1. What are you currently reading? Try Not to Suck: The Exceptional Baseball Life of Joe Maddon by Bill Chastain and Jesse Rogers. If you live in Chicago, you know the rallying cry, "Try not to suck." It gave us faith. The 2016 Cubs team was good, and could win it all -- their first World Series in more than a century -- all they had to do was "try not to suck." Nothin' to it. "Try not to suck" was on bumper stickers, in store windows and on t-shirts all over town, and it was the brainchild of Joe Maddon, the Cubs colorful manager.
This is one of those biographies where I'm not sure if I'm enjoying it because of the writing or the subject. I am unabashedly in love with Joe Maddon. I adore how his mind works, the way he believes motivating players as individuals and as teammates is as important as the baseball fundamentals.
If you enjoy baseball -- I do! -- you'll like this book. But it also has a lot of life lessons. I didn't realize till now that Joe never made the major leagues as a player. He simply wasn't good enough. But he would not be deterred. He had faith in himself, insanely good people skills and imagination, and made baseball his career. From scout to minor league manager, to bench coach to (my fearless prediction) hall of fame manager.
2. What did you just finish reading? Dog Tags by David Rosenfelt. This book begins when two former cops turn to a life of crime. Billy went to Iraq and came back disabled, no longer able to serve. Milo was his partner, a German Shepherd retired by the force for being too old. Together they get by committing petty thefts. One of their capers go horribly awry and someone dies.
Andy Carpenter -- non-conformist defense attorney and dog lover extraordinaire -- takes their case(s). The deeper he gets into it, the more complicated it becomes. And, frankly, that was my problem. Too many characters, too many double crosses. I admit I stopped caring who really was behind the murder. I just wanted Billy and Milo to be OK. So while I enjoyed this book, it's not my favorite in the Andy Carpenter series.
3. What will you read next? I've landed on a thriller set in a private school, For Your Own Good.