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An “artful and compassionate” collection of personal essays, travel writing, dispatches, and book reviews from the author of Laughing in the Hills (Time).
 
An Angle on the World is a brilliant tribute to Bill Barich’s extraordinary range as a writer. Gathering together more than thirty years of work, this book addresses such diverse subjects as a murder trial in the Caribbean, a visit to a juju doctor in Nigeria, and the author’s youthful escapades in Italy and the Haight-Ashbury. As the New York Times put it, “An easy, fluid stylist, Barich writes entertainingly about anything.”
 
Few writers are as gifted as Barich at making people come alive on the page. His portrait of David Milch, the legendary creator of HBO’s Deadwood, offers an inside look at an eccentric genius at work. Here the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia is depicted as a real person, not a rock star cliché. He finds heroes in such unlikely places as the San Fernando Valley, where former gang members try to prevent teenagers from killing one another in turf wars, and in the trials of operating a home for paranoid schizophrenics in San Francisco.
 
Whenever Barich hits the road, whether to London or Barbados, he expresses the sheer joy of being alive. An Angle on the World is an ideal bedside reader, packed with insight, good humor, and razor-sharp prose that has earned Barich his enviable reputation as a writers’ writer.
 
“Few writers are so lucid and evocative.” —Robert Stone, New York Times–bestselling author
From the author of A Pint of Plain and Traveling Light. “In his first novel, Bill Barich delivers a seasoned performance” (The New York Times Book Review).
 
From one of California’s most celebrated writers comes a generous and deeply absorbing novel, as filled with warmth and the hope of second chances as the land it describes.
 
Returning from New York to the vineyards of Northern California to be with her dying mother, Anna Torelli never expects that the trip will change her life. But when she meets Arthur Atwater, her father’s vineyard manager—a man as emotionally bruised and as fiercely independent as she is—Anna is pulled back into the rhythms of the growing season, into the radiant landscape of her childhood, and into a love affair that rouses her as nothing has before. Carson Valley is also home to Anna’s aging father, Victor, the son of Italian immigrants who first planted the vineyard in the 1890s, and his foreman, Antonio Lopez, a Mexican immigrant whose marital troubles deepen when his cousin Omar Perez crosses the border illegally to work the vineyard harvest.
 
Carson Valley is a masterful work of social realism—as insightful about modern love as it is about rural life in the grip of change.
 
“Bill Barich writes with superb intelligence, with sympathy and unusual grace.” —Richard Ford, New York Times–bestselling author
 
“Barich marvelously captures the elemental life of the vineyard . . . [He] sets every human endeavor, all emotion and loving and fear, against the implacable rhythms of the soil.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
“A quietly but genuinely remarkable debut.” —Kirkus Reviews
Bill Barich’s widely praised work is at its peak in these intimate glimpses into the stories behind the stories, the real people behind the public façade of the athletic realm. In this collection, Barich takes readers behind the scenes of both participatory and spectator sports, whose wide variety include:

Three different types of horse racing: down-and-dirty bush racing in Cajun country; an elegant steeplechase at Ascot, England; and a big-time Santa Anita thoroughbred heading for the Kentucky Derby.
Two boxers from radically different ends of the spectrum: Pat Lawlor struggling to make it in San Francisco, and Mike Tyson battling his emotions.
Two fly-fishing adventures on legendary California rivers.
And a ride with the Moscow Red Devils, the world’s strangest baseball club, as they barnstorm the United States with Soviet trinkets for sale, and with technical skills equal to that of a good American high school team.

Every chapter shines with Barich’s distinctive voice, one that skillfully pairs both passion and intelligence with an ample dose of humor. The result is the very best kind of sports writing—from one of the most elegant prose stylists of our time.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sports—books about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team.

Whether you are a New York Yankees fan or hail from Red Sox nation; whether you are a die-hard Green Bay Packers or Dallas Cowboys fan; whether you root for the Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, UCLA Bruins, or Kansas Jayhawks; whether you route for the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, or Los Angeles Kings; we have a book for you. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
“In Traveling Light [Barich] simply does it—goes fishing, goes to the races, goes to Europe. He dramatizes his restlessness without gathering wool” (The New York Times).
 
Here is a travel book with a difference: ten chronological chapters from a year of wandering, from the Pacific Northwest to Tuscany and back again to the trout-laden streams of California. Join Bill Barich as he travels the globe, from the trout streams of Northern California to the auction ring at Saratoga, where millions of dollars may be gaveled away for a yearling thoroughbred; from seedy London pubs to a run-down Florentine palazzo during a glorious Italian spring. Learn the science of English beer brewing, the art of fly tying, how to generate hydroelectric power, the proper analysis of the Daily Racing Form, and the best way to eat artichokes.
 
Freshness, wit, and Barich’s distinctive voice create a luminous travelogue crackling with an inimitable curiosity and an elegance of style that marks every step of this remarkable journey.
 
“Barich is a wonderful writer. His angle of vision is his own, his prose is a delight.” —Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize–winning author
 
“I had a fine time with Traveling Light. Barich is a splendid prose stylist . . . I will continue to look forward to anything he writes.” —Jim Harrison, New York Times–bestselling author
 
“Witty, knowledgeable, good writing . . . Start Barich now and keep reading him.” —Thomas McGuane, author of The Longest Silence: A Life in Fishing
 
Bill Barich burst onto the literary scene more than twenty-five years ago with this remarkable account of racetrack life. Holed up in a cheap motel in Albany, California, only a few miles from Golden Gate Fields, he looked to the track to help him make sense of his life during a dark peiod of loss and challenge. With rare sensitivity, he captured the gritty world of the backstretch, and also its poetry, as few other writers have done. Laughing in the Hills, which was first serialized in the New Yorker, has become a classic of sporting literature and a must for anyone who loves horses and the world they create.

“It is a lovely, valuable book, introspective without being self-servingly so, affectionate but never saccharine in its evocation of racetrack life, witty and perceptive throughout.” —Jonathan Yardley, Sports Illustrated

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, is proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sports—books about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team.

In addition to books on popular team sports, we also publish books for a wide variety of athletes and sports enthusiasts, including books on running, cycling, horseback riding, swimming, tennis, martial arts, golf, camping, hiking, aviation, boating, and so much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Twenty-five years after his racetrack classic Laughing in the Hills, Bill Barich tells the story of how he fell in love and found a new life in Dublin, where he was soon caught up in the Irish obsession with horses and luck. Barich travels throughout his adopted country and meets the leading trainers and jockeys, the beleaguered bookies who work rain or shine, and a host of passionate, like-minded fans—from Father Sean Breen, the “Racing Priest,” to T. P. Reilly, whose peculiar betting system turns on a horse’s looks.

Witty, philosophical, and vividly written, A Fine Place to Daydream is a paean to the real Ireland, a moving tale of a surprise romance, and a thrilling account of a hugely exciting season at the track.

“Captivating. . . . Mr. Barich recaptures much of the feel and compass of his first narrative of the equine life, once again weaving a broad tartan from scores of interviews with inhabitants of every corner of the horseracing industry.”
—The Wall Street Journal

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, is proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sports—books about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team.

In addition to books on popular team sports, we also publish books for a wide variety of athletes and sports enthusiasts, including books on running, cycling, horseback riding, swimming, tennis, martial arts, golf, camping, hiking, aviation, boating, and so much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
After meeting an Irishwoman in London and moving to Dublin, Bill Barich?a “blow-in,” or stranger, in Irish parlance?found himself looking for a traditional Irish pub to be his local. There are nearly 12,000 pubs in Ireland, so he appeared to have plenty of choices. He wanted a pub like the one in John Ford's classic movie, The Quiet Man, offering talk and drink with no distractions, but such pubs are now scare as publicans increasingly rely on flat-screen televisions, rock music, even Texas Hold ‘Em to attract a dwindling clientele. For Barich, this signaled that something deeper was at play?an erosion of the essence of Ireland, perhaps without the Irish even being aware. A Pint of Plain is Barich's witty, deeply observant portrait of an Ireland vanishing before our eyes. While 85 percent of the Irish still stop by a pub at least once a month, strict drunk-driving laws have helped to kill business in rural areas. Even traditional Irish music, whose rich roots “connect the past to the present and close a circle,” is much less prominent in pub life. Ironically, while Irish pubs in the countryside are closing at the alarming rate of one per day, plastic IPC-type pubs are being born in foreign countries at the exact same rate.
From the famed watering holes of Dublin to tiny village pubs, Barich introduces a colorful array of characters, and, ever pursuing craic, the ineffable Irish word for a good time, engages in an unvarnished yet affectionate discussion about what it means to be Irish today.
In his first collection of short fiction, Bill Barich gives us cause to celebrate a prose stylist who can gracefully cross the boundaries of genre. As stated by Anne Tyler, Hard to Be Good is so large and complete that you tend to look up at the end and find yourself surprised that it’s still the same day.

Set in the American West, as are three other of the seven stories in this book, it is about the unselfconscious struggle for wholeness in a divided family. Its adolescent protagonist moves from innocence to experience in the course of a summer vacation with his mother and her third husband, and the result is satisfying, rather than harrowing.

The attempt to make signification relationships cohere, to weather the transformation of innocence, informs all the stories in this book, and in Barich’s worlds the outcome is often good—knowledge does not always lead to hopelessness. Highly disparate mothers covering on a couple in Idaho Falls (“Where the Mountains Are”) have much to teach and learn, a nineteen-year-old American studying in Florence accepts the surprising human complications of an outsider’s great pensione adventure (“Caravaggio”) . . . and that’s just a few of Barich’s brilliant stories.

Hard to Be Good is a book of real feeling, breadth, and narrative movement. As Frederick Exley wrote, “Barich is a splendidly gifted writer.”

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
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