The Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library has recently started a book club. The first book will be The Color of Water by James McBride and we have extra copies, ask at the desk.
The group will meet bimonthly beginning November 30th. The word bimonthly means either two times per month (semimonthly) or once every two months (bimestrial). In this case the FOL means bimestrial, which is how the word is used by publishers, The following meeting should be in late January.
And in the library ... we have an interesting collection of dictionaries ranging from the fascinating Dictionary of American Regional English to the full, searchable OED on disk.
If you are a dictionary lover have you read?
423.092 WINCHES The professor and the madman : a tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English dictionary by Simon Winchester.
Look among the new books near the door, at 823.914, for Aidan Higgins' A bestiary. This is his three volume autobiography, republished as a single volume. Higgins is now a Saoi of Aosdána and is utterly Irish, born at Celbridge in County Kildare, now a resident of County Cork.
This is a pick up and put down book if you choose, with short entries, each a few pages in length, his family and his loves winding in and out. A sample bit from his brief essay on the Palladian Castletown House: "Lady Katherine and Lady Louisa after her no doubt accepted the poor Catholic villagers as they were: namely, unwashed, evasive, shiftless, fractious (when it suited them), quarrelsome, superstitious, light fingered, poly-progenitive, impertinent, pushy, deferential, scatter-brained, abject and dumb with embarrassment in her presence." (83)
Or "Having lost a leg on Anzio Beach Captain Andy limped for the rest of his life until lost without trance with the crew of the ill-fated Joyita in the fastness of the Tasman Sea. The little ketch had been found a month later a thousand miles off course with a shelter arranged aft as if..." (268)
No, that is not representative. In picking tiny pieces it is impossible to convey the delight. Annie Proulx as quoted in the Frontlist Summary: "The reader who cannot take pleasure from it must be dead. I have stood stunned with admiration for the muscular power and linguistic acrobatics--to say nothing of the elegant play with language and the daring architecture--of his work for years."
Note: Celbridge (Cill Droicid), was within the Pale. The town is now roughly the size of Takoma Park and has an interesting discussion forum. Recent topics: Playground Problems and Ghostly Experience.
796.357 BUCKLEY Unhittable : reliving the magic and drama of baseball's best-pitched games / James Buckley, Jr. and Phil Pepe. A picture book for grown-ups, with box scores. It has a DVD inside with a a movie-length program produced by MLB. Be sure you return the disk as well as the book.
The bulk of the text consists of short descriptions of some great games, great from the point of view of the pitcher. And do you realize how rare no-hitters are? Since 1901 only 209 of more than 163,000 games have been official no-hitters (only one pitcher used for the complete game).
The syllabus for a course Robert Elias taught at the University of San Francisco starts with this quote from Roger Kahn "Scratch an intellectual and you'll find a baseball fan". For whatever reason, some of the best American writers have written baseball books - Roger Angell, Stephen Jay Gould, Roger Kahn, Frank Deford. The writers of great baseball fiction include Bernard Malamud, W. P. Kinsella, Philip Roth, Ring Lardner, Robert Coover.
See also: A booklist of baseball fiction for adults.
And have you read the baseball books by Mongomery County author Paul Dickson? We have 796.357 DICKSON The Joy of Keeping Score : How Scoring the Game Has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball. Unfortunately we no longer have The Hidden Language of Baseball : How Signs and Sign Stealing Have Influenced the Course of Our National Pastime and The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary. Both are still in print. We can get them for you via inter-library loan, you can check them out from county libraries, or you could buy them.
Many a statistician started as a baseball fan.
MLB stat retrieval
Finding earlier box scores
Retro-sheet baseball history
The Baseball Almanac (How to score a game)
USA Today Baseball Weekly 2005 Season
ESPN 2005 season
Baseball Guru historical stats
Society for American Baseball Research