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Wednesday
May172017

Four Thumbs Up for THE STREAK

The release date for my new baseball book, THE STREAK, aboout Cal Ripken, Lou Gehrig, and baseball's Ironman record, is about seven weeks away now -- July 4, to be exact.

The period before publication always includes a round of reviews from the book industry media – heavyweight outlets such as Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal and Booklist. An author isn’t being honest if he or she tells you they don’t hold their breath, at least a little bit, before those reviews start rolling in.

I’m pleased to report that THE STREAK has performed well under scrutiny, bringing home an extremely positive report card – four thumbs up from the sources listed above.

You can read the full pre-pub reviews via the links listed below, but here are the highlights:

-- Booklist gives it a “starred” review, signifying a book that warrants special attention.

-- From Kirkus Reviews: “Eisenberg examines one of baseball’s most venerated records while exploring what it all means, providing a compelling, thought-provoking history for fans of America’s grand game.”

-- From Publisher’s Weekly: “Eisenberg’s impressively researched effort is a terrific tribute.”

-- From Library Journal: “A readable and comprehensive look at one of baseball’s most arcane but incredible accomplishments.”

I’m in the process of setting up a batch of signings and appearances to promote the book. There’s some exciting stuff in the works, soon to be announced. You can pre-order the book right here. In the meantime, here are the review links (just click on the name of the outlet). Thanks for the interest!

Booklist

Publisher's Weekly

Kirkus Reviews

Library Journal

 

Sunday
Apr022017

New Baseball Book Coming Soon

I can’t think of a better time than Opening Day to announce that I’ll have a new book on the shelves later this year. It’s been more than four years in the making, and the subject is baseball. The book’s title is “The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken and Baseball’s Most Historic Record.” It’s an in-depth examination of the Iron Man record, which Gehrig and Ripken made famous.

The stories of those two legendary ballplayers dominate the pages, but the central character in the book is the consecutive-game record itself. Few sports achievements have generated more acclaim. Anyone who remembers the events of September 6, 1995, when Ripken broke Gehrig's record in Baltimore, can attest to that. My book opens with a fresh rendering of that night, including perspectives from new sources. Yet for decades, quiet doubts have persisted about the importance of playing in so many games in a row. Why would anyone want to do that? Babe Ruth certainly asked that question.

My idea was to hold the record up to the light, explore its history and underlying philosophy, and ask questions. Where did the idea of playing every day for so long come from? Who thought it was a good idea? Is it, in fact, a good idea? How did Gehrig and Ripken do it? Was one streak somehow more genuine than the other? Aside from their exploits, how has the record evolved? How do today’s players feel about feats of endurance? (Spoiler alert: They don’t care.) Ripken, whom I interviewed, has plenty to say on those subjects and many more.

Ripken was interested in the project, and I also interviewed dozens of others, incouding retired baseball stars Steve Garvey and Billy Williams, who experienced their own moments of Iron Man glory and helped explain what could motivate a man to go for years without taking a day off.

The pub date for the book is July 4, 2017, about as all-American as you can get. I'm biased, but I think baseball fans will enjoy it.

It can be pre-ordered here: https://www.amazon.com/Streak-Gehrig-Ripken-Baseballs-Historic/dp/0544107675/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Monday
Mar212016

Nice Recognition on a List of All-Time Best Pro Football Books

Pro Football Journal has published its list of the 100 greatest books ever written about pro football. I was pleased to see two of my books among those selected.

Coming in at No. 24 on the Top 100 was COTTON BOWL DAYS, my 1997 memoir about growing up in the 1960s as a Dallas Cowboy fan.

"Written with charm and passion, COTTON BOWL DAYS takes readers through a time capsule that true fans can relate to. Although I don't root for the Cowboys, I found myself captivated reading the stories of Eisenberg's football journey,” wrote Chris Willis of NFL Films, who compiled the list for Pro Football Journal.

Last summer the Lone Star Literary Life website gave COTTON BOWL DAYS a No. 5 ranking on its list of all-time best Texas football books.

My second book on the Pro Football Journal's Top 100 was TEN-GALLON WAR, a study of the battle for Dallas’s football future that took place between the National Football League’s Cowboys and American Football League’s Texans from 1960 through 1962. Published in 2012, it was ranked No. 53 on the list.

“One of the best books on pro football to come out in the past couple of years,” Willis wrote, citing its “research and well-crafted prose.”

Here is a link to the Pro Football Journal blog, where the list was published:

http://nflfootballjournal.blogspot.com

 

Tuesday
Aug182015

"Cotton Bowl Days" Cracks List of Greatest Texas Football Books

To commemorate the approach of another football season, the "Lone Star Literary Life" website has published its rankings of the best all-time Texas football books. It's a spectacular top-ten list that includes seminal works such as "Friday Night Lights," "The Last Picture Show," and "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk."

I was beyond honored to find "Cotton Bowl Days," my 1997 book about growing up as a Dallas Cowboys fan, ranked No. 5 on the list. It's a book I'm proud of, and even though it is nearly two decades old, I still hear regularly from football fans just reading it for the first time. Love seeing it get recognized this way!

Here's a link to the full list: http://www.lonestarliterary.com/texas-football-books-2015_080911.html

(The book can also be found as an eBook titled "Chronicles of a Dallas Cowboy Fan.")

Tuesday
Mar172015

A comeback story

“That First Season,” my book on Vince Lombardi’s inaugural year as the coach of the Green Bay Packers, was published in the fall of 2009 — more than five years ago. But if its Amazon page is any indication, it is attracting new readers as if it just hit the market.

Every book sold by Amazon has its own page, an online home base of sorts featuring sales figures, updated hourly, and reader reviews. It is wise not to put too much stock in what you see there, but most authors check their pages and their “numbers” anywhere from occasionally to compulsively, as it does provide a general picture of the interest level in their books.

“That First Season,” published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, had a nice run when it first came out in the fall of 2009. Sales were healthy and 40 readers posted reviews on Amazon within the first few months. That rush inevitably slowed, as happens with most books, or for that matter, most products after several years on the market. In 2012, five readers posted reviews on Amazon. In 2013, 11 did.

But interest has picked up. The book is experiencing a significant rebirth, at least according to its Amazon metrics.

Thirty-eight readers posted reviews in 2014, and 27 have already posted reviews this year – 17 in March alone and we’re barely halfway through the month. Those are healthy figures for a brand-new book, let alone one that came out in 2009. Fortunately, most are four-star or five-star reviews. People seem to like it.

You can now find the book on several of Amazon’s bestseller lists, ranking No. 23 in books on American football as of Tuesday morning.

When I see a spike like that, I wonder what happened. Did an influential publication post a review? Did someone in Green Bay mention it? Or is this just a function of the power of the Lombardi legend?

I don’t know the answer. But I’m not complaining.