Tacoma Defiance, Tacoma Rainiers

R Staff Picks: Books

“I can be anything.” That line from Reading Rainbow taught many of us how books and imagination intertwine. More than movies and shows, written stories put us in charge of interpreting the heart and mind of an author and their words.

Some members of our Rainiers staff had held a book club in the offseason months leading up to this global pandemic. Now, with the extra time indoors we are able to tackle that pile of “I should read that soon” or re-open our favorites for another familiar read. Over the weekend, many of us are going to set aside screens for a bit in favor of cracking the covers of some of our favorite books.

On Monday, we gave you R Staff Picks for some movies to keep you occupied. Tuesday, we shared the TV shows that are making us smile, laugh, and learn, through it all. We shared the playlists keeping us company in our home offices on Wednesday. Yesterday, we revealed the video games we are playing.  We hope you’ll give them a look and listen.

Always together, We R Tacoma.


Kristin Meyers, Director of Ticket Operations: Currently, I’m reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. This was the most recent book in our We R Tacoma book club. Many of you probably recognize the title since it is a newly released show on Hulu featuring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. This book is a fascinating read that focuses on a picture-perfect suburb of Ohio that really isn’t all that perfect. There seem to be so many secrets unfolding with every page, which is exactly the kind of book I like reading.

Little Fires Everywhere at King’s Books

Some other books I’m looking forward to reading are The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware as well as Cilka’s Journey (The Tattooist of Auschwitz) by Heather Morris.


Mike Curto, Tacoma Rainiers Broadcaster: I’m currently re-reading Sparky Lyle’s The Bronx Zoo, which was a transformative book for me after an uncle handed it to me as a teen. Lyle wrote a Bouton-esque diary of the 1978 Yankees season, which ended up culminating in one of the most famous games in baseball history (“The Bucky Dent Game”) and a World Series title. The characters in this book are what make it: young crazy George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin at peak Billy Martin, Lou Piniella as a player, ego-infused Reggie Jackson, silly relief pitchers and bullpen hijinx, etc. It’s full of tremendous humor, but also serves as a time capsule looking back at the early days of free agency and the player’s union, contract holdouts (remember those?), and when newspaper coverage was the best way to follow the game. As a narrator, Lyle is authentic as he details the emotional roller coaster of a baseball season. I’ve read hundreds of baseball books and this one leads the way in laugh-out-loud moments.

The Bronx Zoo at King’s Books


Rachel Hansen, Partner Servies Manager: Recently, I finished As Long as We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Cheney. I absolutely LOVED the book. The novel is a cliffhanger about a woman who died atop a cliff while on a hike with her husband. As we dig deeper into the narrative, we find out that the husband’s wife of 20 years earlier had suspiciously died in a home robbery gone wrong and all the evidence had burned to the ground. The plot seems very straightforward until you get into the details and realize how twisted the lives of the characters truly are. The book is written well, which helps the reader follow the story, as the climax doesn’t happen for quite a long time.

As Long as We Both Shall Live at King’s Books


Dave Clark, Content Creator: My to-be-read pile is finally shrinking. Being able to unplug and just focus on the words and the page is awesome. I’m finally crushing William Gibson’s The Peripheral after starting and stopping so many times in the past. His vision of the near future is as prophetic as ever. I’m going to skip Agency for a while.

The Peripheral at King’s Books.

N.K. Jemisin and Junot Diaz are battling to see who gets to be next as both have come recommended for a couple years.


Erin Fogerty, Graphic Designer: Spending too much time at home in front of a screen can feel fatiguing after a while. Reading is a productive way to break the cycle between watching TV, grabbing our phones, and picking up our laptops. I recently finished reading The Rap Yearbook by Shea Serrano, which is an illustrated year-by-year analysis of the best rap songs made since 1979. Serrano’s other books, Movies (and Other Things) and Basketball (and Other Things), provide fun takes on two major forms of pop culture that we all could use right now.

The Rap Yearbook at King’s Books


Fernanda Irish, Marketing and Community Relations Coordinator: I’ve always loved reading. It is the closest that you’ll ever get to being in someone else’s mind. Currently re-reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami and Love Is A Mixtape by Rob Sheffield, two of my desert island books.

Love is a Mixtape is about how music becomes intertwined with our emotional memories. Using fifteen of his favorite mix tapes, Rob tells the story of his greatest love and loss. Each mixtape is crafted with great attention, and quickly translates to sweet nostalgia as you begin seeing yourself in each of the chapters written. Especially now, in the time of social distancing, it’s nice to be transported back to those memories and feelings. It’s a really beautiful book overall.

Love is a Mixtape at King’s Books


Maddie Bukata, Game Entertainment Coordinator: I’m into murder mystery, true crime, historical books about people and their stories. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara is her story about the search for the Golden State Killer. The Killer terrorized California in the late 70s and early 80s and McNamara’s work helped capture him just two years ago. It’s a book that’s really hard to put down, you always want to know what happens next. It’s the best book I’ve ever read.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark at King’s Books

I’m currently working my way through The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold for the third time. It’s another book that leaves you on the edge of your seat and the story itself is so meaningful.


On our Kids Page, you will find a coloring book, as well as a video read along of the Rainiers children’s book “We R Tacoma.” Reading is for everyone, even those who are still learning how to read.

Monday, we’ll be giving you R Staff Picks for our morning coffee & tea.

Previously we shared the moviesshows, music, and video games we like.

About the Tacoma Rainiers

The Tacoma Rainiers, Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Tacoma has been a member of the Pacific Coast League since Cheney Stadium opened in 1960, and has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.

The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.

About Tacoma Defiance

Tacoma Defiance is the USL Championship affiliate of reigning MLS Cup Champion Seattle Sounders FC. You can follow The Future of Champions on Twitter (@TACDefiance)Facebook, and Instagram (@tacdefiance). We are #DefiantlyTacoma.

COVID-19 Information

More information on social distancing and how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 can be found at Tacoma-Pierce County Health. The most up-to-date information on how COVID-19 is affecting events at Cheney Stadium can be found here.

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