A Season in My Life
by Richard Lawrence

"I really didn’t intend for this book to be about me. It was supposed to be about men’s softball and why we play."

Ben is a devoted boyfriend, an expectant father, and perhaps, most importantly, an amateur softball fanatic. The team he currently coaches, Swingin’ Stixx, is a dream team of Ben’s friends, players he’s built a relationship with over previous seasons, and a collection of players from other teams who’ve proven themselves to be athletic studs. As the title implies, this story follows Ben, his team, and his relationships off the diamond through a season of Alabama’s tournament and league softball.

From massive brawls on the field between two teams to a serious, life-threatening car accident, Ben narrates his own perspective and thoughts with honesty and humor. Through each major event, Ben shares his insights, thoughts on love and life, and takes part in several macho, beer-fueled, “just us guys” activities with the men he plays softball with.

Written in a nearly stream-of-consciousness format, this book perfectly captures the male perspective in a way that is funny, honest, and well-rounded. The subject material and language can frequently be on the more vulgar side, so this story is obviously targeted to adult readers, but it’s also not without a sense of morality and good messages about life, respect, and teamwork. The balance between being one of the guys and also being a supportive lover and father is one that may seem confusing to some, but the author does a great job of capturing how men yearn to fulfill a purpose while also dedicating themselves to play. With down-to-earth characters and plenty of human insight, this could prove to be one of the great books about coming to terms with the masculine identity in all of its facets.

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