NotGraphs Bookclub

Hunter S. Thompson committed suicide three weeks after the 2005 Super Bowl, titling his note “Football Season is Over.” Not to get too dramatic, but I get that feeling of general malaise that creeps in after the end of a sports season. It’s been a little over one week since St. Louie won the World Series, and I must admit I’m already growing restless. No NBA isn’t helping, and surprisingly neither is the start of the Australian Baseball League. That leaves one place to find immediate salvation – To the library!


“Honestly, the plot’s a little slow for me.”

What I’m proposing is a NotGraphs bookclub, but not really, because that would be too much work.  So what I’m really proposing are a few books that I would recommend to this fake bookclub if it actually did ever exist.

The now famous Jonah Keri posted a list of great baseball books many moons ago on NotGraphs, and it is pretty great and a good a place as any to start building your personal baseball library.  My only problem with it, however, is its lack of good fiction books (he includes just one, the albeit fantastic The Iowa Baseball Confederacy) – this list, while not as long, thorough, or as well hyper-linked, is an attempt to rectify this very, very minor literary injustice.  And that’s my preamble.

Book #1 – The Great American Novel, Philip Roth.  A long, well-written joke about our national pastime.  Read this in spurts, or just re-read his best book, the novella Goodbye, Columbus, and call it a day.

Book #2 –   The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop., Robert Coover.  A weird book by a weird writer, the plot follows the titular Henry Waugh and his devotion to a fictional baseball league he creates and plays by himself.

Book #3 – The Natural, Bernard Malamud.  The best ever.  Better than the movie.  If you haven’t read it, do it today. 

 More to come at some point, probably.




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futurecfo
Guest
futurecfo
4 years 7 months ago

http://www.amazon.com/Baseball-Crazy-Short-Stories-Cover/dp/0803731620
Read it when I was younger, in grade school. Not tailored for the older generation of readers, but it delights any passionate fan at any age.

TartanElk
Guest
TartanElk
4 years 7 months ago

I vote we actually have a book club and that we read “Ulysses.”

Kyle
Member
4 years 7 months ago

Please don’t make me.

reillocity
Guest
reillocity
4 years 7 months ago

I’ll join said NotGraphs Bookclub, so long as we only review books that have yet to be written.

Pikachu
Guest
Pikachu
4 years 7 months ago

No, Atlas Shrugged

therood
Member
4 years 7 months ago

I read The Natural when I was 15 or so. I was so pissed [at Hollywood] when I read the novel’s ending that I refused to ever watch the movie ever again.

I re-read it a couple of years ago and, knowing a bit more about writing and literature, realized the Malamud is an American treasure.

EdwardM
Member
EdwardM
4 years 7 months ago

I just finished “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach. It is great.

Greg W
Guest
4 years 7 months ago

I read The Iowa Baseball Confederacy when I was a teenager. I had read ‘Shoeless Joe’, and seen Field of Dreams. I thought that W.P. Kinsella had said a lot about Chicago baseball and cornfields then, but ‘Confederacy’ made it clear that it was waaaay more of an obsession than I was prepared to deal with.

Summer Anne
Guest
4 years 7 months ago

I’ve mentioned it before but it bears repeating: The Brothers K by David James Duncan is not just my favorite baseball novel but, most days, my favorite novel period. It is so, so, so good, guys. Please read it and then, like every other boy I’ve ever forced it on (and there have been a few…), buy it for your dads.

TartanElk
Guest
TartanElk
4 years 7 months ago

Until I looked at the commenter name and saw you were female, I had a wonderful joke lined up for the “every other boy I’ve ever forced it on,” part. Thanks for ruining it. :(

Summer Anne Burton
Member
4 years 7 months ago

I lol’d.

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