The New York Times Sunday Book Review was on the window sill at my local coffeeshop, Juliano's, near the 92nd Street Y this morning. The cover picture was a baseball player - Willie Mays. While baseball is usually not at the top of my radar, I do enjoy the game AND when I saw that Pete Hamill was the author of the review - Say Hey -, I took the section home with me. The review is great. Read it yourself.
I will read anything by Pete Hamill. He is one of New York City's best journalists and his NYC fiction and non-fiction bring New York's past alive.
My favorite Pete Hamill historical novel will always be "Forever". After I read it, I saw Pete speak about it on at least two occasions. The book is about an Irish lad who comes to Manhattan in the 1700's to avenge the death of his parents and through an event that I won't go into here is given the gift of eternal life provided he never leaves the Island. There is an opportunity to pass to the other side at the end of the book but the hero choses not to take it.
Apparently, "Forever" was supposed to go to press on Sept 10th. Pete Hamill rewrote quite a bit of it and took out a lot of material about the Depression. Pete Hamill later used that material in a book called "North River". You must read "Forever" first! Only then, when you are reading North River at bedtime, will you appreciate the one sentence link in North River back to Forever.
These are great reads before or after a New York trip and "Willie Mays" by James S Hirsch looks like a great read about baseball any time.