By October 5, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

One to Watch: The Art of Fielding

I just finished the book that is bound to be one of the buzziest books this fall–Chad Harbach’s debut, The Art of Fielding. It’s a book with larger than life characters written with such warmth and compassion that you come away imbued with a sense of wonder. I finished the book so satisfied–with the characters, the story arc and the unexpected ending.

Nancy Pearl handed me her advanced reader copy and said “This is going to be a big book.” And I guarantee that anyone who reads it will agree.

The Art of Fielding starts out being about baseball, namely a young shortstop, Henry Skrimshander, who is discovered by a Westish College student, Mike Schwartz, who knows greatness when he sees it. But, like David James Duncan’s beloved The Brothers K, saying this book is about baseball would be limiting. Like The Brothers K, this book is simply full of life, full of flawed, endearing characters, full of the small revelations and turning points and coincidences that give our lives depth and meaning.

The Art of Fielding also delves into the lives of Henry’s biracial gay roommate, Owen, the Westish College President, Guert, and his daughter, Pella.With repeated references to Herman Melville, the warm enclosures of college campuses and the promise that academia promises and only sometimes delivers, Harbach’s debut is rich, funny, insightful and just plain enjoyable reading.

 

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About the Author:

Misha Stone is a readers' advisory librarian with The Seattle Public Library. Follow her on Twitter at @ahsimlibrarian.

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