It’s the end of July, and you know that means: we’re smack dab in the middle of reading-about-baseball season. Herewith, a selection of great baseball books, courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
Recommended reading: The Awl takes a look at the “attempt to create a completely logical, absolutely universal language,” which goes about as well as you’d expect (read: not very).
George Packer at Lapham’s Quarterly writes of meeting a young Burmese reader of Charles Dickens: “‘All of those characters are me,’ [he] explained. ‘Neither a British nor American young man living in the twenty-first century can understand a Dickens as well as I can…I am more equipped to understand Dickens than modern novels. I don’t know what is air conditioning, what is subway, what is fingerprint exam.’” (via Book Bench)
The Tide King author Jen Michalski shares a wonderfully honest account of how she managed to write her way out of the closet. “People, mostly nonwriters, are always surprised when I tell them I wrote so much growing up,” she says. “But those words, I want to tell them, weren’t written for anyone else – the audience who needed to see them and the audience for whom they were written was me.”
“But poems are not poems if they make people feel dead. I want people to feel alive – even if it is alive with grief.” The Guardian profiles poet Danez Smith about poetry; race, gender, and queerness; and their poetry collection, Don’t Call Us Dead (a finalist for the National Book Award). Pair with: an essay on writing that gives shape and depth to victims of criminal injustice.
Obama inclined readers looking for a swifter read than The Bridge should pick up the pithy new anthology of poems composed during President Obama’s first hundred days in office, Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama’s First 100 Days.