The January Five

Five things I’m digging on recently – unofficially brought to you by the milk chocolate malt balls from The Peanut Store in downtown Holland.

1. Get Back

I was a little surprised at just how much I loved the new Beatles documentary on Disney+. I mean, I knew I’d love it. But I didn’t know I would “stop everything I’m doing and watch 8 straight hours” love it. And the crazy thing is, I would have happily watched 8 more hours. Heck, I would have watched 8 straight hours of just Ringo. Give me the Ringo Cam! While you can’t access the show via HDL yet, you can listen to the music that came from the sessions. There are also plenty of great other docs about the greatest band of all time. As a bonus, check out the movie Yesterday – an underappreciated gem from a couple of years ago that deals with the question: What if the world forgot The Beatles existed?

2. LOLMets

For some strange reason, I’ve read several books about the New York Mets this year. I thoroughly enjoyed the laugh out loud funny team history So Many Ways to Lose by Devin Gordon and I just finished The Bad Guys Won by Jeff Pearlman (about the ’86 Mets). Earlier in the year I read the new Tom Seaver biography by Bill Madden and They Said It Couldn’t Be Done (about the ’69 Mets) by Wayne Coffey. (The last one is only available through the wonderful MEL system.) I wonder what random team I’ll read about next year. Early guess is any team that employed Rickey Henderson. Howard Bryant has a new biography on The Man of Steal coming out next year that I’m sure will send me down a wormhole. Quick side note: I literally bumped into Rickey on the streets of Cooperstown, New York a few years ago. I had been looking at a book while walking (cliche!) and after knocking into him I said, "Oh hey I'm so...YOU'RE RICKEY HENDERSON!" He was very nice and said it was his fault even though it absolutely wasn't. He was wearing a mustard colored suit and looked like he could easily still hit .300 in the bigs. 

3. The Baseball 100 – Joe Posnanski

Speaking of baseball, Joe Posnanski’s The Baseball 100 is everything you would want it to be and more. Poz originally wrote the essays for The Athletic, releasing a new one every day for 100 days. The first thing I did each morning was read that day’s essay. There’s no better sportswriter than Posnanski (his book about the late Buck O’Neil is on my short list of all time favorites) and his love for the game of baseball shines through in his writing. I got a copy the day it came out and bought copies for numerous friends and family members.

4. Forget the Alamo – Bryan Burrough

When I was a kid, I had a book about The Alamo that I read approximately 6,000 times. I played The Alamo in the backyard of my house. I even wore a coonskin cap. (I’m from Kentucky. It’s not that uncommon.) Forget the Alamo was a fascinating account of the battle, the lead up, and the after effects that absolutely flipped everything I thought I knew upside down. Plus, there’s a lot about Phil Collins. And I love Phil Collins.

5. Displacement – Kiku Hughes

From my youngest daughter: “Displacement is about a girl who goes on a trip to San Francisco and is magically transported back in time to when her grandmother was placed in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II. I thought it was really interesting and it was really sad but it was somehow still hopeful. I learned a lot. I also really liked the artwork.”