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Book 26

  1. Portis, Charles — True Grit (215 pages)
  2. Simpson, Joe — Touching the Void (210 pages)
  3. Bardin, John Franklin — The Last of Philip Banter (207 pages)
  4. Millar, Martin — The Good Fairies of New York (278 pages)
  5. Millar, Mark — Kick-Ass (190 pages)
  6. Sachar, Louis — Holes (225 pages)
  7. Baxter, Stephen — Moonseed (523 pages)
  8. Buchan, John — The Thirty-Nine Steps (152 pages)
  9. Bukowski, Charles — Post Office (167 pages)
  10. Palahniuk, Chuck — Fight Club (211 pages)
  11. Bemelmans, Ludwig — Madeline's Rescue (50 pages)
  12. Rennison, Nick — Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide, Eighth Edition (508 pages)
  13. Rucka, Greg & Steve Lieber — Whiteout (120 pages)
  14. Rucka, Greg & Steve Lieber — Whiteout: Melt (106 pages)
  15. Orwell, George — Homage to Catalonia (267 pages)
  16. Moore, Brian — Catholics (87 pages)
  17. Chatwin, Bruce — The Songlines (296 pages)
  18. Funke, Cornelia — Inkheart (555 pages)
  19. Eddison, E.R. — The Worm Ouroboros (521 pages)
  20. Milligan, Spike — Puckoon (152 pages)
  21. Jones, Diana Wynne — Power of Three (293 pages)
  22. Juster, Norton — The Phantom Tollbooth (264 pages)
  23. Jeffreys, Daniel — America's Back Porch (286 pages)
  24. Robinson, Marilynne — Housekeeping (217 pages)
  25. Stevenson, Robert Louis — Treasure Island (212 pages)
  26. Bissinger, Buzz — 3 Nights in August (296 pages)

Page count: 6608.

Here is proof that I do listen to your book recommendations, even if I take a while to read them. I've got several books on my shelves that were recommended to me by my LJ friends. In this instance, during a very lovely visit three years ago, hotpoint recommended two books to me. 3 Nights in August was one of them, and I was waiting for the right opportunity to read it.

For a few years I made it a rule to read a baseball book during the summer. There are so many great baseball books out there, and I've read a good number of them: The Boys of Summer, Men at Work, Ball Four, et al. 3 Nights in August ranks right up there with those.

It didn't ping right away, but Buzz Bissinger also wrote one of my favorite football books, Friday Night Lights. It probably gets a bad rap because of the awful movie and the tv show, but Friday Night Lights is one of the most insightful books I've read.

Bissinger brings that same insight and attention to detail to 3 Nights in August that he did to Friday Night Lights, the difference being that in the latter he was thinking big, writing about so much more than just football, while in the former he condensed and drilled down. 3 Nights in August takes a penetrating look at three-game series between the Cubs and Cardinals in August of 2003. He uses this three-game series as a foil which sets off manager Tony La Russa and his remarkable career and provides insights not only into the way La Russsa and his teams work but also into baseball in general. The result is truly satisfying.

I must point out that, in a desire to make my reading topical, I read 3 Nights in August in August (although it took me a little longer than three nights). And I also no longer follow baseball, so I had no idea the Cardinals were any good this year. Thus, the fact that I read this book just slightly over a month before Tony La Russa won another World Series with the Cardinals and then retired, bringing to a close one of the most storied careers in baseball, is purely coincidental. A happy coincidence, but coincidence nonetheless.

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