27 October 2012

Best Baseball Books

There are many great baseball books out there, as it is a genre that has seen a hundred years worth of literature. Here is a list of some of the best baseball books.

1. Roger Kahn - The Boys of Summer
This is a book about young men who learned to play baseball during the 1930s and 1940s, and then went on to play for one of the most exciting major-league ball clubs ever fielded, the team that broke the color barrier with Jackie Robinson. It is a book by and about a sportswriter who grew up near Ebbets Field, and who had the good fortune in the 1950s to cover the Dodgers for the Herald Tribune. This is a book about what happened to Jackie, Carl Erskine, Pee Wee Reese, and the others when their glory days were behind them. In short, it is a book about America, about fathers and sons, prejudice and courage, triumph and disaster, and told with warmth, humor, wit, candor, and love. - Quotes from The Boys of Summer

2. Michael Lewis - Moneyball
Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager, is leading a revolution. Reinventing his team on a budget, he needs to outsmart the richer teams. He signs undervalued players whom the scouts consider flawed but who have a knack for getting on base, scoring runs, and winning games. Moneyball is a quest for the secret of success in baseball and a tale of the search for new baseball knowledge—insights that will give the little guy who is willing to discard old wisdom the edge over big money.

3. David Halberstam - October 1964
October 1964 should be a hit with old-time baseball fans, who'll relish the opportunity to relive that year's to-die-for World Series, when the dynastic but aging New York Yankees squared off against the upstart St. Louis Cardinals. It should be a hit with younger students of the game, who'll eat up the vivid portrayals of legends like Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris of the Yankees and Bob Gibson and Lou Brock of the Cardinals. Most of all, however, David Halberstam's new book should be a hit with anyone interested in understanding the important interplay between sports and society.

4. Bill Veeck - Veeck--As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck
Bill Veeck was an inspired team builder, a consummate showman, and one of the greatest baseball men ever involved in the game. His classic autobiography, written with the talented sportswriter Ed Linn, is an uproarious book packed with information about the history of baseball and tales of players and owners, including some of the most entertaining stories in all of sports literature.

5. Lawrence Ritter - The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It
Baseball was different in earlier days—tougher, rawer, more intimate—when giants like Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb ran the bases. In the monumental classic The Glory of Their Times, the golden era of our national pastime comes alive through the vibrant words of those who played and lived the game.

6. Bill James - The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract
When Bill James published his original Historical Baseball Abstract in 1985, he produced an immediate classic, hailed by the Chicago Tribune as the "holy book of baseball." Now, baseball's beloved "Sultan of Stats" (The Boston Globe) is back with a fully revised and updated edition for the new millennium.

7. David Halberstam - Summer of '49
The year was 1949, and a war-weary nation turned from the battlefields to the ball fields in search of new heroes. It was a summer that marked the beginning of a sports rivalry unequaled in the annals of athletic competition. The awesome New York Yankees and the indomitable Boston Red Sox were fighting for supremacy of baseball's American League, and an aging Joe DiMaggio and a brash, headstrong hitting phenomenon named Ted Williams led their respective teams in a classic pennant duel of almost mythic proportions—one that would be decided in an explosive head-to-head confrontation on the last day of the season.

8. Jim Bouton - Ball Four
When first published in 1970, Ball Four stunned the sports world. The commissioner, executives, and players were shocked. Sportswriters called author Jim Bouton a traitor and "social leper." Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn tried to force him to declare the book untrue. Fans, however, loved the book. And serious critics called it an important social document. Today, Jim Bouton is still not invited to Oldtimer's Days at Yankee Stadium. But his landmark book is still being read by people who don'tordinarily follow baseball.

9. Bernard Malamud - The Natural
The Natural, Bernard Malamud’s first novel, published in 1952, is also the first—and some would say still the best—novel ever written about baseball. In it Malamud, usually appreciated for his unerring portrayals of postwar Jewish life, took on very different material—the story of a superbly gifted “natural” at play in the fields of the old daylight baseball era—and invested it with the hardscrabble poetry, at once grand and altogether believable, that runs through all his best work. Four decades later, Alfred Kazin’s comment still holds true: “Malamud has done something which—now that he has done it!—looks as if we have been waiting for it all our lives. He has really raised the whole passion and craziness and fanaticism of baseball as a popular spectacle to its ordained place in mythology.”

10. Roger Angell - The Summer Game
The Summer Game, Roger Angell’s first book on the sport, changed baseball writing forever. Thoughtful, funny, appreciative of the elegance of the game and the passions invested by players and fans, it goes beyond the usual sports reporter’s beat to examine baseball’s complex place in our American psyche.

11. Jonah Keri - The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First
What happens when three financial industry whiz kids and certified baseball nuts take over an ailing major league franchise and implement the same strategies that fueled their success on Wall Street? In the case of the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, an American League championship happens—the culmination of one of the greatest turnarounds in baseball history.

05 October 2012

Best Personal Finance Books List

Here is a list of the best personal finance books that I have read, as well as a brief description of the target audience and who I think would benefit most from the books.

01. Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez - Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence
This is for anyone that feels a bit lost financially, and needs to get organized with their financial life. It gives a very specific, step-by-step process on how toget your financial life in order. If you are further on in your financial life, it won't do you as good, but it can be huge to help you plan financially for what you want your life to be.

02. David Schwartz - The Magic of Thinking Big
This is not really a personal finance book, per se, but it can be extremely beneficial in that area. It talks about, obviously, thinking big in all aspects of life. This can help you advance your career, as well as lead you to pursue the things that you are really passionable.

03. Ramit Sethi - I Will Teach You To Be Rich
This is for a specific, targeted audience, and it can be extremely beneficial if it is you. It is for people with good incomes, usually in their 20s or 30s, especially those that feel that personal finance is overwhelming. Ramit has a simple, bold way of writing that makes it easier to take action.

04. David Bach - The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich
This shows that personal finance doesn't really have to be that hard, because you have the ability to put so much of it on auto-pilot. If you can make things automatic, your financial plan can run itself, leaving you not to have to worry much about it.

05. Bob Clyatt - Work Less, Live More: The Way to Semi-Retirement
This is for people who are getting sick of the rat race of their career, and know that they are going to want to get out of it sooner than the "traditional" retirement age. I enjoyed it because I don't want to keep working until I am age 65, but I want to seek another way to live. Clyatt goes deep into this, what he calls "semi-retirement," which would certainly be a great goal for many people.

06. Burton Malkiel - A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing
This is for people who are interested in investing, especially in picking stocks. I thought investing meant picking stocks, but then I learned how foolish that can be. It is a difficult thing, and helped me to craft my current investing strategy.

07. Timothy Ferriss - The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
This is like Bob Clyatt's book (#5) on steroids, and might not be feasible for as many people. However, if you are extremely motivated, it can be a powerful book to inspire you to change the way you live your life.

08. Taylor Larimore - The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing
This has been a big help for my investing strategy, as it showed me the wisdom of index funds. These allow you to invest in many stocks (making you more diversified) while keeping your costs very low. This is a great book to learn how this style of investing works.

09. Tony Robbins - Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook
This is a book where you have to pick and choose a little bit, where really good advice can be mixed in with some ok advice. Still, it's written by the always persuasive Tony Robbins, who can help motivate you to make changes.

10. James Altucher - Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth
James is great at writing things that are entertaining and fun to read. There aren't necessarily a lot of actionable items in the book, but it's good to get you thinking.

If you are looking for more personal finance information, there are lots of great personal finance blogs out there. Here are a few I would recommend:
- Get Rich Slowly
- Sweating The Big Stuff
- The Simple Dollar
- Budgeting In The Fun Stuff
- Free Money Finance
- Increase Credit Limit