I didn't hate it, but every time I put it down, I kept finding excuses not to pick it up again, and this is an audiobook, so that's saying a lot. LotsI didn't hate it, but every time I put it down, I kept finding excuses not to pick it up again, and this is an audiobook, so that's saying a lot. Lots of interesting historical detail about the 1930s, but it just takes forever to get to the point. ...more
I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I assumed it must be good, since it's won some awards, but Jessica covers a lot of ground from the time she'sI was pleasantly surprised by this one. I assumed it must be good, since it's won some awards, but Jessica covers a lot of ground from the time she's in the hospital recovering from the amputation of her foot, all the way through to the end, and it's all believable. Since Jessica was a track star before the accident, it brought back my days in high school track and my own brief stint as a 400m runner. Better than your average person overcoming great obstacles story....more
14-year-old Peak Marcello is named after the mountains his father obsessively climbs for a living. While he hasn't seen his dad for years, Peak shares14-year-old Peak Marcello is named after the mountains his father obsessively climbs for a living. While he hasn't seen his dad for years, Peak shares his father's love of climbing. Unfortunately Peak lives in Manhattan where the only tall things to climb are skyscrapers, which he discovers the police don't appreciate him climbing. In order to avoid jail time, Peak leaves the country to live with his father. Little does Peak know, his father has set things in motion so that Peak can attempt to be the youngest person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.
I was sucked into the story pretty quickly and really enjoyed it, but I don't have a lot to say about it. This is definitely a good book for those who enjoy adventure stories and persevering through physical challenges. Peak has to push himself to the limits both physically and emotionally and comes down from Everest a different person than he went up it....more
Don't let my rating of the book fool you on my feelings about Michael Oher. I think he's an amazing role model for kids who want to improve their lifeDon't let my rating of the book fool you on my feelings about Michael Oher. I think he's an amazing role model for kids who want to improve their life circumstances and this book is the clearest example of that. Even if he hadn't been gifted with such physical talent or been adopted by a rich family, it's clear that Michael Oher had the drive to find himself a place outside of the ghetto.
This book offers a chance to hear Oher's version of his story. As suspected, many things were dramatized for the movie, and even a little for the book of The Blind Side. It was comforting to hear more about how close the Oher siblings all were and still are. Oher also does a good job laying out ways that kids in his situation can look to improve their lives and how people who want to help kids in rough families can help the most. Because this was a lot of the focus on the book it wasn't as snappy or entertaining as The Blind Side, but it has good information for those who were inspired by that story and now want practical ways to help....more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book that sounds like it's all about baseball, but isn't really.
Henry Skrimshander is not your typical baseball superstar.I thoroughly enjoyed this book that sounds like it's all about baseball, but isn't really.
Henry Skrimshander is not your typical baseball superstar. Of medium height and skinny build, the 17-year-old is definitely not a power hitter, but on the field he is quick and agile, the perfect shortstop. This boy from tiny Lankton, SD is obsessed with legendary shortstop Aparicio Rodriguez and carries a well-worn copy of his book The Art of Fielding with him wherever he goes.
When Mike Schwartz, a hard-working kid from Chicago's south side sees Henry play in an amateur tournament, he knows that the boy would be perfect for his college's team in northern Wisconsin, and convinces Westish College, located along the scenic coast of Lake Michigan) to roll out the welcome mat for a kid who thought high school was his last chance to do the only thing he'd ever been really good at.
Together Mike and Henry turn the perennially mediocre Westish Harpooners into a powerhouse ball club, but some of the most interesting parts of their story happen off the field with the characters they meet along the way: Henry's brilliant and serene roommate Owen, who joins the team despite his apparent lack of a competitive nature; Guert Affenlight, the college's president who was also once a student at Westish. He loves what Mike has done for his alma mater's sports program and gets to know Owen through his work with the college's green student initiatives. His daughter Pella also plays a major role in the story when she runs away from a failed marriage to start her life over again at Westish, and almost immediately falls in with Mike and Henry.
All of these characters lose something of supreme importance to them during the book and the way they all interact to eventually find their respective resolutions results in a very rewarding read. Because I've been reading a lot of YA fiction, this is the longest book I've picked up in quite awhile, yet once I got into it, I flew through most of the 500 pages in a few days.
I really enjoyed this book so I would recommend it to anyone, but especially folks who like coming of age novels (since most of the characters are college students trying to figure out how to deal with adulthood). You don't have to know much about baseball to follow the book, but an appreciation of sports in general might help you get into the more sports-heavy sections, since they're more about Henry and Mike's extreme training regimen than actual game play....more
With the winning combination of Italy and football Grisham tells a winning little story about a washed up NFL quarterback whose last option is to playWith the winning combination of Italy and football Grisham tells a winning little story about a washed up NFL quarterback whose last option is to play in the semi-pro American football league in Italy. He deals with culture shock in Parma, as well as the transition from pampered NFL third-stringer, to one of the few paid players on a team where everyone plays solely for the love of the game rather than big contracts and advertising dollars. I still can't decide if I think the ending is refreshingly open-ended or unnecessarily abrupt, but the rest of the book is solid. Nothing overwhelming or surprising, but I still found myself quickly unable to put the book down....more