I will be brief: A quick look at e-books samples

March 18, 2015

Submitted for your interest from another semi-regular scan of new titles.

It may seem unfair, but I do tend to judge e-books by their cover, especially when they are offered only in that format. It’s an indication of the time and effort the author/publisher puts into the project. Similarly, I’m basing my opinions strictly on the quality of the sample offered. Some are longer than others; I’m not sure who makes those decisions. Comments here refer only to the Kindle editions (as opposed to other e-book versions); the use of additional information, photos, etc., may or may not be different from the print edition. Prices reflect latest from Amazon for ebook and full price/Amazon discount for print.

https://pursuitofpennants.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/pursuit.jpgIn Pursuit of Pennants: Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball, by Mark Armour and Daniel Levitt. A thorough report on who does what and how well in baseball’s front office structure. Extra points for dedicating the book to Leonard Koppett, one of my favorites.

Sample size: Introduction, one chapter.
Table of contents? Yes.
Would I read the rest? Yes, but based on the topic, not because my interest was piqued by the sample.
Price: $19.22 vs. vs. $34.95 MSRP/$24.89 Amazon
Worth the price? Yes.

The 2015 Prospect Digest Handbook by Joseph Werner. A substantial sampling bodes for those into speculating in fantasy baseball futures, but as someone who does not indulge perhaps I’m not the right person to judge the info available here. Also, are there really that many “prospects” or am I just not understanding the definition of the word? Because technically, isn’t just about anyone a “prospect?” I was always under the assumption that it was reserved for those who had the best chance to make it to the Majors. Maybe there’s a “best of the best” (as in “Breakout” players).

Sample size: “An Introduction to CAL” (comparison and likeness); “Ranking the Top 250 Prospects (1-100)”; “Ranking the Top 250 Prospects (101-200)”; “Ranking the Top 250 Prospects (201-251)”; “Ranking the Farm Systems”; “The Top 25 Breakout Prospects for 2015”; “Organizational Analysis”
Table of contents? No
Would I read the rest? No
Price: $7.99 vs. $14.99 MSRP/$12.99 Amazon
Worth the price? Generally, yes.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61asKcAt8GL._UY250_.jpg512, by Ralph Pelusoi. Ya’ll know how I feel about reviewing fiction. It’s usually a no-win situation. So I’ll just offer the blurb from the Amazon page:

“George Herman “Babe” Ruth is widely regarded as the most recognized American sports icon. In 1902 at age 7 disheartened parents abruptly delivered him to an “orphanage”. Called incorrigible” his father coldly turned and walked away. Emotionally scarred Ruth forever craved acceptance. Painfully he mistook the exploitation of his talents for emotional bonding. Decades later his emotional void finally filled by the love of a strong and determined woman. At the turn of the 20th century, popular American sports had fallen prey to the evil influence of gamblers, baseball was not immune. In a game controlled by mean spirited and cheap owners, players were the real victim: chattel tossed aside when no longer having purpose. Impoverished players easily lured into the web of deceit. In 1903 with the advent of the World Series, the stakes increased. Players had big paydays altering the outcomes. Baseball’s little secret hidden until 1919 when news shocking the nation broke. The World Series was fixed! Enter a self-serving and biased federal judge handed absolute power to save the crumbling sport. He looked for help in the one player unapproachable by gamblers. In Ruth, Landis found a perfect and unsuspecting accomplice for control over every aspect of baseball. Ruth, with popularity soaring, was not controllable. A second scandal erupts in 1926 threatening to end the Landis grip on baseball. Never more fragile, the game was on the precipice to status as another corrupt sport. Landis looked to Ruth once again. This time Ruth wanted assurances about his future. This is the remarkable journey of Ruth’s assault on the baseball record book including his attempt to surpass the unreachable record of 511 wins as pitcher. He meets an assortment of unique characters and experiences colorful events; leading to a dramatic showdown with his chief adversary, Commissioner Landis.”

‘Nuf said.

Sample size: Five chapters, enough to make a decision about whether you want to go the distance.
Would I read the rest? No
Price: $6.99 vs. $29.99 MSRP/$26.99 Amazon (664 pages)
Worth the price? Kindle, perhaps; print? No offense to Mr. Peluso, but I wouldn’t pay $29.99 for any novel, regardless of author or length.

Understanding Fantasy Baseball – No Longer Just for Nerds, by Jason Johnson. With the dozens of FB books out there, how does one pick? I would go for something that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Hard to tell by the brevity of the sample, but this seems to be a decent primer.

Sample size: Introduction, one chapter
Table of contents? Yes.
Would I read the rest? Maybe.
Price: $4.99; no print edition
Worth the price? Probably

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/912EQQS08IL._SL1500_.jpgG I Had Fun: Visiting the Troops in World War II by the “Clown Prince of Baseball”, by Al Schacht. Kudos to the publisher for bringing back this little classic. Schacht was a pitcher for the Washington Senators from 1919-21, retiring due to injury. But he was one of the game’s “colorful characters” and a great storyteller. Granted, you have to accept it as a product of its time, but certainly worth the price.

Sample size: Introduction, one chapter
Table of contents? Yes
Would I read the rest? Yes
Price: $2.95 vs. out of print/used prices (from $3.88 on Amazon)
Worth the price? Absolutely

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