I’ve gotten way behind on updating my Reading page, the little summaries of books that I finish. When I switched over to Squarespace 6, the formatting of that page got jacked up, meaning I have to redesign it.

In the interest of killing two birds with one stone, I’m going to wipe out the existing Reading page and begin posting my summaries here on the main page. Rather than completely catch up, I’ll start with two small books I’ve read over the past week. And the Reading page will become a running list of books I’ve read. I’m pretty good about keeping reading lists over time, so it may end up stretching back several years.

The Way of Baseball – Shawn Green with Gordon McAlpine
No sport lends itself to spiritual examination more than baseball. Its easy rhythms, pronounced pauses, and open-endedness allow for contemplation of, and connections to, things bigger than the game.

Here is the latest entry into the genre of spiritual baseball books. In it former major leaguer Shawn Green shares how he discovered stillness in intense batting cage workouts, which turned him into an All-Star and led to changes in the rest of his life.

It’s interesting, and Green certainly is earnest. But it all feels a little light, especially if you’ve read other Zen-related literature.

A Drive Into the Gap – Kevin Guilfoile.

The first book from the people who publish the hipster-friendly Field Notes notebooks also relates to baseball. In this case, Guilfoile writes of his father, who worked for the Yankees, Pirates, and baseball Hall of Fame, and his descent into the depths of Alzheimer’s Disease. Upon his diagnosis, the elder Guilfoile wrote down many of his favorite baseball stories, some of which center on Roberto Clemente. As his son shares some of those stories, they pivot into a search for exactly who received the bat Clemente rapped his 3000th hit with; at least three people claim to have the stick in question.

It’s a beautiful examination of memory, gratitude, and baseball. And it fits in your back pocket. Perfect for the last few days of summer before football takes over.