When you watch this year’s Major League All-Star Game, you may not realize that many of the players hail from the same city: San Pedro de Macoris, in the Dominican Republic. Mark Kurlansky’s Eastern Stars (Riverhead, $16) explores this place, where boys dream of playing baseball in America but most grow up to become men working in their home sugarcane fields. Kurlansky delves into both the past and the present of this fascinating region that such a large part of our national
The Tarahumara Indians in Mexico’s hostile and remote Copper Canyon have a legendary ability to run for days on end. While regaling us with their story, Christopher McDougall introduces nutritionists, personal trainers, barefoot racers, and anthropologists who describe how homo sapiens were Born To Run (Vintage, $15.95). Ultimately, ultrarunners invite Tarahumara to the Colorado Rockies to compete in the Leadville Trail 100 Mile, and then return to Mexico to race on the Tarahumara’s home turf. McDougall’s wide-ranging documentation and the exuberance of the men and women he encounters will fascinate even those who have never hit the trails.