You’re probably aware of Josh Wilker’s blog Cardboard Gods. And, if so, the fact that Josh has a book coming out, Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards, should not be news to you. (And, if you’ve never heard of his blog and book, now you have!)
While the book is not slated to be published until April 1st, the good folks at Seven Footer Press have provided me with an advanced reader’s copy. And, now that I’ve finished Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards, here’s my review of Wilker’s forthcoming book.
Don’t be mistaken, Cardboard Gods is not a book about baseball cards in the sense that it details the industry and/or hobby of collecting them. More so, this book is the memoir of Josh Wilker using the anchors of his childhood, his beloved baseball card collection, as selected portals into various parts of his life story. And, his story is somewhat atypical to the Norman Rockwell chronicled nuclear family setting that many of us have experienced.
Related, as I was reading Cardboard Gods, at times, I found myself thinking “This is sort of like the PG-13 baseball fan version of The Basketball Diaries, written by the late Jim Carroll.” (And, in fact, I later learned that Josh is a fan of that work and writer.)
Now, this is not to say that this book is a rip. It’s merely shared to inform that this is not a book for those who can’t handle a story that is…let’s say…”colorful” and “strikingly unconventional.” And, in reality, I found Cardboard Gods to be absolutely engrossing. Wilker’s unique presentation approach (using his baseball card collection) and clever picturing painting through word selection, combined with the story of his avant-garde upbringing and its residual impact, make Cardboard Gods one heckuva of a compelling read. And, I highly recommend this book.
April always brings a slew of new baseball book. When that time comes, be sure to make room for Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards among those that you elect to read. There’s a lot in this one – and something for everybody.