Monday, June 09, 2008
Books by two giants of the craft and some nifty reads from Bison Books are yours for delightful summer reading. "Everything They Had" by David Halberstram and "The Mysterious Montague" by Leigh Montville are must haves.
The Halberstram work (Hyperion, 401 pages $24.95) is a splendid collection of the late author's writings over five decades for different newspapers and magazines. It is a kind of inside look at sports - a dinner with Ted Williams, a following of Reggie Smith around Japan, a hunt for the one hotel in Patagonia with a TV broadcasting the Super Bowl. Not just homage, but hard hitting stuff, too, is on these pages. The great Halberstram, killed in an automobile accident in 2007, ironically on his way to an interview for his next book, remains for us in the pages of "Everything They Had."
HIGHLY NOTABLE: "The Mysterious Montague" by Leigh Montville (Doubleday, 258 pages, $26.00) is not the type of book one would associate with the author of "Ted Williams" and "The Big Bam." It is about as its sub-title proclaims "A True Tale of Hollywood, Golf and Armed Robbery" and much more. It is also about the 1930s, LaVerne Moore (John Montague) who with other guys held up a restaurant in New York State in the Adirondacks. Montague escaped to Hollywood where he became somebody else and a friend to the rich and talented and famous. There is so much more to the story but buy the book; enjoy life courtesy of the talent of a master story teller, Mr. Leigh Montville, stroking you all the way.
From Bison Books (full disclosure - they are releasing my reprint version of "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball" in the fall) comes three paperback worthies:
Allan Bara's "Clearing the Bases" focused on the greatest baseball debates of the last century
Recently retired Ira Berkow's "Beyond the Dream" about occasional heroes of sports - wonderful pieces selected from his 26 years at the New York Times
And James R. Walker and Robert V. Bellamy's "CenterFieldShot" an insightful history of baseball on television.