Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rules of Civility

A story of friendship and social class set in 1938 New York City, Armor Towles makes an impressive debut with Rules of Civility:  the story of working class friends Katey and Eve who move to New York to lead the glamorous life.  Along the way, the two meet a gentleman:  one seemingly rich and sophisticated Tinker Grey, whose chance encounter changes the course of both their lives.

Towles depicts Katey as an admirable, smart, independent female lead character, and writes snappy dialogue and a complex narrative much better than Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby) ever could. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I have to admit:  I don't really like baseball.  I always enjoyed attending games, but that's mostly a reflection of my desires to eat food I never otherwise touch, and people watch.  So I surprised myself in reading (and enjoying!) Michael Lewis' MoneyballThe Art of Winning An Unfair Game.  

Moneyball is a bit of baseball history, biography, and economics combined. In it, Lewis tells the (true) story of Oakland Athletics' General Manager Billy Beane, and his ability to buy and sell players based upon what's often viewed by the rest of baseball as obscure and/or meaningless player statistics.  Lewis posts a sharp contrast between Beane's strategy and the rest of the league, particularly teams like the New York Yankees, who can afford millions to buy whatever great players they like.  The successful Beane, alternately, spends little money in selecting players which have little appeal to most GMs, but who've repeatedly proved themselves capable of taking the Athletics to the playoffs.

Note:  Scheduled release date for the film version of this book (starring Brad Pitt) is January 10, 2012.