Saturday, February 29, 2020

Book Chat: Tyler Kepner Of The NY Times On The History Of Pitching In "K"

K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches
By Tyler Kepner
Vintage Books Trade Paperback, 336 pages; $15.00; available Tuesday, March 3

Tyler Kepner, the national baseball writer for the New York Times, gives an enchanting, enthralling history of the national pastime as told through the craft of pitching in his new book, K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches.

Books: "In An Instant" by Suzanne Redfearn

In An Instant
By Suzanne Redfearn
Lake Union Publishing; paperback, $14.95; audiobook, $14.99; eBook, $3.99; available Sunday, March 1

Suzanne Redfearn is the award-winning author of Hush Little Baby and No Ordinary Life. In addition to writing, she works as an architect and co-owns two restaurants with her husband. She has been elected as the Literary Laureate of Laguna Beach, helping enrich the city's literary community.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Books: "Hide Away" By Jason Pinter

Hide Away 
By Jason Pinter
Thomas & Mercer;  367 pages,  paperback, $15.95; Kindle eBook, $4.99; available Sunday, March 1

Jason Pinter is the internationally bestselling author of the Harry Parker thriller series (The Mark, The Guilty, The Stolen, The Fury, and The Darkness), the standalone thriller The Castle, and two children's books.

Books: "This Terrible Beauty" By Katrin Schumann

This Terrible Beauty
By Katrin Schumann
Lake Union Publishing; hardcover, $24.95; paperback, $14.95; available Sunday, March 1

Katrin Schumann wowed readers with her debut novel, The Forgotten Hours, which was a Washington Post bestseller. She has also published five nonfiction books and has collaborated on dozens of additional titles, both commercially and independently. She was born in Germany and her family settled in Brooklyn when she was two, and she spent her formative years here before the family moved to London when she was eleven.

In her new book, This Terrible Beauty, Schumann finds inspiration in her family's dark post-World War II heritage to write this historical fiction, which is set in the 1950s and '60s on the German island of Rugen, which fell under Russian control after the war, and in a devastated Berlin.

Schumann's novel centers on a young woman grappling with life and love in a totalitarian system. She explores the cowardice and courage of ordinary people trapped in a world over which they have little control. 

As the novel opens, the war is over and the Iron Curtain has divided Europe with devastating consequences. Lonely and longing for a family, Bettina Hellstrom marries Werner, an older bureaucrat who adores her. 

After joining the fledgling secret police, Werner is drawn into its  dark mission and becomes a dangerous man. When Bettina falls in love with an idealistic young writer, Werner discovers her infidelity and forces her to make a terrible choice: spend her life in prison or leave her home forever. Either way, she is going to lose both her lover and her young child.

A decade later, Bettina is reinvented as a celebrated photographer in Chicago, but she has never lost that yearning for the daughter she left behind. When she is surprised by an unexpected visitor from her past, she resolves to go back to her ravaged homeland to reclaim her child and uncover her beloved's fate, but at what cost?

This Terrible Beauty offers a fresh and surprising perspective on the World War II era, a period that continues to be popular with readers.

The Dark Family History That Lies Behind This Terrible Beauty, By Katrin Schumann:

In November 1989, I flew with my father to the German island of Rugen, up north on the Baltic Sea. A Berliner, my father had spent summers there as a little boy, not unlike Bostonians who head to the Vineyard to escape the city. But for three decades, the island had been on lockdown: after WWII, half of Germany fell under Russian control, trapping millions of Germans behind a physical and metaphorical wall. Luckily, my father escaped to the West and eventually made his way to freedom in America.

Just a few weeks before our trip to Rugen, the actual wall that split Germany in two - patrolled by sharpshooters and dogs, lined with bombs - had finally come down. Truth be told, until that visit to the island, my family's history felt distant and confusing to me.

That all changed after my father and I crept into my great aunt's abandoned cottage on a medieval square in Sabnitz, where I came face-to-face with the epic, yet also crushingly mundane, struggles that defined 20th century German history, and dramatically changed the course of millions of lives.

The derelict fisherman's cottage was filled with debris and broken bottles, unloved and unlived in. In a corner of the cramped living room was a large iron firepit, and behind it a huge coal stain had blossomed over the floral wallpaper. For decades, East Germans relied heavily on cheap and dirty lignite (brown coal), which heated and polluted their homes and cities. The damp wallpaper itself was peeling off in places, and underneath it I saw layer upon layer of designs from past eras.

In that moment, it struck me just how many German women had struggled to live ordinary lives under extraordinary circumstances, first under fascism then under communism. I learned that when the Russians arrived on the island, my great aunt (fearful of retribution) had rushed to the local cemetery to try to scrape the swastika off her husband's gravestone with a kitchen knife. That terrible contradiction stuck with me. 

This was when my novel's protagonist, Bettina Heilstrom, first came 
to me as a character: a young woman who yearns for love and finds herself in conflict with political forces entirely outside her control.

Do you fight? Do you give up? Do you accept guilt and seek redemption? How on earth do you keep going? History is complicated, and there are stories that haven't been fully told yet; Bettina's is one of them.

Launch Events for Katrin Schumann and This Terrible Beauty across the country:

Saturday, February 29 at 6:00 PM -  Shakti Yoga launch party - 1114 White Street, Key West, FL. For more info, contact (305)587-4285

Tuesday, March 3 at 10:30 AM - Monroe County Public Library - 700 Fleming Street, Key West, FL. For more info, contact (305)292-3595

Wednesday, March 4 at 7:00 PM - Belmont Books - 79 Leonard Street, Belmont, MA. For more info, contact: (617)932-1496

Thursday, March 5 at 7:00 PM - Goodnow Library - 21 Concord Rd., Sudbury, MA. For more info, contact (978)443-1035

Thursday, March 12 at 6:00 PM - Boston Anthenaeum with Marjan Kamali - A Conversation on Agency: Displacement And Power During Political Turmoil - 10 1/2 Beacon Street, Boston MA - click here for more information.

Red Bulls Sign 2020 First Round SuperDraft Selection

Patrick Seagrist. Photo provided by Red Bulls.

On Thursday, the Red Bulls signed their 2020 MLS SuperDraft First Round selection Patrick Seagrist to an MLS contract, ahead of their season opener on Sunday.

NYCFC's Next Champions League Match Will Be At Red Bull Arena

Red Bull Arena. Photo by Jason Schott.

New York City Football Club will be calling Red Bull Arena home once again, as the team and Concacaf today announced that the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (SCCL) Quarterfinal home leg against Mexican team Club Tigres UANL will be played in Harrison, NJ, on Wednesday March 11 at 8:00 p.m.

Red Bull Arena Upgrades & New Dining Options

The South Ward at Red Bull Arena. Photo by Jason Schott,

The Red Bulls announced upgrades for the new season at Red Bull Arena, most notably that the sections comprising the South Ward have been turned into a social meeting space (picture above).

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Books: "The Big Lie" By James Grippando

The Big Lie: A Jack Swyteck Novel
By James Grippando
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; hardcover, 368 pages; $27.99; available today, February 25

James Grippando, a New York Times bestselling author of suspense and a winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, is known for being consistently out in front of the headlines and is renowned for his unmatched ability to conjure up suspense fiction that gives a look into the future. He teaches "The Law & Lawyers in Modern Literature" at the University of Miami Law School.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Books: A Look At Hard-Hitting Crime In Noir Tales Of The Boxing World

Hamilcar Noir is a new paperback series that lives up to its billing of "Hard-Hitting True Crime," as it captures riveting stories in high-quality prose, with cover art inspired by classic pulp novels. We will look at the first three editions of this exciting series that will leave you coming back for more: Berserk: The Shocking Life and Death of Edwin Valero, by Don Stradley, The Ghost Of Johnny Tapia, by Paul Zanon; and Slaughter In The Streets, by Don Stradley.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Books: "This Won't End Well" By Camille Pagan

This Won't End Well
By Camille Pagan
Lake Union Publishing' hardcover, $24.95; paperback, $14.95; ebook; $3.99; available February 26

Camille Pagan is the Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestselling author of six novels, including her most recent release, I'm Fine and Neither Are You. One of her other acclaimed works, Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, has been optioned for film.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Yankees Hold Ping Pong Tournament After Final Workout Before Games Begin

Giancarlo Stanton (left) taking on Tommy Kahnle (right), with Tyler Wade looking on. All photos provided by the New York Yankees.

The Yankees held their final workout on Friday at Steinbrenner Field before spring training games begin on Saturday afternoon, when they host the Toronto Blue Jays.

Red Bulls Sign Casseres To Multi-Year Deal

Provided by Red Bulls.

The Red Bulls have signed Venezuelan midfielder Cristian C├ísseres Jr. to a new multi-year MLS contract, the club announced today. C├ísseres Jr. is set to begin his third season in New York after being named the Red Bulls' Defensive Player of the Year in 2019.

Books: "Dark Towers" On The Tangled Web Of Donald Trump's Dealings With Deutsche Bank

Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump and an Epic Trail of Destruction
By David Enrich - Finance Editor, The New York Times
Custom House; hardcover, $29.99

David Enrich has been consistently breaking news about Deutsche Bank in his role as Finance Editor of the New York Times, and now he shares the full, riveting story of the world's most infamous bank and its shadowy connections to Donald Trump's business empire. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Books: "King Charles" By Robert Jobson

King Charles: The Man, The Monarch, and the Future of Britain
By Robert Jobson
Diversion Books; hardcover; $27.99

Robert Jobson, the Royal Editor of the London Evening Standard and the royal commentator for ABC's Good Morning America, has been called "the Godfather of royal reporting" by the Wall Street Journal.

Mets To Play Orioles at U.S. Naval Academy

Tools of the trade in the Mets dugout. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets announced on Thursday that they will face off with the Baltimore Orioles in an exhibition game at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Tuesday, March 24 at 2:05 p.m.

Yankees Ticket Information For The 2020 Season

Yankee Stadium. Photo by Jason Schott.

The new baseball season is upon us, and it's one of the most anticipated ones for the Yankees, who welcomed in their new ace pitcher, Gerrit Cole, this offseason, as the expectations of a championship are sky high.

Books: "When Should Law Forgive?" By Martha Minow

When Should Law Forgive?
By Martha Minow
Norton; hardcover, 256 pages; $27.95

Martha Minow is a former dean of the Harvard Law School and the 300th Anniversary University Professor. In 2009, President Barack Obama nominated, and the Senate confirmed, Minow to the board of the Legal Services Corporation, a bipartisan government-sponsored organization providing legal services to low-income families, where she chairs the pro bono task force. She launched the Imagine Coexistence program in Kosovo with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Books: "The Life Below" By Alexandra Monir

The Life Below
By Alexandra Monir
HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; hardcover, 320 pages, $18.99; ages 14 and up; available Tuesday, February 18

Iranian-American author and recording artist Alexandra Monir has written several popular young adult novels, including the renowned The Final Six, which debuted in 2018 and hit the top spot on the Amazon bestseller charts in multiple categories and was named a Barnes & Noble 2018 Summer Reading List selection.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Books: "Listening For America" On The Country's Greatest Composers

Listening For America: Inside the Great American Songbook from Gershwin to Sondheim
By Rob Kapilow
Liveright Publishing, a division of W.W. Norton & Company; hardcover, 480 pages; $39.95

Rob Kapilow, the creator of the hit NPR series What Makes it Great, is one of America's great interpreters of music. For decades, he has brought his show to live audiences around the world, including five years of sold-out performances at Lincoln Center.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Books: The Latest In The Edge Of Sports Series From Brooklyn's Akashic Books

Akashic Books, which is located right here in Brooklyn, created the Edge of Sports series to highlight stories that might get overlooked and show a different side of the games we love. Don McPherson, an all-American quarterback at Syracuse, wrote You Throw Like a Girl to examines how masculinity is defined and its impact, and Ryan O'Callaghan, who played right tackle in the NFL for six seasons, writes in My Life On The Line about keeping his sexuality a secret and his battles with drug use.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Books: "The Ship Of Dreams" On The Titanic

The Ship Of Dreams: The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era
By Gareth Russell
Atria Books; hardcover, 448 pages; $30.00

Gareth Russell, a historian, novelist, and playwright known for the acclaimed Young and Damned and Fair, has written a new book on the Titanic in which he makes the parallel of the sinking of the oceanliner to the end of the Edwardian era. 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Books: "Don't Look Down" By Hilary Davidson

Don't Look Down
By Hilary Davidson
Thomas & Mercer; hardcover, $24.95; paperback, $15.95; ebook, $4.99; available Tuesday, February 11

Hilary Davidson is the Amazon Charts bestselling author of One Small Sacrifice and the winner of two Anthony Awards. Her novels include the Lily Moore series, which includes The Damage Done, The Next One to Fall, and Evil in All Its Disguises, and the standalone thriller Blood Always Tells. A Toronto-born travel journalist, Davidson has lived in New York City since 2001. She is also the author of eighteen nonfiction books.

Books: "Mercy House," On A Safe Haven In Bed-Stuy

Mercy House
By Alena Dillon
William Morrow Paperback Originals; $16.99; available Tuesday, February 11

A century-old row house in Bedford-Stuyvesant is presided over by renegade, silver-haired Sister Evelyn, who is gruff on the surface, but warm and wry underneath.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

2020 Valentine's Day Gift & Travel Guide

A flower arrangement from

By Lloyd Carroll - Special To Brooklyn Digest

Finding the right Valentine’s Day present for someone special is never an easy chore. Here are some gift ideas that should add a touch of romance not just for February 14 but rather for anytime of the year.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Red Bull Arena To Host NYCFC Concacaf Champions League Match

NYCFC and the Red Bulls entering the pitch before a game in 2018. Photo by Jason Schott.

New York City Football Club, along with Concacaf, announced that their Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (SCCL) Round of 16 home leg against A.D. San Carlos on February 26 at 6 p.m. will be played at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Books: "Irving Berlin: New York Genius" By James Kaplan

Irving Berlin: New York Genius
By James Kaplan
Yale University Press; hardcover, 424 pages; $26.00

In the latest edition of the renowned Jewish Lives series, James Kaplan writes this memoir on composer Irving Berlin's life as a self-made man and witty, wily, tough Jewish immigrant interplayed with the life of New York City.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Red Bulls & Ninja Unveil 2020 Dark Mode Kit

Red Bulls 2020 Dark Mode kit. Provided by the team.

The Red Bulls and international professional gamer Ninja unveiled the team's new 2020 Dark Mode Kit on Wednesday night at the MLS Forward25 event in Manhattan.

Yankees' Paxton To Miss Start Of Season

James Paxton acknowledging fans after a start last season. @Yankees.

The Yankees announced some surprising news on Wednesday, as one of their top starting pitchers, left-hander James Paxton, will miss the start of the season.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Yankee Stadium To Have Two New Social Gathering Locations

Yankee Stadium. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees announced on Monday that Yankee Stadium will have two new social gathering locations for this coming season, located on the 200 Main Level.

Yankees Announce Spring Training Non-Roster Invitees

The Yankee Stadium facade. Photo by Jason Schott.

With just about a week until spring training commences, the Yankees announced on Monday morning that they have invited 19 non-roster players to 2020 Major League Spring Training.

Red Bulls Name Thalwell Newly-Created Head Of Sport

Courtesy of the Red Bulls.

The Red Bulls have named Kevin Thelwell Head of Sport, the club announced today. Thelwell, 46, joins the Red Bulls in this newly-created role from Wolverhampton Wanderers FC of the English Premier League. 

Books: "Movies (And Other Things), Latest In Shea Serrano's Series

Movies (And Other Things)
By Shea Serrano; illustrated by Arturo Torres; Foreword by John Leguizamo
Twelve; hardcover, 256 pages; $25

Shea Serrano made his mark with his debut book, Basketball (And Other Things) a few years ago, and after that work's incredible success, he realized it was a format that could be put to any topic. 

Books: "The Queen's Assassin" By Melissa de la Cruz

The Queen's Assassin
By Melissa de la Cruz
Putnam Books for Young Readers; hardcover, $18.99; available Tuesday, February 4

Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times, #1 Publishers Weekly, and #1 IndieBound bestselling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for readers of all ages. 

De la Cruz is known for the Blue Bloods series, the Witches of East End series, which was turned into a two-season drama on Liftime;  her novel The Isle of the Lost, which was turned into the Disney Channel original movie, Descendants, and has over a million copies in print; as well as the trilogy on the love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, which includes Alex & Eliza, which was a New York Times bestseller for 20 weeks; Love & War, and All for One.

The latest extraordinary work from de la Cruz is The Queen's Assassin, an epic tale of an assassin sworn to protect his queen and country, and his apprentice, a young woman determined to forge her own path in the world.

Caledon Holt is the Kingdom of Renovia's deadliest weapon. No one alive can best him in brawn or brains, which is why he's the Guild's most dangerous member and the Queen's one and only assassin. He's also bound to his sovereign for life by the vow his father pledged, which is to find the missing Delan Scrolls, the fount of all magical history and knowledge stolen years ago by a nefarious sect called the Aphrasians. 

Shadow has been training all her life to follow the path of her mother and aunts, to become skilled enough to join the ranks of the Guild. Though magic has been forbidden since the Aphrasian uprising years before, she has been learning to control her powers in secret, with the goal that one day she'll become an assassin as feared and revered as Caledon Holt.

A surprise attack is what brings Shadow and Cal together, and they join forces to hunt down a new sinister threat to Renovia. They clash on every decision, but in spite of themselves, there's an undeniable attraction, and the couple grows closer. 

Through their adventures together, they uncover a shocking web of lies and secrets that threaten to destroy everything they hold dear. With war imminent and true love at risk, they will have to do whatever it takes to save each other and the kingdom they're both determined to protect.

The Queen's Assassin is filled everything De la Cruz's legions of fans could ask for - romance, intrigue, action, and suspense - making it a story that will delight readers of all ages.

Melissa de la Cruz tour for The Queen's Assassin, in which she will be appearing with Marie Lu and Astrid Scholte:

San Diego Public Library (San Diego, California) - Tuesday, March 3rd at 7:00 pm

The King's English (Salt Lake City, Utah) - Wednesday, March 4th at 7:00 pm

Tattered Cover at Aspen Grove (Littleton, Colorado) - Thursday, March 5th at 7:00 pm

Half Price Books (Dallas, Texas) - Friday, March 6th at 6:00 pm

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Books: "The Future of Feeling" In The Tech Era, By Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips

The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World
By Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips
Little A; hardcover, $24.95; paperback, $14.95; ebook; $5.99

Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips is a journalist and editor who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and her writing on law, finance, health, and technology has appeared in many publications, including the Establishment, Institutional Investor magazine and Law360. She also writes a blog and newsletter about empathy featuring reportage, essays, and interviews (more information at

Books: On The Great Sport Of Boxing

Boxing at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Jason Schott.

One of the best sports to produce amazing literature is the sweet science of boxing, and there are three books that will enlighten your thinking on the sport: Off the Ropes: The Ron Lyle Story, by Candace Toft; Jacobs Beach: The Mob, The Garden & The Golden Age of Boxing, by Kevin Mitchell, and Dark Trade: Lost In Boxing, by Donald McRae.

Books: "Buzz Kill" By David Sosnowski

Buzz Kill
By David Sosnowski
47North; hardcover, $24.95; paperback, $14.95; Kindle eBook, $3.99; Audio, $21.87

Buzz Kill centers on two young hackers who have the brains to save the world, or at least change it. What possibly could go wrong?

Books: "Last Day" by Luanne Rice

Last Day 
By Luanne Rice
Thomas & Mercer; hardcover, $24.95; paperback, $15.95; ebook, $3.99; available today, Saturday, February 1

Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-four novels that have been translated into twenty-four languages. In 2002, Connecticut College awarded Rice an honorary degree, and she also received an honorary doctorate from Saint Joseph College. In June 2014, she received the Connecticut Governor's arts Award for excellence as a literary artist.