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Off-Topic: Tell us about your favorite books

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There’s nothing baseballish that I want to talk about. My OOTP Baseball season has made it to the All-Star break. My Jays are 3 games out of first, but first in the wild card race. I have to decide if I should trade Giles. That the team is doing so good after four starting pitchers injured is fantastic, but I don’t see them hanging on. The offense has been great, and the bullpen has been great, so I think next season will be the one to go for it.

Anyway.

Tell us about your favorite books.

My favorites:

  • Good Omens, Terry Pratchett, and Neil Gaiman. Very cool, funny, and it got me reading Pratchett, all the Discworld stuff. And it got me reading Gaiman, who is excellent. I liked the TV series, but it wasn’t as good, but I enjoyed it, and I thought David Tennant and Michael Sheen were perfect. It maybe didn’t live up to the images in my mind when reading it, but it was good.
  • American Gods, Neil Gaiman. I like everything he writes. But, American Gods kept me up all night reading. We were on holiday, it was sweltering, and the cheapy motel we were staying in didn’t have great AC, and I started on the book and read until I finished (I’m not a fast reader). It was weird, and I didn’t understand it all, but it was great: A battle between the old gods that immigrants brought over to America with them and the new gods of the
  • Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx, Steffan Kanfer. At one people I read nothing but non-fiction, and a lot about old-time comedians. The Marx brothers always interested me, and I think I read every book I could find.
  • Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Bill James abstracts came out at the right time for me, I wanted to learn more about baseball, and he had an entertaining way of talking about the game. And it was all in a new way. Before him, you only heard about batting average. It is strange to think now, but things like batting splits were unknown to us back then. Then he wrote his ‘Historical Abstract’, which went back to the beginnings of baseball, going decade by decade through baseball’s history. It was fun, and I still look through it often. Every decade from the 1860s, he’d have at least one quote from a former player saying that ‘today’s players might be stronger, faster, but they don’t play for the love of the game like we did. They don’t understand the game.’ It helps me put the current old player’s complaints in perspective.

Share your favorite books.