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

December 4, 2015

My kindle is telling me I’m running out of storage so 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 often 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). In addition, I have included the blurbs for works of fiction as they appear on Amazon, since just reading the sample might not be enough to accurately describe the story line.

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.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51yZRRs7O2L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe Season of Pepsi Meyers, by Abie Rotenberg. A novel about an Orthodox Jewish ballplayer set in the not-too-distant future.

Amazon blurb:

The year is 2040 and it’s been thirteen years since the New York Yankees played post-season baseball. With the number one pick in the draft, they choose a remarkably gifted ballplayer from the Binghamton, New York area, named Pepsi Meyers. Although just eighteen years old, Pepsi earns a place on the Major League roster and revitalizes the Yankees with his spectacular play.

Pepsi also happens to be Jewish. As the season progresses, the city is energized by the newfound success of its beloved team. At the same time, Pepsi and his family discover a world they never knew existed, as they are exposed for the first time, to Torah and the way of life it endorses.

Pepsi’s struggle with the tug-of-war between the spiritual and the mundane and how it affects him, his teammates and the City of New York is both an entertaining baseball tale, and a study into the priorities and meaningful choices we all have to make in our lives.

Sample size: Two chapters.
Table of contents? Not applicable.
Would I read the rest? Yes, but based on the topic, not because my interest was piqued by the sample.
Price: $9.99 vs. $22.95 hardcover (no discount)/$9.99 ($14.99) paperback
Worth the price? If you’re interested in this specific topic, yes.

http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1396385604l/21795373.jpgAmerican Past Time: A Novel, by Len Joy.

Amazon blurb:

Dancer Stonemason is three days from his major league debut. With his wife and son cheering him on, he pitches the greatest game of his life. And then loses everything.

Told against the backdrop of America’s postwar challenges from Little Rock to the Bay of Pigs to Viet Nam, American Past Time is the story of what happens to a man and his family after the cheering stops.

Sample size: Five chapters.
Table of contents? Yes, but not really applicable. Too much space taken up by praise for the book, but that’s just the function of copying the print version.
Would I read the rest? Yes, even though you can kind of predict what’s coming (if you’ve read enough baseball fiction). So far, well-written.
Price: $5.99 ($12.99) paperback
Worth the price? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61hpHqNB58L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe Dodgers and Me, by Leo Durocher

Amazon blurb:

The Dodgers and Me, first published in 1948, is Hall of Fame baseball player and manager Leo “The Lip” Durocher’s account of his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Beginning with a history of the club and owner Charley Ebbets, to Durocher’s arrival from St. Louis in 1938, the book details, in an often humorous manner, the rise of the cellar-dwelling Dodgers to their first pennant in 21 years. Manager Durocher goes on to detail the next five seasons of the team in this fascinating look at the Brooklyn Dodgers and major league baseball. Included are 14 pages of illustrations. Durocher, suspended for a year in a feud with Yankee owner Larry MacPhail, would return to the Dodgers in 1948 but was let go and hired by the rival New York Giants where he stayed until the end of the 1955 season. In 1966, Durocher returned to baseball as manager of the Chicago Cubs (1966-1972), and the Houston Astros (1972-73) before retiring. Durocher passed away in 1991 at the age of 86.

Sample size: Four chapters.
Table of contents? Yes.
Would I read the rest? Yes. A nostalgic look back at one of the legendary characters of the game. Of course, this is a bit of a whitewash, but it’s interesting to see the style of that era. And kudos to the publisher — NightHawk Books — which (re)released the book as “part of our collection of noir detective, mystery, biographies, and other largely forgotten books…”
Price: $2.99 vs. $36.76 hardcover/$24.76 paperback
Worth the price? Definitely.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51L2buf7fCL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgALOU MAKES THE CATCH: An Alternate History of the Chicago Cubs, by George Castle

Amazon blurb:

What if the Cubs hadn’t traded Lou Brock? What if Ray Kroc had bought the team in the 1970s? What if Greg Maddux hadn’t left for the Braves? And, of course, what if Alou had made the catch in the 2003 National League Championship Series? These and many other turning points in Cubs history are altered. Sometimes, the result is everything a fan could dream of. Other times, the result is less dramatic, or even worse than the real-life outcome. Author George Castle, a longtime Chicago sportswriter and broadcaster, explores the history of one of sports’ longest-suffering franchises, and puts a few twists into its history.

Sample size: Two chapters of out nine, plus an appendix.
Table of contents? Yes.
Would I read the rest? If I was a Cubs fan, you bet, although why torture yourself with “what ifs?”(And if my mother had four wheels, she’d be a bus.)
Price: $2.99, Kindle only.
Worth the price? See “Would I read the rest,” above.

https://images.bookstore.ipgbook.com/images/book_image/large/9781629371559.jpgMore Than a Season: Building a Championship Culture, by Dayton Moore

Amazon blurb:

When Dayton Moore arrived in Kansas City in 2006, the Royals hardly resembled a contender. The general manager inherited a major league club that had just one winning season in the previous decade. Moore, a Kansas native who grew up as a Royals fan, implemented a plan to return the franchise to its glory years. Though not without a few bumps in the road, that plan came to fruition in 2014 as the Royals swept through the American League playoffs to take the pennant and returned the World Series to Kansas City. In More Than a Season, Moore shares how his faith and leadership principles guided his rebooting of the Royals. The general manager describes how he built one of baseball’s best farm systems and international scouting departments of out nothing. He shares insight on how he persevered through six consecutive losing seasons and the critical response to controversial trades of Zack Greinke and Wil Myers—transactions that ultimately yielded the foundation of a champion. Full of never-before-told stories from inside the Royals organization More Than a Season…

Sample size: One chapter, plus foreword (by Royals player Alex Gordon) an introduction (by William F. High, CEO of the National Christian Foundation Heartland).
Table of contents? No.
Would I read the rest? If I was a Royals fan, you bet. But again, too much space devoted to preambles. I wonder how many readers actually go through such stuff; give me the meat. Difficult to make in informed purchasing decision otherwise.
Price: $9.59 vs. $16.95 paperback.
Worth the price? I assume so, if you’re interested in the inner workings of an organization. But will every team that has a modicum off success come out with a version of Moneyball?

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