Tag Archives: Baseball

Famous Friends

Have you ever wonder what it would be like to be friends with someone famous? Do you ever wish you knew more about a celebrity beyond their public persona?  We’ve compiled a list of fascinating biographies that bring insight into the lives of people we’ve come to admire locally, nationally, and globally. Grab your best friend and delve into the lives of these famous friends.

Sparky and me : my friendship with Sparky Anderson and the lessons he shared about baseball and life by Dan Ewald—Sparky Anderson was the legendary manager of the Detroit Tigers from 1979 to 1995. In 1979, Sparky met Dan Ewald and a life-long friendship was established. From the front row at the ball park, Ewald was able to watch one of baseball’s most memorable managers bring his passion and knowledge of the game. While Ewald learned about the intricacies of the sport, Sparky taught him the “unwritten rules” of life, which he took to heart.

Elvis: my best man : a memoir : radio days, rock ‘n’ roll nights, and my lifelong friendship with Elvis Presley by George Klein with Chuck Crisafulli—In eighth grade, George Klein  became friends with the new kid in school with a guitar. When George heard him sing, he knew his new friend was someone extraordinary. Travel back to the early days of rock ‘n’roll with the King and one of his best friends Follow the whirlwind that shot Elvis to the height of fame. This heart-felt and entertaining homage to his friend takes you behind the lights and gives a glimpse of Elvis Presley beyond his stage persona.

As always, Julia : the letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto : food, friendship, and the making of a masterpiece  selected and edited by Joan Reardon—Julia Child was one of the original culinary personality. In this collection of over 200 letters between Julia and her “pen pal” and literary mentor, Avis DeVoto, we get a unique glimpse into the deepest thoughts and feelings of America’s favorite chef. Not only do we experience the growth of a life-long friendship, but the burgeoning of her most influential cookbook.

White heat: the friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson by Brenda Wineapple—Emily Dickinson was a reclusive poet whose work was not discovered until after her death. Thomas Wentworth Higginson was the abolitionist who commanded the first unit of African American soldiers in the Civil War. Dickinson sent Higginson four poems, which launched a friendship and an intense correspondence between the two, covering art, politics, and everything in-between. After her death, Higginson worked to publish Emily’s collection of poems, which made her one of the most influential poets of the 20th century.

Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly : the remarkable story of the friendship between a first lady and a former slave by Jennifer Fleischner—Elizabeth Keckly was Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker and confident during her time in the White House and early years of widowhood. Keckley bought her freedom in 1855 and settled in Washington DC. She quickly created a name for herself as a dressmaker in high society, attracting the attention of the first lady, who often felt overwhelmed by the social elite.  As Abraham Lincoln tried to hold the country together, Mary turned to her seamstress for companionship and advice, building a lasting friendship during a turbulent time.

I loved Lucy : my friendship with Lucille Ball by Lee Tannen—Although they met when they were children, Lucy and Lee’s friendship didn’t blossom until twenty-five years later during the last decade of Lucy’s life. Lee has written a tribute of the “lost Lucy years,” as Ball receded from the stage into her personal life. This book gives an honest and insightful portrayal of the final years of Lucy’s life, from quiet moments at home to traveling the world.

Mandela : my prisoner, my friend  by  Christo Brand, with Barbara Jones— When he enlisted in the army at 18 years old, Brand was confused and saddened by the realities of South African apartheid.  He opted to work as a prison guard instead of facing the dangerous life of a policeman or solider. By chance, he was given charge of South Africa’s most famous prisoner: Nelson Mandela. For over a decade, Brand watched Mandela face his injustices with dignity and hope. Eventually, the unlikely pair became close friends and, at times, accomplices. The two created a bond that would endure until Mandela’s death.

The extraordinary Mrs. R: a friend remembers Eleanor Roosevelt  William Turner Levy and Cynthia Eagle Russett—William Turner Levy was close friends with one of the most influential and admired women of the 20th century. Levy gives an intimate view of the former first lady and how she viewed the world. Russett brings a historical perspective to Roosevelt’s political and social accomplishments. Filled with intimate and fascinating anecdotes, the book gives a glimpse into the extraordinary life of the woman behind the public persona.

National Romance Awareness Month

Don’t let February fool you. August is National Romance Awareness Month. To celebrate, we wanted to read some great love stories besides the classics we know and love.  Here are just a handful of books filled with romance, laughter, missed opportunities, and deception.

One Day by David Nicholls—It’s amazing what a difference one day can make. On July 15, 1988, Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley met.  On the same day for the next twenty years, a snapshot of their relationship is revealed. They face ups and downs and love and missed opportunities.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon—After being torn apart during World War II, Claire Randall and her husband are finally together and on a second honeymoon in the British Isles.  When Claire walks through a standing stone, she is transported to 1743. Among fighting Scottish clans, she meets James Fraser, a young warrior. Together they experience a love so strong that Claire is torn between fidelity and desire.  Part historic romance and fantasy, the Outlander series is a complicated and adventurous love sage.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger—Clare, an art student, and Henry, a librarian, met when Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six years old. When Clare was twenty-three and Henry was thirty-one, they were married.  Although this is seemingly impossible, Henry is the first person diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder, where his genetic clock is randomly reset and he finds himself misplaced in time.  Since his disappearances are unpredictable, it creates urgency to every moment Clare and Henry can spend together. Can their love endure their unusual relationship?

Love Stories introduction by Rosamunde Pilcher—This collection of romantic tales has stories from great authors, such as John Updike and Rosamunde Pilcher. In John Updike’s “A Constellation of Events,” a woman recounts her first affair. In Catherine Cookson’s  “Miss Geraldine Parkington” is about a woman who proposes to her gardener.  Rosamunde Pilcher’s “Lalla” is on a girl who gives up a modelling career to marry her childhood sweetheart.  Love stories has something for every kind of romantic.

Friends and lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey—Experience the love, betrayal, and friendship of two young men and two young women in Los Angeles.  This funny and heartbreaking story follows their ordinary and not-so-everyday lives.  Friends and lovers gives an honest portrayal of contemporary love, friendships, and the gender gap.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – Don Tillman is a brilliant but socially inept  genetics professor looking for love without much luck. In order to find the perfect woman he creates the Wife Project, a survey designed to weed out the smokers, the drinkers, and the chronically late.  When he meets Rosie, he automatically disqualifies her for the Wife Project; but, Rosie came to Don asking for help to find her biological father. While working with Rosie on the Father Project, Don quickly realizes that love cannot be quantified.

The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Santa Montefiore—Grace Hamblin’s life is safe and secure until her father dies.  She falls in love and marries her childhood friend, Freddie. He takes on Grace’s father’s duties; and, Grace is grateful, except there’s another man she can’t get off her mind. Years later, their daughter Trixie falls in love with a wild musician, Jasper, whose band might make it big. When Jasper’s brother dies, he is called home to England. Before he leaves, he asks Trixie to wait for him. Confident he will return for her, Trixie refuses to listen to her mother’s advice.  As both mother and daughter search for love and happiness, they must confront their past to change their future.

The Rocks by Peter Nichols—A mysterious and traumatic secret tears two young honeymooners apart on a small Mediterranean island. For sixty years, they never spoke to each other, despite living on the same island. Decades after they part ways, their children (unrelated) are drawn together in a Romeo & Juliet inspired affair. The Rocks is a multi-generational love story and mystery that slowly unravels as it moves back in time to the moment that started it all.

How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer—The Toledo Institute of Astronomy is a premiere center for astronomical discover and research. Here, George Dermont searches the stars for proof of the existence of God.  Irene Sparks, another scientist in the institute, creates black holes in captivity.  While they share much in common and long for a connection with a partner, their differences keeps them apart.  Irene and George were raised separately to be each other’s soulmates; and, their chemistry together is palpable.  Will the two astronomers ever discover the truth of their destinies and find out if their love is written in the stars?

A Lover’s Vow by Brenda Jackson—Dalton Granger is passionate and handsome; but, Jules Brandshaw, a private investigator, is not impressed with his player reputation. Dalton is determined to show Jules that he’s more complicated than his reputation and prove that he’s an honest and devoted son and brother. As Jules and Dalton work together to save his family and their legacy, they grow closer together and realize there is even more at stake then what they imagined.

For these and other great books to bring a little romance to your life, stop by the 2nd floor of the library.

The Boys of Summer

It’s hard to believe that those Boys of Summer are winding up their baseball season.  Will our Tigers make it to the playoffs?  To the World Series? 

Who knows….  but I know that you just might like some of these baseball books.

Show  your Tigers some love with these non-fiction selections:

Cantor, George
Tigers of 68: baseball’s last real champions
The author, with the aid of more than twenty intimate player interviews, warmly yet directly recalls that magical summer when the Detroit Tigers won the World Championship.

Parrish, Lance
Few and Chosen: defining Detroit Tigers’ greatness across the eras
Parrish selects the top five Tigers of all time at each position and ranks them in this subjective compendium. Fans may disagree, but they are certain to find his choices interesting.

Stanton, Tom
Final Season:fathers, sons and one last season in a classic American ballpark
Growing up in the 60s and 70s, Tom Stanton lived for his Detroit Tigers. When Tiger Stadium began its 88th and final season, he vowed to attend all 81 home games in order to explore his attachment to the place where four generations of his family have shared baseball.

And for some good baseball fiction, take a swing at these…..

Grisham, John
Calico Joe
This story, based on the Cubs and Mets 1973 season follows the divergent paths of Joe Castle, a rookie hitter for the Chicago Cubs and Warren Tracey, a hard-throwing Mets pitcher.

Hamill, Pete
Snow in August
In New York City during the late 40’s, Jackie Robinson is breaking barriers and an unlikely friendshipdevelops between an Catholic boy and an immigrant Orthodox rabbi.

Kinsella, W. P.
Shoeless Joe
“If you build it, he will come.” These mysterious words, spoken by an Iowa baseball announcer, inspire Ray Kinsella to carve a baseball diamond in his cornfield in honor of his hero, the baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson.