Happy Opening Day! Nashville's minor leauge team doesn't start playing until next week, but there are six MLB games scheduled today, which is plenty to get excited about. We're celebrating in the April issue of BookPage by highlighting three new baseball books.
Baseball in the Garden of Eden draws on John Thorn's three decades of research to provide a fascinating history of the game. The slim Take Time For Paradise: Americans and Their Games by A. Bartlett Giamatti is an academic meditation on baseball as a leisure pursuit. The Extra 2% by Jonah Keri is an entertaining case study on how the Tampa Bay Rays went from "worst to first." (Think Michael Lewis’ Moneyball, but with a "broader sense of what it takes to run a successful sports franchise.")
Reviewer John Williams* writes that these three books are linked because "the towering baseball book of the season is a revisionist treatment of the sport’s earliest days [and] other titles suggest the continuing relevance of this past to baseball’s present."
Do you have a favorite baseball book? If you haven't read Moneyball, now's the time. Brad Pitt and Philip Seymour Hoffman are starring in the movie version that comes out on September 23.
Also, if you're looking for a unique book for the baseball fans in your life, check out Josh Wilker's Cardboard Gods—a memoir of a boy's coming-of-age, told through his collection of baseball cards. Julia, BookPage's Associate Publisher, wrote a post about her family's relationship with the game—and why she was charmed by Cardboard Gods—last year.
*FYI: Williams is a passionate baseball fan and a former coach and player. I should know: He's also my boyfriend. (Don't worry; I didn't assign or edit the review!)