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September 05, 2010

Sunday Book Thread

Alas, I had little time to do recreational reading in the past week. I did, however, pick up two new volumes to put on my waiting-to-be-read stack.

The first is the novel by our very own Baldilocks, the lovely and talented Juliette Ochieng, Tale of the Tigers. I'm not normally an aficionado of "relationship" books; my tastes run more to gang-wars, wasteland mutant battles, and outer-space political intrigue. Still, I shall find time in the coming week or two to read the book, and will deliver my opinion on it.

The second book is a very rare bird indeed in that it is an unlikely combination of two of my interests: baseball, and American Civil War history. The book is called Baseball In Blue and Gray, and it was recommended to me by a historian friend who knew of my love for all things baseball. (Yes, Abner Doubleday was a Civil War general -- actually, a Lt. Col. brevetted to General for the war; no, he didn't really invent baseball.) Baseball is called the American Game because it developed right along with the country itself. It is part of our story and myth in the way that no other sport is.

Baseball books are as common as grains of sand, but there are actually very few good ones (at least, few good ones for general interest readers). George Will's Men At Work is one of my favorites, as is Jim Brosnan's The Long Season. Roger Kahn's The Boys of Summer is a perennial classic. Jim Bouton's Ball Four was the first "tell all" book that stripped the sports-hero veneer off of the big-leagues; many have never forgiven him for it. And for baseball neophytes and long-suffering spouses there is the Baseball Field Guide: An In-Depth Illustrated Guide to the Complete Rules of Baseball by Paul Hamburger.

Happy Labor Day Weekend, Morons. Be safe and enjoy the waning days of summer.

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posted by Monty at 10:04 AM

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