Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game

About 2 weeks ago my wife and I watched a great movie – The Blind side – which tells the story (somewhat fictionalized) of Michael Oher.  I thought the movie was very good and very interesting and I had noted that it was based on a book.  This book.  So I went on Amazon and downloaded it to my Kindle.  While the movie dealt only with Michael Oher – who (if you don’t know) is the left tackle for the Balimore Ravens – the book deals, to some extent, equally with the changes in the NFL that have made the quarterback – and thus the left tackle – so much more important.

The book pretty much alternates chapters which retell Mr. Oher’s saga growing up as an underprivileged child in the worst parts of Memphis and getting adopted by a well-to-do family with chapters about the changes that have occured in the way NFL football has been played over the past 30 or so years.  There are anecdotes from Bill Parcells and other football notables as well as discussions with the people in Mr. Oher’s life.

While being a football fan definitely helps your enjoyment of this book – if you really don’t like football at all you might just want to watch the movie which I also highly recommend – it’s not totally necessary.  Unlike many books centered around sporting events or figures, this one leaves a lot of the jargon at home (probably because the author, Michael Lewis, is not a football person) and tells of the evolution of modern football, including the changes that free agency brought, while at the same time telling a heart-wrenching story about a young man who – in spite of the odds – found love and family and made himself a success.

I’ve read a lot of books that were turned into movies and they usually disappoint.  My general rule is – either the book or the movie.  This book – and this movie – are definitely the exceptions to the rule.  As I said, if you don’t like football at all skip the movie.  But, if you like it – even just watching a game on Thanksgiving, or going to cheer for your local high school team once a season – pick up The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game.  I know you’ll enjoy it.

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The Warded Man

Posted: January 26, 2011 in Books
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Ok…it’s time I talk about a book in the more familiar genre of Fantasy. The Warded Man is Peter V Brett’s debut novel. It was a true page turner that I didn’t want to put down (unfortunately my boss would get upset if I read it at my desk all day long…) It is a story of a human society that is attacked by photosensitive demons that come out at night. For centuries all they can do is hide at night behind wards. The story is filled with action and is primarily the story of trying to take back the night. The story centers around three characters and their individual struggles against the system as the journey from children to adults. While I highly recommend this book be warned – I have yet to read the next book in the series.

 

The Warded Man cover

The Warded Man cover

 

OK…Today’s recommendation is Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey. This is the story of a special young woman who lives in a town in what used to be Texas following a virus of epidemic proportions. It is a story of love and humanity and it is very well written and engaging. I’ve loved Cary since I read Kushiel’s Dart and this is the first of her books I’ve read outside of that series. While it’s technically Sci-Fi, that’s only because of the back story. The actual story could take place anywhere.

Books and stuff…

Posted: January 9, 2011 in Books

Well…since I’m a relatively avid reader (and am finally able to get new books thanks to my Kindle) I think that one of the things I’m going to try to do is recommend a book/series/author on a semi-regular basis.  Now anyone who knows me can tell you that most of what I read falls into the Sci-Fi and fantasy genres and as such most of the things I’m going to suggest probably fall into that category.  I’ll do my best to not give any spoilers but I can’t promise to be 100% on with that.

Now despite that genre pre-amble, I’m actually going to recommend a novel that  falls into contemporary fiction.  The book is called Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue and the premise is a young woman has been abducted and imprisoned for a number of years during which she has a child.  The story – which is told from the child’s point of view – is a very compelling description of the end of their captivity and the subsequent integration into modern life.   It’s a very interesting view of the world and adjusting when the world goes from a single room to the entirety of existence in the blink of an eye.