On average, every five pages had one passage that was Facebook quote section worthy. And I say that in the same voice as some have said "spongeworthy....moreOn average, every five pages had one passage that was Facebook quote section worthy. And I say that in the same voice as some have said "spongeworthy."
The book pulses with metaphor, and if you don't like speaking by analogy then you should probably steer clear. But to those of us who think pencils are like venus flytraps, or sunglasses divide us like 8.0 on the Richter scale quakes, there won't be a book that fills our soul like cement in a Mafia coffin.
I'd recommend a yellowing, third-hand copy. That's what will get you cred. If you aren't craving the fame and fortune, then bless your heart. Shroud the knifing honesty with a Dan Brown sleeve and dive in.(less)
Part of my "Spring Training" book series, I picked this up on a lazy weekend, thinking I'd get right into it. What a disappointment.
Here's a few lines...morePart of my "Spring Training" book series, I picked this up on a lazy weekend, thinking I'd get right into it. What a disappointment.
Here's a few lines from the book -
Like Torre and Cox and Piniella, his history in the game makes him powerfully influenced by the very persuasions the thirtysomethings find so pointless: heart, desire, passion, reactions to pressure. After all, these are emotions, and what point is there playing baseball, or any game, if you don't celebrate them?
I thought only Bob Costas was able to spout off such useless hyperbole on the matter of sports. I could only get 10 pages in before I threw this book down in disgust. Sure, you may be the type of person who thinks the sound of a bat against a ball is the sound of heaven. I'd guess most men like the sound of a dress zipper loosening more. Or the sound of a roaring V6 engine.
Look, I agree, baseball is fun, it promotes nostalgia, and gives fathers and sons a way to bond. However, this isn't war. This isn't even politics. It's just a game. Like a dice match in the alley, or marbles at recess, although the stakes are higher. There is nothing that separates baseball from these games. And Buzz Bissinger knows this, I'm sure, but he's smart... he knows there are plenty of simpletons out there who wax nostalgic about this shlock.(less)
I picked this book up off my parents' bookshelf, thinking that it was some hipster ironic garbage. A few pages in, I checked the author's credentials....moreI picked this book up off my parents' bookshelf, thinking that it was some hipster ironic garbage. A few pages in, I checked the author's credentials.. turns out he writes for the NY Times, and has been covering the subway system in NYC for years.
So, looking past the horrible title and weak cover image, I dug deeper into the book. It is clearly written by a fan of the underground rail system, and every character, bizarre legend, and uplifting anecdote show a world that not only is reflective of New York City, but one that helps shape it.
If you're a fan of the decrepit walls and the occasional rat, or the Michael Jackson midget impersonator at Grand Central Station, pick this up. It's about so much more than just the lines, or the obsessives and street performers. Also, as it is incredibly well-written, it'll even bulk up that vocabulary, helping you get a job and an excuse to ride the subway!(less)
This book is a family legend. Why? Well, one winter a few years ago, I was really into Moneyball, about Billy Bean and his successful strategies as GM...moreThis book is a family legend. Why? Well, one winter a few years ago, I was really into Moneyball, about Billy Bean and his successful strategies as GM of the Oakland Athletics. My dad was sick of hearing about this book, but he kept on listening. I think.
Anyway, Christmas morning comes, and I gently open a wrapped present, and it's this book. Going the Other Way. About being a gay baseball player. I'd heard of it, but never had read it.
I instantly recognized it and kept a blank look on my face, trying to figure out what to say. My dad grins at me and says, "That's the guy that wrote Moneyball, Drew." And he had the nicest, most genuine smile on his face.
I let it slip that this wasn't the same Billy Bean(e).. this was the gay journeyman outfielder, and the title "Going the Other Way" wasn't a reference to front office trades and signings. He laughed harder than ever before in his life.
So after this, my brother decides to read it, and tells me a handful of the anecdotes, most involving Tommy Lasorda, a Dodgers manager. So, a couple years later, I pick it up, and you know what? It's not too bad. Sure, it's got its "handjob in the gym's locker room shower" passages, but there's a lot about living your life in secrecy. It's a page turner in the sense that you constantly wonder if people will catch him or not.
Recommended if you're looking for something easy to read and yet strangely interesting.(less)
Some things are certain - the rain falls down, a Ford will fall apart on you, and a sports autobiography is always garbage. However, Jose Canseco's fi...moreSome things are certain - the rain falls down, a Ford will fall apart on you, and a sports autobiography is always garbage. However, Jose Canseco's first book is entertaining for one simple reason. He blasts several people as being steroid users, and yet not a single one has filed any sort of lawsuit against him.
The book is written in the "Daddy never complimented me" style, which means lots of braggadocio and odes to women with fake breasts. If you want a quick read on the subway or airplane or whatever, as a baseball fan you can't do too much better.(less)
Challenging. And when you rise to the task, the book will crush your heart and mock your morals.
I picked up my copy in the Austin St. Vincent DePaul t...moreChallenging. And when you rise to the task, the book will crush your heart and mock your morals.
I picked up my copy in the Austin St. Vincent DePaul thrift store and the woman behind the counter blushed when she saw the multiple sets of breasts on the cover. I thought it was a sort of statue of David style image. How gratuitous could it be? Well, very.
"once while scuba diving he discovered within inches of him an anemone wriggling its tendrils, like any rotten apple upon whose top live and labor maggot swarms; and the sight of that actually inoffensive creature sometimes came back to him in dreams: his skull was the apple, and he did not want to feel the maggots of anger and hatred burst out. That was what he dreaded. And now, of course, Irene lay dead between them. When you swim up toward the surface of the sea you see a dimpled mirror of great sacredness: this is the goal of life and art and reason, to break through this barrier and leave the anemones once more invisible in the blue darkness; but on the other side one finds mosquitoes and weary heat; one goes to work and gets older; the anemones are still there, but they cannot come out; neither (more's the pity) can the beautiful corals beneath the sea, or the schools of yellow fishes raining down headfirst; that was one of the reasons why Tyler continued to pursue the Queen of the Whores, because he was convinced that the secret tremendousness in which she lived would be lovely like that; and anyhow anemones inside other peoples' skulls didn't bother him; it was only his own that he feared"
This passage is something I will never forget. Vollmann shows you evil and then twirls morals right in front of your eyes. Be bold, read it. The only reason I gave this 4 stars was because he needs an editor. I'll finish it later, after I run my scissors through the second half.(less)
David Foster Wallace manages to accomplish what others cannot. He'll write a series of essays, on subjects such as lobsters, talk radio, porn, Dostoev...moreDavid Foster Wallace manages to accomplish what others cannot. He'll write a series of essays, on subjects such as lobsters, talk radio, porn, Dostoevsky, John McCain, 9/11, John Updike, and sports autobiographies. Then he manages to take each subject deeper than you would've thought possible.
For instance, in "Host," he manages to delve deep into the relationship between the public's interest in political agenda and the media that feeds it to them. In "The View from Mrs. Thompson's," he manages to not only talk about his day on 9/11, but also how his fellow residents from his small town in the Midwest reacted, and small town dynamics.
The main reason why I strongly encourage a reading of this book is not the subject matter. It's that every essay is introspective, and thus makes you feel smarter with every page. Not because you know more about a lobster fest, or adult videos, but because you have been led through a critical analysis of every one of these subject.
Highly recommended, esp. for a commute on public transit, or a long road trip. (less)
Alright, I've given up on this. I was halfway through and I guess I just got bothered. Why? Well for one, the main point is that nations use certain i...moreAlright, I've given up on this. I was halfway through and I guess I just got bothered. Why? Well for one, the main point is that nations use certain immoral or unethical mechanisms to push their own agenda. That's not a surprise to anyone who has read a history textbook.
The reason why I can't finish is because the whole thing is an indictment of certain people who may not have had any reason for doing the things they did, other than an intellectual miscalculation or sheer stupidity.
I love No Logo for the same reason I was bothered by this. Klein, in No Logo, showed that she could be restrained in her argument, and present facts as she sees them. Then she was able to build up to a unifying theme and a quiet urge that things need to change.
However, in this book, she merely lists grievances, and makes a point: that countries and corporates use tragedy/war/etc. to implement their own agenda. That's it. At least for the first half anyway.
The only event that I can attribute to this marked change is that No Logo was written during her days at college, when nothing is black and white. College teaches you to see everything in different shades. But now she's older and I get the feeling that, frustrated by the lack of success in the so called "anti-corporate" movement, she's taken a much sharper tone.
I hope that her goals eventually find success, but after reading this, I'm not confident that they will.(less)
When I finally caved and decided to go to law school, a friend gave this to me as a birthday present with the inscription "You should know what you're...moreWhen I finally caved and decided to go to law school, a friend gave this to me as a birthday present with the inscription "You should know what you're getting yourself into." I've had a brother, an ex, and a best friend all go through the first year of law, so good portions were practically common knowledge. However, why this book shines is its ability to question things as they happen. Is law school perfect? Can it be? How much can the individual shine amidst a competitive environment? The one drawback is that it's written in a simplistic style, like the books you read on a plane flight. However, it ended up a good thing, because I could finish the book half asleep and drunk!(less)