So my wife and I attended a book event in town for Steve Twomey, author of the wonderful new book, Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack. Twomey is a long-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist (so that’s the first jealous point) and I’m guessing his latest offering (reviewed here in The New York Times) will garner him additional adulation and awards (point two).
A few months ago I reviewed Michael Leahy’s The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the best baseball books I’ve ever read (third point). Granted he had been working on his project for several years, while I’ve never had more than one for any of my books. Even if I did, I doubt I could ever approach that level of craftsmanship and depth of research. Oh, did I mention Leahy is also an award-winner? (four)
My boss at the newspaper, whom I and many others consider a brilliant editorial writer (another award-winner; five), would occasionally comment on how he admired me for having the patience to write an entire book. But I’m one of those people who waits until the doomsday clock is three minutes before midnight (kids, ask your parents) before I get it into gear. So even if I did have years, it might not matter that much.
I’m not one to name drop, but I’ve corresponded with New York Times‘ media columnist Richard Sandomir over the years. (The media and sports are two of my favorite topics.) He’s publishing The Pride of the Yankees: The Movie that Defined the Legacy of Lou Gehrig next spring, which I look forward to with delight since TPOTY is perhaps my all-time favorite baseball movie. In one of our more recent exchanges, I mentioned my despair over the Leahy business and Sandomir sagely told me, don’t compare yourself with anyone else. Good advice. But if people always took good advice, there would be a lot fewer mental health care professionals out there.