Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Forgotten Books, April 27, 2012

Friday's Forgotten Books is four years old this week!!! Thanks to all the people who have made it possible. I especially want to thank Bill Crider who has written a review every week for four years. That's 208 reviews. I remember still my surprise the second week we did this when he posted a second review. I never expected anyone to do it more than once. And I didn't expect it to last more than a few months.

Thanks also to Todd Mason who helps me when I am away either physically or mentally. And thanks to all the folks below--some of whom stand right behind Bill in the number of reviews they have done.
I didn't dream what devotion the people listed below have. I estimate we have reviewed in excess of 4000 books in those four years. On a personal note, I have enjoyed the people I have met in the real and virtual worlds though this and other projects. You guys are the best.

Friday, June 1 is Margaret Millar Day. Everyone is invited to write a review of her work.

Ed Gorman is the author of the Sam McCain series and the Dev Conrad series as well as multiple anthologies and westerns. You can find him here.

American Murders ed. by Jon and Rita Breen(no cover found)

Literary time travel

One of my fondest memories of growing up was reading the magazines my folks subscribed to. The Saturday Evening Post was great for western short stories and The American was even better for mysteries. To name just two.

In 1986 Jon and Rita Breen edited a fine anthology called American Murders which reprinted 11 short novels from the American Magazine(1934-1954). By now I've probably read and reread it cover to cover four or five times. For me it's literary time travel.

My favorites are those short novels published during the war years. I suppose this is true because they tally with my first memories of--everything. Dads abroad at war, Moms struggling with jobs and kids and ration books and the fear of a uniformed man knocking on the door with bad news. And popular culture of every sort vibrant and vital with propaganda.

One of the great war-time images in the Breen anthology occurs in "Murder Goes To Market" by Mignon Eberhardt. She writes of going shopping with her ration book to a then-new concept known as a Supermarket. The way she describes this place is almost science-fictional. My God--aisles! Shopping carts "that look like perabulators!" And the choice of "(carrying) your loot away in a paper bag or in a market basket or (letting) a boy carry it for you." Zounds!

This reminds me of the way John D. MacDonald highlighted air-conditioning so often in his pulps stories of the Forties and his early paperbacks of the Fifties. A revolution was at hand!

F. Paul Wilson once noted that detective stories give us "snapshots" of an era better than any other kind of fiction. I certainly agree.

llow authors who knew him and his work. Extraordinary!”
Patti Abbott
Ball Four, Jim Bouton
This wa
s a book that was read and reread at our house thirty years ago. My son adored it and so did I. It was the first book about baseball that gave an accurate depiction of what went on in the clubhouse, what the players' lives were like, the finances of the game, the pressures put on players, the drugs, the womanizing.

Bouton recounted his year as a pitcher on the Seattle Pilots in 1969--the team's only year of play. It was a tumultuous year for the country as well and Bouton doesn't hesitate to give his views on everything.

Bowie Kuhn called the book detrimental to the game because it blew the fairy dust off. He tried to force Bouton to sign a statement saying the book was fictional, a baseball version of M*A*S*H.

Baseball players also came down hard on him. Pete Rose, that noble player, swore at him whenever he took the mound.

It was not a good year for Bouton on the field, and he is honest about that too. This was one of the great books about sports. That dogeared copy is one book I won't give away.

Sergio Angelini
Yvette Banek
Joe Barone
Brian Busby
Bill Crider
Scott Cupp
Martin Edwards
Jerry House
Randy Johnson
George Kelley
Margot Kinberg
B.V. Lawson
Evan Lewis
Steve Lewis
Todd Mason
J.F. Norris
David Rachels
James Reasoner
Gerard Saylor
Ron Scheer
Bill Selnes
Kerrie Smith
Kevin Tipple/Barry Ergang
Prashant C. Trikannad
Wuthering Willow


Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Congratulations Patti - that is an amazing feat! Just for that, i don't mind becoming an honorary Frenchman for one week!


TomCat said...


I have actually posted a FFB on a Friday!

Here's a link to my review of John Dickson Carr's The Emperor's Snuff-Box.

Anonymous said...

Four years! Impressive. I'm not surprised about Bill, however. He never missed a single mailing of DAPA-EM from the time he joined until our last mailing.

I've read a lot of baseball books over the years and really liked BALL FOUR too. Bouton was 'banned' by the Yankees for years because of his supposed
'betrayal' of Mickey Mantle (showing he had feet of clay, so to speak) but was eventually welcomed back.

Jeff M.

TomCat said...

Oh, how rude of me! Congrats on four years of FFB!

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

What a marvellous coincidence, that I should make a grand entry on FFB's 4th birthday. Congratulations, Patti!

pattinase (abbott) said...

It was fortuitous, Prashant.
Jeff-I think he actually apologized to Mantle or his son at some point.
Thanks, Sergio.

Jerry House said...

Let me add my congratulations, Patti. You and your merry band of Forgotten Book bloggers have helped keep great books and great authors from being lost to memory. It is a privilege to be a very small part of that and even more so to have gotten to know you through this complicated set of tubes they call the internet.

Gerard Saylor said...

Bill Crider? Who is that?

Todd Mason said...

Sergio refers slyly to a tendency to render his first name as Serge here...

Some memes are more natural than others! Thanks for the name check...I think I caught up with this on the second week (and have probably reviewed more books, with my tendency toward doubles, than anyone else in the roundelay...though not always as well as I'd like, to say the least).

Glad we're all playing, as much as we choose to and can...thanks to everyone, Patti for getting it started and, along with everyone else, for keeping this interesting and pretty damned vital.

Yvette said...

I'm taking a break from posting for a few days, Patti. I should have mentioned it sooner but I thought I'd be able to keep on keeping on, but truth be told, after working on the 101 list, I'm tuckered out.

I'll be back next week.

Happy Birthday FFB anyway.

Randy Johnson said...

Let me jump in with my own congratulations. You've made my TBR pile even more precarious as there's always books I want each week, though I can't get them all, even always keep up with the ones I do. (sigh) The plight of the reader.

J F Norris said...

Happy 4th! My earlier somewhat sentimentl post was eaten. I'll just say I'm glad to be a part of this. Here's to many more anniversaries.

Kent Morgan said...

Ball Four is a favourite of mine also, but The Long Season written by Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jim Brosnan in 1960 is considered by many to have paved the way for Bouton's book. Both made Sports Illustrated's top 100 sports books list. SI calls The Long Season "a journal chronicling such things as the insecurity of superstars and the behavior of stewardesses on team flights. The result: a well-rendered inside glimpse that groomed the mound for Ball Four."

Anonymous said...

I agree about Brosnan's THE LONG SEASON. I also liked THE GLORY OF THEIR TIMES, the first of Lawrence Ritter's books about old-time players like Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Was hoping to lure you in with that choice. Why not write up something on The Long Season and I will post it next week. Needn't be long.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jeff-And you can do The GLory in a mini baseball week. I read all these books when I was trying to bond with my son.

Deb said...

Congratulations on the 4th anniversary, Patti. Perhaps you can get a book deal out of it, with a title like FRIDAY'S FORGOTTEN BOOKS: 4000 BOOKS YOU SHOULD REMEMBER.

(I found a Millar at the library, so I will do an FFB on June 1.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

At one point, Jeff Pierson (Rap Sheet) and I talked about it, but the numbers got out of hand. Sorting through them all would take too long, I think.
Thanks though!

WutheringWillow @ A Paperback Life said...

Congratulations on the 4th Birthday of FFB!

Cap'n Bob said...

When they asked Mickey Mantle what he thought of Jim Bouton's book he said, "Jim who?"

Bill Crider never missed writing a letter to MDM, either, and that lasted 19 1/2 years. I think he has a large roomful of elves in his basement.