Tuesday, July 24, 2007

THE BOOK REVIEW: "Senior Year" and other Mid Summer Reads

Dan Shaughnessy is one of the most versatile authors around nowadays adept at nostalgia, commentary, big time sports moments and now "Senior Year" ((Houghton Mifflin, $24.00, 228 pages.) The book is a melding of memory and magic, of musings of baseball times, a re-telling of Shaughnessy's son Sam's "Senior Year" of high school. The book is a look at fathers and sons, baseball and boys and men and life's passages. A notable read.

"Love That Dirty Water" by Chuck Burgess and Bill Nowlin (Rounder, $14.95, 221 pages) is a terrific idea for a book and one that will greatly interest Red Sox fans and those who follow the story of the Standells. The book's general focus is music as it relates to the Old Towne team. And more specifically the song, the unofficial BoSox victory anthem - "Dirty Water" ("We'll love that dirty water Oh, Boston, you're my home oh, you're the number one place..."

There is much in the Burgess/Nowlin volume to savor - including the singing careers of Red Sox heroes Mickey McDermott and Tony Conigliaro and the ballpark organ of John Kiley, to cite just a couple of the very interesting music connections. Highly recommended
Rounder Books also brings us "No Greater Love" by Todd Anton ($18.95, 253 pages). With a foreword by Curt Schilling, the book is sub-titled "Life Stories from the Men Who Saved Baseball." And we are there with such as Ted Williams, Jerry Coleman, Johnny Pesky, Bob Feller, Vin Scully and others. Not exactly "Saving Private Ryan," but a moving and important collection of memories. Get it!

"The Kings of New York" by Michael Weinred (Gotham, $26.00. 286 pages) truly proves that a book can be written about any subject and any sport. This one is all about Brooklyn's Edward R. Murrow High School where there are no teams no sports teams that is. But there is the Murrow Chess team and this book follows for a year the geeks, oddballs and geniuses who comprise the top high school chess team in the United States. Very interesting and unusual reading. A terrific read.

"The Fat Lady Never Sings" by Steve Reilly (iuniverse, $18.95, 117 pages) carries a hefty price for a slim paperback, but this is an appealing tome focused on the community of Derby, Connecticut and the true story of the 1992 Derby Red Raiders narrated by one of its assistant coaches. It is all about the little guy the smallest school in its league advancing to the championship game. A very nice summer read.

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