Summering! A Reading List

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 11:57am -- baglio

As we are in the midst of Summer, lets enjoy a few titles that evoke feelings, memories, and some of the things we love most about summer! With these great titles, blending both fiction and non fiction, you can sit back, relax, and while away the hours as you reminisce about summers past.

Baseball: A Literary Anthology

By,  Nicholas Dawidoff

Robert Frost never felt more at home in America than when watching baseball "be it in park or sand lot." Full of heroism and heartbreak, the most beloved of American sports is also the most poetic, and writers have been drawn to this sport as to no other. With Baseball: A Literary Anthology, The Library of America presents the story of the national adventure as revealed through the fascinating lens of the great American game.

Philip Roth considers the terrible thrill of the adolescent centerfielder; Richard Ford listens to minor-league baseball on the radio while driving cross-country; Amiri Baraka remembers the joy of watching the Newark Eagles play in the era before Jackie Robinson shattered the color line. Unforgettable portraits of legendary players who have become icons-Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Hank Aaron-are joined by glimpses of lesser-known characters such as the erudite Moe Berg, who could speak a dozen languages "but couldn't hit in any of them." 

Poems in Baseball: A Literary Anthology include indispensable works whose phrases have entered the language-Ernest Thayer's "Casey at the Bat" and Franklin P. Adams's "Baseball's Sad Lexicon"-as well as more recent offerings from May Swenson, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Martin Espada. Testimonies from classic oral histories offer insights into the players who helped enshrine the sport in the American imagination. Spot reporting by Heywood Broun and Damon Runyon stands side by side with journalistic profiles that match baseball legends with some of our finest writers: John Updike on Ted Williams, Gay Talese on Joe DiMaggio, Red Smith on Lefty Grove.

 

Imagining Baseball: America's Pastime and Popular Culture 

By, David McGimpsey

From Field of Dreams to The Natural, from baseball cards to highbrow fiction, this book explores the place of baseball in American popular culture.

 

For the Love of Baseball: A Celebration of the Game That Connects Us All

Edited by,  Lee Gutkind and Andrew Blauner 

Stefan Fatsis sends his “stunningly perfect, consummately perfect, why-would-anyone-use-anything-else? perfect” glove to be restored by the glove designer at Rawlings. Frank Deford makes the case that the baseball cap may be the most universal article of clothing ever designed. Roger Angell considers why it is that pitchers are “so much livelier and more garrulous than hitters.” George Plimpton reflects on the slow demotion of aging or slumping players from pitcher, to first base, to the outfield.

United by the authors’ fervent love of the game, each chapter in this book reminds us of the unique role baseball plays in our national history and collective imagination. In addition to the writers mentioned above, the lineup includes:

• Kevin Baker

• Jeff Greenfield

• Katherine A. Powers

• Michael Shapiro

• John Thorn

• Sean Wilentz

• And more!

Published previously as Anatomy of Baseball and Great Baseball Stories, this wide-ranging collection now includes pieces by A. Bartlett Giamatti, Gay Talese, Matthew McGough, and George Vecsey.

 

Shoeless Joe

By, W.P. Kinsella

"If you build it, he will come." These mysterious words, spoken by an Iowa baseball announcer, inspire Ray Kinsella to carve a baseball diamond in his cornfield in honor of his hero, the baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson. What follows is both a rich, nostalgic look at one of our most cherished national pastimes and a remarkable story about fathers and sons, love and family, and the inimitable joy of finding your way home.

 

The Billionaire and the Mechanic: How Larry Ellison and a Car Mechanic Teamed up to Win Sailing's Greatest Race, the Americas Cup, Twice

By, Julian Guthrie

Down eight-to-one in the 34th America’s Cup in September 2013, Oracle Team USA pulled off a comeback for the ages, with eight straight wins against Emirates Team New Zealand. Julian Guthrie’s The Billionaire and the Mechanic tells the incredible story of how a car mechanic and one of the world’s richest men teamed up to win the world’s greatest race. With a lengthy new section on the 34th America’s Cup, Guthrie also shows how they did it again.

The America’s Cup, first awarded in 1851, is the oldest trophy in international sports. In 2000, Larry Ellison, co-founder and billionaire CEO of Oracle Corporation, decided to run for the prize and found an unlikely partner in Norbert Bajurin, a car mechanic and Commodore of the blue-collar Golden Gate Yacht Club. After unsuccessful runs for the Cup in 2003 and 2007, they won for the first time in 2010. With unparalleled access to Ellison and his team, Guthrie takes readers inside the building process of these astonishing boats and the lives of the athletes who race them and throws readers into exhilarating races from Australia to Valencia.

 

 

Gordon Bennett and the First Yacht Race Across the Atlantic

By, Sam Jefferson

The 1866 transatlantic yacht race was a match that saw three yachts battle their way across the Atlantic in the dead of winter in pursuit of a $90,000 prize. Six men died in the brutal and close-fought contest, and the event changed the perception of yachting from a slightly effete gentlemen's pursuit into something altogether more rugged and adventurous. The race also symbolized the beginning of America's 'gilded age', with its associated obscene wealth and largesse (the $90,000 prize put up by the three contestants is about $15 million in today's money), as well as the thawing of relations between the US and UK.

The narrative focuses on the victorious yacht Henrietta and her owner James Gordon Bennett. Bennett was the son of the multimillionaire proprietor of the New York Herald, and a notorious playboy. His infamous stunts included driving his carriage through the streets of New York naked, tipping a railway porter $30,000, and turning up at his own engagement party blind drunk and mistaking the fire for a urinal, which led to the coining of the phrase 'Gordon Bennett!'. However, Bennett was also a serious yachtsman and had served with distinction during the civil war aboard Henrietta, and he was the only owner to be aboard his own boat during the race.

Other characters include Bennett's captain Samuel Samuels (legendary clipper skipper, ex-convict and occasional vaudeville actor), financier Leonard Jerome, aboard Henrietta as race invigilator (he also happened to be grandfather to Winston Churchill) and Stephen Fisk, a journalist so desperate to cover the race that he evaded a summons to appear as a witness in court and instead smuggled himself aboard Henrietta in a crate of champagne.

Using the framework of the race to discuss the various historical themes, there's ample drama, and the diverse and eccentric range of characters ensure that this is a book laced with plenty of human interest, scandal and adventure.

 

Sailing

By, Onne van der Wal

From the eye of a world-class sailor through the lens of a world-class photographer, this grand-scale book takes the reader on a voyage around the world, capturing the joy, excitement, and serenity of sailing. As a professional sailor, Onne van der Wal has skippered boats of many kinds, raced yachts in every climate, and crossed the Atlantic more than ten times. When Olympus Cameras gave him a camera to document his Dutch team’s Whitbread Round the World Race in 1981, he discovered his second passion: photography. Over a lifetime devoted to sailing, van der Wal has accrued an unparalleled archive of the most evocative and beautiful photography of the pursuit in all its varied forms, from classic yacht racing around Newport, R.I., to beautiful schooners drifting outside St. Tropez, and from peaceful catamaran expeditions through the silent Antarctic to intense Grand Prix races around the coast of Australia. No other photographer has the experience to shoot so well on board a speeding yacht or the confidence to scale a mast for the right panoramic view; and no other sailor has captured the extremes of the excitement, competition, peace, and mystery the sport affords. This lavishly illustrated volume—with nearly 200 color photographs and several gatefolds of glorious panoramic images—is a celebration of the nautical lifestyle and a love letter to a pursuit that is so much more than a pastime for all those lucky enough to enjoy it.

 

Swim: Why we Love the Water

By, Lynn Sherr

Swim is a celebration of swimming and the effect it has on our lives. It’s an inquiry into why we swim—the lure, the hold, the timeless magic of being in the water. It’s a look at how swimming has changed over the millennia, how this ancient activity is becoming more social than solitary today. It’s about our relationship with the water, with our fishy forebearers, and with the costumes that we wear. You’ll even find a few songs to sing when you push out those next laps.

Swimming enthusiast Lynn Sherr explores every aspect of the sport, from the biology of swimming to the fame of Esther Williams; from turquoise pools and wild water to the training of Olympians; and she reveals the secret of buoyancy so that anyone can avoid the example of the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who lamented, “Why can’t I swim, it seems so very easy?” When his friend, the biographer Edward John Trelawny, said, “because you think you can’t,” Shelley plunged into Italy’s Arno River and dropped like a rock. With Swim, you can avoid that happening to you.

 

Summer: From the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, and philosopher, who is best known for his works Waldena treatise about living in concert with the natural worldand Civil Disobedience, in which he espoused the need to morally resist the actions of an unjust state. Thoreau s work heavily reflects the ideologies of the American transcendentalists, and he has long been considered a leading figure in the movement along with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott, and, at first, Nathaniel Hawthorne (who changed his views later in life). In addition to his writing, which totaled more than twenty volumes, Thoreau was an active abolitionist, and lectured regularly against the Fugitive Slave Law. Thoreau died in 1862, and is buried along with Louisa May Alcott, Ellery Channing, and other notable Americans in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts

 

Summering: A Book of Short Stories

By, Joanne Greenberg

Felicity of feeling rather than phrase or form recommends this collection of short stories by the author of The King's Persons (p. 114, 1962) and The Monday Voices (p. 451, 1965). She has a wide-ranging empathy for human experience which reaches across cultures and ages, while her own girlhood background and confrontations are close enough to render some of her stories distinctly autobiographical. They vary in their assimilation and distance from this experience, and some are scarcely more than anecdotes, but all are alive to the possibilities of vital encounter. In one prison setting, a woman dubbed Sunshine because she can get through the day without feeling, breaks down into a sense of her own humanness; in another, a Georgia cell, a Northern white librarian finds that a Negro civil rights leader has her own dictatorial sense of superiority that must be fought. In the Hebrides, a young woman studying a dying language, receives a lesson in living from an aged islander; in the flat lands, a hill couple learn a harder lesson in the mores of the ""soft"" townsfolk. A number of the stories incorporate her own heritage which is evidently Polish-- and they are handled with some humor. All in all, a youthful sensibility worth reading for enjoyment, worth watching for development.

 

Summer World: A Season of Bounty

By, Bernd Heinrich

How can cicadas survive—and thrive—at temperatures pushing 115°F? Do hummingbirds know what they're up against before they migrate over the Gulf of Mexico? Why do some trees stop growing taller even when three months of warm weather remain? With awe and unmatched expertise, Bernd Heinrich's Summer World never stops exploring the beautifully complex interactions of animals and plants with nature, giving extraordinary depth to the relationships between habitat and the warming of the earth.

 

A History of Folk Music Festivals in the United States: Feasts of Musical Celebration 

By, Ronald D. Cohen

In A History of Folk Music Festivals in the United States: Feasts of Musical Celebration, Ronald D. Cohen presents a comprehensive narration of folk music festivals in America, providing details on events both large and small from the 19th century to the present. Cohen discusses events like the Newport, Philadelphia, University of Chicago, and National Folk Festivals, describing and analyzing long-running as well as short-lived festivals throughout the country and covering a dizzying array of musical styles, including blues, Cajun, Irish, klezmer, women's, bluegrass, gospel, country, singer-songwriters, and world.

Cohen draws on a wide range of primary and secondary sources to create a detailed description of these exciting "feasts of musical celebration," capturing the nature and variety of the festivals and fully expressing this vital part of the development of folk music. Studying these events brings a truly national perspective to our understanding of folk music and provides important insights into their social, cultural, musical, and even political contexts. This account of folk music festivals in America is vital to folklorists, ethnomusicologists, U.S. historians, and readers with an interest in folk music and its history.

 

Dylan goes Electric! : Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties

By, Elijah Wild

One of the music world’s pre-eminent critics takes a fresh and much-needed look at the day Dylan “went electric” at the Newport Folk Festival, timed to coincide with the event’s fiftieth anniversary.

On the evening of July 25, 1965, Bob Dylan took the stage at Newport Folk Festival, backed by an electric band, and roared into his new rock hit, Like a Rolling Stone. The audience of committed folk purists and political activists who had hailed him as their acoustic prophet reacted with a mix of shock, booing, and scattered cheers. It was the shot heard round the world—Dylan’s declaration of musical independence, the end of the folk revival, and the birth of rock as the voice of a generation—and one of the defining moments in twentieth-century music.

In Dylan Goes Electric!, Elijah Wald explores the cultural, political and historical context of this seminal event that embodies the transformative decade that was the sixties. Wald delves deep into the folk revival, the rise of rock, and the tensions between traditional and groundbreaking music to provide new insights into Dylan’s artistic evolution, his special affinity to blues, his complex relationship to the folk establishment and his sometime mentor Pete Seeger, and the ways he reshaped popular music forever. Breaking new ground on a story we think we know, Dylan Goes Electric! is a thoughtful, sharp appraisal of the controversial event at Newport and a nuanced, provocative, analysis of why it matters.

 
By, Heiner Gilmeister
This is the second edition of the highly acclaimed and bestselling comprehensive history of tennis which was the first truly scholarly history of any individual sport. Supported by a startling wealth of linguistic and documentary research, Gillmeister charts the global evolution of tennis from its origins in 12th century France where it emerged as a more peaceful variety of ribald football played in monasteries. By the 16th century, it had become the favourite pastime of the European aristocracy and had, in the wake of the Spanish conquistadors, even reached the Americas. The prestige of the game also led to its popularity among Renaissance poets and playwrights. After a gradual decline in the 18th and 19th centuries the medieval game revived in the 1870s in the form of lawn tennis. The new game dispensed with the expensive walled courts, discarded the complicated rules of the old game and was played in a natural setting. From England with its famous Wimbledon tournament it spread to the European continent and to the United States where the Davis Cup was born. Gillmeister debunks several firmly established myths about the history of the game and rare colour photographs and medieval and renaissance drawings generously adorn the text. A delight for the sports fan and the scholar alike, Tennis is the authoritative text on the sport.
 
By, Diane Mott Davidson
 
For fans of Diane Mott Davidson's unique blend of sumptuous fare and first-class suspense, The Grilling Season, her seventh in the cordon bleu series, is truly a mystery to savor.
Hired to cater a hockey party, Goldy comes up with a winning menu featuring zesty South of the Border Appetizers, succulent Goalies' Grilled Tuna and iced Stanley Cupcakes.  Yet Patricia McCracken, her client and long-suffering friend, won't be satisfied until Goldy adds a hefty side order of revenge. . .
Patricia is convinced obstetrician and her Health Maintenance Organization--penny-pinching ACHMO--are to blame for the recent loss of her baby.  And the doctor in question is none other that John Richard Korman, Aspen Meadow's leading ob/gyn and Goldy's ex-husband, whose clean-cut good looks hide his dirty habit of battering women.  Now, Patricia is suing the doctor and ACHMO for malpractice, but that's not enough.  She wants Goldy's advice on getting even--and coming out on top.
At first, Goldy relishes the fact that her ex-husband is finally going to pay.  Even so, it's a horrid shock when John Richard is arrested for the murder of his current girlfriend, glamorous Suz Craig. . .especially when it's Goldy who makes the gruesome discovery.
Shaken by the thought that she could easily have been the victim, Goldy feverishly throws herself into her work.  But with her new husband, homicide cop Tom Schulz, delegated to the background of the case, and her fourteen-year-old son begging to prove his father innocent, Goldy has no choice but to sift through Aspen Meadow's premium mix of sizzling gossip and reheated rumor for clues.
Will Goldy's fresh-baked Chocolate Comfort Cookies give her the strength to disentangle a baffling mystery that threatens her catering deadline, her relationship with her son, and even her life?  The Grilling Season, replete with tantalizing recipes, is Diane Mott Davidson's tastiest mystery yet.