grip tape is love

Wednesday reading — baseball and also some things that are not baseball

What I've been reading

I read Slade House, a relatively short horror story that's like a companion to The Bone Clocks. All my favorite things about David Mitchell's books are more effective at a regular length, I think, but it is still nicely creepy.

I read The Sleeper and the Spindle, Neil Gaiman's Snow White/Sleeping Beauty Mashup. I'd read it before, actually, but it is better with the illustrations, which are gorgeous with the gold ink. An ebook is not an adequate substitute.

I read Honor Girl, a graphic memoir about the summer that the author fell in love with one of her camp counselors and the two of them mostly danced awkwardly around their attraction to each other and camp gossip. I didn't love the art as such but I do love the visual storytelling, and it's really great at evoking this very specific time and place.

I read Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan's Guide for Beginners, Semi-experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks. In spite of the subtitle, I would say it was more suited for mildly serious geeks at best, but then my baseline may be skewed by my own intense geekdom. It is entertainingly written, though, so I'd give it a solid recommendation on that basis.

I read Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game by the president of my alma mater, John Sexton (or, as we used to call him back in the day, JSex). I remember when he started teaching it as a class, especially since he did it through my own particular school, the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where you didn't even have to be president of the university to offer a class with an unusual subject like that, and I totally would have tried to register for it sometime just for the novelty of hobnobbing with the university president if the subject had been anything other than baseball. If you had tried to tell me while I was in college that one day I would be deeply interested in baseball I would have laughed in your face.

It probably would have been a fun class, though. It's a pretty good book, even though it was written by a Yankees fan. At least he feels the need to justify his Yankees fandom: he was originally a Dodgers fan, like a good Brooklyn boy, but then after his son was born, he felt that he needed to adopt a team that was actually still located somewhere in the five boroughs. I mean, he clearly made the wrong choice, but as a Catholic he felt drawn to the team with the most history, in spite of the fact that it was the history of being the Yankees. Also the Mets were actually being quite successful at the time while the Yankees were sucking. Still, I don't think these are actually adequate excuses.

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