Book Review: Baseball Field Guide

The Baseball Field Guide, 4th Edition, helps you learn about “every inch of the baseball (from the core to the stitches!)”.  As the introduction says, the basic rules are second nature to those who watch the sport regularly (me) but the official rules can be surprisingly complex. Which is true. Every now and then some weird situation comes up and you kind of wish you had a rule guide in your back pocket – and now you can!  I liked how this book has the rules broken down and there’s also graphics and images to help you understand what’s going on.  With several new rules coming to MLB this season, now that I have this field guide available to me I’ll hopefully be a bit less confused while I root on my Mets!

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A great overview for novices and a precise reference guide for hard-core fans!

Admit it: Even if you’re a die-hard fan of our national pastime, sometimes an umpire’s call can be baffling. And for newer fans, Major League Baseball’s nuanced rules—developed and revised over many decades—can be downright perplexing.

Now updated throughout with the latest changes, including specifications about the universal designated hitter and limits on defensive shifts, the Baseball Field Guide lays out every rule in plain English. You’ll learn to answer all these questions and more:

  • Do you know the twenty-two ways a pitcher can be charged with a balk?
  • Can you list all seven ways a batter can safely get to first base?
  • Obstruction or interference—who’s at fault when things get rough?
  • What are the rules that apply before and after a game?
  • What happens when spectators are the ones who misbehave?
  • How well do you understand the infamous Infield Fly Rule (and why does it exist)?

This is the clearest explanation anywhere of the rules of baseball. Designed for quick and intuitive searches, this entertaining reference will help you understand every aspect of the game and add to your enjoyment of the sport.

Book Review: The Only and Only Ruby

The One and Only Ruby is the sequel to the One and Only Ivan – which was recently made into a fun movie! As well as a sequel to The One and Only Bob.  I used to read Katherine Applegate’s teen books when I was a  teen, I guess I am regressing as this one is more geared towards the younger crowd, but since I enjoyed Ivan I had to see what ended up happening with Ruby…

Ruby is a young elephant with a secret.  She has started being called “Tusky” by her family because her tusks are coming in – but she hates her tusks.  Ruby is no longer living at the mall, but she is still with her Uncle Ivan at the Zoo.  She ends up telling the story of when she was born and growing up in Africa.

This was a really sweet story about how you can’t stop yourself from growing up, but it’s ok to think about the past and the loved ones you’ve lost along the way as well, as they helped you to get there.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

From beloved powerhouse author Katherine Applegate comes The One and Only Ruby, starring the adorable baby elephant from the Newbery Medal-winning modern classic The One and Only Ivan and its bestselling sequel, The One and Only Bob.

Ruby’s story picks up a few months after the events of The One and Only Bob. Now living in a wildlife sanctuary, Ruby’s caretaker from the elephant orphanage in Africa where she grew up is visiting. Seeing him again brings back a flood of memories both happy and sad of her life before the circus, and she recounts the time she spent in the African savannah to Ivan and Bob.

In the timeless way that only Katherine Applegate could craft, this highly anticipated novel in verse is the perfect mix of heartfelt and humorous, poignant and sweet. Artist Patricia Castelao returns to the world of Ivan and his friends with gorgeous black-and-white interior illustrations to complete the story.

The One and Only Ruby features first-person narrative; author’s use of literary devices (personification, imagery); and story elements (plot, character development, perspective).

This highly anticipated middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 8, for independent reading, homeschooling, and sharing in the classroom.

Don’t miss the film adaptation of The One and Only Ivan, now streaming on Disney+!

Book Review: The Future of Rock and Roll

The Future of Rock & Roll talks about the evolution of radio station 97X WOXY – which at its inception was the sixth modern rock station in the United States, based in Ohio.  The station tried to buck the trends and be independent – which at first meant avoiding repetition and playing new and more things unlike other stations (it seems like not much has changed since late 80s!).  It was very interesting to read how the media changed and how this station changed with it – even having a streaming option for their broadcasts in the early ’00s when that was relatively unheard of.  Unfortunately, the changes ended up being too much for WOXY to keep up with and they are no longer.

But definitely made me think what independence is and what it means to me.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.


About the Book

In 1983, an Ohio radio station called WOXY launched a sonic disruption to both corporate rock and to its conservative home region, programming an omnivorous range of genres and artists while being staunchly committed to local independent art and media. In the 1990s, as alternative rock went mainstream and radio grew increasingly homogeneous, WOXY gained international renown as one of Rolling Stone‘s “Last Great Independent Radio” stations. The station projected a philosophy that prioritized such independence—the idea that truly progressive, transgressive, futuristic disruptions of the status quo were possible only when practiced with and for other people.

In The Future of Rock and Roll, philosopher Robin James uses WOXY’s story to argue against a corporate vision of independence—in which everyone fends for themselves—and in favor of an alternative way of thinking and relating to one another that disrupts norms but is nevertheless supported by communities. Against the standard retelling of the history of “modern rock,” James looks to the local scenes that made true independence possible by freeing individual artists from the whims of the boardroom. This philosophy of community-rooted independence offers both a counternarrative to the orthodox history of indie rock and an alternative worldview to that of the current corporate mainstream.

Robin James is a writer, editor, and philosopher. She is author of four books including Resilience & Melancholy and The Sonic Episteme.

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