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Thread: Reading Advice from Redszone

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    Reading Advice from Redszone

    I know that we have had a number of "What are you reading now" type threads but I think this one is a little different. I am taking this composition and literature course in college called "The Dilemma of Existence" . Anyway one of our assignments is to collect a "library of my own" of books that I discover that I would like to read in the future. Basically we have to reflect on ourselves as readers and think about our reading lives beyond the classroom. We must use a variety of different sources to gather information about books we might like to read. And I thought what better place to do some research than Redszone .

    So my questions are:

    1) What book is an absolute must read for any baseball fan?

    2) What book have you read in the past has had the most impact on you and your life? (Looking for non-baseball related books here)

    Basically, it's the desert island type question. Thanks everyone for your input and I look forward to reading the responses...
    "In our sundown perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base', a certain game of ball. Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms, the game of ball is glorious"
    -Walt Whitman

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Reading Advice from Redszone

    Number One Too many, but here's a short list

    I collect them, have about 170 or so.

    Currently my 10 faves are

    Bill James Historical Abstract
    Diamonds in the Rough
    Creating the National Pastime
    Past Time
    The Cincinnati Reds - (Lee Allen)
    Hot Stove League
    Lords of the Realm
    Ball Four
    Men at Work
    We Played the Game

    2. Myths to Live By - Joseph Campbell

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    Re: Reading Advice from Redszone

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Freak View Post
    I know that we have had a number of "What are you reading now" type threads but I think this one is a little different. I am taking this composition and literature course in college called "The Dilemma of Existence" . Anyway one of our assignments is to collect a "library of my own" of books that I discover that I would like to read in the future. Basically we have to reflect on ourselves as readers and think about our reading lives beyond the classroom. We must use a variety of different sources to gather information about books we might like to read. And I thought what better place to do some research than Redszone .

    So my questions are:

    1) What book is an absolute must read for any baseball fan?

    2) What book have you read in the past has had the most impact on you and your life? (Looking for non-baseball related books here)

    Basically, it's the desert island type question. Thanks everyone for your input and I look forward to reading the responses...
    I've never read a baseball book before, so I'll only speak to the second question:

    1. King Lear
    2. Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner
    3. Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
    4. Critique of Judgment by Immanuel Kant
    5. Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke
    6. The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd
    7. Two Treatises of Government by John Locke
    8. The Enneads by Plotinus
    9. Biographia Literaria by ST Coleridge
    10. Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor

    That doesn't delve into poetry--but I figured so few people give a damn about poetry....blah, blah....

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    Re: Reading Advice from Redszone

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Freak View Post
    I know that we have had a number of "What are you reading now" type threads but I think this one is a little different. I am taking this composition and literature course in college called "The Dilemma of Existence" . Anyway one of our assignments is to collect a "library of my own" of books that I discover that I would like to read in the future. Basically we have to reflect on ourselves as readers and think about our reading lives beyond the classroom. We must use a variety of different sources to gather information about books we might like to read. And I thought what better place to do some research than Redszone .

    So my questions are:

    1) What book is an absolute must read for any baseball fan?

    2) What book have you read in the past has had the most impact on you and your life? (Looking for non-baseball related books here)
    You know...I've spent most of my life in theater...and the split of your questions reminds me of a master class I was in, with quite a famous actor/director, and someone asked him, "what should I do if I want to be a good director?"

    And his advice had nothing to do with Chekhov or movement or motivation or any theater-based answer. His answer? I'm paraphrasing, but this is awfully close:

    "Go out. Travel. Get laid. Get your heart broken. Get your heart filled up. Learn everything you can. Don't think about learning. Don't let people tell you this is good or bad. It is what it is. Live the isness."

    I think my point is not to separate. If you love baseball -- if you truly love baseball -- then you don't need a separation of books that have affected you. Baseball affects you, yes? If books affects you (and books should affect you if baseball does, i firmly believe this), whether the books have to do with baseball or not, they're appealing to the same person that baseball does. Look for the connection there and find the books that both those people love.

    Ps I am a lil drunk.
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    Re: Reading Advice from Redszone

    Favorite baseball book is "The Teammates" by Halberstam.

    Best book period? "Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace.
    "It's easier to give up. I'm not a very vocal player. I lead by example. I take the attitude that I've got to go out and do it. Because of who I am, I've got to give everything I've got to come back."
    -Ken Griffey Jr.

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    Re: Reading Advice from Redszone

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Freak View Post

    1) What book is an absolute must read for any baseball fan?

    2) What book have you read in the past has had the most impact on you and your life? (Looking for non-baseball related books here)
    1) The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (both the original published in the mid-1980s and the more recent edition published a few years ago)
    2) The Bible
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Reading Advice from Redszone

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    I've never read a baseball book before, so I'll only speak to the second question:
    Don't say that too loudly around here.

    1) My favorite baseball book is the ever popular Bill James Historical Abstract. For a sports related book that will move you and make you think about the meaning of life, I recommend Soccer in Sun and Shadow by Uruguayan poet Eduardo Galeano. It is beautiful writing whether you enjoy soccer or not, and has a lot of the lyrical qualitites many love in baseball writing. If you love well crafted writing, read Galeano's book.

    2) The Bible. I have gone through many religious and non-religious times in my life. I have espoused everything from fundamentalism to buddhism to agnosticism to anglicanism. I've now settled into anglicanism comfortably and--I think--permanently. Through it all, I've found the Bible to be a never ending source of insight into the human condition and inspiration for my life. Every situation I face seems to have connections to a passage from one of the books of the Bible. Even if I did not hold my current beliefs, I would acknowledge the Bible as the book with the most impact on my life--and western civilization. The sheer beauty of the King James Version is worth the read, believer or not.

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    Re: Reading Advice from Redszone

    I've never read a baseball book before
    I'd suggest you try one some time, at least Ball Four.

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    Re: Reading Advice from Redszone

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    I'd suggest you try one some time, at least Ball Four.
    If it's not written well, I lose interest fast. I'd rather look at a stat sheet than read something that's not well-written. And I don't mean a page-turner necessarily.

    I've got a lot of works to get around to before I hit baseball books. Baseball's my diversion. Reading, in many ways, is my work.
    Last edited by Falls City Beer; 05-17-2007 at 09:40 AM.

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    Re: Reading Advice from Redszone

    If it's not written well, I lose interest fast.
    Bouton has a good style, but Bill James is a good writer period, I'd probably read a instructional manual if he wrote it, nothing second rate about his writing at all.

    Both also write in small packets, nothing that can't be put down for awhile and then picked right back up.

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    Re: Reading Advice from Redszone

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    I'd suggest you try one some time, at least Ball Four.

    Ball Four is great, if a little dated. A lot of stuff he wrote about back then was shocking. Now, not so much. But it is a great read, nonetheless.
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    Re: Reading Advice from Redszone

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    Ball Four is great, if a little dated. A lot of stuff he wrote about back then was shocking. Now, not so much. But it is a great read, nonetheless.
    Dated, yes, funny as hell in the way any guy can understand, not dated at all.

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    Re: Reading Advice from Redszone

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Bouton has a good style, but Bill James is a good writer period, I'd probably read a instructional manual if he wrote it, nothing second rate about his writing at all.

    Both also write in small packets, nothing that can't be put down for awhile and then picked right back up.
    It's been years since I read "Ball Four," but I absolutely agree about Bill James. He writes well and is original-someone once said that James was a first class mind "wasting" his time on baseball. I disagree about it being a waste, but the guy can write and think.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    Re: Reading Advice from Redszone

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    I'd suggest you try one some time, at least Ball Four.
    It's also the one I'd recommend if you have to pick just one baseball book.
    "I can make all the stadiums rock."
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    Re: Reading Advice from Redszone

    Quote Originally Posted by vaticanplum View Post
    You know...I've spent most of my life in theater...and the split of your questions reminds me of a master class I was in, with quite a famous actor/director, and someone asked him, "what should I do if I want to be a good director?"

    And his advice had nothing to do with Chekhov or movement or motivation or any theater-based answer. His answer? I'm paraphrasing, but this is awfully close:

    "Go out. Travel. Get laid. Get your heart broken. Get your heart filled up. Learn everything you can. Don't think about learning. Don't let people tell you this is good or bad. It is what it is. Live the isness."

    I think my point is not to separate. If you love baseball -- if you truly love baseball -- then you don't need a separation of books that have affected you. Baseball affects you, yes? If books affects you (and books should affect you if baseball does, i firmly believe this), whether the books have to do with baseball or not, they're appealing to the same person that baseball does. Look for the connection there and find the books that both those people love.

    Ps I am a lil drunk.
    I like the advice, especially the quote from your theater instructor. I find myself at times, especially graduating from college in the next year, trying to "plan my entire life". I like structure I have found but sometimes I feel it works against me. I feel I need to go with the flow more often and be spontaneous. I am torn between finding a job and working my way up after graduation or doing something radical like hiking the Appalachian Trail for a year or pack up and moving to some islands for a while after I graduate. I don't know if that makes any sense or not.

    Anyway, the only reason I asked both questions was for the assignment. We have to have two libraries. One library of books that challenges one to think about those deeper life issues and another library of books about a particular hobby or interest.
    "In our sundown perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base', a certain game of ball. Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms, the game of ball is glorious"
    -Walt Whitman


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