Monthly Archives: December 2015

Summer of ‘42: A Novel

Summer of 42 book cover

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by Herman Raucher
P. Putnam’s Sons (1971)

Okay, one of the all-time great beach reads for a beautiful summer’s day.  That’s a given. But as winter comes whistling around your windows if you’re looking for something to cuddle up with—try Summer of ’42—it will make you laugh, make you cry, take you back to a day when the world wasn’t as complicated.

’42 will warm your heart.

Simple story—three adolescent boys in 1942 are stuck with their families on a New England beach for the summer. They’re too young to fight in the war and yet waging a horrible battle of their own against the Number 1 enemy of youth—-puberty! Read More »

The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams

The Kid by Ben Bradlee book cover

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by Ben Bradlee, Jr.
Little Brown (2013)

Everything we wanted to know about Ted Williams and more?

At first blush yes, hell yes! After all this is the umpteenth book written about Williams, a 775 page tome that if dropped on the scales would outweigh one of The Kid’s Louisville Sluggers, the lumber that the Splendid Splinter spent a career baking, boning, primping, until they—in the hands of that incredible swing of his—made him the greatest left-handed power hitter to ever play the game.

But thanks to this Ben Bradlee, Jr. biography, what we have is: EVERYTHING we wanted to know about Ted Williams.

Ted Williams was half Mexican. Ted Williams made a career of not only knocking down American league fences he carried a lifelong chip on his broad shoulders the size of one of those satin Pedro’s South of the Border pillows. And, says Bradlee, this can be traced back to the kid’s shame of his Mexican background and his upbringing by a single mother who spent more time on the streets of San Diego banging a tambourine for the Salvation Army than she did at home raising Ted and his younger brother.

Once we’ve learned that his mother was Mexican and how it impacted Williams’ personality, did Bradlee need to shake the kid’s family tree until reprobate uncles and alcoholic aunts came tumbling out?  Perhaps not.  Are there a few too many graphic details about the cryptogenics and where the man’s head hangs today? For this reader, yes. Read More »