Tim Wakefield, Tony Massarotti : Knuckler, My Life with Baseball’s Most Confounding Pitch

I love the knuckleball. I don’t know how any nerd could not love the knuckleball, or, as I prefer to call it, the “chaos pitch.” It’s thrown — at the velocity of a cheetah, mind you — with almost no rotation. Its path to, and hopefully over, the plate is determined, as much as anythingContinue reading “Tim Wakefield, Tony Massarotti : Knuckler, My Life with Baseball’s Most Confounding Pitch”

Derek Sivers : Anything You Want

A couple of Derek Sivers stories: My first CD Baby order was #17697, for 8 discs, in 2000. When I got the now-famous colorful shipment notice I thought I’d actually been the first brand new customer to order as many as 8 albums. I thought the email had been crafted for me, in particular. IContinue reading “Derek Sivers : Anything You Want”

Pat Benatar : Between a Heart and a Rock Place

Reading Between a Heart and a Rock Place was a lot of fun. It was definitely a read-a-lot-of-excerpts-to-my-wonderful-and-tolerant-wife book. Benatar’s career trajectory is kinda unusual in rock’n’roll, given that it doesn’t involve a trip to rehab (or its conspicuous lack). It’s sadly more typical in that one defining characteristic of that career is ongoing disputesContinue reading “Pat Benatar : Between a Heart and a Rock Place”

Phil Sutcliffe: AC/DC – The Ultimate Illustrated History

Sutcliffe’s history of rock’s Down Under bad boys is lucidly written, with a rather reportorial remove. (Sutcliffe for instance is always careful to note whenever the attribution of a quote is difficult to definitively establish.) The book is clearly marked as “not licensed or approved by AC/DC,” but it’s scarcely adversarial. Sutcliffe will occasionally noteContinue reading “Phil Sutcliffe: AC/DC – The Ultimate Illustrated History”

Clifford Irving: Fake! The Story of Elmyr de Hory the Greatest Art Forger of Our Time

I’m not even trying to separate my reaction to this book from the backstory: Irving, a novelist (a fraudster, in other words, because a novel is a pack of lies upon the credibility of which its success depends), here offers a purportedly non-fictional book about art forger Elmyr de Hory (a profession which combines fraudContinue reading “Clifford Irving: Fake! The Story of Elmyr de Hory the Greatest Art Forger of Our Time”

Joyce Linehan & Joe Pernice: Pernice to Me

I’m probably over-thinking my reaction to this book. Joe Pernice, if you don’t know the name, has one of the most honeyed voices in all of indie rock and a heaping helping of songwriting skill, displayed for the past several years/records in his band Pernice Brothers. Joyce Linehan is Pernice’s partner in Ashmont Records. ThisContinue reading “Joyce Linehan & Joe Pernice: Pernice to Me”

Chelsea Handler: Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang

Here are some of the page-count inflating techniques on display in Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang: half-page half-tone snapshots a purported multi-page e-mail* thread between Handler and her siblings a purported multi-page letter of complaint from a tenant of her father’s rental property whining (in multiple chapters) about the need to write another “stupid book.” OtherwiseContinue reading “Chelsea Handler: Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang”

Chelsea Handler: Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea; My Horizontal Life

I enjoyed these books more when I stopped thinking of them as literal, factual memoirs, and more as fiction in the uncomfortable-funny vein of Michael Scott or David Brent. Handler’s character is less a poster-girl for bad decision-making (although there’s some of that for sure) than a celebration of unchecked id. I suspect for muchContinue reading “Chelsea Handler: Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea; My Horizontal Life”

Julie Klausner: I Don’t Care About Your Band

I had to read this book because of Klausner’s back-cover crack about “guys in their thirties who’ve never been married, ride their bikes to work, and really like Death Cab for Cutie,”* since that acurately described me when my fiancée and I started dating. (I’ve since given up on my thirties and on DCfC (IContinue reading “Julie Klausner: I Don’t Care About Your Band”

Steven Johnson: Mind Wide Open

Steven Johnson opens his whirlwind tour of modern brain science asserting his intent to deliver a “long-decay” idea in each chapter: the sort of thought that will resonate with you after you finish the book, even possibly altering your behavior. And he delivers at least a few that stick for me. I learned things aboutContinue reading “Steven Johnson: Mind Wide Open”