MixedBook ReporterHe tells his tales in gimmicky titled chapters, in this case aligning them into one for each game of the Series’s maximum seven ... The lack of the usual chronology usually found in a history book makes this one a bit uneven as he jumps back and forth between eras and issues.
RaveBookreporterMore than a behind-the-scenes look at one of the best baseball movies of all time, the book is a filmmaking primer in which Shelton never presupposes the reader comes with the knowledge of what a \'grip\' or a \'second unit\' does ... Usually, as I read a book on a topic in which I’m particularly interested (or well-versed), I will make notes on the pages, rather than in a notepad, questioning why the author included this, excluded that, or chose a distinct word or phrase to make a point. The more pages I dog-ear, the more compelling I found the book. By that standard, The Church of Baseball has to be one of the best to combine my two favorite pastimes.
MixedBookreporterCox is probably better known by his fellow United Kingdom audience, which makes his new memoir, Putting the Rabbit in the Hat, a bit of a one-trick pony. The vast majority of people he writes about will be unfamiliar to all but the most ardent theater fans ... I often find that books like this serve as a form of therapy for the writer, a chance to look back at certain events and juxtapose them with the way things have turned out ... He is self-effacing and honest about his flaws, more than a few of which he attributes to his troubled childhood ... Of course, it’s up to the author (there is no co-writer credited) to decide what to include or leave out, but some readers might feel like something is missing. Fans looking for dirt will no doubt be disappointed, especially when it comes to inside dope on Succession. Which is most likely why Cox decided to publish the book now.
PositiveBookreporterMontville refers to himself throughout his account as \'the bright young man\' (or TBYM). Whether that’s tongue-in-cheek or self-aggrandizing is for the reader to decide; I choose to go with the former ... The more interesting half consists of his recollections of those days, admittedly not always accurate as some details have grown hazy over time. That candidness and wistfulness add to the book’s charm ... Once again he shows his unique talent and lighthearted approach to his subject.
MixedBookreporterVeteran sports journalist Andy Martino does a deep dive into the whole sordid affair. Perhaps too much so. There’s no question that a lot of research went into this project. Martino spends the first 11 chapters discussing issues that are only slightly germane to the bigger matter. Do we really need to know the \'origin\' story of the main participants[?] ... The actual tale of the transgression doesn’t require a book-length retelling unless you’re really into such sports skullduggery. If that’s the case, then cheated will serve you well.
PositiveBookreporterAbly researched and entertainingly presented by Luke Epplin, OUR TEAM is a painstaking look at the difficulties in the lives of all these men --- Feller’s \'lost years,\' Veeck’s leg amputation following his own military service, and Paige and Doby trying to make inroads in a sport that did not want \'their kind.\' But as they worked together for a common goal, many of these differences were set aside.
MixedBookreporter... what is especially interesting are chapters covering his attitudes regarding style and fashion, religion, and even his own weight issues ... White doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty about Hitchcock’s filmography as Francois Truffaut did in Hitchcock. But it’s just this type of inspection that sets his book apart from previous examinations ... However, this is not a perfect book by any means. Some readers might look askance as the author seems to take a certain pleasure in pointing out Hitchcock’s not insubstantial faults, although those looking for gossipy tidbits might enjoy such disclosures. Similarly, there is a haughty film studies feeling in spots where White might discuss aspects of the movies beyond the casual fan’s education ... Overall, though, The Twelve Lives of Alrfred Hitchcock makes a worthy addition to the cinephile’s library and undoubtedly will appeal to Hitchcock devotees.
RaveBookreporterThe individual games and accomplishments by Seaver and the Mets are well documented in dozens of other books. Where Madden excels is in Seaver’s pre- and post-Major League life ... endless thanks must go to Madden for this memorable gift.
PositiveBookreporterThe stories range from telling long-held secrets to Callahan’s recollections of time spent with these athletes. Some are quite touching ... The writer --- who, as most do, sojourns from one opportunity to the next based on more freedom, more money, better perks, etc. --- has the ability here to humanize these people in a way that can’t be done in newsprint, given the limited space ... All of these stories are insightful, as can only be told by a sportswriter who has earned a reputation as one of the best in his field ... as marvelous as these pieces are, there are times when the reader might tire of his habit of humble bragging and name-dropping ... The book’s title is also a little misleading, or at least curious: While there’s no arguing that the men and women included are \'gods,\' I didn’t find all that much playfulness here. Sure, there’s always a little kibitzing when you’re dealing with Ali, but most of the chapters depict a fair degree of melancholy. As well as they did in their craft, there was something in their personal life that seemed to get in the way of enjoying the accomplishment (often in the form of poor health).
Willie Mays and John Shea
PositiveBookreporterThroughout the years, Mays has been relatively circumspect when discussing his experiences with racism. He continues that trend here, save for his recollections of trying to buy a house in a fancy neighborhood in San Francisco. He’d rather focus on the positive . The book offers tidbits heretofore unrevealed to the casual baseball reader ... 24 comes across as a throwback ... There is no gossip, animosity or the dishing of dirt that we have come to expect ... Instead, Mays is gentle and generous when discussing his relationships with Mickey Mantle and Duke Snider, the two other legendary New York outfielders (the Yankees and the Dodgers, respectively), as well as with teammates and opponents.
PositiveBookreporterAs Nathanson reports in this excellent portrait of an artist as a young, middle-aged and older man, Bouton was in a league all by himself: thoughtful, curious, unwilling to take much at face value or keep his mouth shut ... While he does a fine job with the before-and-after of Bouton’s life on the field, Nathanson is at his best when he goes over the nuts and bolts of how Ball Four came to be and the fallout that followed. Plus, he gets extra kudos for giving Shecter the overdue credit he deserved for his part in this watershed literary event.
Alan D. Gaff
PositiveBookreporter... this latest look at Gehrig does stand apart, not only putting his own words to page but serving as an example of how differently sports figures wrote and were written about \'back in the day\' ... This \'memoir\' is basically a collection of articles published serially rather than in one volume ... The last half of the book contains a brief biography by Alan D. Gaff, which I found quite interesting, offering tidbits of Gehrig’s life that I do not recall from previous works ... One gets the impression that Gehrig never said a discouraging word about anyone in his life...Compare that with more recent works from players who, as the saying goes, couldn’t carry his jock. Nowadays there is no detail too lurid to share, whether it involves sexual encounters, substance abuse, or anything else that would be considered out of bounds in Gehrig’s era. But that follows the norm over the past near-century as silent movies turn to talkies, black and white to color, actual stories into shoot-’em-ups with ever-increasing body counts and explosions. That’s one reason I believe Gaff’s contribution to the Gehrig oeuvre will do well, at least with a certain audience who appreciates those kinder, gentler times.
PositiveBookreporterNusbaum...takes a deep dive into that story from the point of view of one family, as well as a few other figures lost to history, save for the excellent research he has done here. However, there are times when readers might wonder why Nusbaum has bothered to include some seemingly minor details that have no bearing on the overall story, other than to use those uncovered nuggets, such as the tragic death of a young boy or the marital infidelities of a resident of the pre-Dodger Stadium area. He is taking a big risk that his audience will stick with this meandering tale to get to the payoff. Frankly, there are other books that do a more effective job of reporting how the move from Brooklyn to L.A. all fell into place. Stealing Home is more about the people ... But if you’re a \'detective,\' someone who relishes finding all the little clues and Easter eggs en route to a bigger payoff, stick with it.
RaveBookreporter\"I am happy to report that The Big Fella may be [Leavy\'s] best work yet ... Another key note to giving The Big Fella a different perspective is the availability of and access to research materials that have improved tremendously since Creamer’s [seminal Ruth biography] was published in 1974. Leavy deserves all possible credit not just in uncovering these gems, but also in presenting them in a lively and entertaining manner.\
PositiveBookreporter.comWhile several other books have covered the topic of Sianis’ whammy, the author employs a style that educates the reader without the standard 'just the facts, ma’am' used by so many other writers ...this tale lends itself as much to hearing the words as seeing them ...instances turned potential victory and advancement into soul-crushing losses ...reminds us that the Cubs were winners once, way way back when.
MixedBookreporter.com...also a die-hard baseball fan, and Calico Joe is his long-awaited novel reflecting his love for the national pastime ... This relatively short tale about lost opportunities and unfulfilled potential considers, as do many baseball themes, the relationship between fathers and sons, hero worship, and the fickle fates of sports ...is not especially suspenseful; the reader knows practically from the beginning that things will not end well for the rookie ... The author has certainly done his homework, seamlessly incorporating real events and players.