Quick Ramblings on Amazon, Baseball, and 3 Interesting Books

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OK, Sportfans, quick ramblings on a chilly Monday morning in Boston:

    1. Amazon: My curious 4 year old twins are truly denizens of the digital age. They were able to spend $23.99 on their favorite TV show on our Kindle Fire (which, btw, for $139 is an awesome deal – great media consumption tablet). It was a show that we already own. I contacted Amazon and they processed a refund with no issues, despite the fact that their return policy for video is final sale. I was geared up for a fight, and Amazon made it easy. This is why their revenue is growing dramatically. Fantastic pricing and fantastic service. Every retailer should be this facile.
    2. Baseball: The Red Sox are keeping me up late at night. The Detroit Tigers series was amazing and thrilling. The current World Series against the Cardinals is whacky, but equally engaging. There is something so compelling about the long-form playoff, with evolving story lines and characters that doesn’t happen in short form playoffs, like the NFL. The drama around match ups and reflections upon last night’s performance makes this drama of the highest order. With the Cards running out amazingly young, amazingly talented big-armed pitcher after pitcher, and the rag-tag Red Sox shuffling lineups to work some kind of arcane statistical advantage, the umpiring crew taking on an out-sized position in determining the outcome and nearly every game running to a fevered pitch in the late innings, this is what makes sports, and specifically baseball, so compelling. And for hero worship, there is no sport better. Almost every play lends itself to the opportunity to do something extraordinary, and this series has given us heroes and goats. Heros, villains, flaws and gods – this out of the Iliad.
    3. Books: OK – back to more books. After my last recap of baseball books, I wanted to give you three more books that have captured my interest:
      • We Are Water, by Wally Lamb, while trendy of topic (same sex marriage), is something is on my short read list because I have missed Wally Lamb’s voice. (If you never read it,  please give She’s Come Undone a chance to witness the emergence of a unique voice in American letters.)
      • Jim Henson – A new biography of Jim Henson. Despite his impact on millions (billions?) of children worldwide, I know next to nothing about the creative genius that created the Muppets. I heard the author on NPR, and I want to dive in.
      • David & Goliath: I am a sucker for Malcolm Gladwell. He has that kind of wild-haired genius and insight that those of us who have neither wild-hair nor any discoverable genius can only imagine. But better than just insight, they guy is a phenomenal story teller. He makes his insight come alive, and his subjects aren’t examples, but rather characters. There is a Tom Wolfe/Michael Lewis ability to make real people into wonderfully exciting characters. It is a gift and I look forward to cracking open the digital cover of his latest.

That’s it for today, I have to save my energy to be able to watch tonight’s baseball game!

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