Advance Galley Reviews
I live in Indiana, where we don't have our own major league baseball team. (Don't feel too bad for us; we have the Indy Indians, and their games are a lot of fun!) However, I grew up playing softball with my dad as the coach, so I love to watch both softball and baseball. My dad is from Kokomo, Indiana, with Chicago within driving distance, so he is a Cubs fan, and by extension so is the rest of our family. My new sister-in-law has many relatives in Chicago, so the family has recently been injected with even more Cubs blue!
Even were I not a Cubs fan, however, I would have enjoyed reading Scott Simon's "My Cubs", I'm sure, because of how much Simon clearly loves them. His personal story, along with the stories of members of the Cubs organization, was passionate, heartfelt, and worthy of an even longer book, frankly.
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Penguin First To Read in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Lovable losers, cursed ballpark, crazy, loyal fans…this describes one of the most beloved teams in baseball. The fans certainly didn’t stop following them even after not winning a pennant since 1908. Now that they are the top dogs, cream of the crop World Series Winning Cubs they have all kinds of new followers.
My Cubs is a book that might help the newcomers and naysayers understand the history of the Chicago Cubs. I am not sure anyone who hasn’t been a diehard fan can ever really slip into the skin of a true Cub fan, but that is ok, you will still enjoy Scott Simon’s love story about his favorite team.
If you are not a Cub fan, the stories Simon paints with color and caring will bring you into the ballpark anyway. He has intimate knowledge of the team. One of his mother’s best friends was married to Charlie Grimm. He was a former player and the manager for the team when they played the Series in 1945.
Simon gives the reader an inside look at the beginning of the Goat Curse. It has apparently expired since they won the Series in 2016. He tells us about some of the super stars in baseball that played for the Cubs, like Ernie Banks. He confirms what all fans know, Wrigley Field is as much a part of the team as the outfielders that bounce off the famous ivy. The stories and legends he writes about are interesting to Cub fans, baseball fans and anyone who loves to read a slice of history told by a fascinating author.
I attended my first Cub game at Wrigley in the early 1980’s. Fergie Jenkins pitched and they lost. It didn’t matter. I was sitting in Chicago in the warm sunshine watching my favorite team. It would have been great to see them win; we still had a great time. Fast forward to 2016, the last game of the World Series, rain delay…you know the rest of the story.
Scott Simon has won countless awards for his writing and broadcasting. His career has spanned years and continents. His accolades are well deserved and hard earned. Following wars, politics and sports he has seen it all and shared it with the world. Baseball fans and especially Cub fans will undoubtedly agree that this little love story about the Chicago Cubs is one of the most heartfelt inside looks at the team in print.
Copyright © 2017 Laura Hartman
Cubs fans are legendary. Loyal and long-suffering (emphasis on "suffering"), they stay true to their team through thin and thinner. But last season, it all paid off. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time in over a century. It was a stunning season, and the story is irresistible.
Scott Simon is a lifelong Cubs fan. He's practically Cubs family, since Charlie Grimm, former first baseman and manager, was a family friend and practically an uncle to him. Jack Brickhouse, the Cubs announcer on WGN up until 1981, was his godfather. So when Simon decided to write down his thoughts about his Cubs, it only makes sense that he would call it My Cubs: A Love Story. Because it truly is a love story.
Packed with stories from behind the scenes, Simon takes his NPR reporting skills and tells the stories behind the curse, the Billy Goat, Wrigley Field, and so many of the big names that kept Cubs fan cheering (and jeering) through the years--Leo Durocher, Ernie Banks, Lou Brock, the Ricketts family, and so many more.
Articulate and moving, My Cubs is an emotional tribute to the team, the city, and the fans that made that World Series win a reality. It's a compelling story of loyalty despite all odds, and it should be a must-read for any true baseball fan.
Galleys for My Cubs: A Love Story were provided by the publisher through firsttoread.com.
Every spring, Mesa, Arizona is turned into Chicago-of-the-West when the excitement for Cubs Spring Training comes to town. The caps are blue, the beer is cold, and the highest hopes are expressed in a distinctively Midwestern accent. The fans that flock to our sunny stadium will enjoy tucking this small volume into their cargo shorts and pulling it out to discuss the "remember when..." moments they share, especially when they can't quite remember the details. "My Cubs" is a love story to the team that overcame its curse(s), told with admiration for baseball's--and the Chicago fans'-- history and traditions, and grounded with statistics. Overall, I liked "My Cubs," yet I would enjoy it even more as an audiobook read by the author. Scott Simon's voice would add depth to the prose and colour to box scores.
I have never been a true cubs fan and didn't really know the history of the curse of the cubs. I've heard it referenced many times but this book explained it so well to me. It was interesting to read the little stories surrounding the history of the curse on a writer and fan's personal level. It gives more meaning to what winning the World Series last year means to their fans and the Cubs players past and present. I recommend this book to anyone even non baseball fans or fans of other teams which I am.
I have a close, personal connection to this story, as a lifelong Cubs fan. Simon wrote a very interesting story that engages readers, even if you're not a fan of the team or the sport. I'm sure that baseball fans in general and Cubs fans specifically are more likely to pick this book up. Anyone who reads it will be entertained. I thoroughly enjoyed the combination of history and humor. It's a real NPR lovers book, for sure.
I am not much into baseball, but I really enjoyed this book which is basically about the love of the game in general and the Chicago Cubs in particular.
Scott Simon's prose flows really well making even the more historic bits about the disastrously poor results of the Cubs interesting for non-fans. His humor is understated in a really cool way that made me smile throughout the book but never burst out laughing out loud.
Fans of any professional sports club will enjoy this book, and for Cubs fans it's a touching and entertaining must read.
I really enjoyed this book. As someone who just started following baseball, seeing the Cubs win was huge, even for someone like myself who didn't fully appreciate the complete breadth of the struggle Cubs fans went through year after year after year.
This was an awesome look into one fan's experience, that ties in the experience of all Cubs fans, some of the history, the foibles of past Cubs teams that almost made it, and awesome anecdotes. Is it the Complete Works of Everything Cubs? No... and I am glad it wasn't. This was a very fun ride and I am so glad I read it.
I loved this book! It was such a fun read that I read it in one sitting. Having gone to college in Chicago and attended many Cubs games, I thoroughly enjoyed Scott Simon’s stores about the Cubs and his lifelong support for (obsession with) the team. Simon outlines the history of the team, highlights the franchise’s outstanding players, and elaborates on how the team finally made it to and actually won the World Series. He spends time on the Cubs reluctance to provide lights at Wrigley Field so that night games could be played. I was in college when that debate raged and the lights were finally added so I very much enjoyed that section. Throughout the book, he relays humorous anecdotes as well which made the book even more entertaining. My only change to the book would have been to not go into quite so much detail about the World Series games. Other than that, My Cubs: A Love Story was outstanding. Thanks to First to Read for the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
As a Cubs fan, this was the perfect book to read after the 2016 World Series win. Scott Simon was able to harness the excitement of the seven games series, replaying not only the major plays but also the thrill and extreme emotions of the long-time, devoted fans. The devotion is amplified by decades of fandom, a fandom filled with hope and disappointment, love and lose.
As someone who has always tried to imagine what it must be like to grow up in a big city or a city of significance, Simon's account of a childhood marked by the beginning and the end of the Chicago baseball season allowed me to step into the shoes of a Chicago youth. The innocence, the idea of eternal summer, and the lifelong connection to a simpler time made Simon's tale a great segue into summer and the impending baseball season.
"To be devoted to the Chicago Cubs is to carry a torch of love that defies comparison." Simon tells a great story about the history of the Cubs and their eventual World Series victory after 108 years of loss. Being a mild baseball fan myself, I still found this short read compelling and worth my time. The Cubs' win touched a lot of hearts and Simon conveys that well.
I loved this book so much. I read it in about two sittings, it had a lovely style so true to Scott Simon's voice that I could pretty much hear him reading it to me. I also loved the woodcut-style illustrations. Chicago is a beloved destination, not home, to me but my heart breaks when I hear of the troubles there and I hope that winning the World Series is just the start of many shining moments and victories for the Windy City. Really, really loved this book.
As a Cubs fan I was primed to like this book and I was not disappointed. Mr. Simon has an easy conversational writing style that I enjoy in this kind of story. Because of Mr. Simon’s peripheral connection to the Cubs I was treated to a few insider stories, but ultimately the book is about Mr. Simon’s experience of being a Cubs fan. Other Cubs fans will see some of themselves on these pages but this book is not only for Cubs fans. Sports fans and baseball fans in particular will be able to relate to the fan experience and everyone will gain some insight into what it means to be a Cubs fan and why 2016 was so special.
Scott Simon's book is a conversational narrative of what it was like to grow up a Cubs fan. He hits on most bullet points that fans will already be familiar with (goat curse, black cat, Bartman, etc) but he tells the tales well, and it's like sitting around the dinner table listening to stories told by your elders. He puts a personal flavor on it and he has some interesting stories. A little wandering in points, but I digress. Any Cubs fan will feel a little verklempt reading the recap of the 2016 games and ultimate win. Just like the Cubs, this is a winner.
First and foremost I am an A's fan, so I have to say that page 75 was a low blow there Mr.Simon.
But as a lover of baseball I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Mr. Simons accounts of waiting and watching for that day I felt like I was a part of it. The section talking about the "Brock for Brogloo" was truly my 2016 season. A's traded both Zobrist and Crisp. One became a Cub the other an Indian and what do they do? The A's don't make it to the play offs and thoes two play in the World Series. Because of that one section and many more he made me feel like his story was mine.
It is a true fan story and I hope that one day I can write something like this for my team.
So congrats to Mr.Simon and his Cubs. And if by some chance you read this review I hope the Fold's "Let's Go Cubbies" plays at your home as much as it does at mine!
As a born, raised, and will die Chicago Cubs fan who grew up in the north side suburbs of Chicago, the 2016 Cubs team and their victorious season was a life-changing and emotional experience. Scott Simon comes as close as anyone can in capturing the feeling, the sense of identity, that people have as Cubs fans and explaining it to those "not in the family". While the book is really specific to Simon's experience, it does a good job of evoking the general experience of being a Cubs fan. An enjoyable read, for those who are Cubs fans, those who are baseball enthusiasts, and those who just want to understand Cubs fans better and why the 2016 experience was such a big deal.
this is a decent book if you're a cubs fan. I love the cubs and watched them win in a bar in Disney world (I never thought I'd have to worry about that when I booked my trip). it was amazing and reading this book made me relive that moment all over again. living in Syracuse, ny (Yankee country boo) it is hard for me to connect to the same memories or feeling the author has beyond the 03 Steve bartman incident, getting swept in 15, and of course winning in 16. Simon can provide an insight many can't due to his family connections and it was nice to hear stories of the past, of a history that's a bit harder for those far away from the friendly confines to know about. hopefully, someday, i can make it out to Chicago and see a game. many cub fans will enjoy this short, quick read.
firsttoread.com gave me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is also posted on goodreads.com. I did not enjoy this book. It was written by a Cubs fan who happened to be born into the lives of former Cubs legends but I have a feeling he never embraced this life until the Cubs made the world series for the first time in anyone's life. The book had no depth and I did not learn one thing except that he knows some interesting people.