Books

Short Takes: Book reviews, in brief

“The Perfect Letter” by Chris Harrison.
“The Perfect Letter” by Chris Harrison.

Fiction

The Perfect Letter

Chris Harrison, Dey Street Books, 320 pages

Chris Harrison guides countless singles who choose to navigate the ever-changing waters of love as the host of ABC’s hit reality series “The Bachelor.” He’s had a front row seat for more than a decade, witnessing ups and downs of relationships, and his experience has given him a solid platform to launch his debut romance novel, “The Perfect Letter.”

Leigh Merrill appears to have it all. She’s a book editor at a prestigious publishing house who lives in a fabulous New York City apartment with an ideal boyfriend. But when she’s faced with a marriage proposal, the only thing Leigh can think about is her one true love, Jake, who broke her heart.

The desire to be with Jake dominates every waking moment, but allowing Jake back into her life means facing dark secrets that have been pushed down into the depths of her soul for a decade.

“The Perfect Letter” is for hopeless romantics who understand the perils of choosing between a love that is comfortably safe or one that is thrillingly adventurous.

Associated Press

Nonfiction

The League of Outsider Baseball: An Illustrated History of Baseball’s Forgotten Heroes

Gary Cierdkowski, Touchstone, 234 pages

Did you know about Jack Kerouac’s fantasy baseball league? The nine-game minor league career of Dwight D. Eisenhower? Both are in these pages which grew out of author Gary Cierdkowski’s blog the Infinite Baseball set.

Most moving are the stories of the Negro Leagues – “Bullet” Rogan, who won 52 games in 1918 and had a lifetime batting average of .338; Cyclone Joe Williams, who in a 1917 exhibition game reportedly “no-hit the pennant-winning New York Giants for 10 innings before losing 1-0 on an error.”

The illustrations recall “the beautiful old tobacco cards that were manufactured at the turn of the century.” Based not on photographs but rather on research and imagination, they offer a new lens through which to look at, or think about, these players, a way of bringing them to life.

Los Angeles Times

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