“Dear Mr. Pearlman …”

Over the past few weeks I’ve received a handful of e-mails from different people telling me that either “The Bad Guys Won!” or “Boys Will Be Boys” ranks as their all-time favorite book.

This, to me, is a huge compliment. It is, also, however, sort of odd. Your all-time favorite book? Really? Can that actually be so? I’m very proud of my books—they represent a ton of research and writing and strain and blood and effort. I mean, they’re really, really hard, and I’m ecstatic that I’ve now written four.

However …

All-time favorite? I’m gonna say something horrible, but honest: When I receive such comments, my first thought (following immense gratitude) is, “How you ever read a truly great book?” The Autobiography of Malcolm X? The Things They Carried? In Cold Blood? Election? The Defining Moment? Etc … etc. Again, I’m thrilled and honored that people have taken to my stuff. But, well, c’mon …

8 thoughts on ““Dear Mr. Pearlman …””

  1. Dude, I think this is a form of networking. People are trying to reach out, be nice, and make an impact on you. It’s in the networking books and HR lessons — make a good first impression. People forget that flattery can be disingenuous. Flattery can backfire, too, and be seen as an awkward social interaction.

    My advice for anyone reading this? Reach out to bloggers and writers for a reason. [Advice, questions, and constructive comments are good reasons to send an email message.] Praise and compliments feel weird.

    In any event, I’m just glad people are reading.

  2. Boys will be boys is my all time favorite book. But I only read 2 or 3 books per year and am anxiously awaiting Daryl Strawberry’s autobiography.

  3. Haven’t read Malcolm X’s autobiography, but by far my fave biog/auto biog has to be Days of Grace. Arthur Ashe’s memoir on the final few years of his life. Definitely touching.

  4. Loved “Boys Will Be Boys” but my favorite book is “Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”. That book changed the way I viewed life and my role in it. Your book changed the way I looked at a team I usually cheered against. No hard feelings….

  5. Boys Will Be Boys is in the top 2 or 3 sports books I’ve ever read. And I read a lot. But, Jeff, keep in mind that a LOT of people are not readers and don’t read even one book a year… this is unfathomable to people like you who are writers by trade and, thus, read a shitload (I’m in the same boat). But it’s true… those who read regularly and for recreation are FAR outnumbered by those who never read and/or only read when they absolutely must.

  6. My two favorite books are the Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mrdecai Richler and The Great Gatsby. My favorite sports books are Ball Four, and A Season on the Brink. Though I’ve read and enjoyed all 3 of your books.

    I agree with J Money though, a lot of people only read because they have to. I try to read about book a month, but then again I don’t have any kids.

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