Moneyball: the art of reading (and absolutely loving) a book that’s been lingering in my “to read” pile for way too many years

I just finished reading Moneyball by Michael Lewis. I loved it. Couldn’t put it down in fact. If you are not familiar with the book it is, essentially, a book about baseball statistics. Gripping, I know. But trust me. It is actually a very gripping read. While there is a lot of discussion of baseball statistics, at it’s heart and soul, the book is a great story about the general manager for the Oakland Athletics (Billy Beane) and his new approach to fielding a winning major league baseball team.

My journey toward finally reading Moneyball is a lengthy one. I actually bought the book at least 5 years ago after hearing an interview with the author, Michael Lewis, on the Tulsa Drillers baseball radio pre-game show. At the time I was an avid Drillers fan, attending every game and listening to the local radio coverage as well. In writing the book, the author seeks to discover how the Oakland A’s, one of the poorest teams in baseball, continually fields such winning teams. I wanted to find out what he had learned in his research. I also thought it would be interesting to read about players I watched on a regular basis (the A’s have a minor league team in the same league as our Tulsa Drillers). So I bought the book, but for some reason never got around to reading it. So there Moneyball sat for years. On the top shelf of my bookcase with all the other unread books in my house. Waiting for me to remember that I once couldn’t wait to get my hands on the book Moneyball.

Fast forward to this summer when I heard that they were making the book into a movie. I thought to myself “I should get that down and read it”. But I didn’t. I quickly forgot about the movie as well. Then my younger sister, an avid A’s fan, asked if I’d heard they were making Moneyball into a movie. I said that yes I had and that I’ve been meaning to get around to reading it. But still, there the book sat. On the top shelf of the bookshelf, unread. I was in a bit of a reading slump and baseball statistics were not about to bring me out of it. Then something wonderful happened. My bookclub selected a short story as our read for this month. It took me all of an hour to read. Suddenly my natural tendencies toward bookworminess returned full force. I went straight from the bookclub short story onto a second book I had checked out from the library with it. I blazed through that book in record time as well and was eager for new material. It just so happened that on that day, as I was scanning HBO on demand for something to watch I discovered that The Blind Side was available. Michael Lewis also wrote The Blind Side.

I finally reached up and grabbed poor, neglected Moneyball off of the purgatory shelf and started reading it. And I’m very glad I did. I would highly recommend the book to you, even if you aren’t a baseball fan. It tells a great story and it tells it very well. I would never have guessed that a book based on statistics could be so eloquent and moving. I’ve never been all that interested in the A’s and before reading the book I’d never heard of Billy Beane. But after reading Moneyball, I’m a huge fan of both.

This entry was posted in Misc., Post a week 2011, reading and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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