What I’ve Been Reading

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17Mar 2023
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What I’ve Been Reading

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The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher. I did at one time enjoy reading Butcher’s Harry Dresden series, and while I still want to continue, I’ve just been caught up reading other things. I happened to stumble across a graphic novel version of a new story by Butcher – one that won’t be covered by the longer novels – so I thought I would take a shot. Luckily, Butcher’s humor is still infused throughout the comic, which I enjoy. Plus it’s nice to see an artist’s rendition of some of the characters and action from the novel series.

No Plan B by Lee Child and Andrew Child. This is book 27 in the series, and I’ve read all of them now. Series creator Lee Child has handed off the writing to his son Andrew, but the character continues. Personally, I feel like there has been a drop-off in the past couple books, but maybe it’s just my perception. The character seems to be a little more bland, and in this particular book, the story is kind of confusing. Too many characters are poorly explained and underdeveloped for too long in the novel.

No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover. Having gone through some professional troubles in recent months, it was recommended to me to take in this book by Dr. Robert Glover. Basically, if you’re like me and you sometimes go with the flow too much, that can cause issues. I tend to be a very principled person and I don’t let anyone compromise my morals, but there are times when I don’t always put my goals front and center. This book talks about romantic relationships perhaps a little too much to fit exactly what I was looking for, but there are still some ideas in here to get more out of your professional/working relationships.

The Magicians: Alice’s Story by Lev Grossman. You may remember me fawning over Grossman’s The Magicians trilogy, even though the TV show was pretty terrible. Alice’s Story is a graphic novel told from the perspective of Quentin Coldwater’s primary romantic interest, who is also a magician at Brakebills. The characters in the graphic novel were much more how I perceived them from the books rather than the television show, so it was nice to see a more accurate take. However, the graphic novel doesn’t really add much to the story that wasn’t already explored, so it was more just a quicker chance to revisit the story – with pictures!

Cancer Free with Food by Liana Werner Gray. Unfortunately, my family has been ravaged by cancer in recent years. I guess that goes hand-in-hand with the times. Everyone’s life has been touched by cancer. But a recent diagnosis of yet another family member caused me to dive deep into some research to try to help. I tend to believe that doctors do the best they can with drugs, but the food we put in our bodies can be a daily medicine – or an instigator for disease. Not only did I find some good foods in here to suggest for my family member, but there are also some really good tasting recipes in here that I have started to make in my own kitchen. For example, the meatball recipe in this book is awesome.

What have you been reading?

6Feb 2022
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What I’ve Been Reading: Flip the Script

Flip the Script by Bruce Feldman and Ed Orgeron

Flip the Script by Bruce Feldman and Ed Orgeron is essentially an autobiographical piece about Ed Orgeron. Orgeron, of course, is the national championship-winning coach for the LSU Tigers. (Or, well, he used to be until he was relieved of his duties in 2021.) Orgeron previously coached in the NFL and was the head coach for Ole Miss and USC. Feldman previously wrote Meat Market about Ole Miss’s recruiting when Orgeron was in Oxford, and I would highly recommend reading that if you haven’t done so already. Anyway, Flip the Script starts off talking about Orgeron’s youth and playing career, but then the second half of the book discusses his experience at Ole Miss. He talks about some of his coaching decisions, personnel decisions, the recruitment of Joe Burrow, and his national championship year in 2019. I know there are questions about Orgeron’s overall head coaching acumen, but there’s no doubt he’s a good recruiter and defensive line coach. It’s a worthwhile read if you want to see how some things work behind the scenes at a big-time SEC program and in the coaching world.

The Closers by Michael Connelly is yet another Harry Bosch novel. After having retired from the LAPD a couple novels previously, Bosch returns to the department and works on Open-Unsolved cases (a.k.a. cold cases). This novel revolves around a 17-year-old murder from the year 1988, where DNA evidence is now in play to go back and try to catch the murderer of a high school girl.

The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman. I’ve previously written about Grossman a few times. He wrote one of my favorite book series, The Magicians series. Again, I highly recommend that series if you haven’t read it. (The show isn’t nearly as good as the books.) Anyway, The Silver Arrow is somewhat of a children’s book – albeit a 249-page one – about a brother-sister duo named Tom and Kate who go on a train adventure. The train is named The Silver Arrow and it’s a magical, talking train that picks up magical, talking animals. Yes, that sounds very childish, but there are some serious themes and more mature-oriented jokes peppered throughout. Grossman – whose vocabulary is outstanding in his other books – cuts down on the intellectual talk to teach a lesson to younger readers. SPOILER ALERT: It essentially turns into a warning about taking care of the Earth and the animals contained therein, but it’s a unique way of getting there.

What have you been reading? Tell us about it in the comments.

11Dec 2021
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What I’ve Been Reading: The Poet

The Poet by Michael Connelly

I always love football season, but one thing I look forward to when it’s over is getting back to a little more reading. So here are a couple books I’ve finished recently (and one I’m reading now). Let me know in the comments what you’ve been reading.

The Poet by Michael Connelly. I just finished The Poet after skipping it a little bit earlier. I was trying to read the Harry Bosch books in order, but just before I read The Narrows, I saw that it was a follow-up to The Poet. Since Bosch wasn’t a character in it, I didn’t think it was necessary. Anyway, The Poet is about a reporter named Jack McEvoy whose brother was murdered by a serial killer. McEvoy goes on a nationwide search for the story, which ends up with him teaming up with the FBI in an attempt to find the killer. There’s no mention of Bosch anywhere, but he does end up in Hollywood at one point and a couple characters from the Bosch universe are mentioned. Now I’m looking forward to seeing how The Narrows ties in to the separate character arcs.

Dune by Frank Herbert. Some of you are going to be upset with me, but I was not a big fan of Dune. It took a long time to get into it. One of my issues with a lot of fantasy books is that authors often try to dump you into the middle of a universe about which you have no idea what the terms mean. What is Arrakis? Where is it situated in the universe? When is it supposed to have taken place? How did these people get there? How do they all speak the same language? What do all these individual words mean that Herbert seems to have created? I wanted to finish reading the book before the movie came out, but unfortunately, I just didn’t have time and missed being able to go see the movie in the theater.

I’m currently reading ‘Cane Mutiny by Bruce Feldman, which tells about the rise of Miami football. Feldman is a Miami alum who obviously has some ties to the school, and he talks mainly about the time from coach Howard Schnellenberger onward. I really like Feldman as a writer, but it’s kind of funny to me how awkward some of his writing is in this, which was his first book. He’s definitely improved as a writer since this book was written in 2004. (The title is a play on the movie The Caine Mutiny which came out in 1954.)

16Aug 2021
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What I’ve Been Reading: “Belichick” by Ian O’Connor

I have been a Detroit Lions fan since birth, but I will admit that I started to become intrigued with the New England Patriots as a kid in the early 1990’s when they re-branded themselves with new uniforms, drafted Drew Bledsoe, and started moving up in the world. So when Tom Brady became the quarterback in the early 2000’s, that was just icing on the cake. The Patriots have been my second favorite team for almost my entire adult life, at least until Brady left for the Buccaneers in 2020.

With the dynasty that Bill Belichick has built in New England, numerous books and biographies and autobiographies have been released. I generally hold off on purchasing memoirs or histories of players and coaches who are still in the midst of their greatest runs, but I broke down with Ian O’Connor’s Belichick. As a coach, it can’t hurt to get a close-up look at the best NFL coach to ever walk the sideline.

We all know so much about Belichick by now that nothing big was surprising – his small school playing experience,;his rise through the ranks with the Giants, Browns, and Patriots; Sypgate; Deflategate; Aaron Hernandez; and more. What I appreciated most were the details about his failure in Cleveland, his falling out with Bill Parcells, the way he changed NFL scouting, his attention to detail, and the personal side that we don’t see much of from the mainstream media. Naturally, there’s a bunch of detail about his relationship with Brady, along with the deterioration of that relationship.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in Belichick, the Patriots, or even the trials and tribulations of coaching in the NFL.

19Feb 2021
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What I’ve Been Reading

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while, so here’s a brief look at what I’ve been reading in the hopes that you’ll share some of your latest interests, too.

Savage Son by Jack Carr

Savage Son by Jack Carr is the third book in a trilogy, which started with The Terminal List and then True Believer. I don’t want to give away too much, but protagonist James Reece is a (former) Navy SEAL who takes matters into his own hands. You might have seen me post about Brad Thor’s books, and Reece is very similar to Scot Harvath in those novels. Not surprisingly, Thor’s long-running Harvath series inspired Carr to write his own books. Carr’s books are a little darker and more technical, and they’re pretty good thrillers.

Hit the jump for more.

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