Yikes, I forgot to share my April books. Which is kind of understandable, as it was just a two-book month. A beast followed by a palate cleanser.
My Struggle, Book 2: A Man In Love – Karl Ove Knausgaard. My feelings about this mirror my feelings about Book 1: I keep wondering why I’m enjoying it so much. Why am I spending three-plus weeks to wade through Scandinavian navel-gazing? Something about it is compelling, that’s for sure. And I think it’s the little moments of brilliance that are popping up. They are frequent enough to make the slog worth it.
This volume very much revolved around his relationship with his second wife. As with the first book, there is always the sense he is sharing a little too much about her issues with the rest of the world. But there is also the question of how much of his books are pure memoir, how much are fiction, and where the separating point between the two lies.
I did especially enjoy the opening section of the book, a nearly 70-page breakdown of Knausgaard taking his young children to a birthday party. There was a lot of truth in that section.
I Don’t Care If We Never Get Back – Ben Blatt and Eric Brewster. And then this delightful little book by two Harvard Lampoon alums about their efforts to see 30 Major League Baseball games in 30 big league cities in 30 days. All by car.
Blatt was the baseball nut who hoped to break into the game using analytics. Brewster was his buddy who didn’t really care for baseball, but thought the idea of the trip was an interesting diversion between graduation and entering the real world of adulthood. Following a path carved out by an algorithm Blatt wrote, they began in New York on June 1, 2013. In Denver, they slept through a game after not accounting for a time zone change. A rainout cost them the chance of knocking out a Cubs-Sox two-fear in Chicago. Twice they had to completely revamp their plans in order to make it work. They also had to run into the lucky break of Toronto playing a day game on Canada Day – July 1 – that would allow them to finish before the end of their 30th day.
Along the way they had adventures, pissed each other off, got pulled over, lost a hood-mounted GoPro, and Brewster pulled an epic prank on Blatt involving the Indians TV announcer.
What started off as a silly book became one that was laugh-out-loud funny and often poignant. I think every baseball fan at some point has thought about doing a summer road trip that squeezed in as many games in as many towns as possible. While that idea once held some romance, after reading this book I’m glad I never tried to pull it off.