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Selected Orbital Readings

Whittaker Chambers, by Sam Tanenhaus

 This is an unsolicited look at Chambers and how he helped to set up the spy ring in Washington, D.C. in the 1930's.  It follows Chambers from his youth at Columbia University, to his growth as a Communist agent, and then it shows his break from the underground, his rise at Life Magazine to senior editor, and, of course, the trials that followed.  Chambers was a troubled man who influenced people like Nixon, Sen. Joe McCarthy and William F. Buckley, Jr.

Review: 5 of 5 stars.  The best biography I've read in a long time..


The Joy of Keeping Score, by Paul Dickson
A fun, quick read that has scorecards from famous games, speaks about the origins of scorekeeping at baseball games, and offers suggestions and innovations to make scorekeeping more fun, interesting.  Buy the paperback; it's too short to pay for a hardcover edition.

Review: 

3 of 5 stars: a nice book; don't expect too much.


Castro's Curveball, by Tim Wendel
A book that is more of an adventure, along the lines of Puerto Vallarta Squeeze, than a book about baseball.  In any case,  

Review: 

4.5 out of 5 stars: Outstanding.


The Celebrant, by Eric Rolfe Greenberg
The best baseball novel I have ever read. Perhaps it's because I'm fascinated with this era of history (the book spans 1901 through 1919), but I think Greenberg does an excellent job of following the lives of a fan (Jackie Kapp), who makes the championship rings for the Giants, specifically his idol (Christy Mathewson).  I could read this book a hundred times and still enjoy it.

Review:

5 out of 5 stars: the best.

Hannibal, by Thomas Harris

Considering: it is never fair to compare a sequel to the original, but I was somewhat disappointed by Hannibal.  Harris cultivated the Lecter creature in such a preposterous way, that I found some of the story to be unbelievable.

Review:

4 out of 5 stars: would have received 4.5, but he loses a point for the long delay in getting out the 3rd book in the series.


Common Sense, by Thomas Paine
The most influential look at the American Colonists just before the American Revolution.  Published in January, 1776, Paine clearly outlines many of the problems the colonists faced with Mother England.  This book incited the Revolutionists.  

Review: 

5 of 5 stars: who am I to question 223 years of freedom?

 
The Orb of Korb.  This page last updated: January 15, 2000