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Tag: Baseball books (1-3 of 3)

'Moneyball': Love the movie? Read the book by Michael Lewis

moneyball

Even if you already saw and loved Moneyball this weekend, it’s still worth your time to read the book by author and financial journalist Michael Lewis. The movie does a great job constructing a narrative from what appears, on first glance, to be a somewhat un-cinematic story, but the source material drives home some of the thematic points in ways that the movie can’t. Reading the book after the movie doesn’t feel like a retread, but rather a closer look at Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt) and his Oakland A’s.

People who, like myself, hate baseball will be surprised by how much there is to enjoy in this book (see also: The Art of Fielding). Moneyball isn’t just about baseball; it’s about baseball statistics. On the surface, there’s no worse hell imaginable than having to stare at a page of player facts and figures (I just had to remind myself via Google what “RBI” stands for), but it’s a testament to Lewis’ reporting and writing that the chapter I found most riveting, even inspiring, was about Bill James, the Baseball Abstract author and statistician who inspired Beane’s seemingly counter-intuitive player recruiting philosophy. READ FULL STORY

On the Books Feb. 24th: Mark Zuckerberg the comic book hero, Katie Couric's advice, hip Kindle commercial, and more

zuckerberg-comicMark Zuckerberg got the Hollywood treatment with The Social Network, and now he’s getting a much more positive portrayal in comic book form. Since Hollywood has never met a comic book man of action it doesn’t love, I’m just waiting for another Zuckerberg movie–a reboot, if you will–this time based on the illustrated version.

Katie Couric is assembling a book, The Best Advice I Ever Got, to be released April 12th. Inspired by her well reserved graduation speech at Case Western University last May, she has collected over 114 essays from notable individuals, from Salman Rushdie to Chelsea Handler.

Celebrated comic book and animation writer Dwayne McDuffie died Monday of complications after undergoing emergency heart surgery. Among many others, McDuffie worked on Batman, Justice League, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man comics.

Taking a breather from her legal woes, The Help author Kathryn Stockett answered questions during a talkback session post-show at Driving Miss Daisy last night. She spoke about witnessing racism growing up in Mississippi in the 80’s, and she dropped few hints about the film version of her book, other than that she doesn’t have a cameo.

Cal Ripken Jr. can now add “novelist” to his resume with YA baseball book Hothead.

Sexy, hip new Kindle commercial takes jabs at the iPad and also the paperback, which is like kicking a dead horse while it’s down (see what I did there?).

Stephen King to publish surprise baseball novella, 'Blockade Billy'

Stephen-KingImage Credit: Lee Roth/RothStock/PR PhotosStephen King is a big fan of baseball, particularly the Boston Red Sox, as anyone who’s read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon can tell you, and now he’s ready to take us out to the ballpark again. In the lead-up to Opening Day, indie publisher Cemetery Dance has just announced the release of Blockade Billy, a new baseball-themed novella from King. The work is the tale of William Blakely, a player long erased from the history books, who harbored a deep, dark secret. Knowing the author, I suspect it’ll be something a lot creepier than steroids or pine tar.

“People have asked me for years when I was going to write a baseball story,” King said in the press release. “Ask no more; this is it.” According to Cemetery Dance, Blockade Billy will be available to ship in a few weeks, but you can order a copy now via the publisher’s online store. The first copies will also come with a baseball card of the protagonist. (And those who don’t order online may be out of luck. As the Cemetery Dance website notes, “We’ll be filling direct orders first and then distributors, online stores, and the chains if there are copies left available after we’ve taken care of our regular customers.”)

It’s interesting to see one of the biggest-name authors in popular literature publishing through a relatively small specialty house like Cemetery Dance. The company kept news of the book quiet so it would be a surprise just in time for the upcoming baseball season. What do you think? Surprised? Any fans of both King and baseball particularly excited for this?

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