I’ve been procrastinating a bit on writing reviews of things that have been sent to me over the past few months, so I suppose it’s time I mention a few of them. Today I’ll focus on a pair of books sent my way, both very different from each other.
The Comeback Season – Jennifer E. Smith
I admit, when Jennifer sent me this book, it was my first trip into the sports fiction realm and I was a big nervous. She described the book as being a young adult novel based around the Cubs and Wrigley field. That aspect intrigued me and I decided to give it a whirl.
The book takes place during the 2008 season and follows the life of Ryan Walsh, a Freshman girl trying to survive high school. She deals with the typical things that kids go through and struggles to deal with a life that seems to be moving faster than she would like. Ryan wrestles with how to deal with social inadequacies as well as the death of her father and remarriage of her mother, not to mention lifelong hardship experienced by all Cub fans.
Ryan meets a kindred spirit, Nick, who is new to the school and what follows is a wonderfully told story of teenage love, not just for each other, but for the team they have in common.
I know I’m making the book sound incredibly gay, but I promise, the book was worth my time and worth a try on your part as well. Give it a look and you’ll be glad you did.
Hammerin’ Hank, George Almighty and the Say Hey Kid – John Rosengren
This one didn’t wow me, but I want to make it clear that it was my fault that it didn’t. When I told the author I would review it, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. I tend to shy away from biographies or baseball history books. I know they’re usually really good, but I just can’t get into them. This was one of those types.
The book recounts the season of 1973, one of the most interesting in baseball. The game was recovering from the first strike in history and the attendance in the American League began to flounder. The Yankees were near the bottom and about to start the resurgence thanks to George Steinbrenner.
Rosengren paints a great picture of the season and lets you get inside the personalities of guys like Reggie Jackson, an aging Willie Mays and Hammerin Hank Aaron as he pursued the record held by the Babe. The book reminded me a lot of the ESPN mini series about the Yankees, so if you enjoyed that, you’ll probably love this book. It’s an easy read and a good read, but just not my style of book.