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WHY WE LOVE BASEBALL

A HISTORY IN 50 MOMENTS

A book for any baseball fan to cherish.

The celebrated sportswriter circles the bases, calling out exceptional moments in the history of the game.

“Henry Aaron’s 715th home run is the most magical moment in baseball history,” writes Posnanski, author of The Baseball 100. It’s a tall claim, but it holds up, illustrating Aaron’s quiet resistance to White hatred and proving his repeated claim that in baseball, “All that matters is if you can play.” There are plenty of other noteworthy events in Posnanski’s pages—and well more than 50, in fact: He counts 108, coincidentally the number of stitches in a standard ball and number of years between Chicago Cubs championships. Some of the moments are well known, such as Babe Ruth’s calling the home run he was about to hit. Others are buried deep in baseball lore, including an appearance on the mound by Jackie Mitchell, a young woman who just so happened to strike Ruth out at an exhibition bout after Ruth loudly proclaimed that women were “too delicate” for the game. One of Posnanski’s winning ploys is to dig into the archives to find such hidden gems and especially to celebrate the mediocre players who, for one of those magical moments, pulled something out of their caps and hit a surprise homer—as with Bartolo Colón, the 42-year-old portly pitcher who smacked one out of the park and then took so long to round the bases that one announcer was moved to explain, charitably, “I think that’s how fast he runs.” Other of Posnanski’s diamond heroes, famed and obscure, have more hustle, including 15-year-old Joe Nuxhall, who pitched for the Cincinnati Reds when the grown-ups were fighting in World War II; J.L. Wilkinson, who introduced lights and night games to the field by way of the old Negro League; and Ichiro Suzuki, the ever smiling Mariner—“Has there ever been a more joyous player than Ichiro?”—who showed what love of the game is all about.

A book for any baseball fan to cherish.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9780593472675

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2023

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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TANQUERAY

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

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A former New York City dancer reflects on her zesty heyday in the 1970s.

Discovered on a Manhattan street in 2020 and introduced on Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram page, Johnson, then 76, shares her dynamic history as a “fiercely independent” Black burlesque dancer who used the stage name Tanqueray and became a celebrated fixture in midtown adult theaters. “I was the only black girl making white girl money,” she boasts, telling a vibrant story about sex and struggle in a bygone era. Frank and unapologetic, Johnson vividly captures aspects of her former life as a stage seductress shimmying to blues tracks during 18-minute sets or sewing lingerie for plus-sized dancers. Though her work was far from the Broadway shows she dreamed about, it eventually became all about the nightly hustle to simply survive. Her anecdotes are humorous, heartfelt, and supremely captivating, recounted with the passion of a true survivor and the acerbic wit of a weathered, street-wise New Yorker. She shares stories of growing up in an abusive household in Albany in the 1940s, a teenage pregnancy, and prison time for robbery as nonchalantly as she recalls selling rhinestone G-strings to prostitutes to make them sparkle in the headlights of passing cars. Complemented by an array of revealing personal photographs, the narrative alternates between heartfelt nostalgia about the seedier side of Manhattan’s go-go scene and funny quips about her unconventional stage performances. Encounters with a variety of hardworking dancers, drag queens, and pimps, plus an account of the complexities of a first love with a drug-addled hustler, fill out the memoir with personality and candor. With a narrative assist from Stanton, the result is a consistently titillating and often moving story of human struggle as well as an insider glimpse into the days when Times Square was considered the Big Apple’s gloriously unpolished underbelly. The book also includes Yee’s lush watercolor illustrations.

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-27827-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

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LOVE, PAMELA

A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.

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The iconic model tells the story of her eventful life.

According to the acknowledgments, this memoir started as "a fifty-page poem and then grew into hundreds of pages of…more poetry." Readers will be glad that Anderson eventually turned to writing prose, since the well-told anecdotes and memorable character sketches are what make it a page-turner. The poetry (more accurately described as italicized notes-to-self with line breaks) remains strewn liberally through the pages, often summarizing the takeaway or the emotional impact of the events described: "I was / and still am / an exceptionally / easy target. / And, / I'm proud of that." This way of expressing herself is part of who she is, formed partly by her passion for Anaïs Nin and other writers; she is a serious maven of literature and the arts. The narrative gets off to a good start with Anderson’s nostalgic memories of her childhood in coastal Vancouver, raised by very young, very wild, and not very competent parents. Here and throughout the book, the author displays a remarkable lack of anger. She has faced abuse and mistreatment of many kinds over the decades, but she touches on the most appalling passages lightly—though not so lightly you don't feel the torment of the media attention on the events leading up to her divorce from Tommy Lee. Her trip to the pages of Playboy, which involved an escape from a violent fiance and sneaking across the border, is one of many jaw-dropping stories. In one interesting passage, Julian Assange's mother counsels Anderson to desexualize her image in order to be taken more seriously as an activist. She decided that “it was too late to turn back now”—that sexy is an inalienable part of who she is. Throughout her account of this kooky, messed-up, enviable, and often thrilling life, her humility (her sons "are true miracles, considering the gene pool") never fails her.

A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2023

ISBN: 9780063226562

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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