16 January 2014

2013 reading list, October- December

Dirk Hayhurst, Out of My League.  NY: Citadel Press, 2012.
            This fictionalized coming-of-age memoir follows Hayhurst from the off-season after The Bullpen Gospels ends, through the next season.  In this year he meets and marries a wonderful girl, reconciles with his family, and fulfills his lifelong professional ambition of pitching in the Major Leagues.  A sometimes painful, often funny, and deeply personal look at the baseball life.

Truman Capote, In Cold Blood.  NY: Random House, 1965.
            One ex-con invites another to join him for a “sure thing” which ends up netting less than fifty dollars and leaving four dead.  Capote was already a well-regarded fiction writer when he undertook the first piece of book-length true crime, detailing the hunt for the killers from both law-man and criminal points of view based on official records and numerous interviews.  The language is exquisite, the structure and pacing excellent, the characters drawn with vivid and telling detail, and the reputation as a classic is well earned.

Marie Slaight and Terrence Tasker, The Antigone Poems.  Potts Point, NSW Australia: Altaire, 2013.
            See full review here

Anthony Aycock, The Accidental Law Librarian.  Medford, NJ: Information Today, 2013.
            See full review here

Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, The Ruins of Detroit.  Gottengen, Germany: Steidl, 2013.
            This haunting book of photos explores the remnants of the American Dream: broken windows, crumbling buildings, and empty streets.  It is, definitively, Ruin Porn, and makes one ache for the glory and grandeur that once was the most prosperous city in the world.

Joanna Russ, We Who Are about To.  Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP, 2005.
            What happens when a starship crashes on an uninhabited planet?
            Really?  Everyone dies.

Steve Rushin, The 34-Ton Bat.  NY: Little, Brown, 2013.
            This history of baseball, told through the physical objects used in the game, is similar to—but much more personal than—Peter Morris’s encyclopedic Game of Inches.  Rushin’s own big-league ancestors make appearances as he describes the development of gloves, uniforms, seating, and souvenirs.