This book contains a variety of baseball-related infographics from Craig Robinson. Many of them are informative, many are funny, and quite a few are b...moreThis book contains a variety of baseball-related infographics from Craig Robinson. Many of them are informative, many are funny, and quite a few are both informative *and* funny. Robinson, an English person who first became hooked on baseball during adulthood, also tells stories between the infographics about how he came to love the game and his experiences traveling around the US (and Canada) to see big league teams play.
For someone like me who likes baseball and loves trivia, this book is great. Through his graphics, Robinson asks interesting questions about baseball and its history, and presents the answers to those questions in interesting and often humorous ways. For example, in one of his graphics, Robinson noticed that the Yankees have an awfully high number of retired numbers. He then wondered, at the current rate that the Yankees are retiring numbers, how long it would be until at least one player on the Yankees would have to wear a three-digit number due to all the one-digit and two-digit numbers being taken already. He plotted previous number retirements by year, extrapolated a trend line, and found the answer: by 2100, one or more Yankees will likely be wearing a three-digit number.
Another graph shows the migration of big league managers between teams, while illustrating the comparatively rare feat Bobby Cox accomplished by managing the same team for 20 years in a row without getting fired. Another shows how far Barry Bonds would have walked, if all of his career walks were put together in a straight line starting from home plate in San Francisco, and extending down the first base line, out the stadium, across the water, and more.
Not all of the graphics are meant to be funny. One shows how long after Jackie Robinson's debut with the Dodgers it was before each other team had broken their own color barrier. The Boston Red Sox went the longest with an all-white roster, more than 12 years. Along the same lines, another graph shows the vanishingly small percentage of major league players who have ever publicly admitted being gay (note: it's only two, ever). Per the footnote, "everyone else [some 13,000 players in history] is either heterosexual or not telling." Draw your own conclusions.
If you like baseball trivia and statistics, I think you will get a kick out of this book. I don't really have much more to say about it than that. Take a look! (less)
I really loved this book. It's the first of Miéville's that I have read, so I can't really compare it to any of his other work. All I can say is that...moreI really loved this book. It's the first of Miéville's that I have read, so I can't really compare it to any of his other work. All I can say is that this one really made me think...about language, about deception, about political conspiracies, about thought itself. I will be the first to admit that the book starts out a bit slowly. Miéville imagined a universe with technologies and life forms alien enough that he needs the first few chapters just to set the scene and prepare us for what is to come.
What is to come is hard to describe exactly. The Areikei language, Bremen imperial politics, Embassytown secrets, and more combine to form a crescendo of activity that builds and builds toward an amazing resolution. The beginning of the book may seem a bit tedious to read (or it may not), but I truly believe the main plot that gets started in about the middle of the novel is well worth the time investment. (less)
This book is a little bit outside of my typical interests (I'm usually more of a science fiction fan), but I enjoyed it. The characters are interestin...moreThis book is a little bit outside of my typical interests (I'm usually more of a science fiction fan), but I enjoyed it. The characters are interesting, the plot is fast-paced, and the story really converges on a central narrative despite its beginning that showcases four completely different settings and groups of characters. I enjoyed the rich description of the Philippines, the creative magical powers exhibited by certain characters, and the very different family relationships shown by different people within the story. I do recommend this book as an entertaining, suspenseful story set in a fascinating place. (less)