Why the book on A’s pitcher keeps changing

Before a recent game, with the music blaring inside Oakland’s clubhouse, A’s pitcher Liam Hendriks reached into his locker and grabbed two of his favorite things.

A ball and glove?

Not quite. As his teammates thumbed their smart phones or played cards on a nearby table, Hendriks picked up his noise-cancelling headphones and a hardback copy of “Morning Star” by Pierce Brown, a 2016 science fiction novel that’s the third in Brown’s Red Rising trilogy.

“I like to immerse myself in books,” Hendriks said. “I get lost in a universe. I can read a book, and everything else disappears. There have been times where I’ve ended up nearly being late to a game because I’m sitting there, lost in a chapter, and I keep turning pages.”

“He’ll fire through books,” A’s catcher Josh Phegley said. “It’s like every time I actually notice him reading, it’s a different book. He reads a lot.”

(As Phegley said this, Hendriks was reading a book.)

Hendriks’ favorite genres include Sci-fi, fantasy and historical fiction. He recently finished a book about the Battle of Hastings in 1066, with the twist that it was from a Frenchman’s point of view. Next up on Hendriks’ reading list is a biography on hockey commentator Don Cherry, followed by “The Wise Man’s Fear,” by Patrick Rothfuss.

It’s part of a new reading plan the 30-year-old Australian adopted during spring training, where he finished eight books in roughly six weeks. The goal is usually around a book per week.

“I always feel like I put myself into [a character’s] situation, which according to my wife is unnerving because there are some books I read where the main character is female,” Hendriks said with a laugh. “I like getting lost in a world.

“I like being able to decipher my own emotions toward the character. A TV show, it’s written on their faces. It’s written in the way it’s directed and acted. Whereas a book, there’s wording toward it, but you have to connect the dots. I like connecting the dots.”

Becoming a bookworm was pretty much inevitable for Hendriks, whose father is the principal of an indigenous agricultural school back home. His mom, who taught him in elementary school, now works for a company that distributes educational games and books.Related Articles

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“I couldn’t get away from it,” Hendriks joked.

After high school, Hendriks didn’t go to college. He came to America to pursue baseball. But clearly he’s not one-dimensional. In high school, something that …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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