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Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Books I Read in 2021

2021 Unlisted Goal: Reading. I wanted to read last year, as I did in 2020. I only managed five books, and I think that's due to a couple reasons. First, most of my reading time is on trains. I've only been riding trains about once a month, and the majority of that journey has free wifi, so I've been using that time to catch up on other media or online tasks. Second, the books I've been trying to read have been fairly uninteresting.

The first book I read was The Baseball by Zack Hample. It was an okay read at the time, but unmemorable. I really couldn't tell you anything about the book now. In March I read a trivia book called Out of Left Field; those are quick and entertaining and usually result in me being inspired to pick up some cards or even start a while new mini collection.

But after that was What About the Villa, the story of one season of a baseball league in England. It was heavily researched and I feel like it was well-written, but a large part of the book is a nearly game-by-game recount of the season, which gets really monotonous, especially with no prior knowledge of or stake in any of the teams or players prior to reading the book. I got through it in about a month, thanks to more free time on trains during spring break.

It was several months before I could finish another book: Baseball Rowdies of the 19th Century. This should have been a fast read, as it's another collection of trivia. But rather than tell interesting anecdotal stories, it's basically a list of players with a list of their "crimes" like you might find on the back of a baseball card. I think some players were repeated, since there was no good organization and just so much information. Mile wide, inch deep. It could serve as a good resource for moving into a more detailed accounting of some of the most interesting players or events.

I did fly through another book in November. The Utility of Boredom is a collection of baseball essays which I read while traveling around Kyushu. I only read five books this year, but Utility is the best of the bunch. Thanks to it being a collection of essays, it's easily digestible, but still has an aspect of storytelling. I can't say I have a favorite essay, but each one paints a good picture of why baseball is so great. 

Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. IN recent years I haven't been reading as many books as I could or would want to. I have been keeping track of them for a few years on Goodreads dot com. That site is primarily for tracking books you have read but I use it to track my book collection in addition to the books I actually read. Part of my "non-reading" I think is due to all the "reading" I do online. Sadly most online activity is social media of some kind either your Twitters, or Facebooks, or some kind of chat forum. Oh and watching videos on YouTube.