career of a Hockey Superstar" by Stan Fischler

Released almost simultaneously in 1969, these can be tough to find, but together paint an amazing portrait of a Blackhawks legend, written at a time when there was considerably more candor in the authorized sports biography genre. In my view, they're the best Blackhawks-centric titles. If we can generate enough interest, maybe someone will issue a reprint.

"Open Net" by George Plimpton

Don't hold it against the book that it covers Plimpton's pre-season experiences with the 1979-80 Boston Bruins. Chocked with great old-school hockey stories, culminating in Plimpton manning the net for five minutes of an exhibition game against the Flyers, it's a hilarious read.

"Home Ice" and "Open Ice" by Jack Falla

If you love hockey, you will love Jack Falla's essays on his life as a recreational player and professional observer of the sport. Some of the essays can make you laugh out loud and get a little misty all in the span of 10 pages.

"The Game" by Ken Dryden

Hockey players may have reputations as brutes, but Dryden's exploration of his career with the Montreal Canadiens is one of the deepest and most compelling accounts of what it means to be an elite athlete on an elite team. Hawks fans may want to skip the section on the 1971 Stanley Cup where the Canadiens overcame a two-goal deficit in Game 7 to defeat what was probably the best Blackhawks team ever outside the current one.

"Ice Time: A Tale of Fathers, Sons, and Hometown Heroes" by Jay Atkinson

A kind of "Friday Night Lights" for hockey (only better), Atkinson volunteers as assistant coach for his former high school team in Massachusetts. It captures the essence of what makes hockey great, and how it impacts the lives of the people who play it.

"The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, A Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team" by Wayne Coffey

I was 10 years old during the 1980 Winter Olympics, and it's possible that the U.S. team defeating the Soviet Union was the greatest thing that had happened in my life up to that point. It still might be in the top 10. If you've seen the movie "Miracle," this book tells those stories in greater detail that manages to enrich the human drama of the story.

Hockey seems to be a sport that lends itself to miracles. The Blackhawks' amazing 17 seconds is just this year's version. There's something about the combination of structure and improvisation of that seems to lend itself to seemingly impossible outcomes that are nonetheless wholly appropriate and satisfying, just like the end of a really good book.

Biblioracle John Warner is the author of "The Funny Man."

The Biblioracle offers his recommendations

1. "Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives" by Brad Watson

2. "In the Loyal Mountains" by Rick Bass

3. "Red Moon" by Benjamin Percy