Sunday, April 8, 2012

Thirteen of the best baseball books

Jimmy So is Deputy Books Editor at Newsweek/The Daily Beast.

One of his thirteen best baseball books:
The Natural by Bernard Malamud

The most divisive book on this list isn’t so much a baseball novel as it is a novel by a man who didn’t consider a book to be a book unless it can be used to procure a Pulitzer. There’s something about baseball that mesmerized post-war immigrants, and Malamud nailed it with the mythical tale of Roy Hobbs, a “natural” of such star magnetism that he gets shot by a woman for mysterious reasons, and then must climb out of the recovery abyss. One swing of his bat (the Excalibur-like “Wonderboy”) could mean redemption—or ruin. Baseball purists find this allegory dark and over-the-top. But Malamud, who didn’t let so much as a fly buzz by without writing about it as long as it passed through Brooklyn, showed us what Jews living blocks away from Ebbets Field must have felt: awe and hope in the shadow of an ugly new world.
Read about the other baseball books So tagged at The Daily Beast.

Also see Will Dean's list of five books on baseball, Allen Barra's five best works of fiction about baseball, Marjorie Kehe's ten best list of baseball books, Doug Glanville's best books on baseball, Richard J. Tofel's list of the five best books on baseball as a business, Tom Werner's six favorite baseball books, Fay Vincent's five best list of baseball books, Tim McCarver's five best list of baseball books, and Nicholas Dawidoff's five best list of baseball novels.

--Marshal Zeringue