Patrick Radden Keefe’s Empire of Pain: the secret history of the Sackler dynasty is one of the most upsetting, important books I have ever read. If you want to learn how America’s opioid crisis began and you aren’t afraid to be horrified by the corruption and dysfunction in American government, Empire of Pain is a must read.
Jacob Kornhauser’s The Cup of Coffee Club: 11 players and their brush with baseball history is another light read that fit with my peek interest in this year’s baseball playoffs. In the book, Kornhauser introduces us to and takes us through the experiences of 11 men who managed to play in just one major league game.
Erwin Chemerinsky’s Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights is an important and upsetting read. Chemerinsky, a constitutional lawyer and professor, walks us through decades of shockingly bad sometimes overtly racist rulings made by the Supreme Court that have served to help create our current police state.
With all the serious stuff happening, I wanted an entertaining read that would encourage me to think more about comforting subjects. Brad Balukjain’s The Wax Pack was just the ticket.
Like me, Brad is a huge baseball fan who began loving the game as a child in the 1980s. Unlike me, Brad was a big baseball card collector. In the summer of 2015, he got the fun idea to purchase an unopened pack of baseball cards from 1986 and try to track down the 15 players represented by the cards.
Permanent Record is the book written by Edward Snowden, who bravely told the world that America was spying on everyone. If you are interested in a better understanding of how things really work, Permanent Record is a must read. If you don’t already know the truth about America, you will find it upsetting.
Thomas Hauser’s Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times was one of the most influential books I have read. So many times I found myself thinking about people, politics, government, society, racism, sexism, or ableism.
While I typically don’t enjoy biographies, Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times was a true exception. Of all the people that have ever lived, Muhammad Ali is one of the people I would most like to meet.
Jim Bouton’s Ball Four is one of the most famous books about baseball. Given my love of baseball and reading, it’s hard for me to believe I didn’t read it until now. Now that I have read Ball Four, I can see why it has been so popular for so long.
Dan Barry’s The Bottom of the 33rd tells the story of a 33-inning game played between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings in 1981. As a fan of baseball, I have been interested in this game since first hearing about it as a child. I would love to hear the recording of the radio broadcast of this game. It must have been a truly amazing event.
Robert Peterson’s Only the Ball was White is a must read for anyone interested in baseball and the negro leagues.
Benjamin Carter Hett’s The Nazi Menace: Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin and the road to war paints interesting pictures of what was happening in all four nations in the years leading ups to World War II.