The Whore of Akron: One Man's Search for the Soul of LeBron James had been on my "to-read" list since it was released. I just could not get myself to...moreThe Whore of Akron: One Man's Search for the Soul of LeBron James had been on my "to-read" list since it was released. I just could not get myself to sit down and read it. I am a proud Clevelander who once left the "Mistake by the Lake" for a better life, ironically in Florida too, to only return home. As a sports fan I can respect James' talent on the hardwood and I just didn't want to read a book that was going to hatchet him to make Cleveland sports fan feel better. I also didn't want to reread every heartbreaking sports failure that this city had experienced. For many I was there the first time. I appreciated the talent of "The self proclaimed King" and I also understood he had the right to leave the Cavaliers and Cleveland as a free agent for a better chance of winning the ultimate prize an NBA title. I was not okay with him going on ESPN for an hour to treat the city that cheered him on for eleven years, combining his high school and pro careers,and than the events of the Miami introductions. Once I started reading this book I realized that it was so much about James as it was about the Cleveland sports fan. Yes Scott Raab took a few shots at James but he took many more at himself for being a Cleveland sports fan. This book became a look at all the heartache that this city and its citizens has seen over the years. It was interesting to read the stories of Raab a Clevelander who currently lives in New Jersey, but knows that he wants to return home one day. The interaction that he has with people as he travels between Cleveland, New Jersey, L.A. and Miami researching and discussing with other people LeBron James. When James announced that he was coming back to Akron, to Cleveland, the Cavaliers this past July (2014) I decided that I would finally make the time to read this book. I'm glad I finally did because it wasn't so much a look at what James did to the city or the fans, but a look at a city that takes sports too seriously. Sports are important for a city's identity but there are also other important aspects of a city that makes it great. This applies to people too.(less)
I was looking for a quick enjoyable read and I found it with In Service to the Mouse: My Unexpected Journey to Becoming Disneyland's First President....moreI was looking for a quick enjoyable read and I found it with In Service to the Mouse: My Unexpected Journey to Becoming Disneyland's First President. Jack Lindquist shares stories from his time working at Disneyland when the park was still under construction. The format of the book is great because it is done in short chapters with each one focusing on one topic. It still follows a chronological order but it is not bogged down with unneeded facts.
Lindquist shares stories of Disneyland's early years when celebrities and politicians would flock to the park and Disney would use the photo opts to promote the park to people around the country. He also tells of how Disney World in Florida was developed and his role in creating it and helping to conduct the grand opening. Some of the interesting topics for me involve his flying around the world to get countries to agree to be part of the Epcot Center's World Showcase Plaza.
The other interesting part of this book that carries throughout is that Lindquist is not afraid to speak his mind even if it is not in lock step with Disney. One chapter is his thoughts on how Main Street USA at Disneyland is out of touch with visitors to the park today. He believes that the street needs to be updated from the 1920s and 30s to the 1960s or 70s so that parents coming in today with their kids can say, "I remember this from when I was a kid."
He also think that California Adventure was a HUGE mistake for a few reasons the biggest one being the park was located in California. His idea for the park was to be a throwback to a classic beach side amusement park. His description of what he thought it should be made it sound like a really great amusement park.
If you're interested in the history of Disneyland, and to a lesser degree Disney World, this book would be interesting to you. As I stated earlier the style that the book is written in makes it a great book to pick up read a chapter or two quickly and than put down to come back to later. (less)
I had previously finished reading Mike Tyson's autobiography and saw that it was co-written by Larry "Ratso" Sloman who had also co-written two other...moreI had previously finished reading Mike Tyson's autobiography and saw that it was co-written by Larry "Ratso" Sloman who had also co-written two other books I enjoyed by Howard Stern. So I went to Amazon to see what else Sloman had written, or co-written and I found this book by David Blaine as a $2.99 e-book. I didn't really know what to expect when I first started reading it but must say I was pleasantly surprised by this book.
At first I thought this book was going to be the history of magic according to David Blaine, but he also shared how to do a few easy card tricks. He discusses some of the influential magicians and their signature illusion. On some of the illusions he shares how the it is done other ones he does not either because he doesn't want to share or doesn't know.
Once he gets through sharing the history or illusion and side shows Blaine starts sharing his story. The stories surrounding him getting his start in magic by working as a waiter in New York City and doing parties. He discusses just walking up to people at clubs and on the streets to perform tricks. Blaine would constantly practice his card tricks to be solid. His story of getting on television, being offered a show on MTV and turning it down to signing with ABC, is an interesting one.
The book really picks up pace when Blaine shares the behind the scenes information on his television specials including getting ready for both the buried alive and frozen stunts.
I would recommend this book for anyone that is interested in magic and/or illusion. I think with some of the card tricks, that are clearly explained in writing along with illustrations, could be good for a shy child to learn maybe to make friends. There is also a chapter dealing with confidence and shares how some of the great showman have built up their confidence that could help encourage a shy child.
If your a huge David Blaine fan and are hoping to learn more about the Mysterious Stranger through this book that will not happen. Blaine plays it pretty close to the vest concerning information about his private life. He does share his mother's story of fighting cancer, briefly winning and then ultimately losing the battle. The story never gets to personal beyond that. (less)
For the most part it was an interesting read. Many of the stories are primarily the same, "...started prior to WW2 when construction was halted and tu...moreFor the most part it was an interesting read. Many of the stories are primarily the same, "...started prior to WW2 when construction was halted and tunnel was used for shelter..." It is a good read if interested in getting snippets of London, and surrounding area, history. David Revill does a good job of sharing the stories and sharing in alphabetical order by station name.(less)
If looking to read about Johnny Cash start with this book. Author Robert Hilburn spent over four years researching the life of "The Man in Black" read...moreIf looking to read about Johnny Cash start with this book. Author Robert Hilburn spent over four years researching the life of "The Man in Black" reading his journals, letters and interviewing anyone who worked closely with Cash during his career. Even though so much research was done this book does not bog down in details but rather Hilburn tells a great story. If anything slows down the reading process it is wanting to put down the book and listen to the different classic Cash song as you read the descriptions of how they were recorded. The book is divided into five section and each section is divided into chapters. Section five is interesting because it focuses on the last years of Cash's life when he started recording with super producer Rick Rubin on the American Recordings collection. I suggest that if you do not already own this five disc collection you might want to purchase it because Rubin really gives great information to how songs were picked, how they were recorded and while listening to the different songs you are reading Cash's opinions of the music. It is a very interesting way to listen to the music.(less)
I was not sure what to expect when I started reading Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson. There was great background information on his child...moreI was not sure what to expect when I started reading Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson. There was great background information on his childhood and family life. I had always thought of Manson as a California guy so I was surprised to learn that he was from Kentucky and one of his jobs was cleaning the stables at the Mountaineer Horse Track in West Virginia, a place that I have been to a number of times myself. He bounced around the Midwest between boy schools, family members and juvenile detentions centers.
The strong part of this book is how the author, Jeff Guinn, weaves the story of Manson and his Family in with the events that were going on not only in America but around the world. It really helps the reader to understand how Manson controlled his Family members especially for us readers that were born after 10 years, or more, after the murders.
As a person who lived through the trials of OJ Simpson, Robert Blake and Phil Spector it is interesting to see that the LAPD had many of the same problems in 1968 as they did in recent headline grabbing trials.
I would recommend this book for people that are interesting in what seems to be a well researched and well presented look at Charles Manson and his Family. When starting to read be patient it seems to bog down a little with the amount of background on Manson's childhood but it makes what comes in the California years a little more understandable.(less)
Author Craig Havighurst did extensive research on the history of WSM radio and the city of Nashville. It was interesting to see how the radio station...moreAuthor Craig Havighurst did extensive research on the history of WSM radio and the city of Nashville. It was interesting to see how the radio station helped build a city and a city helped to keep a radio station true to its roots. There are great stories from station employees and Opry legends. Anyone interested in the history of radio, history of country music or the history of the Grand Ole Opry will find, I believe, this book as an interesting and informative read.(less)
A real page turner of a book. The title of Chapter 10 should be changed from, "Dallas" to "Mind Blowing". Also MLB has a problem with PEDs today but M...moreA real page turner of a book. The title of Chapter 10 should be changed from, "Dallas" to "Mind Blowing". Also MLB has a problem with PEDs today but Mickey Mantle was ahead of the game. Amazing how many famous people were in the "care of" Dr. Max Jacobson and his "magic shot." It is interesting to think how many high profile deaths this man caused and how, as the author points out, history might of changed, for better or worse we'll never know, because of one person.(less)
Really enjoyed this quick read on the Kindle Fire. Had been looking for a graphic novel to read and have been wanting to read this one so I was happy...moreReally enjoyed this quick read on the Kindle Fire. Had been looking for a graphic novel to read and have been wanting to read this one so I was happy to find this available in a digital format. I would have to be honest and say that if you do not have an interest in Cleveland or for Harvey Pekar then this book will be of little interest to you. (less)
I decided to read this book after reading and enjoying the author's first book, "Ball Four". This book was more political then sports based. I'm sure...moreI decided to read this book after reading and enjoying the author's first book, "Ball Four". This book was more political then sports based. I'm sure if I lived, or had a connection, in the area the story takes place it would be more meaningful.(less)
The book is done as stories or articles. My only complaint was that in the e-book versions the stories are continued in another section of the book. S...moreThe book is done as stories or articles. My only complaint was that in the e-book versions the stories are continued in another section of the book. So you either have to search to find the ending or continue reading until you find it continued.(less)
Yes I will admit the Bin Laden aspect is why I purchased the book. After reading it really it could've been just a book about life as a Navy SEAL with...moreYes I will admit the Bin Laden aspect is why I purchased the book. After reading it really it could've been just a book about life as a Navy SEAL without the Bin Laden part and been just as interesting to read.(less)
A great read by a truly interesting man. I liked that it was set up as a collection of stories and not a typical autobiography, meaning "I was born on...moreA great read by a truly interesting man. I liked that it was set up as a collection of stories and not a typical autobiography, meaning "I was born on....." then just filling in a time line. Topics cover music, television, movies and politics.(less)
I will start this off by saying that I normally read non-fiction books, but I was drawn to "The Help" by the hype around it. After reading "The Help"...moreI will start this off by saying that I normally read non-fiction books, but I was drawn to "The Help" by the hype around it. After reading "The Help" I have to be honest and say I do not understand the hype surrounding this book. Could it be that for one of the first times in Hollywood's book-to-movie history a movie was produced that is better than the book? As of the writing of this review I have not seen the movie so I cannot say.
This book to me started out okay and I was excited to continue, but it took forever to get to the actual writing of the "The Help" in the book and once they do start writing the book it seems like the author keeps reusing scenes and just tweaking the details a little to make them seem different. I had read some other reviews that questioned the need for Skeeter to have a love interest in the book and I was thinking it was clear why he was in it but than as I finished the book I understood where that person was coming from about the relationship. My biggest problem is that the book seems to end with no pay-off. Yeah the reader finds out what happens to the three main writers of "The Help," but even finding out leaves their stories just hanging.
As I marked it the book was okay. I doubt I would pick it up and reread it in the future and I again don't understand the hype surrounding "The Help."(less)