“A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote.” ―Mignon McLaughlin, The Complete Neurotic's Notebook

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

Synopsis: Memoir of a scholar researching and assessing low wage earners and workplace conditions...by proxy.

Writing Style: Journalistic memoir

Pacing: Fast.

Premise: A quadrilateral digest to invite (or incite) thought and conversation on low wage workers and workplaces in America.

Personal Highlights: What is absolutely superb about this literary work is the writing...offensive in an unobtrusive, humorous and engaging way. To explain that sentence might take another book. The writing certainly did its job. My thoughts were all over the place. I'll, however, summarize my thoughts by answering one of the questions at the back of the book in the readers' guide section.

Have you ever been homeless, unemployed, without health insurance, or held down two jobs? ...What kind of help---if any---did you need to improve your situation?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Every Little Step by Bobby Brown

Synopsis: A Memoir of Bobby Brown’s Personal and Professional Musical Career.

Writing Style: 1st person Conversational.

Pacing: Fast. VERY Fast!

Premise: Getting to Know ‘the Real’ Bobby Brown.

Personal Highlights: The absolute best aspect of this memoir was seeing …and feeling Bobby’s love for family. Without spoiling the story, that ending…his words… touched me to the core. A salute is in order to Tyler Perry as well. This is the reason why it is so important to read books from the beginning to the end, and to echo the title, “every little step” in-between.

My Road by Charles E. Williams

Synopsis: Memoir of (retired) Major General Charles E. Williams.

Writing Style: 1st person 2-piece suit, neck & tie writing voice.

Pacing: Fast.

Premise: A ‘solipsistic’ look back at one life journey paralleling a literal and figurative paving of roads.

Personal Highlights: Most amazing about this memoir was discovering the book and learning the author, a black retired military official who I personally met, engineered the Dulles Greenway Toll Road… a toll road I recall well after commuting over the 14-mile stretch of highway for years and remembering (minus information about its engineer) talk about its construction.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

One of the Few by Jason B. Ladd

Synopsis: A Memoir of a Marine Fighter Pilot’s view on Christian faith and belief.

Writing Style: Mix of autobiographical, personal introspection and journalistic biography.

Pacing: Moderate.

Personal Highlights: I loved, Loved, LOVED the first three quarters of this stellar…as in galactic for big…memoir. Jason’s testimonies on family and his family, along with intelligent questions he had about religion and spirituality…questions many still ask…were engaging. The pages easily turned anticipating what he discovered. His military training paralleled nicely leading to this quest. “How bad do you want this,” was a quote that resonated, as was another quote ‘religion being the opiate of the masses and the cause of most world conflicts.’ The answer to that question was simply unparalleled. I as well got ‘the giggles’ on the incident with the alcohol wipes, and nearly fell off the chair on the aftermath of that dentist visit.

Tiger Woods: The Making of a Champion by Tim Rosaforte

Synopsis: The biography of Tiger Woods becoming a pro golfer.

Writing Style: Journalistic.

Pacing: Moderately fast.

Premise: A conventional inside scoop on how professional champions are made… and regarded.

Personal Highlights: What I most appreciated was Rosaforte’s comfortable writing; what made reading Tiger’s biography on his rise to a champion golfer easy, despite how little I know about ‘the game.’