Ask NotGraphs (#17)

Dear NotGraphs,

What are your five favorite baseball books?

Your Wife, Because You Asked Her For a Fake Question That Would Maybe Sound Real

Thanks for the question, Wife. I’ve decided to make this list in no particular order, with only one criterion: how much I remember enjoying the book while I was reading it. A few of these I read when I was a kid, a couple are more recent. Each of them I remember very fondly. I’m not sure I would feel the same way now about, say, The Diamond Appraised, having read so many other books since. But when I read it — and I guess I was probably 10 or 11 at the time, given the publication date (I think I read it when it was fairly new) — it was absolutely eye-opening.

I’m sure most people will disagree with my choices. Feel encouraged to make your own list in the comments.

1. The Diamond Appraised, by Craig Wright and Tom House
2. Fantasyland, by Sam Walker
3. This Time Let’s Not Eat The Bones by Bill James
4. Feeding the Green Monster by Rob Neyer
5. The Way Home by Henry Dunow

Happy reading,

Have a question for Ask NotGraphs!? I’m obviously scraping the bottom of an empty barrel, so please send! About baseball, not about baseball, I don’t care, and maybe it’s more fun if it isn’t about baseball at all. E-mail me, or leave your question in the comments!

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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.

10 Responses to “Ask NotGraphs (#17)”

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  1. ccoop says:

    i assume “Business and [explitive]ing: Secrets to Crushing the Competition in the Boardroom and the Bedroom” would be included in the next 5…or does that not count as a baseball book?

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    • Resolution says:

      That book is NOT a baseball book in the same way that the Bible IS a secular, self-improvement guide.

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  2. dp says:

    I’m very fond of a long out-of-print book titled “Kings of the Home Run” by Pulitzer Prize winner Arthur Daley. It was written in 1961 and has a lengthy profile of every 300 home run hitter at the time plus Roger Maris. It’s certainly light reading, but it’s also a fairly interesting insight into the way baseball was conducted in mid 20th century America.

    Aside from that, there are more obvious choices: Ball Four; The Year The Bad Guys Won; Heat (the Doc Gooden Story); Clemente (the David Maraniss bio).

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  3. nu billy baroooo?! says:

    “the year the bad guys won” has to be one if the mist overrated, self-indulgent pieces of garbage ever printed. soooo poorly written and boring.

    Anything by Jane Leavy is amazing, Koufax & Mantle books are fantastic.

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  4. Anderson says:

    The Great American Novel by Philip Roth and The Universal Baseball Association Inc, J Henry Waugh, Prop. by Robert Coover.

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  5. Seitz says:

    You Gotta Have Wa, by Robert Whiting. Great book about Japanese Baseball, though the edition I have is a bit dated. Still a fun read.

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  6. Table says:

    Vech as in Wreck was very enjoyable. Highly recommended

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  7. Johnny Come Lately says:

    Bullpen Gospels by Dirk Hayhurst — best one I’ve read in a while

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