Good reading, good listening
BASEBALL: A LITERARY ANTHOLOGY
Edited by Nicholas Dawidoff (Library of Congress, $35)


According to Roger Angell, baseball is “one of the reasons summer exists.” On April 2, the largest collection of literary writing about America’s favorite summer pastime will hit bookstore shelves. Richard Ford listens to minor-league baseball on the radio while driving cross-country, Amiri Baraka recalls watching the Newark Eagles play in the days before Jackie Robinson shattered the color line. Indispensable works — Ernest Thayer’s “Casey at the Bat” among them — portraits of legendary players, and testimonies from oral histories complete this shrine to the men on the diamond.

OUR READ: A baseball fan's bible
SPIDER-MAN CONFIDENTIAL
By Edward Gross (Hyperion, $16.95)

Just in time to train for the major motion picture release comes this unauthorized biography of one of the world’s most popular comic heroes. Spider-Man, aka Webslinger; Stan Lee, his creator; and the movie get the behind-the-scenes treatment in this fully illustrated guide.

OUR READ: Get the book, look for the movie next month
IT TAKES A WORRIED MAN
By Brendan Halpin (Villard Books, $21.95)


Helpless, angry, and scared, Boston high school teacher Halpin, whose 32-year-old wife, Kirsten, has stage-four breast cancer, began to write about their experience. He says, “I have noticed that the stuff written about my situation is usually a line or two in the cancer books: ‘This is a tough time for him, too.’” Unsentimental, thought-provoking, and surprisingly funny at times, this is a genuinely moving portrait of a loving couple in the throes of adulthood.

OUR READ: Inspiring real life
MR. FIX-IT INTRODUCES YOU TO YOUR HOME
By Lou Manfredini, with Curtis Rist (Ballantine, $23.95)


Manfredini, who’s better known as the Today Show’s Mr. Fix-It, says, “Do it right, or don’t do it at all.” Sticking with this rule, he tours the entire house and yard, and tells you what to do with what you see. A terrific guide for both seasoned and new homeowners, this tome tackles your abode from the ground up.

OUR READ: Renovators and home-buyers, start here