Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Eternity Street”

John Faragher is a noted historian, particularly regarding the American west. His biography of Daniel Boone is considered a seminal work. “Eternity Street: Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles” may gain the same reputation. This is the story of the wild west, in all its horror, set in L.A., well before the Dodge City stories came to be. California became a territory in 1848 ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “When Pride Still Mattered”

Tom Hamilton is the “Voice of the Tribe” - the radio voice of the Indians. He is in his 28th year with the team and is one of the reasons working in this business is so much fun. Laughing with Tom, who carriers a magical sense of humor, is worth a least a month longer in your life. He had the entire crew in the ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The Taking of K-129”

Truth is often stranger than fiction which is why history novels are so fun to read. That is the case with “The Taking of K-129.” K-129 was a Russian sub lost at sea and found by the U.S. The CIA decided it was worth trying to bring the sub up to find its secrets - but how? That is the subject matter of this book. ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Alou: My Baseball Journey”

Buck Showalter’s comments on Felipe Alou are on the back cover of “Alou: My Baseball Journey.” When the Orioles skipper received an advance copy, he was kind enough to let me read it. I’m glad he did. This is an important book. This is a Jackie Robinson story from a different place in a different time. The baseball stories are here. Three Alou brothers playing ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The American Spirit”

“The American Spirit” is the latest in David McCullough’s writings on the lineage of American history. There are few authors I run to the bookstore for to acquire their latest work, but he is one of them. The book contains 15 speeches of McCullough given before Congress, at the White House and to college graduates. Each contains historical matter relevant to the location of the ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The Cocktail Waitress”

We return now to noir. That genre of writing also referred to as “hardboiled,” “tabloid murder” and “lose/lose fiction.” James Cain is considered by many to be the writer who most influenced these noir works in the U.S. along with Raymond Chandler (“The Big Sleep”) and Dashiell Hammett (“The Maltese Falcon”). His seminal works include “Double Indemnity” and “The Postman Always Rings Twice.” These are ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Washington’s Farewell”

We are back with the third season of Hitting the Books. I say “we” because without the help of Olivia Witherite producing and Pete Kerzel editing, Hitting the Books would not happen. And none of our work would matter if you, the reader/viewers weren’t there. So thanks to all and I hope this year’s books spark an interest to read on. The selections are mine, ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “A Thousand Days”

Richard Griffin is a highly respected baseball columnist for the Toronto Star. He has covered baseball for decades beginning with the Montreal Expos in 1973. He became the public relations director for the Expos in 1978. Since 1995, he has been a columnist and beat writer for the Toronto Star covering the Blue Jays. I have known Richard since his Montreal days. He was an ... read more