Can’t wait to get your hands on the latest best-seller, but the hold list is too long? To tide you over, every week we’ll offer similar titles and authors to the week’s fiction and nonfiction best sellers.
This week's #1 book on the fiction bestsellers list is Calico Joe by John Grisham. Once again, Grisham leaves his usual legal thriller genre and ventures into the lives of athletes, as he did in his earlier novel, Playing for Pizza (2007). Calico Joe tells the story of two major-league baseball players, rookie phenom Joe Castle and and journeyman pitcher Warren Tracey. In 1973, Castle hit a home run off of Warren and at his next at-bat, Warren drilled a fastball at Castle's head. The damage was severe, and leaves Castle brain-damaged and disabled. Warren's son, Paul, narrates the story as he attempts to find closure for his dying father decades later.
Other books with similar writing themes to Grisham's Calico Joe include:
Battle Creek by Scott Lasser - Gil Davison, coach of an amateur baseball team that has always made it to the championship finals but never won, is resolved that this season they will win it all. A man who has always loved the purity of baseball, he finds that the thirst for winning leads him to compromises that are hard to live with. The book also explores the other key members of his team--the aging pitcher who cannot admit to the pain his arm is giving him, the assistant coach who is dying of emphysema, the young phenom who would long since have been tearing up the major leagues if he hadn't been in prison for beating the brains out of his girl's other guy. The baseball is lovingly, truthfully described, with poignant and disturbing insights into father-son relationships.
Blockade Billy by Stephen King - Another author who occasionally steps outside his usual genre, Stephen King tries his hand at sports fiction writing. This short novella tells the story of Blockade Billy whose brief career in the big leagues was banished from the record books. Naive country boy William Blakeley quickly establishes himself as the real deal—hitting a ton and blocking home plate with a ferocity that earns him the nickname Blockade Billy. But what is that curious Band-Aid he sometimes wears on his finger, and why do players seem to get hurt whenever he wears it? A suspenseful read for sports and King fans alike.
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Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power and you can find read-alikes for that title here. At #2 is Mrs. Kennedy and Me: An Intimate Memoir by Clint Hill. Hill, a former Secret Service agent, served on former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy's protection detail for four years - from the beginning of her husband's presidency and after his assassination. Through his recollection of the everyday routines of the First Lady and her public appearances, Hill creates a deeply personal portrait that offers an intimate glimpse into Jacqueline Kennedy's life.
Other books similar to Mrs. Kennedy and Me include:
Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy - A collection of original audio recordings and annotated transcripts taken from interviews Jacqueline Kennedy gave with Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. in 1964, after her husband's assassination. Annotated by historian Michael Beschloss, this collection offers a detailed account of life in the White House with JFK.
America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Sarah Bradford - biographer Sarah Bradford explores the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in a definitive portrait that is both sympathetic and frank. With an extraordinary range of candid interviews, Bradford offers new insights into the woman behind the public persona. She creates a coherent picture out of Jackie's tumultuous and cosmopolitan life-from the aristocratic milieu of Newport and East Hampton to the Greek isles, from political Washington to New York's publishing community. She probes Jackie's privileged upbringing, her highly public marriages, and her roles as mother and respected editor, and includes rare photos from private collections to create the most complete account yet written of this legendary life.
Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989 by Michael Beschloss -Historian Bescholss documents crucial historical moments in each of the first forty presidencies during which the future of the United States has been dramatically affected by a bold executive decision, and offers insight into the factors that influenced the choices made by each president. Included are Washington, John Adams, Jackson, Lincoln, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, JFK, and Reagan.
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If you'd like more recommendations, stop by the Recommendations Desk on the first floor, check out NoveList Plus on the library's website, or visit W. 11th & Bluff next week for more reading suggestions. Or submit a Personal Recommendations request, and we'll create a reading list just for you!