Book Birthdays celebrate one year of a books life in tweets, reviews, and more. This month we’re saying Happy First Book Birthday to No Place I Would Rather Be: Roger Angell and a Life in Baseball Writing by Joe Bonomo.
About the Book:
Legendary New Yorker writer and editor Roger Angell is considered to be among the greatest baseball writers. He brings a fan’s love, a fiction writer’s eye, and an essayist’s sensibility to the game. No other baseball writer has a through line quite like Angell’s: born in 1920, he was an avid fan of the game by the Depression era, when he watched Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig hit home runs at Yankee Stadium. He began writing about baseball in 1962 and continued through the decades, lately blogging about baseball’s postseasons.
No Place I Would Rather Be tells the story of Angell’s contribution to sportswriting, including his early short stories, pieces for the New Yorker, autobiographical essays, seven books, and the common threads that run through them. His work reflects rapidly changing mores as well as evolving forces on and off the field, reacting to a half century of cultural turmoil, shifts in trends and professional attitudes of ballplayers and executives, and a complex, discerning, and diverse audience. Baseball is both change and constancy, and Roger Angell is the preeminent essayist of that paradox. His writing encompasses fondness for the past, a sober reckoning of the present, and hope for the future of the game.
Reviews & Interviews:
“Of the recent books I have read about baseball, Joe Bonomo’s book chronicling the career of Roger Angell, No Place I Would Rather Be, is one of the best, not only for Bonomo’s considerable writing skills, but also for his compelling portrayal of Angell’s erudition and unique focus on the “lesser and sweeter moments” of the sport he loves.” —America: The Jesuit Review
“If you are familiar with Angell’s work, Bonomo offers a number of things. If you don’t know much about Angell’s personal life, this volume does shed some light on it. Bonomo offers speculation on what motivates Angell and what shapes his evolving views of the game. It shows how Angell works, the meticulousness of his habits, and his self-identification as a fan, not a sportswriter.” —New York Journal of Books
Interview with Fangraphs: Effectively Wild.
Interview on Baseball by the Book.
Interview on Inside the Game.
A Word from the Author:
No Place I Would Rather Be’s one-year birthday, a happy occasion, arrives at a difficult time. Among greater losses, baseball is nowhere to be found. The warm reception to this book has been a balm; reviews have been enthusiastic, and I’ve heard from many strangers who’ve told me how much Angell’s work has meant to them and how pleased they are that there’s finally a book, long overdue, that tells the story of, and rightly celebrates, the work of the greatest living baseball writer. I’ve been honored to read at several venues, including the American Writers Museum in Chicago, and to talk about the book with fellow fans and admirers on the radio and on many podcasts. As I say in the book’s introduction, I’ve long felt that Angell’s work is a tonic for our loud, rapidly-paced, diversion-packed culture, as very few writers attempt to engage the game and its history as patiently, warmly, intelligently, and skeptically as Angell did and does. I find that I’m re-reading him often during these dark days, and in the year since the book was published I’ve come to the conclusion that sports fans need Roger Angell’s writing now more than ever.