I have wanted to make book reviews a more frequent part of this site and to that end, I have a few logs in the fire.
First, I received a review copy today of Chief Bender’s Burden, a book about the Philadelphia Athletics Hall of Fame pitcher written by Tom Swift, a freelance writer and member of the Society of American Baseball Research. I requested the copy a few weeks ago after seeing it as the sponsor for Bender’s page on www.baseball-reference.com. If I ever write a book, there’s probably a good chance it will be in a similar vein (I went to a S.A.B.R. meeting a few years ago and felt like I was home.)
Also, I have been reading Bash Brothers, a book about Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire by a Bay Area writer named Dale Tafoya. I interviewed Tafoya and obtained a copy of his book leading up to my interview with Canseco in April 2008. I did not use my interview with Tafoya since it didn’t seem relevant to my story for the East Bay Express, and the San Francisco Chronicle passed on a book review (I know someone there, which is enough for periodic rejections.) I never read the book and always felt a little guilty. However, I picked it up again recently after finishing The Boys of Summer, and it’s not bad. Tafoya did commendable research in his four years compiling the book including dozens of interviews with former teammates and coaches of McGwire and Canseco.
I’ll be interested to read how both books come out. Expect reviews soon.