Flew Newark to San Francisco today and Continental blessed us with no video. So I finished two books.
Book number one was Jonah Keri’s The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First. The book dropped today and it’s an excellent read. Don’t expect Moneyball – it’s more of the non-fiction tradition than the seminal business/baseball title. That doesn’t mean there aren’t many laughs within. I laughed out loud enough to make the dude sitting next to me take notice, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. The story of the Rays is a remarkable one, and many of the stories within the larger story were surprising.
Book number two I’d actually started the week before. Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists couldn’t have made for a more different book to pick up after Keri’s light-hearted breeze. Using an international English-language newspaper in Rome as the backdrop, Rachman bares some very imperfect characters in vignettes that span decades. The only business topic was the inherent background discussion of the changes in journalism, and the effect of the internet. Otherwise, this was all about people doing very despicable things, and yet being rendered somewhat sympathetic. I will admit that I felt less warm about my fellow human beings after finishing the book, but I didn’t hate everyone in the book either. If you like trying to understand unsympathetic characters – and I often do – I’d recommend the book.