Gimbling in the Wabe – RIP, W. P. Kinsella

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On Saturday, September 17, 2016, Canadian author W.P. (Bill) Kinsella died at age 81. The news didn’t make a lot of waves, but I did notice it, albeit a few days after it happened.  To be honest, I don’t know Mr. Kinsella’s work beyond his 1982 novel Shoeless Joe.  And in fact, I only know [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Peanuts and Crackerjacks

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This is my favorite time of year.  Baseball season.  Early spring, and it’s still cool out.  We’ve yet to hit the heat and humidity of summer.  So far from October, and the post-season, there is still hope in the air, regardless of the team’s record so far.  This year, for my team, it’s a scant [….]

Litstack Rec: Spielberg, Truffaut & Me and Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere

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Spielberg, Truffaut and Me: An Actor’s Diary, by Bob Balaban In the summer of 1976, during the first weeks of the filming of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Francois Truffaut, who played the extraterrestrial specialist Claude Lacombe, was at work on a book about actors—tentatively titled Hurry Up and Wait. The legendary auteur-director and [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Beer and a Brat

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This week, a friend gifted me with tickets to the Twins game that happened to fall on the day I normally would be writing “Gimbling in the Wabe”. So, in the spirit of sitting back and having a good time, I am re-running a “Gimbling” that I wrote in 2013 outlining my love of the game. Thanks, Stacy! [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Extra Innnings (or, How Do You Play the Game?)

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In honor of the Major League Baseball Game, played earlier this week in Cincinnati, I am resurrecting a 2013 Gimbling in the Wabe, which was the final installment of a 3-part rumination on my love sports, but especially baseball. It’s not whether you win or lose It’s how you play the game. From 2004 until [….]

LitStack Rec: The Empty Family & Baseball’s Great Experiment

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The Empty Family, by Colm Tóibín  The Empty Family, Colm Tóibín’s most recent collection of stories (released in 2011), is a book I always keep close by, dipping into the pages that on each reading  remain fresh and affecting. Tóibín’s stories unfold with searing emotional accuracy. For me, the narration has an almost hypnotic quality, [….]

LitStack Review: Biggie by Derek E. Sullivan

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Biggie   Derek E. Sullivan Albert Whitman & Company Release Date:  March 1, 2015 ISBN 978-0-8075-0727-8 Henry Abbott is 16 years old, and a 10th grader at Finch High School in the little town of Finch, Iowa, where he gets straight As.  He works four nights a week at Bob’s Food and Fuel.  He has [….]

LitStack Rec: Thunderstruck & Other Stories & Baseball’s Great Experiment

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Thunderstruck & Other Stories, by Elizabeth McCracken Early on in Elizabeth McCracken’s extraordinary story collection, Thunderstruck, a grieving mother instructs her seventeen year-old son to seal up the room of his dead sister. This, she imagines will somehow purge the house of the evil that caused her daughter’s lymphoma. “Don’t touch a thing. Just seal [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Better Than Winning

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So now we have the brouhaha over how much punishment – if any – should be given to the New England Patriots for using underinflated footballs during the AFC Championship game.  It’s been proven that they did it, even if Head Coach Bill Belichick says he knew nothing about it (of course, no one believes [….]

Flash Review – What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

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What If?:  Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Randall Munroe Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Release Date:  September 2, 2014 ISBN 978-0-544-27299-6 The best thing about a book like What If? is that you don’t have to read it front to back – unless you want to.  You can peck at it, skim through it, take [….]