Sunday, March 04, 2007

CRAZY '08 and other Worthy Reads


Spring time is when baseball books come in a rush - crowding book shelves in stores, competing for attention in the media, arriving in the mail of book reviewers.
Here is a look at some in the first batch of spring '07.

"CRAZY '08" by Cait Murphy (Smithsonian Books, $24.95, 368 pages) is a winner. I said so in a blurb that appears on the back cover of the book: "Zany, lively, filled with all kinds of delicious baseball detail - Cait Murphy has hit a grand slam with this important account of what was happening in the national pastime in 1908. I love it!" It was a time of all kinds of interesting characters and happenings and most of all the time of the Cubs of Chicago. Go for this book!

From Stewart, Tabori, Chang/Abrams Books comes two winners: "101 Reasons to Love the Dodgers" by Ron Green, Jr. and "101 Reasons to Love the Giants" by David Green, both 120 pages and priced at $14.95. The books are exquisitely laid out with archival black and white and glorious color photos. Green's snappy prose merges with trivia and stats. The works are recommended for the book shelves of Giant and Dodger fans - and for all baseball fans who want new takes on two of the great franchises in National League history.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: "Satchel Paige, Don't Look Back" written by David A. Adler and Illustrated by Terry Widener (Harcourt Children's Books, $16.00, 32 pages) is geared to ages 5 to 8. But this is really a book for all ages and for gift giving or to retain as part of your sports library. "Satchel Paige may have been the best pitcher ever," the book begins and we are then there through his many baseball highlights in clear and concise prose and brilliant and appealing art.

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