Our long national holiday being over, it’s time to get back to work.
Had the opportunity to finish (and re-finish) a couple of baseball books over the last few days.
I found Doc, the memoirs of fallen super-ace Dwight Gooden, a frustrating experience. On the one hand I thought it was a great self-assessment of a superstar who disappointed everyone — family, friends, fans, himself — by throwing away a potentially Hall of Fame career for the sake of immediate gratification through drugs. On the other hand, can you believe someone who admits he was a constant liar for decades? Whenever I read a confessional like this, the cynic in me asks the purpose of publishing? Often I think it’s a therapeutic measure.
Look for a podcast (yes, we’re getting back to those in the near future) with Ellis Henican, who served as co-author, and a review of Doc on Bookreporter.com.
Next, I had a chance re-read Thomas Dyja’s engrossing novel Play for a Kingdom about baseball and the Civil War. It’s a marvelous job of research both in terms of the War and the game as played in its pre-professional development, which I’ll be discussing with the author at some point soon.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to participate in an author’s event with Montclair neighbor Filip Bondy, who recently published Who’s on Worst?: The Lousiest Players, Biggest Cheaters, Saddest Goats and Other Antiheroes in Baseball History at our local library. On a recent visit, I discovered there’s an unabridged audio version out, narrated by my Facebook friend Scott Brick. I think of Bondy’s book as similar in format in a small way to my 501 in that they consist of entries about individual entities. Granted his are longer than mine, which may be why you won’t be seeing the audiobook of my work out any time soon.
Leaving for vacation soon, and since we’re driving I have room to pack a few books. Thinking about catching up on some of the John Tunis books I’ve neglected for so long.