Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

Good business book. Some good advice. I collected some ideas from my Kindle that I would have underlined in a hard cover book.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Reader Related Riffs

1. Kindle prices.  Prices between a Kindle book and a new hard cover are about the same in many cases. Hey Amazon, the primary reason that I bought a Kindle was so I could buy a new book for $9.99! If the price margins don't favor the Kindle reader, some will reconsider going to the local bookstore and that may not be a bad thing.

2. Reality world stars writing books. Are you kidding me? These people can write??

3. Books authored by Palin family members. See comment #2

4. Newspaper content. I bought a Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer that was full of ads but short on content and articles. There is no difference between a daily edition ($.75) and Sunday edition ($1.75) in terms of content.

5. Cartoons. With the exception of Dilbert and Doonesbury (and one or two others) they are not funny or worth reading.

6. Historical Revisionism in textbooks. I am all in favor of updating history based on new facts. I am not in favor of revising or teaching an interpretation of history based on the delusions of a political group, author or political candidate.

7. Textbooks on creationism vs evolution. See comment #6. Our education system does not provide an adequate training on math and science. The Scopes trial was decided over 80 years ago. Let's move forward for the sake of our kids and our country.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Covering the Un-Civil Wars in Tennis

High Strung: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and the Untold Story of Tennis's Fiercest Rivalry by Stephen Tignor ★★★

I think that tennis had more compelling rivalries and personalities in the late 1970s and 1980s than it does today. Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Ilie Nastase and Ivan Lendl were some of the more notable players and personalities. Nastase, Connors and McEnroe were the bad boys of tennis. Their gamesmanship was as potent as the strokes and talents they brought to a match.
 They drove umpires, line judges and fans crazy with their on court antics.

 Tignor covers the madness and  also focuses on the more civil rivalry between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. and does a very good of fleshing out their personalities, demons and what drives them.

Good but not great tennis book. I read this book on my Kindle. $12.99 is a high price even if it was a new book. Should have been priced at $9.99.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Wake-Up Call to Aging Babyboomers

If you don't remember Rowan and Martin's Laugh In, Get Smart or Gunsmoke, this book may not be for you...unless you are concerned about a parent or loved one past 60. Susan Jacoby throws cold water on baby boomers expecting an idyllic journey into and through old age. It turns out that the new 60 may be very like the old 60.

Baby boomers face a myriad of health, financial and emotional challenges. The scariest scenario was the high number of elderly who suffer from Alzheimer's. Jacoby points out that there is no cure and there is no immediate prospects for a cure.

I originally did not want to read this book as I heard it was depressing and it is. But the book is well written and makes its case persuasively.

I'm glad I read it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Looking for a Good Biography?

I'm catching up on my recent reads and skims. I highly recommend the Morris book below.

1. Colonel Roosevelt  by Edmund Morris (4 stars of 5)
Maybe not our best President of the 20th century but certainly one of our most interesting. Theodore Roosevelt was a Renaissance man. Very well researched and written but very long. However there were very few slow periods in Roosevelt's life so the reader does not get bored. Book covers the period he left office until his death. He did not go quietly to his death.

I was fascinated by the story where he was shot but still insisted on giving a speech while running for President in 1912.

2. End Game: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall-From America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness by Frank Brady (3 stars of 5)

Bobby Fisher was a genius at chess. But he was also a very strange man. Brady captures the quirkiness and brilliant mind of possibly America's greatest chess player. He was a hero in the 1970's by defeating Soviet chess grandmasters.

3. Mr. Nastase The Autobiography by Ille Nastase (2.5 stars of 5)
I liked watching Ille Nastase, a good but uneven tennis player, in the 1970's. You never knew what he would do. Very temperamental. But when he was on, he had great touch. If you found him a boor and bully, you may feel a twinge of sympathy for Nastase after reading his book. This book (as well as the player) is not in the same league as recent tennis tomes about Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Patrick McEnroe.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Why Would Anyone Promote or Read Jerome Corsi's Book?

I would not have bought, borrowed or read Corsi's Where's the Birth Certificate under any circumstances. Given the events of the past week, it should be selling at the $1 bin at Borders or Barnes and Noble now. Currently it's selling for $9.99 at Amazon if you have a Kindle or $14.99 hardcover.

I'm amazed that such books can be best sellers or that readers could take them seriously.

I'm embarrassed for this country that our President has to produce his birth certificate just because he is black.