The Best Baseball Books Of 2011
In March 2010, Little, Brown outbid seven other publishers for the rights to an unemployed author's first book, paying $650,000 to publish Chad Harbach's tale about a slick-fielding shortstop at a fictional Division III college in Wisconsin. It was a highly unusual transaction for a debut novel targeted at a male audience. The publisher was vindicated, however, by a constant flow of praise in the months leading up to the release of "The Art of Fielding," certainly unprecedented among baseball novels. The book lived up to its hype, landing a coveted place on the New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2011 list. It also tops ours, the only work of fiction to win a spot.