Add These 6 Titles to Your Summer Reading List

New and notable reads to enjoy through the season


Published:

The Year of the Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, and the End of Baseball’s Golden Age 
This deep dive into the 1968 baseball season — when the Detroit Tigers came back from a 3–1 deficit to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the World Series — goes well beyond the national pastime. Sridhar Pappu, who writes “The Male Animal” column for The New York Times, also explores the racial and social issues of the summer just after the nationwide unrest during 1967. For baseball geeks, the main protagonists are a pair of pitchers — one black, and one white — who dominated the day’s sports headlines. The Cardinals’ Bob Gibson set a major league record that year with a 1.12 ERA. The Tigers’ Denny McLain won 31 games in 1968, a feat unlikely to ever be repeated. Pappu unearths some surprises, like the fact that Gibson was once under contract for both the Cardinals minor league team as well as basketball’s traveling comedy show, The Harlem Globetrotters. For Tigers fans, there are details about the clubhouse rivalry between the rules-breaking McLain and the eventual World Series hero Mickey Lolich, plus the origins of former Tigers catcher and current radio broadcaster Jim Price’s “yellow hammer” catchphrase for a wicked curve ball. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28)

Building the Modern World: Albert Kahn in Detroit
The Detroit News
reporter Michael H. Hodges tells the story of Albert Kahn, the architect whose work dominates the Detroit skyline. A few notable structures include the Detroit Athletic Club, the Packard Plant, the Bonstelle Theatre, The Fisher Building, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle, and the Belle Isle Aquarium. The comprehensive book, which includes plenty of photographs, tracks Kahn from his apprenticeship at age 13 to his death. It also notes details of Kahn’s relationship with Henry Ford as well as how he helped save the famous Diego Rivera murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts. (Painted Turtle, $40)

The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy
This highly anticipated full account of the Flint water scandal is due out in July. Written by award-winning Michigan journalist Anna Clark, it’s described as the “first full-length account of this epic failure … through the people who caused it, suffered from it, and exposed it.” The book is a tale of Flint’s aging lead pipes as well as a warning bell for other American cities who have neglected to maintain their infrastructure. (Metropolitan Books, $30)

The Orphan Daughter
Cari Noga’s first novel, Sparrow Migrations, was a semi-finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Her latest, The Orphan Daughter, is set in her adopted hometown of Traverse City. The Dearborn native’s main character, Lucy, is grieving for her parents, who died in a car accident. It also draws on migrant worker issues and the decimation of the 2012 cherry crop by unseasonable weather. (Lake Union Publishing, $15)

Awaiting Identification
Ann Arbor-based author R.J. Fox’s latest book Awaiting Identification, was inspired by a news story about the large number of unidentified bodies in the Wayne County Morgue. His first book, Love & Vodka: My Surreal Adventures in Ukraine, was published in 2015. (Fish Out of Water Books, $17)

Breathe
Breathe
is the latest suspense thriller spun from the mind of local ex-ad agency author Mike Brogan. The Writer’s Digest award winner has released a string of books since Business to Kill For debuted in 2001. His next release, called Car Wars, will be published later this summer. (Lighthouse Publishing, $11)

 

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