The book is a (very) extended interview between May and the author, which a lot of historical information included. May’s story is makes for good reading, although I thought the book was too long and repeative.
Some of the more interesting things I learned.
He played in the Negro Leagues
He lost almost two seasons serving in the Korean War
He might have broken Ruth’s record with the war and playing in Candlestick/Polo Grounds
He was raised by his father and two of his mother’s sisters (mother left, died young)
May said the level of play in the Negro League was better than the minors
Durocher has Mays room with his son to make sure he didn’t get in trouble
NY Giants had the first all-black outfield: Irwin, Mays, Thompson
Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal had more complete games than wins in their career. They both pitched all sixteen innings of a game when their team played. Marichal threw 227 pitches. Spahn was 43 years old.
Monte Irvin was given the chance to be the first black in the big leagues but turned it down. Felt he was no physically ready to play at the time.
Each chapter started with a quote from Mays. Many a memorable, common-sense advice.
Be open to learning from your parents and understanding where they’re coming from. They can help you if you let them.
Have fun with everything you do. Be comfortable. No need to act like you’re somebody else. Be yourself. That’s good enough.
Life takes you many places. Make the best of any situation. Complaining doesn’t help. You’ve gotta adjust and make it work for you.
Push to get the most out of your ability in whatever you do and feel good about yourself for getting the job done every day.
If you give your best effort, don’t get down on yourself if things don’t work out. Be happy with yourself and move on.
I had my own advanced stats. I learned hitter’s tendencies and memorized their strengths and weaknesses, which put me in the right position to succeed…
.302 lifetime average. 3,283 hits. 660 home runs. 1,903 RBIs. 338 stolen bases. 156.4 WAR.
Good book, based on a series of articles Osnos wrote for the New Yorker. This portrait, like the several others I’ve read, give me a little hope for America. Biden is a decent, hard working person. We need many, many more like that.
I already liked Biden. Small town kid, middle-class, family man, friend to those in need. What’s not to like? After reading this book, I like him even more. A man also of major accomplishments, intellectual power, and a tremendous work ethic. What’s not to like? Even less now that I’ve learned more about him. (Ok, he could be a little cooler. I’ll bet his taste in music is pretty bland.)
A personal account of living in Iran post-revolution. With a bit of history thrown in.
I have mixed feelings about this book. It’s not for a person unfamiliar with Iranian history. I do like the approach, a mixture of personal experience and history. However, I found a good bit of the descriptions of his experience overly long and just not that interesting.
The author, instead of getting to deep into the details of Khomeini’s life, included a lot of information on what was going on in Iran during his life, which made the book much more interesting. Kudos.
From the heart of this dark, evacuated campus
I can hear the library humming in the night,
a choir of authors murmuring inside their books
along the unlit, alphabetical shelves,
Giovanni Pontano next to Pope, Dumas next to his son,
each one stitched into his own private coat,
together forming a low, gigantic chord of language.
I picture a figure in the act of reading,
shoes on a desk, head tilted into the wind of a book,
a man in two worlds, holding the rope of his tie
as the suicide of lovers saturates a page,
or lighting a cigarette in the middle of a theorem.
He moves from paragraph to paragraph
as if touring a house of endless, paneled rooms.
I hear the voice of my mother reading to me
from a chair facing the bed, books about horses and dogs,
and inside her voice lie other distant sounds,
the horrors of a stable ablaze in the night,
a bark that is moving toward the brink of speech.
I watch myself building bookshelves in college,
walls within walls, as rain soaks New England,
or standing in a bookstore in a trench coat.
I see all of us reading ourselves away from ourselves,
straining in circles of light to find more light
until the line of words becomes a trail of crumbs
that we follow across a page of fresh snow;
when evening is shadowing the forest
and small birds flutter down to consume the crumbs,
we have to listen hard to hear the voices
of the boy and his sister receding into the woods.
The book consists of a series of excerpts from various works by Fred Rogers. I suppose it’s fair to say that Mr. Rogers was a bit cornball and simplistic. It’s certainly understandable why have many people, including me, didn’t pay a lot of attention to him.
But after seeing the recent movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, doing some reading about his life, and reading this book, I can see the value of Mr. Rogers. Actually, his thoughts on love and kindness are profound.
An autobiography of John Callahan, who was a well-known cartoonist. His work is pretty edgy, some would call insensitive (I wouldn’t).
He was a raging alcoholic from an early age. He describes in harrowing detail – and humor – his journey through the hell of alcoholism, which ended up with his being in terrible drunken car accident, which led to his struggle with being a quadriplegic, and eventually salvation through cartooning.