"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Tag: books

New York Minute


What we’re reading…pictures by Reinier Gerritsen. 



This looks cool, a documentary about Larry McMurty’s book auction last summer.

[Photo Credit: Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Associated Press]

The Stacks

Check out these blog posts about how people organize their books. I’ve arranged my books by topic but am too lazy to do it by author within a topic. Sometimes, I do it by size, or I clump together one author’s titles.

Once a year, I might be inspired to clean the mess up but maintaining it is another thing. Plus, I’m forever running out of space so things tend loose any sense of strict purpose. What I need is more space (the New Yorker’s lament), or less books, or a nook or a kindle. But I can’t imagine not collecting more books. It’s how I was raised and I don’t see it stopping.

Course, there’s also the books that are stacked on my night table, but here’s a look some of my library.

Twice Ain't Nice

When I first met Cliff, he took me to school. He said that proper form is one space, not two after a period. I’d spent my whole life thinking a double-space was the way to go. Not so, Schmucko.

Dig this article from Slate, breaking down actual facts.

Closed and Open for Business

I went to the movies on the upper west side yesterday afternoon and stopped into the big Barnes and Noble at Lincoln Center. It was the final day of business for B&N at that location. Depressing. Then I walked uptown on Broadway and at 72nd street, I found this treasure trove:

Hot dog.

…and Happy New Year.

Write On

I don’t know from Jane Smiley’s work, but I dig her advice to writers over at Fictionaut:

Any favorite writing exercises?

Eavesdrop and write it down from memory–gives you a stronger sense of how people talk and what their concerns are. I love to eavesdrop! Gossip. The more you talk about why people do things, the more ideas you have about how the world works. Write everyday, just to keep in the habit, and remember that whatever you have written is neither as good nor as bad as you think it is. Just keep going, and tell yourself that you will fix it later. Take naps. Often new ideas come together when you are half asleep, but you have to train yourself to remember them.

Write everyday. Every. Day. Show up. Do the work. Show up.

Forgive me, I’m thinking out loud. But hey, I’ll take inspiration wherever I can find it.

When Black Friday Comes I’m Gonna Stake My Claim

It’s the biggest shopping day of the year, so here are a few of the things that have come into my possession in the past year which the baseball fan on your list might enjoy (or which you may want to ask for yourself):

Yankee Colors

Yankee Colors photographs by Marvin E. Newman, text by Al Silverman

This is an absolutely gorgeous book of full-color photography from the late ’50s and early ’60s including game action from the 1955-1958 and 1960-1965 World Series, shots from spring training, and looks inside the Yankee locker room. Newman’s photography, which also includes some black and white work, is alternately intimate and breathtaking, and some of the images of the old Stadium are particularly striking, a true revelation even after all of the retrospectives from the last year.

Weber on Umpires

2009 World Series film2009 World Series Collector's Edition

As They See ‘Em by Bruce Weber – I’ll admit I’ve only just started this one, inspired by a recent episode of the MLB Network’s “Studio 42 with Bob Costas” featuring Steve Palermo, Don Denkinger, and Bruce Froemming, but I can already tell it’s a keeper. A very rare look into the insular word of major league umpires, Weber explores an essential, but mysterious aspect of the game with a curious, conversational style.

The 2009 World Series film – This has only been on the market for a week, but it’s a must for any Yankee fan, particularly one that already own the outstanding collection of the World Series films of the Yankees’ championships from 1943 to 2000. If you don’t own the latter, put that on your list as well, or, for you big spenders, go whole-hog with this.

The 2009 World Series box set – This one’s not even out yet (street date: Dec. 15), but MLB does a great job with these sets, and this one is sure to follow suit. Again, for those who don’t already have it, this box of games from the 1996 to 2001 World Series is also a must-have for Yankee fans.

Baseball Prospectus 2010 – I schill, yes, but this book, a valuable guide to the 2010 season, contains three team chapters written by me, three more written by “Bronx Banter Breakdown” regular Jay Jaffe, and several more written by friend-of-the-Banter and co-editor Steven Goldman, not to mention the other talented BP regulars who are contributing. It won’t publish until February, but if you pre-order your copy now, you’ll get it in time for your fantasy draft, or in time to sort through the subs in spring training.

And having schilled for myself, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you about friend-of-the-Banter Mark Lamster’s Master of Shadows, which Alex wrote about last month.

Last-minute stocking stuffers

Inspired by Alex’s post on a great “last-minute shopping” baseball book, I’m listing a few others that look interesting (though I haven’t gotten to read these …yet):

  • When Baseball Went to War“: “Drawing on the resources of The National World War II Museum and richly illustrated with many never-before-published photographs, (this) is a fitting tribute to the players of the Greatest Generation–heroes who saved America’s Game thanks to their efforts on the battlefield and on the ballfield.”  Also includes an audio CD featuring interviews with the players of the era.
  • First Class Citizenship: The Civil Rights Letters of Jackie Robinson“: ” …presents a full picture of the man whose grace and confidence on the field were matched (if not surpassed) by a voice that spoke out, long and loud, for the equal opportunity, civil rights, and humanity of all Americans.  Jackie Robinson’s letters are a rich and invaluable contribution to his singular legacy and to the dynamic history of the civil rights movement.”
  • Baseball’s Greatest Quotations Rev. Ed.: An Illustrated Treasury of Baseball Quotations and Historical Lore“: The author of the “Dickson Baseball Dictionary” is back with a new edition of the best baseball quotes.  “One unique feature of this revised edition is the inclusion of pull-out sections featuring quotations by and about many of the game’s most quotable characters. Included are extended lessons in Stengelese, Reggiespeak, Earl Weaverisms, and famous announcers’ home-run calls …”
  • Wally Yonamine: The Man Who Changed Japanese Baseball“: “Wally Yonamine was both the first Japanese American to play for an NFL franchise and the first American to play professional baseball in Japan after World War II. This is the unlikely story of how a shy young man from the sugar plantations of Maui overcame prejudice to integrate two professional sports in two countries.”
  • Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back“: Josh Hamilton tells his story of immense talent derailed by drug addiction, and the subsequent spiritual journey which led to his getting a second chance.


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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver