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

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.

Premise: 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.’

In this bio there were several games being played on one roll. First there is Tiger and his natural gift, accelerated by the role his parents played in his life, particularly his father. I loved that part, from how Tiger got his name, to a child sitting in a highchair... still eating baby food, who probably was still working on pronouncing his parent’s names…as in mommy and daddy, much less having any concept of golf, yet already swinging golf clubs like a pro. That there was a natural gift…‘zen-like’… nourished by his father who also played golf, thus birthing a lore of tangents that made Tiger; not all of which were complaisant influences.

Without leaving spoilers the short chapters made reading easier. One sentence Tiger is walking down a street signing autographs and in the very next sentence, albeit next paragraph he is on the 13th hole hitting a nine-iron to 15 feet. I fell out the chair laughing at the scene of Tiger pulling up to Taco Bell, with mils in his back pocket; a true sign of his natural humble character and spirit. The ‘Birthday Spanking’ chapter was another favorite, as was the quote “…an old head on young shoulders.” There is just so much condensed in this small book. I think I could write a book on this book for all there is to express about what I read; none more so than the sheer work Tiger put into the game…both mentally and physically; to include that ‘Buick’ episode occurring once ‘dad’ moved to the side after being accused of being ‘too supportive’ of his only son. It warmed my heart to read Tiger expressing how he loved his dad, “he was his best friend,” …one tangent surely apparent in the making of a true champion.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Eye to the Sky by Bobby Norfolk

Synopsis: A memoir of short stories on Bobby Norfolk’s life

Writing Style:  Straightforward.

Pacing: Super Fast… A page-turner!

Premise: An enlightening muse of stories to educate and entertain…

Personal Highlights: Never heard of Norfolk before this book, so the impact of the stories, and thus storytelling, came as a much welcomed surprise.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Afeni Shakur by Jasmine Guy

Synopsis: A conversation between Jasmine Guy and Afeni Shakur.

Writing Style:  Straightforward.

Pacing: Fast

Premise: Glimpses of Afeni's life.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Hand to Guide Me by Denzel Washington

Synopsis: A collection of stories contributed by almost 100 ‘legends and leaders’ sharing their personal inspiring stories.

Writing Style:  Straightforward.

Pacing: Fast

Premise: Inspiring stories of those who helped shaped extraordinary lives.