Sick of reading about baseball? There are some swell hoops in this book - one bolted to the side of a semi-trailer at a tire shop in North Carolina, another in a southern Indiana cow pasture, another in a lodge at Yellowstone National Park (there's a piano on one baseline and the rafters ruin the arc on outside shots, but the view of Yellowstone Lake is great).

Ballard and some friends got into his van two years ago and spent six months, 31,000 miles and three transmissions searching for a good game. They found many, at YMCAs, health clubs and run-down parks across the country.They discovered that as the landscape changed, so did the game. In the East, it was flashier, more physical. In the West, "finesse" was not a dirty word (although, Ballard notes, "pass" seemed to be). He has listed good places to play, rated by court quality, level of competition, etc.

There's some silly stuff here - a "pickup primer" for people who won't read this book anyway, a glossary of "hoops lingo" and a short list of Arizona courts that will outrage all of you who have your own favorites.

But it's good fun anyway.