After a few months off, The Five is back with some book recs and more for the month of August.
1. Rickey: The Life and Legend of an American Original – Howard Bryant
The statistician Bill James once said of Rickey Henderson, “If you could split him in two, you'd have two Hall of Famers.” That’s how good Rickey was and Bryant’s book brilliantly breaks it all down. What I really loved about the book, though, was the deep dive into black migration from the South in the middle of the 20th century and its impact on Oakland’s culture let alone sports scene. Bryant is one of the best sports & culture writers going and Rickey is yet another phenomenal book.
2. The Cartographers – Peng Shepherd
The Cartographers is flawed. It’s one of those books where you literally yell out loud at the characters. “Why would you do that? Why don’t you just _______!” But if you can look past that flaw – and it took me a while – the book is an incredibly fun timey-wimey, wibbly-wobbly mystery. You'll never look at maps the same.
3. Chocolate Croissants
My family took a trip in June and I think I had a chocolate croissant every single day. Sometimes I had (ahem) more than one. If they were on the menu, I ordered one. I love them so much. Unfortunately, now all of my pants are too small. No regrets.
4. The Beach, a Dog, and a Tennis Ball
We try to visit the beach once a week in the summertime. My ladies bring blankets and books and patiently read as I throw a tennis ball for our dog. Into the lake or on the shoreline, she can never get enough. Me either. It’s our happy place. Inevitably, we both overdo it and wake up the next day sore - my arm and her legs. But I think we’d both say it was worth it.
I read anything Millard puts out. Her book about James Garfield, Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President, is one of my go-to nonfiction recommendations. It’s been six long years since Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill came out. River of the Gods is worth the wait.