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1. My Losing Season : The Point Guard's
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2. The Man Who Listens to Horses
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3. The Only Way I Know
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4. It's Not About the Bike: My Journey
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5. Luckiest Man : The Life and Death
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6. Old Man in a Baseball Cap: A Memoir
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7. The Teammates : A Portrait Of
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8. When You Come to a Fork in the
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9. Think LIke A Champion : Building
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10. Sandy Koufax : A Lefty's Legacy
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11. A Sportsman's Life: How I Built
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12. Bird Watching: On Playing &
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13. Horse of a Different Color: A
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14. The Majors: In Pursuit of Golf's
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15. Into Thin Air : A Personal Account
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16. Dale Earnhardt: Remembering the
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17. Wilt, 1962 : The Night of 100
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18. No Finish Line: My Life As I See
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19. Driver #8
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20. Touching My Father's Soul : A

1. My Losing Season : The Point Guard's Way to Knowledge
by PAT CONROY
list price: $25.95
our price: $25.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553714074
Catlog: Book (2002-10-15)
Publisher: RH Audio
Sales Rank: 952944
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Despite losing, Conroy scores
Although I'm not a basketball player or even a sports fan, I couldn't put this book down. The book is really about the coming of age of a young man, as seen through the experience of an intense basketball season at a military academy. The writing is full of wonderful metaphors, and smooth and easy to read. The emotional journey--like other Conroy books--is intense. The difference here is that the experience is so real. He's describing real people, and the narrator is Conroy himself. The depiction of what goes on at The Citadel may shock you with its brutality. Its amazing that Conroy can recreate his senior year in college so clearly thirty years later. Thoroughly enjoyable. ... Read more


2. The Man Who Listens to Horses
by MONTY ROBERTS
list price: $18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679460446
Catlog: Book (1997-08-05)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 75157
Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Monty Roberts is part James Herriott, part Bill Gates, and part John Wayne. And his story is one you will never forget.

Monty Roberts is a real-life horse whisperer--an American original whose gentle training methods reveal the depth of communication possible between man and animal. He can take a wild, high-strung horse who has never been handled and persuade that horse to accept a bridle, saddle, and rider in thirty minutes.

Monty's powers may seem like magic, but his amazing "horse senseis based on a lifetime of experience. He started riding at the age of two, and at the age of thirteen went alone in the high deserts of Nevada to study mustangs in the wild. In The Man Who Listens to Horses, Roberts tells about his early days as a rodeo rider, his problems with his violent, horse-trainer father, his friendship with James Dean, and the invitation that changed his life--to demonstrate his methods to the Queen of England.

From his groundbreaking work with horses, Monty now takes his understanding of nonverbal communication and applies it to human relationships as well. He has shown that between parent and child, employer and employee, and abuser and abused, there are forms of communication far stronger than the spoken word--forms accessible to all who will learn to listen. He's shared his insights with more than 250 corporations, including General Motors, IBM, Disney, and Merrill Lynch; now listeners can learn from Monty first-hand.

"Wild horses should not drag you away from finding out more about Monty Roberts."
--The Independent
... Read more

Reviews (173)

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Informative
As a horse crazy teenager, I will read any horse book I can get my hands on. So when I recived this book I dove right in. As I got further and further into the book it got harder to tear myself away from it. I thought it was increadible that he could earn the trust of a wild mustang and have it ready to ride in 30 to 45 min. The way he and the horse communicate is just amazing. The horse listens to him and he listens back. My favorite thing he does is that he does not use violence to break in the horses. When some people use violence to break in the horses, the horse might then interpurt that that person means he is going to get hurt. I can't stand to see horses in pain so what I think Monty Roberts is diong is wonderful. I just wish that there are more trainers like him in the world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring story of horses, humans, and search for harmony
This is the amazing life story of Monty Roberts. Monty has been called a modern day horse whisperer, although the language he uses with horses has nothing to do with whispering-except, perhaps, for its subtlety and gentleness. Monty learned the language he calls Equus from a band of wild horses that he observed as a youth in the American West. While the book isn't about Monty's methods per se, it is about Monty's life and therefore about how his methods were shaped. Monty can, using a round pen and the language of Equus, achieve what he calls "join-up" with a green, unschooled (and even difficult) horse and within a half hour have that horse under saddle and calmly carrying its first rider. All this with absolutely no use of force or harsh means. Monty has used join-up to "fix" countless "problem horses" whose worst problems were typically their human handlers.

The book does include a brief appendix as a guide for "join-up." In it, Monty advises, "Hold in your mind the idea that the horse can do no wrong; that any action taken by the horse-especially the young unstarted horse-was most likely influenced by you. We can do little to teach the horse; we can only create an environment in which he can learn... If we refuse to believe that the horse can communicate, pain can be used to train him somewhat effectively. But pain is needless and terribly limiting."

This is a book for everyone, including those unafflicted by "horse fever." You are treated to encounters with such legends as James Dean and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and completely riveted by events one can hardly believe were not conjured by a Hollywood scriptwriter. Here is an inspiring story of hope with a message of peace and understanding. As a child and as an adult, Monty has come face to face with and experienced the brutality that can occur in the world. Monty is living proof that the cycle of violence can not only be broken, but that people can learn to live in harmony with each other and with our fellow creatures. I highly recommend this tribute to the human and equine spirit for horse lovers, students of the human condition and those just looking for a great read. My gratitude to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth for encouraging Monty to write it down!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Gift for Horse Lovers and Riders
Monty Roberts has done the horse world a great service by sharing his non-violent training methods with us. His love of horses leaps off of every page as he describes the old training ways of his father and the conflicts and punishment he endured to continue with his training methods using horse language and body language. This is a pleasure to read and a learning tool to teach all of us who work with horses how to understand their fears and gain their trust.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Man of Knowledge- Not Magic
Monty Roberts, no doubt, is a man of great horsemanship and understanding of the equine world, but he is not alone. Long before Roberts studied the equestrian arts and wild herds, Natives learned the language of "horse" and passed it on to Spanish conquistadors. Even someone with basic horsemanship could learn the body language and commmunicate. I have experimented with something very similar to "join up" just by sending my horse around the round pen. So whether you are Monty Roberts or not, you can still communicate with horses.

However, this book was a nice refresher course for my friend who has missed out on interaction with horses for several years. She got a lot from it, and being the type of rider who shows up and rides, she learned to respect her horse and build a dominance and a relationship that worked in unison. I would recommend this book to someone with very little to moderate horse experience and have not yet learned the values of horse and man communication.

The deer section is quite cool, though! It's not everyday you hear of a horse trainer talking (or shall I say listening...) to a deer!

Yours Truly,
Anna
The Equestrian Critique

5-0 out of 5 stars A great trainer, a great technique, and a great book!
This is a fascinating autobiography of one of the most sought-after horse trainers in the world. Monty Roberts takes us from his childhood, growing up on a ranch in California, all the way up through the years right before the book was first published in 1996. He learned to ride at a very young age and was quite successful on the rodeo circuit and in reined cow horse competitions. But what really gave him his ambition to develop a method of communicating with horses was the abuse with which he saw his father treat horses, and the the abuse he himself received from his father. Convinced that there must be a better way to train horses, he observed the behavior of mustangs, and ultimately came up with a technique he calls 'join-up'.

'Join-up' involves working with a horse in a round pen, first encouraging the horse to flee around the perimeter by making steady eye contact and assuming an imposing stance. The handler then watches for three tell-tale signs that the horse wishes to communicate - first the horse will lock his inside ear on the handler, then begin licking and chewing, and finally lower his head near the ground as he travels around the pen. Once the horse has given these signals, the handler takes his/her eyes off the horse and shifts away from from the animal. At this point the horse will usually come up behind the handler and stand very close, allowing the handler to touch him. Then the horse can be saddled, bridled, and at last, mounted and ridden. (This is a very truncated explanation - the book goes into much more detail.)

Of course Roberts was not the first to use methods like these. Some other reviewers here have complained about this fact, accusing him of taking undue credit. But Roberts himself admits this in his book. He points out that there were trainers in previous centuries that tried (and had success with) similar methods, but that for whatever reason these methods did not take a firm hold on the general equestrian population. So yes, Roberts does do a lot of self-promotion here (another thing some have complained about), but this is because he's attempting to spread the word about his method of training. He is using the book first and foremost to sell his technique, but this is because he wishes to make the training experience a better one for horses.

This book takes us through Roberts' journey of learning, and all the trials and triumphs that led him to where he is today. He tells us of his experience with mustangs, his successful childhood riding career, the encounters with his father that helped shape his own way of thinking, the development (and narrowly-avoided disaster) of his Thoroughbred racehorse facility Flag Is Up Farms, various success stories of his 'join-up' method, his meeting with Queen Elizabeth II of England, his many tours to demonstrate his techniques, and even his succes in using 'join-up' with wild deer. He also introduces us to the horses that have shaped his life and carved a place for themselves in his heart - Brownie, his childhood mount; Johnny Tivio, his all-time favorite; and Dually, his most recent mount.

Toward the end of the book there is a 'How To' appendix describing in detail the 'join-up' technique. Roberts lists all the necessary equipment (nothing fancy is needed - everything is standard equipment that any horse owner should already have; the only thing you may have to 'borrow' is the round pen itself if you do not have one), and takes us through the procedure in a clear step-by-step fashion. He explains the purpose of each aspect of 'join-up' and how the horse will perceive the handler's actions. He also explains the meaning of the horse's responses to these actions. The appendix is very easy to follow and the technique is simple enough that it is easy to remember afterward, without having to lug the book to the arena with you.

The book concludes with an afterword by Lawrence Scanlan, the author of 'Riding High' and co-author (with Ian Millar) of 'Big Ben'. Scanlan describes his experience observing the 'mustang project' that Roberts embarked upon in 1997. This takes us briefly into the story of Shy Boy, a small mustang stallion Roberts attempts to gentle (in the wild, not in a pen) with his 'join-up' technique. The afterword is very short. Roberts went on to write about his experience with Shy Boy in his next book 'Shy Boy: The Horse that Came in from the Wild'. I have not read that one yet, but plan to soon, as I was very impressed with 'The Man Who Listens to Horses'. I would highly recommend it to anyone involved with horses. ... Read more


3. The Only Way I Know
by Cal Ripken, Mike Bryan, Sam Fontana
list price: $16.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140864628
Catlog: Book (1997-04-01)
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 791294
Average Customer Review: 3.84 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

There aren't many Americans who didn't feel a lump in their throat watching Cal Ripken, Jr. take a historic jog around the bases on the evening of September 6, 1995--the night he smashed Lou Gehrig's record number of 2,130 consecutively played games. But, as "the hardest working man in baseball" will tell you, he was just doing his job. And now he tells you just how he does it, why he does it, and how it makes him feel.With the candor and grace that have endeared him to fans everywhere, Cal Ripken, Jr. tells the story of his journey to the major leagues: of his early childhood and life with a baseball manager for a father; his stint in the minors, working his way up from the Rookie Leagues to Triple-A; and finally to the permanent call from Baltimore where he began the drive to an All-Star career. Cal talks with warmth of his mentors and teammates, and with honesty of the Orioles' roller-coaster ride from the pennant to a lamentable 0-21 start in the eighties. He reveals his innermost thoughts on the game, and leads us through his strategies at the plate and on the field. Best of all, Cal reveals what makes him tick: his commitment to the game, to his family, to his career, and to the team. In this rich and rewarding memoir, we find out why he's credited with putting the "great" back into America's greatest game: it's the only way he knows.

*The #1 Washington Post bestseller
*Author is one of the most visible--and articulate--baseball players of the century
*Available on audiocassette from Penguin Audiobooks
... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Only Way I Know
"The Only Way I Know" is a great autobiography about Cal Ripken Jr. I especially liked this book because it's not boring, and instead is fast-paced throughout the whole book. This book also has great pictures from his whole life. This great autobiography also explains everything from the first time he played catch with his dad to his record setting 2,131st consecutive game and everything in between. This story explains everything down to the tiniest detail. This is a great book for any baseball player or fan. I hope anyone who reads this excellent book likes it just as much as I do.

3-0 out of 5 stars "The Only Way I Know"
The Only Way I Know is a good book. IT tells you alot about Cal Ripken Jr. It talks about him as a child, a baseball legend, and a father. I enjoyed reading this book a hole lot. I recomend this book to any Cal Ripken Jr fan. The book helped me understand what it is like being a profesional athlete

4-0 out of 5 stars Zach's Review of The Only Way I Know
If you are a fan of Cal Ripken Jr., "The Only Way I Know" is the book for you. In this autobiography Cal shares information with us on how he got to where he is today and what it is like being a profesional baseball player. He overcame a lot during his brilliant career as a Baltimore Oriole. In Ripken's illustrious 20 year career with the Baltimore Orioles he broke several records and appeared in several all-star games. This book is 326 pages and took me about three weeks to read. I am a big fan of Cal Ripken Jr. so I really enjoyed this book. Ripken is one of the most recognized profesional athletes ever, so you can only imagine how good this book really is. As you all know Ripken broke the record of consecutive games by playing 2,132 consecutive games; he is known as the iron man. There are also many pictures in the book from different points in Ripken's career. I hope you enjoy this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Boring
I bought this book hoping to learn about the Cal Ripken Jr. the man...But all I was able to learn from this book is that he is a baseball player. He goes very little into his own life outside of the ballpark. I would not recommend this book to anyone that is not a huge Ripken fan. D-.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great for the fan but best for the young want to be athlete!
This book shows the ordinary life of this talented and driven athlete. Should inspire and confirm that everyday effort and hard work makes for success. You will find Cal's boyhood stories and read about his entire family's passion for the game. The role model his father afforded him. There are stories about his wife and children and his genuine competitive spirit. I was struck by the ordinary upbringing and the seemingly level headedness that he has maintained throughout his success. I am a fortunate season ticket holder who attends many games. And I am always amazed at the class and level of integrity that Cal seems to possess. Even as a local and available to many reports on Cal at play and with charitable events, this book still offered an interesting read. You will also find a section of color personal photographs. ... Read more


4. It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life
by Lance Armstrong, Sally Jenkins, Oliver Wyman
list price: $24.95
our price: $17.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1565114485
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Highbridge Audio
Sales Rank: 190761
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is the story of the Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year's journey through triumph, tragedy, transformation, and transcendance. It is the story of Lance Armstrong, the world-famous cyclist, and his fight against cancer. ... Read more

Reviews (521)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Hard Not to be Inspired by this Story
Say what you want about Lance Armstrong but if you read this book it's hard to consider him anything but an inspiration.

Last summer I was in Austin, Texas during the end of the Tour de France attending the Texas Age Group Swimming Championships my younger brother was competing in. That city loves Lance and there wasn't a person in the streets who wasn't eager to talk about the Tour; yellow banners supporting him were more common than Texas flags, and anyone who knows Texas knows that that's saying a lot! Following that experience I knew I had to read this book and I wasn't disappointed in the least.

Having read the book, I can't regard Lance Armstrong as anything less than a miracle. He didn't survive cancer - he conquered it. He proved that a cancer diagnosis doesn't have to mean an end to anything unless you allow it to. This book is a very blunt and unapologetic account of his life before, during, and after his diagnosis and treatment. He's not the nicest guy ever, he's not the humblest guy ever, he's just a guy (who may or may not be the greatest cyclist in the world, it's not my sport, someone else will debate that).

If Lance Armstrong had never competed in another race again, his survival would still have been incredible. But he did compete, and he's sure to be a legend.

5-0 out of 5 stars No, It's Not About the Bike or Cancer. It's Pure Lance.
I know I'll catch it for this review. The book itself gets 5 stars from me. I enjoyed the read, I shed a few tears and I kept hoping that somewhere it would eventually turn Lance Armstrong into one of my heros. It never did. In fact, I pray to God I never meet Lance Armstrong and never get in his path, and I pray anyone who ever has to does survives the encounter. Sally Jenkins gets kudos on pulling off what was a difficult task. How to write his biography and story with him watching over her and to tell the truth. She did it. She pulled it off by writing between the lines like no other. She is truly the hero here. Make no mistake, the book is good, the hero is not. He is, without a doubt the single most arrogant and egotistical person I've ever read about in my life. I wanted him to be my hero so bad too. I have just gotten into cycling and was looking forward to having someone to watch, follow and emulate. Lance is not that guy. You'll read things that will blow you away. How he fully expected his French sponsor to pay him his 5 million dollar contract even when he was taking chemo and was not riding for them, they even offered to give him a contract, just not 5 million and he was outraged. He freaked on might having to sell his $300,000 worth of furniture and "art" to pay for his treatment. Why oh why have all forsaken poor Lance he wonders. Supposedly a boy that grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in Plano, Tx, but give me a break, there is no "wrong side" of the tracks in Plano. Even though he was only raised by his mother, it's obvious people took care of Lance. Riding his expensive cycles that were given to him out of the goodness of one man's heart, and then he doesn't speak to this guy for years on end. I could continue, but I think the world needs to read this book to learn about this. Lance's story is not over, he still hasn't learned what he probably was meant to learn. I do not suggest buying this book for someone with cancer or a teenager. It's not inspiring in the least, no one can afford what Lance had to get him through his terrible cancer ordeal. And, if a teen reads this, he or she will expect the world to give them everything on a silver platter just like Lance expects. One curious note I can't yet figure out. Never once does Lance tell the world he didn't check himself monthly for testicular cancer and that if he had, he could have caught it before it spread to his brain and lungs and recovery would have been comparably easy. With many pages devoted to pictures of he, his wife, his baby and mother not one single page printed a diagram on how to check yourself for testicular cancer. Seems a hero would have had that thought first and foremost in his head, especially since testicular cancer never has gotten the same PR as checking for breast cancer. I might read his other books. Maybe he's learned something along the way, but that is highly doubtful.

3-0 out of 5 stars A new focus for Armstrong..
I value Lance Armstrong's story, he is a driven and talented athlete who has had to battle through a life threatening illness. The story is incredible but you wish that Lance wouldn't be so in love with his own story!
Humility is the virtue that Lance needs most. Maybe that could be his next focus. I'm sure if he put his mind to it, he could tone down his ego. He accomplishes every thing he puts his mind too..... maybe improve his writing as well....

4-0 out of 5 stars It's not about the bike: It is about the being the best!
I am a beginner runner. I picked up this book because I wanted to know more about Lance Armstrong. This book has taught me how much mental and physical training are required to be the best, consistently. I have enjoyed reading this book because of the humor, the clear and direct expression of ideas, and Lance's candor in his failures and triumphs. I am sure I will pick it up and read it again periodically.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Bike is Not Important
There's nothing I can say that hasn't been said. A fantastic book about an interesting character that has little to do with sports and more to do with the human spirit. This book details Lance's early life as he addresses his cocky, immature nature that quickly goes out the window when he begins his cancer battle. Lance is alive because his is famous. His cancer was so aggressive and mature that IMO what saved him is the unsolicited email from the doctor at Vanderbilt that eventually led him to the doctors at Indiana University. I like sports and would never have read a book just about cancer survival but this book was so highly recommended and for good reason.

The book finishes with Lance mentally battling to get back on the bike and on to greater glory. There is much to learn here also but the one downer would be listening to him describing his ideal marriage when of course it has already broken up.

I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOK HIGHER. You will not be disappointed. And yes, you will start following the Tour de France. ... Read more


5. Luckiest Man : The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig
by Jonathan Eig
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743530101
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
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6. Old Man in a Baseball Cap: A Memoir of World War II
by Fred Rochlin
list price: $18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0694522414
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 719287
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

I went to the University of Arizona and I majored in civil engineering because that's what my two brothers had done.

I thought it was the right thing to do.

When I got there, I found that I couldn't pass anything. I couldn't pass a damn thing. I was flunking out and that would be a big scandal in my family. I was getting desperate.

I didn't know what to do.

That December, the Japanese government saw fit to bomb Pearl harbor.

So, next month, January, two weeks before finals, I got very patriotic and I went down and enlisted in the Army Air Corps.

Old Man in a Baseball Cap is a wonderful, hilarious, and haunting memoir. Written when Rochlin was seventy, after he took a storytelling workshop with Spalding Gray, it was originally performed as a monologue and was described by the New York Times as being "about an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances, [it] has elements of an epic: love and death, honor and betrayal, vengefulness and martyrdom, and ultimately, the fortuitousness of survival."

Old Man in a Baseball Cap is an astonishingly fresh, candid look at "the last good war." At once naive and wise, Fred Rochlin's voice is unforgettable. ... Read more

Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Gift For My Father
Author Fred Rochlin implores us in the beginning of his extraordinary memoir to tell our stories. Everyone, not just artists or great thinkers, not just adventurers or philosophers. Five billion people, five billion stories, is the way he sees it. "Tell your story. Tell your story."

And with this you begin to read his: poignant, self-deprecating snapshots of a guy beginning with a classic stumble into the war effort and then just trying to survive when everyone else around him is dying, physically and spiritually. There is a fatalistic bent to his humor, self-deprecating, dry, keenly observant but still achingly innocent. Life, as Fred remembers it seems to be a series of incidents, one inexorably leading to another, and another until you either survive, or you die.

Fred's mission to us in the forward of his book now makes sense: living with those memories and the loss of innocence that is never recoverable has left him with the belief that all human life is sacred and every life is a memory to be cherished. Perhaps if more stories are told, there will be less of a void left by those who did not survive the bombings, the shootings, the camps and the marches.

I know my father, who was given this book for his birthday, and who has never talked of the war, will see Fred as more than just an old guy, but a fellow traveller who blossomed out of the adversity of life and created a miracle out of memories. My father couldn't have a better gift to celebrate his seventy-fifth birthday than that.

5-0 out of 5 stars Old Man in a Baseball Cap
It may be impossible for anyone who personally experienced World War II, or whose parents or grandparents lived through those dramatic and traumatic years, to remain unmoved when reading this profoundly insightful memoir of that time by artist/architect/social and political activist/writer and now performer Fred Rochlin.

Rochlin here tells stories of his role in that war, when he joined the then Army Air Corps right after Pearl Harbor, at the age of nineteen, and flew some 50 missions over Italy as a navigator on B-24 bombers. It is a story filled with horror, humor, pathos, and great wisdom, and it's told by a man who wrote it when he was 70 years old, but who clearly has never lost the wide-eyed wonder and enthusiasm of that nineteen year old boy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Better on Tape
The audio version is the only way to go. Do not listen if you are easily offended by frank talk of the things young men do when they have resigned themselves to unpleasant circumstances. Rochlin is NOT an exemplar of Brokaw's "Greatest Generation." He and his comrades at arms were decidedly human.
Rochlin acknowledges that men of his generation were discouraged from talking about traumatic experiences. He also acknowledges that his memories are factually suspect. While current opinion seems to hold listening in higher esteem than talking, Rochlin maintains that sharing one's stories is a gift to others. It's too bad they didn't give WWII combat veterans a "transition debrief" before they sent them home. Many of them suffered from post traumatic stress for decades and their loved ones never knew exactly what had happened to them. A chance to talk to someone about their experiences might have helped many combat veterans and there might be a better understanding of what that war was really like.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Well written in an easy to read, intelligent style. Reminds me of the clarity of Hemmingway's the Old Man and the Sea. Whether embellished or not, the stories transfer to the reader the feelings these young men must have had to go into the meatgrinder week after week. There is a gentle humor surrounding the constant tragedy that was WWII for them. Was a nice follow-up read to Ambrose's book on the 15th Air Corps.

1-0 out of 5 stars Worst WWII Memoir I've Ever Read
I've been reading WWII vets' personal accounts for more than thirty years and this book JUST DOES NOT RING TRUE. I understand that the author has a stage act where he talks about his experiences. It sounds like he wrote this book with the idea of embellishing his act to (what else?) make money. His adventures come across as the fantasies of a dirty old man, writing what he WISHED had happened. A tryst with his aunt in the back of a truck while his uncle obliviously drives only a foot away? Yeah, right. An affair with a female Yugoslav partisan during weeks of evading Germans in the countryside? Forced to cut a young German prisoner in half with an automatic weapon? Come on! Worst of all, catching a CO (that he obviously hated) in a comprimising homosexual encounter when Mr. Rochlin just happened to peer through the window? Give us a break! It sounds more like petty revenge fifty+ years later. I bought this book at the airport and was looking forward to a diversion during a long flight. How utterly disappointing! Upon my return I expressed my opinion with a friend who'd also just read "Old Man In a Baseball Cap." We were both disgusted and felt completely ripped off. Short, silly and obviously a load of nonsense. Don't waste your money! ... Read more


7. The Teammates : A Portrait Of Friendship
by David Halberstam
list price: $25.98
our price: $17.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401397476
Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
Publisher: Hyperion Audio
Sales Rank: 200787
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio, and Johnny Pesky were all members of the famed 1940's Boston Red Sox. Their legendary careers led the Red Sox to a pennant championship and ensured the men a place in sports history.

David Halberstam, the bestselling author of the baseball classic Summer of '49, has followed the members of the 1949 championship Boston Red Sox team for years, especially Williams, Doerr, DiMaggio, and Pesky. In this extremely moving book, Halberstam reveals how these four teammates became friends, and how that friendship thrived for more than 60 years.

The book opens with Pesky and DiMaggio travelling to see the ailing Ted Williams in Florida. It's the last time they will see him. The journey is filled with nostalgia and memories, but seeing Ted is a shock. The most physically dominating of the four friends, Ted now weighs only 130 pounds and is hunched over in a wheelchair. Dom, without even thinking about it, starts to sing opera and old songs like "Me and My Shadow" to his friend.

Filled with stories of their glory days with the Boston Red Sox, memories of legendary plays and players, and the reaction of the remaining three to Ted Williams' recent death, The Teammates offers us a rare glimpse into the lives of these celebrated men -- and great insight into the nature of loyalty and friendship. ... Read more

Reviews (52)

5-0 out of 5 stars "The Red Sox killed my father. Now they┬┐re coming after me."
The 1946 World Series match-up between Boston and the St. Louis Cardinals went to seven games before Boston finally lost the championship, and Halberstam makes this seventh game come alive in all its frustrating excitement. The book is unique, however, not because of its rehash of old ball games, but because it brings back an era, more than a half-century ago, when close and supportive friendships developed between players who spent their whole careers on the same team. Telling the story of the sixty-year friendship of baseball greats Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio, and Johnny Pesky of the Boston Red Sox, Halberstam shows the kind of friendship which was possible in an era in which players were people, not commodities.

Warm and nostalgic, the book opens in October, 2001, as Dom DiMaggio, accompanied by Boston writer Dick Flavin and Johnny Pesky, makes a melancholy car trip from Boston to Florida to pay a last visit to Ted Williams, who is dying. As the men drive from Boston to Florida, they reminisce about their playing days more than fifty years in the past, recalling anecdotes about their friendship and talking about their lives, post-baseball.

Halberstam uses these memories as the framework of this book, describing the men from their teenage years. All were from the West Coast, all were about the same age, all arrived in Boston to begin their careers within the same two-year period, and all shared similar values. Ted Williams, "the undisputed champion of contentiousness," was the most dominant of the group. Bobby Doerr was Williams's closest friend and roommate, "a kind of ambassador from Ted to the rest of the world," Doerr himself being "very simply among the nicest and most balanced men." Bespectacled Dom DiMaggio, the brother of Vince and Joe, was the consummate worker, a smart player who had been "forced to study everything carefully when he was young in order to maximize his chances and athletic abilities." Johnny Pesky, combative and small, was also "kind, caring, almost innocent."

Stories and anecdotes, sometimes told by the players themselves, make the men individually come alive and show the depth and value of their friendship. The four characters remain engaging even when, in the case of Williams, they may be frustratingly disagreeable. There's a bittersweet reality when Halberstam brings the lives of Williams, Doerr, DiMaggio, and Pesky, all now in their eighties, up to the present--these icons are, of course, as human as the rest of us, subject to the same physical deterioration and illnesses. In Halberstam's sensitive rendering of their abiding relationship, however, we see them as men who have always recognized and preserved the most important of human values, and in that respect they continue to serve as heroes and exemplars to baseball fans throughout the country. Mary Whipple

5-0 out of 5 stars Friendship
Teammates is a story of true friendship. The book centers around three greats from the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams, Dom Dimaggio, John Pesky, and Bobby Doerr. Their final meeting is used as a backdrop for several stories from their playing days.

The story starts in the final months of the life of Ted Williams. Dimaggio and Pesky are inspired to reunite with their friend before his inevitable death. Bobby Doerr is unable to make the trip because of the health of his wife.

The book is formatted in the same way things were probably discussed in the car that day. The stories build up as each one of the four joins the team with the final addition being Pesky. The book continues as it goes through the teams years as a American League powerhouse. Unfortunately, World War II and the Korean War would be the main factor in preventing these baseball icons for playing in more than one World Series. The Red Sox lost that one World Series to the Cardinals. The play that allegedly turned that series is discussed in detail. The misfortune for which Pesky was blamed is a travesty. Even his teammates try to take the blame from Pesky. Being the stand-up guy that he is, Pesky continues to unjustly accept the blame. The book ends with each playing leaving the team until Williams returns from the Korean War to find all of his friends are gone. This drains much of the fun of the game for Williams. As a consequence he also leaves baseball.

Halberstam really does not write a book as buy as he retells stories from a car ride. This book is certain to become a favorite of those who enjoy baseball or the friendships developed in team sports. It should also be required reading for Red Sox fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Moving Tribute to Friendship
This is a moving book about friendship. As baseball legend Ted Williams' lay slowly dying at age 83 in the fall of 2001, his former teammates Johnny Pesky, Dom DiMaggio, and Bobby Doerr considered making the long drive to Florida for a final visit. The narrative focuses on that trip, and the enduring friendship between these four that continued for five decades after their playing days ended. Readers come to know these men, their backgrounds, flaws, strengths, families, health conditions, and post-baseball careers. Fans will enjoy their playing memoirs from the powerful Red Sox squads of the 1940's - teams that often fell just short at season's end. Adding spice to the narrative are Boston sportswriter Dick Flavin (who made the trip) and occasionally the author David Halberstam. This is another outstanding baseball book by Halberstam (SUMMER OF '49, OCTOBER 1964); let's hope he'll write more. THE TEAMMATES is a concise and moving tribute to friendship, baseball...and life.

4-0 out of 5 stars Life-long Lessons!
When we are young, most of us idolize certain sports heroes . . . usually because of their feats on the field rather than for their characters. Author David Halberstam had the great pleasure of getting to know some of his idols when he wrote the Summer of '49 about the Yankee-Red Sox pennant race in that year. He kept up with his new friends from the Red Sox including Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky after the book came out. When he learned that in 2002 about the last trip that Dom, and Johnny had taken to see Ted, Mr. Halberstam knew that he had a story. This book relates that tale.

The book recounts the backgrounds of all four players, details their friendships from the days when they were in the minor leagues through the end of their lives and provides lots of perspective on the Red Sox during the 1940s and 1950s when these remarkable players were on the team. The end of the book also has the lifetime stats for each player.

One of the intriguing parts of the book is how hard Ted Williams was on himself and his friends. It is a remarkable tale of friendship to see how others would tolerate his abuse by rolling with the punches. Behind the friendships, you get many glimpses of great character . . . character that actually makes their athletic accomplishments seem paler by comparison.

I strongly urge all Red Sox fans and parents who want their children to develop better characters to read this book, and share the story with their friends and family. I know of no better book about athletes that looks at the qualities of true greatness.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book about baseball and friendship
Back in the 1940's and 1950's Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr were stars for the Boston Red Sox. Over the next 50 years or so, they remained the closest of friends. This book gives us a good look at that friendship, on and off the field, and at these four men.

It's unusual for a group of friends to stay so close for so long, but reading about the friendship makes you wish you were part of the group.

The book is full of humorous stories about their playing days and the years that followed. It also shows how close this team came to being a dynasty, but ended up only playing in one World Series (which they lost).

Halberstam does a great job, as always, showing us what baseball was like in the good old days and how the friendship between these players grew and remained strong over the years. It's one of the best baseball books I've ever read. ... Read more


8. When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It: Inspiration and Wisdom from One of Baseball's Greatest Heroes
by Yogi Berra, David Kaplan, Dave Berra, Dale Berra
list price: $18.95
our price: $18.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1565114760
Catlog: Book (2001-05)
Publisher: Highbridge Audio
Sales Rank: 317478
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Now available in paperback, "it's déjà vu all over again" with another New York Times bestseller -- more than 160,000 copies in print!

Three-time MVP and Hall of Famer Yogi Berra hit home runs twice in a row with his two previous books, The Yogi Book and It Ain't Over. Now, his winning streak continues as the celebrated athlete and true American hero speaks about life, baseball, and "the forks in the road."

Filled with the baseball legend's inimitable and unwittingly wise aphorisms from "It ain't over till it's over" to "You can't think and hit at the same time," these reflections focus on the valuable lessons he learned on and off the field. ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy Inspiration
As only Yogi can do, he brings many tough life issues down to the ground level. This book is a collection of 2-3 page "truths" according to Mr. Berra. I was really impressed. The approach is one of facing challenges at the gut level and straight ahead. Don't make things complicated, just do it. A must read for everyone. Thanks, Yogi.

4-0 out of 5 stars When Taking the Bull by the Horns, You'll See the Point!
Yogi Berra is our modern day version of Will Rogers. He talks about life and what he sees, and captures a fundamental truth and humor that tickle our fancy and our sense of what's right.

This book contains many of Yogi's most famous aphorisms, followed by essays that explain what he means . . . in other words.

Here are some of my favorites among his aphorisms in this book (which double as titles for the essays):

"We Have a Good Time Together, Even When We're Not Together."

"If People Don't Want to Come Out to the Park, Nobody's Going to Stop Them."

"Ninety Percent of the Game Is Half Mental."

"You Observe a Lot by Watching."

"It's Deja Vu All Over Again."

"We Made Too Many Wrong Mistakes."

"It Gets Late Early Out Here."

"Nobody Goes There Any More, It's Too Crowded."

"I Love Movies When I Like Them."

"If the World Were Perfect, It Wouldn't Be."

"Always Go to Other People's Funerals, Otherwise They Won't Go to Yours."

"Ninety Percent of Short Putts Don't Go In."

The beauty of Yogi's aphorisms is that we know exactly what he means, which we don't always appreciate about what more learned types have to say. The unusual content also jolts us into paying attention, instead of putting us into a mild doze.

About the aphorisms themselves, Yogi says this, "I don't think I ever said anything intentionally humorous in my life."

You could sum up his philosophy as "I really have no regrets." Yogi basically suggests that you take life as it comes, make the best of what it offers, and move on. His most beautiful aphorism is here also, "There Is Always Some Kid Who May Be Seeing Me for the First or Last Time. I Owe Him My Best." The essay describes how Joe DiMaggio always played the hero's role in public, and how much Yogi admired him for it.

The book also contains the famous story of how Yogi refused to reenter Yankee Stadium for 14 years after being summarily fired as manager in mid-season in 1985 (after being told this would not happen). George Steinbrenner finally met with Yogi and apologized. Yogi began coming to Yankee Stadium again. That struck me as very consistent with his sense of what's right and wrong.

Yogi chose to leave school at a very young age. He thought he didn't have much of a future there, and he felt he liked and could do a lot of other things better. That's the story behind the book's title. But Yogi reminds us, "People shouldn't forget where they came from." In fact, the essays double as an autobiography of Yogi.

I enjoyed his stories about the glory days of the five straight World Championships, and how he improved as a catcher while being lambasted by the sportswriters. Having listened to Don Larsen's perfect game against the Dodgers, it was fun to read what Yogi had to say about catching the game. I didn't know he called Larsen "Gooney Bird."

His essay about talking to players, pitchers and umps is also a classic.

Anyone would benefit from his advice about losing. "If [you]lose . . . , shake their hand and try harder next time."

He also maintains that it's not true he was ever in a hitting slump. He just wasn't getting many hits. That's an extension of his focus on keeping a positive outlook.

Each essay is preceded by a small black-and-white photograph. These add a nice personal touch to the essays.

After you read this book, think about where you need to take a fork in the road with courage and enthusiasm. Think of Yogi when you take that fork. He'll be pulling for you.

If the stick in your eye is hurting you, there's no law that says you have to keep holding it in there!

5-0 out of 5 stars We can all learn a lot from Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra is an American treasure, epitomizing many of the things that make America great. As a legend in life as well as a legend in baseball, the common-sense pearls of wisdom that drop from his lips are as instructive as they are humorous. I consider Yogi the common man's philosopher. This book offers forty chapters, each containing helpful advice, based upon a famous Yogi-ism, as well as inspiration to the reader. Most of us already know most of these lessons, but we need to be reminded of them periodically. Yogi is the perfect teacher. He is humble and honest, perfectly willing to use his own failures as well as his successes as object lessons for the rest of us; he also speaks from the heart in plain language. I love the unpretentious nature of this book; maybe it breaks a few rules of proper grammar, but it comes across in such a way that you half believe Yogi is sitting in the room with you and just talking. Yogi does offer up a number of parallels between baseball and business, stressing the importance of true teamwork, loyalty, and the personal involvement and commitment of all involved, but most of the lessons he imparts here are lessons about life and the proper way to live it. All the inspiration and wisdom aside, though, I have to admit that what I enjoy the most is Yogi's baseball stories. Baseball was a different game back when Yogi was playing, and I'm sure I'm not the only fan whose love of the game has faded as the game has turned into an impersonal industry. Yogi represents baseball at its best.

I also enjoyed learning a little more about Yogi's personal life - heck, I didn't even know how he got the name Yogi before I read this book. Here's a kid born in St. Louis to first-generation immigrants who quit school after eighth grade and pursued a dream that many people said he would never attain. All he did was play on ten World Series championship teams, earn three MVP awards, and become one of the most-loved baseball heroes of all time - heck, I bet there are even some Red Sox fans who love Yogi. He is also a war hero, having fought in the D-Day landing at Normandy. (He also played a brain surgeon on an episode of General Hospital back in the early 1960s, as I was quite shocked to learn.) With all of his success, though, he has always been remarkably humble and quick to thank those who made his good fortune possible. He is a great role model for kids as well as adults, and we all can learn a great deal about life by heeding his practical advice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Straight talk from Yogi
This collection of short snippets of wisdom from Yogi Berra is an enjoyable and ,yes, profitable read. Yogi is a man of great integrity and dignity and those qualities shine through on every page of this simple and relatively quick read. Pick it up and read it on your next long flight.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wit and Wisdom abounds from this unlikely philospher!
You don't need to be a baseball fan to enjoy (and benefit from) the words of wisdom in Yogi Berra's book, "When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!". Yogi explains and refines the numurous malapropisms that he noted for is this short and quick read.

Without going into the many "Yogi-isms" found in this book, let me suffice to say that you'll get a better perspective on life after reading it. Yogi does a great job giving advice and sharing his worldly experiences with the reader in his own inimitable way. This would be an outstanding graduation gift to share with young people ready to embark on their own life journey. I think it would especially appeal to young athletes who may already be somewhat familar with the Berra legacy.

Older readers will certainly enjoy the "Yogi-isms" that are used as the chapter titles and the numerous pictures from Yogi's photo archive. Yogi is a lovable baseball figure who has furthered his appeal factor by putting his thoughts down in words. Here's hoping that each reader will take something a little different from the experience! ... Read more


9. Think LIke A Champion : Building Success One Victory at a Time
by Mike Shanahan
list price: $18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0694522406
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 864204
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Coach Mike Shanahan knows about achieving big goals. Armed with his plan, he and his world champion Denver Broncos have elevated themselves to spectacular levels of performance. In three amazing years, they transformed a "mediocre," aging" franchise--and their legendary quarterback who just "couldn't win the big game--into the most feared powerhouse in the league; with back-to-back Super Bowl rings to prove it.

 Now, in Think Like a Champion, Shanahan opens his playbook to show the X's and O's of winning, a detailed game plan to help you storm the field with foolproof strategies, confidence, and the indomitable will to win. Shanahan's principles of success are as deceptively simple as they are challenging:Preparation is keyWhatever the sacrifice, it is worth the price of pursuing your passionBreak down the competition's weakness and learn from their strengths Pick great leaders and give them the power to inspire Set huge goals. It's about work ethic and balance

Armed with his vision, and these proven success principles, you can improve your chances on Game Day--or any day of the week.
... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Building success one victory at a time.
I have heard this advice before: If you want to be successful
at something, find the most successful person you can in that area, listen to what they say, and try to follow it. Well, its hard to imagine a football coach more sucessful than Mike Shanahan. Here's a guy who started with a dream: to be a head football coach, started as an unpaid volunteer for a college team, and worked his way to be one of the best, most respected, coaches in the NFL (winning 2 consecutive Superbowls) at a young age.

The great thing is, he has written a book that is designed to help people win beyond football, in any area of life. Shanahan breaks it down for you: the way he prepares, some struggles he's had, some ways he motivates people (including the little things that we learn are so critical), very good wisdom concerning life, and a lot more. Also very critical is the fact that this book is very easy to read and understand.

You even get a bonus section in each chapter written by some of the greatest people and minds in football: Paul Tagliabue, Jerry Rice, Bill Walsh, John Elway, Deion Sanders, Steve Young, George Seifert, Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, Al Michaels, and more. They give their own take on the subject being discussed in the chapter, which is not only informative, but like the book itself, filled with wisdom.

The chapters consist of 16 basic areas to focus on to become successful, things like: Preparing (all of life is preparation, and not preparing is preparing to fail), Sacrificing (don't expect to get anything good done without sacrifice, if it was easy, everyone would do it), Learning (without learning, you will be hopelessly stuck where you are), Detailing (the devil is definitely in the details and that's where things often break down). This is just a taste of the wisdom in this book. Highly recommended for people looking to improve themselves.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a Success Story! Motivational!
A die-hard Broncos fan from the days dying watching those ridiculous striped socks and watching Fran Tripuka get killed, what a job Shanahan did turning it around into two Super Bowls in a row.

Learning of his background and his principles makes me now not only a more avid Bronco fan, but also a Shanahan fan as well. His perseverance from the days of his kidney injury to how he became part of Sooner coaching staff till today is truly one of principles of success through hard work, not gifts or who you know or any of the other myths most people who never get anywhere fall for and are unmotivated. Most of them just don't ever want to work hard at anything, but have it handed to them. Shanahan disproves all that bunk and shows how it came to be. Unbelievable that when given the Raiders head-job, didn't even have the downpayment for a house.

This guy is very endearing to so many of us who never had the backgrounds for those connections, but wanting something bad enough, and always believing it, achieve it one goal at a time.

Great advice, especially appreciate his concern for balance.

Excellent read. Thanks, Mike, from a new fan and admirer.

5-0 out of 5 stars "...if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail."
Straight-forward, crisply articulated and with practically no unnecessary fluff, Mike Shanahan's book, "Think Like a Champion," compellingly argues that the game of life is basically won or lost before the "players" take the field. Shanahan asserts his point of view over sixteen easy-to-digest chapters (each about ten pages or less) on the diffent tenets of becoming the best at what you do.

What I liked about this book is that while the author culls specific examples from his football career, the "moral of the story" is clearly applicable to ANYONE seeking to become the best in any endeavor. Offering an excellent, enjoyable read to both sports enthusiasts and non enthusiasts alike, the author's writing style is to neither excessively arm-wave nor make unsupported generalizations.

In fact, part of the Shanahan's credibility here is in his willingness to name names when providing examples of people living up to a credo espoused in a given chapter or more dramatically, falling short.

Written with humility, Shanahan's book leaves the reader feeling that there is nothing magical to becoming a huge success -- other than having a plan and putting in the blood, sweat and tears required to make that plan a success. Or as the author concludes, citing legendary coach Vince Lobardi, "Your quality of life is in direct proportion to your commitment to excellence." So true.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great.....if you can decipher all of the football jargon
Mike Shanahan does a wonderful job at getting across the key points of being successful, and the work ethic and dedication needed to get by. I could have done without all of the sideline/football references, but seeing that he eats, drinks, and sleeps football, that may be a bit much to ask. I would recommend this book, but if you're not to savvy about football, it may be a bit rough.

5-0 out of 5 stars Prepare for Success
I enjoyed this book very much. I am preparing to take the CPA exam. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the CPA exam is one of the most gruling professional certification exams. I read Shanahan's book to motivate and inspire me to do all that I could to pass the exam before I begin to study.

One phrase in his book sticks out in my mind:

Preparation + Desire + Work Ethic = Luck

I read this quote evey morning before work and every time I start my study. I have this on my review materials and I remember it as I prepare.

I am a huge fan of the Denver Broncos and of Shanahan. Later this year when I pass the exam I will send him a letter thanking him for the motivation. ... Read more


10. Sandy Koufax : A Lefty's Legacy
by Jane Leavy
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060569441
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 544826
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Sandy Koufax was the consummate pitcher: elegant, dominant, unsurpassed. He defined and distinguished himself by what he did on the baseball field and what he refused to do. He challenged batters and stereotypes. On the evening of September 9, 1965, he pitched a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs. Less than a month later, he achieved another kind of perfection by refusing to pitch the opening game of the World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Until then, he was a ballplayer, perhaps the greatest lefthander of all time. Forever after, he would be a symbol, the one thing he never wanted to be.

A year later, he was gone -- done with baseball at age thirty. No other sports hero retired so young, so well, or so completely. Opting out of celebrity, refusing to cannibalize himself for profit, he is described by one former Dodger "as the most misunderstood man in baseball." Part biography and part cultural history, Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy gets as close to the legend as he will allow.

... Read more

Reviews (87)

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect
"Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy" is one of the best baseball player biographies I've read in years. Author Jane Leavy blends a brilliant mix of Koufaxian fastballs (interviews) and curveballs (unexpected historical finds) in following the course of the Dodger ace lefty's perfect game against the Chicago Cubs on September 9, 1965.

"Koufax" gets off on a shaky note, as Chapter 1 is devoted to a mind-numbing study of the mechanics of Koufax's overhand pitching delivery. Then again, in two of Koufax's most famous performances, both well-detailed in this book, Sandy had a rough first inning as well. The rest of the book takes off pretty quickly thereafter and becomes absolutely un-put-downable.

The straightforward biography tells the curve (all right, I'll stop with the puns now) of Koufax's career, from his childhood in Bensonhurst to his surprise retirement from the game shortly after his 27-win 1966 campaign. Leavy draws on background interviews with Koufax (but doesn't quote him directly), and on many other interviews with his friends and teammates, from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Along the way she uncovers a surprising mixture of statistics and modern-bay baseball interpretation, quoting from two websites dear to the current baseball cognoscenti, Retrosheet and the Baseball Prospectus. There's also, as you'd expect for any book that spans the 1950s and '60s, a decent canned social history of the era. I don't think even Leavy believes that Koufax's retirement marked the defining point between the end of Eisenhower's and the beginning of Nixon's, but the parallels are there if you want to play with them.

Interspersed with the biographical chapters is an inning-by-inning account of Koufax's perfect game, pitched at night in Los Angeles in the twilight of his career. These chapters are mind-blowing. Spending a book describing a single ballgame is a risky proposition (all those endless asides turned "Nine Innings" into something nearly unreadable), but Leavy paints a compelling you-are-there freshness, thanks in part to the serendipitous discovery of the final 7 innings of that game on audiotape. Wisely, Leavy allows Vin Scully's play-by-play to describe most of the late action, and Vin makes for remarkable reading in the same way that he makes for remarkable listening. His extemporaneous game descriptions are brilliant and the quotes here make it easy to see why, like Koufax, he's regarded as being at the top of his league.

The book ends with a brief overview of Koufax's retirement (best line of the book: Koufax briefly handed out business cards describing himself as a "Peregrination Expert"). Leavy balances the prevailing view of Koufax (sullen, baseball-hating) against the reality she's uncovered, and Koufax comes away a healthy, well-rounded character. No hagiography, "Koufax" is instead an respectful portrait of a unique man.

No description of Sandy Koufax is complete with discussion of his Judaism, and his seminal decision to skip Game 1 of the 1965 World Series, which fell on Yom Kippur. Leavy indulges in some detective work to show that Koufax didn't even go to synagogue that afternoon, but she offers enough anecdotal evidence to almost make you believe that Koufax alone ended most of the anti-Semitic stereotypes that prevailed in America through 1965. Almost. I remember learning about Koufax in Hebrew day school as a child (in a pamphlet about Jewish sports legends only marginally bigger than the one in the movie "Airplane!"), but his significance to the religion makes a lot more sense as Leavy tells it. There's even an interview with Shawn Green, the latest Jewish All-Star to sit on Yom Kippur.

Leavy leaves no stone unturned, and now I'm as close as I'll ever be to actually becoming a Los Angeles Dodgers fan. Well, not even close... I'm genetically bred to loathe them, even as I reluctantly root for the team now mismanaged by Koufax's childhood pal Fred Wilpon. But I will be reading this book again, the sooner the better.

4-0 out of 5 stars Koufax: Hall of Famer and Gentle Man
I would just like to echo the many positive reviews of Jane Leavy's biography of Sandy Koufax. The author has crafted a well-written account of the life and times of the former Dodger great. I was particularly taken by the way the book is organized, with chapters presenting a fairly straight-forward biography alternating with chapters dealing, inning by inning, with Koufax's perfect game in 1965.

Koufax, in Leavy's assessment, is a very private man, but not the aloof individual that so many perceive him to be. This supposed aloofness, together with his perceived "intellectualism" (the man read books, go figure) is pointed to as reflective of the subtle antisemitism that Koufax had to deal with throughout his career (and afterwards), an argument that Leavy makes effectively. Also convincing is her interpretation of Koufax's continuing symbolic importance to the Jewish community.

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Koufax, the Dodgers, and baseball and its social context in the 1950s and 1960s.

2-0 out of 5 stars Readable but not much more
I found this book moderately interesting but it suffers from three significant shortcomings:
1)One, as stated in previous reviews, the author is overly fixated on Koufax's Jewishness. Although this is clearly an aspect of Koufax, his history and make-up, and impact on the Jewish community that should not be overlooked or downplayed, it did not need to be the overiding theme of the book, and as such it overshadowed his on-the-field accomplishments.
2)Koufax did not agree to personally contribute to the book, so many of the incidents are told from the viewpoint of other observers whose memories (reasonably) appear to be less than accurate 50 years after the fact. In several cases these third parties disagree on what actually occured and as a result you question everything in the book with the exception of the statistical reality of Koufax's career.
3)There is very little info regarding Koufax's life after baseball. Since he retired in 1966 nearly forty years have passed. Although readers may be much more interested in his baseball life, I would have liked more insight into how his post-baseball life has progressed.

2-0 out of 5 stars I didn't Like It
I don't care for the author's writing style -- a sort of smug hipness. I also got the sense that the author is overly playing the Jewish angle on this story; she cares more about his being Jewish than he does. I had to stop reading about halfway through.

4-0 out of 5 stars Koufax from the Stone Age
So there really isn't much mystery about Sandy Koufax. Shortly after he retired he married twice, each marriage being relatively long lasting, and he led a quiet life. He attended various baseball ceremonies, raised some money for charities, and coached a bit. Leavey demolishes the "recluse" nonsense.

She also sets out clearly why Sandy had to retire early. He like other starting pitchers of his era were exploited by their teams. Throwing fastballs for nine or more innings per game game after game would have ruined anyone's arm. Baseball had not yet appreciated the middle reliever and the closer. Had Sandy pitched 6 or 7 innings per game, his career would have lasted another 5 years easily. I have to admire his and Drysdale's work ethic though.

The book recalls the late 50's and early 60's well and makes you realize how much society and baseball has changed. It is a fun book to read. ... Read more


11. A Sportsman's Life: How I Built Orvis by Mixing Business and Sport
by Leigh Perkins, Geoffery Norman, Geoffrey Norman, Doug Ordunio
list price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0787123374
Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
Publisher: Audio Literature
Sales Rank: 1658129
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Book Description

When Leigh Perkins bought the Orvis Company in 1965, the fly-fishing and bird-hunting outfitter was a sleepy business with annual sales that had leveled off at $500,000. Over the next thirty years Perkins built Orvis's annual sales to $100 million by revolutionizing the catalog retail industry and reshaping the company's tradition-bound culture. He achieved this by blending his love of nature with his business acumen and bringing the commonsense approach he learned in the streams and on his hunts to his boardroom decision making.
The basic principles he used to run his business include:

The Customer Is Always Right. . .Even When You Know Damned Well He's Wrong: Perkins put such a high priority on customer service that he would personally man the phones at the height of the holiday season each year to keep in touch with his customers.

Product Excellence: Perkins made sure that everything Orvis sold was of the highest quality--even if that meant he had to fight the US government to get access to embargoed Chinese bamboo for fly rods.

Empower Your Employees: By promoting from within, and by empowering his employees to solve problems without manager involvement, Perkins built a loyal and talented team.
Living the outdoor life his catalog popularized, Perkins traveled all over the world to fish and hunt, from Argentina to New Zealand, while devoting his resources to conservation causes worldwide.
... Read more

12. Bird Watching: On Playing & Coaching the Game I Love
by Larry Bird, Jackie Macmullan, Tom Stechschulte
list price: $63.00
our price: $63.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0788740768
Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
Publisher: Recorded Books
Sales Rank: 2122148
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Celtics Rule
I think that this book is good for those who are fans of the Boston Celtics and that of the NBA. This book is a biography; it has a little bit of everything. With a foreword by Pat Riley (Head Coach of the Miami Heat) the book could not more complete.

This book begins in a small town in Indiana. Larry Bird was a star basketball player for his high school and the rest of the state. Larry left high school to go to Indiana University on a full basketball scholarship and play for the one and only Bobby Knight. Larry was not on the campus very long before he became overwhelmed by the great amount of students. Larry would then leave the school and transfer to Indiana State University. After college Larry entered himself in to the NBA draft and was selected 6th overall by the Boston Celtics. ... Read more


13. Horse of a Different Color: A Tale of Breeding Geniuses, Dominant Females, and the Fastest Derby Winner Since Secretariat (Audio)
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586481312
Catlog: Book (2002-04-01)
Publisher: PublicAffairs Audio
Sales Rank: 785350
Average Customer Review: 3.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Jim Squires's rollicking look at the pomp, arrogance, passion, and avarice that drive both man and horse in "the most exciting two minutes in sports"--the Kentucky Derby.

Everybody in the thoroughbred horse business wants to win the Kentucky Derby, but the odds on making it to the winner's circle at Churchill Downs are about 35,000-to-1. How did a former Chicago newspaper editor bring together the stallion and mare and breed the winner of the world's most famous and important horserace?

Jim Squires's Horse of a Different Color tells the story of his wild ride from absurdity to glory at the pinnacle of horseracing success alongside Monarchos, the charismatic gray colt blessed with the extraordinary speed, poise, and stamina necessary to carry his motley band of human handlers to the highest level of their profession.

Squires takes you on an exciting journey through the close-knit and secretive world of horse breeders, buyers, sellers, owners, and trainers. And his hilarious tour of racehorse culture ends with a blazing sprint down the homestretch of the second fastest Derby in history in the company of a crowd of Kentuckians driven mad with "Derby Fever." ... Read more

Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars Thoroughbred breeding, Monarchos and racing
The breeder of Derby winner Monarchos writes of his second career as a Kentucky horseman and his improbable luck in quickly breeding a super horse. In the course of the book we learn a little about the author, lots about the business of horse breeding and meet some of the big players in the industry.

Comparisons to the recent book about Seabiscuit (which is better) are unavoidable and probably unfair. "Horse of a Different Color" covers a different territory and is as much about a business as a single horse.

The book has a few faults. At times, Squires gets stuck in arcane detail that interrupts the flow of the narrative. Also, his device of referring to himself in the third person(e.g. "the breeder" or "the genius") and his wife as "the dominant female" are at first wierd and then become tedious. They are odd mis-steps for an ex-newspaper editor to make.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, wonderfully written
This quick-paced,unique story is a genuine feel good experience. Self-deprecation is raised to an art form, particularly when the author is challenged in his protective parental role. His characters, ordinary people living in an extraordinary culture, are colorful and all too human.
The story revolves around a horse who wins the Kentucky Derby. It is a tale that begins with the birth of this colt who then journeys through the politics of the thoroughbred world, and in the journey, all the highs and the lows of the industry are exposed.
Written on many different levels by a master craftsman. Everyone who reads this story will relate to it, in one way or another.

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent, but not great.
Jim Squires, Horse of a Different Color (Perseus, 2002)

Horse of a Different Color is an autobiographical account of Jim Squires getting into the horse breeding business and, three years after he started, breeding 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. Whether that was a stroke of luck or breeding genius remains to be seen, but following Monarchos through the eyes of his breeder is engaging enough to make a decent book.

Where it falls short is in Squires' writing style. First, note the word "autobiographical" in that first paragraph. Squires insisting on using the third person would have been an amusing trick for a chapter or two, but he persists throughout the novel. It gets old after a few pages. Also, there's something vaguely disquieting about his attitude towards women here; it almost seems too deferential to be real (and thus, a cover for something else). This could certainly be a literary device; the book's subtitle does mention that there are an excess of dominant females within these pages. Still, some of the descriptions in here made me read twice.

When he focuses on the horse, though, everything works just fine. Even the annoyance of the insistent third person narrative fades into the background. Monarchos was one hell of a horse, and Squires' book captures that well enough. Not as well as Hillenbrand captured Seabiscuit or Farley captured Man o' War, but enough for the Derby-and-Breeders' Cup horse fan to relive some good memories.

Recommended, though it won't make the top twenty-five list this year. ***

1-0 out of 5 stars Horse of a different color--LAME
I really enjoyed Seabiscuit, so I figured I'd give Horse of a Different
Color a try. This book focuses on the money and the dumb-luck of the
breeder (and author) of Monarchos, Derby winner from a few years back.
The author uses self-depricating humor and name-dropping en masse to
turn an undoubtedly exciting story into a painful, annoying tale. In a
few paragraphs of unwisdom, author Jim Squires mentioned
Seabiscuit, only compounding my fury at what this book is not.
Instead of interesting characters (although I imagine they were there,
Mr. Squires just didn't let us know them), we got names and
generalities. Instead of heart-pounding tales of horse races, we got
ho-hum descriptions of only two races.

I will admit that there were a few worthwhile pages. I was unaware of
the foreign interest in horse racing nor the internal politics of racing and
breeding, but I would have rather read that in a short magazine article.

Maybe this book is selling to all the hopeful newspaper editors turned
lucky breeder. If that's not you, I'd stay away.

1-0 out of 5 stars terrible
the most significant part of this forgettable book is when the author recounts what was said in a magazine about him: 'as long as there is a village without an idiot, this guy will find a home.' that really says it all, don't waste your time or money on this pitiful book. ... Read more


14. The Majors: In Pursuit of Golf's Holy Grail
list price: $17.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570426848
Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 785628
Average Customer Review: 4.04 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

No one gets inside sports like journalist and author John Feinstein. In THE MAJORS, he returns to his most popular subject - golf - and gets the story behind the story of the top athletes in the field. Following such key players as John Daly, Colin Montgomery, Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, and Tom Lehman as they compete in the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championships, Feinstein offers a close-up look at the dreamers who just want to be a part of it all - to the true contenders who actually have a chance of winning. ... Read more

Reviews (48)

5-0 out of 5 stars A splendid intro to the great tourneys and players
John Feinstein's A Good Walk Spoiled was a double-threat treat that not only provided golf fans a rare glimpse behind both the lives of its stars and the scenes of the Ryder Cup but also coaxed the golf-averse into chancing a closer look at the sport. He succeeded by plumbing the minds of the golfers themselves as his starting point, humanizing a sport that, to the casual observer, consisted of little more than boring androids pursuing gobs of money in a boring game.

In this new book, Feinstein pulls off the same feat using the same technique.

The four annual golf tournaments considered "the majors" are roughly akin to the grand slam of tennis, except that no golfer in history has ever won all of them in a single year. In fact, only four golfers in history have ever won all of them in different years. No matter how many other tournaments a player wins, and no matter how high up on the money list he is or how often he's been there, no touring pro can claim a fulfilled career unless he's won at least one major. And some of the best in the game never have, including Dave Duval and Phil Mickelson.

Each of the majors carry with it unique pressures, challenges and difficulties. The British Open is played under the most horrendous environmental conditions on the tour, including fierce winds, torrential downpours and course surfaces that look as if they were maintained with no piece of equipment more delicate than a bulldozer. The U.S. Open traditionally gives the impression that the course was laid out by a committee of criminally insane golf-haters whose compensation was directly correlated to the size of the scores they could force the leaders to post.

The stories behind the quests of golf's top echelon players to add a major win to their career histories are by turns exhilarating, heartbreaking and maddening, but in Feinstein's capable hands they are endlessly fascinating. The ability to convincingly peel away the stoic game faces that appear on television is the author's unique gift, and you don't have to know or care a thing about golf to fully appreciate it. If you enjoy an insightful peek into the rarefied stratosphere of a field of endeavor with which you're not necessarily familiar, get your hands on this book. Golf fan or not, you won't regret it, and you may even find yourself tuning into a golf tournament or two with a whole new attitude.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read - Feinstein Tells a Great Story
I couldn't put this book down. Feinstein weaves a great story together about the 1997 Majors season. This was Tiger's first US Open defense, and a great year for O'Meara. John Daly was falling apart, and Fred Couples was having his challenges.

I'm guessing that through interviews with the players, as well as their friends and family, Feinstein gets a great deal of background material. The story that he's put together takes the reader through the four Majors in order, and makes each place come to life. I learned a great deal about what it's really like to play at Augusta National. For that matter, I learned a great deal about what it's like to spectate at the Masters.

Admittedly, I have a love for the game of golf. I have played it for over twenty years; since about 7th grade. I play well, I love being on the course and I love watching the majors.

So, buyer/reader beware. I ought to have loved this book. That being said, it's got plenty to offer if you're a golf widow or just like a good read about professional athletes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inside the Ropes at the Majors in 1998
The year was 1998 and the winners were Mark O'Meara (The Masters at Augusta National and The British Open at Royal Birkdale), Lee Janzen (The U.S. Open at the Olympic Club), and Vijay Singh (The P.G.A. Championship at Sahalee Country Club). Although all four Majors are conducted under the collaborative supervision of the U.S.G.A. and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club organizations, each has its own terms and conditions for participation as well as stages of qualification to compete with those who, for various reasons, are automatically eligible. For me, one of this book's most fascinating subjects is the qualifying process to which many are called but few are eventually chosen. Perhaps only the annual process to earn a P.G.A card creates greater tension and frustration for those involved.

To the extent that space allows, Feinstein examines wannabes as well as perennial and promising contenders for each of the championships in 1998. He includes hundreds of vignettes and anecdotes about them, thus giving human significance to the names on the scoreboard. I also appreciate having historical information which creates a context for each Major, three of which have a different course location each year. Only the Masters has a permanent site.

P.G.A. golf competition is unique among professional sports in that players are essentially self-regulated, personally assume all costs of participation (travel, accommodations, caddy, etc.), and earn nothing if they fail to make the 36-hole cut. It is not uncommon for one player to prevent another from inadvertently breaking a rule as Tom Kite once did near the end of the final round when he was in contention. Later, Kite was astonished that anyone was surprised by his initiative which probably denied him victory in that tournament. (The player he assisted won it.) Feinstein skillfully captures the flavor and nuances of what can be ferocious competition but also the fact that it is (with rare exceptions) conducted with dignity, style, and grace as well as with exceptional skill.

For those who love the game of golf and especially for golfers who are eager to know what it is like to compete in the Majors, this is the book to read. It reads more like a novel than an almanac. It reveals "the joy of victory" for some and the "agony of defeat for others" while celebrating certain values which seem to have become less common each day...except on a golf course. For whatever it may be worth, over the years I have played probably 500 rounds of golf on several dozen different golf courses (both public and private) and do not remember a single "ugly" encounter with another player. Having said that, I feel obliged to point out that "golf" is "flog" spelled backwards. On numerous occasions, it really has been for me "a good walk spoiled" but my passion for the game and my respect for those who play it so well remain undiminished.

Beginning in 1960, Theodore H. White wrote several "The Making of the President" accounts. I was reminded of that as I read this book, wishing that Feinstein or another author of comparable talent would write an annual volume in (let's call it) "The Making of Majors' Champions" series. This would enable avid golfers such as I to return in time to memorable moments during past Majors competition. End-of-year DVDs featuring such moments plus commentaries among special features would also be much appreciated. Meanwhile, we have Feinstein's lively as well as informative book which recreates (to the extent a text can) stirring triumphs by O'Meara, Janzen, and Singh as well as dozens of other human subplots associated with those victories eight years ago.

4-0 out of 5 stars A leisurly and delightful tour of the Major championships
John Feinstein reports the stories of the 1998 major golf championships through the lives of several players who were contending for one or more of them that year. The Majors are, of course, The Masters, The US Open, The Open Championship (British Open), and the PGA Championship. Saying that Mark O'Meara won The Masters and the British Open, Lee Janzen the US Open, and Vijay Singh the PGA Championship says almost nothing about the character, history, and the dynamic nature of life and competition on the PGA tour.

Mr. Feinstein helps us get to know some of these players as people. We learn some things about their health, how the got to the PGA tour, how qualifying for the various majors is done (and other tournaments, for that matter). Of course, the author reports actual competitions and how the leaders changed position and finally emerged victorious.

All of this is told in a rather meandering and leisurely style. If you want crisp, concise, and beginning to end reporting this book really isn't for you. However, if love golfing anecdotes and enjoy reading about golfing events, I think you will enjoy this book as much as I did. I learned about players I didn't know and learned more about some that I did know. Certainly, I learned more about these events we call the Majors and my enjoyment of them has been enhanced because I have read this book. Thanks to Mr. Feinstein for that favor.

2-0 out of 5 stars Majors Is Minor Feinstein
Is a book a book because an author says it is? Or is it a book because it is about something?

John Feinstein seems to take the former "I write therefore it is" approach. As a result, I never quite got what "The Majors" was about. My fault? I don't think so. I not only "got" the point of Feinstein's previous golf book, "A Good Walk Spoiled," but enjoyed it. That book belongs on any sports lover's shelf, and is worth any novice's time as well.

"A Good Walk Spoiled" is about the lives and trials of the pro golfer. "The Majors," despite the title, is about much the same thing, not so much the four events that make up the biggest trophies in pro golf but the elite PGA Tour pros who compete for these titles.

Frankly, if you aren't hot for golf, you aren't going to relate to these millionaires and their quest to buck the dread acronym BPNTHWAM (best player never to have won a major) the way you will to the fringe folk and dewsweepers that made up the cast of "A Good Walk Spoiled," for whom making the cut was the difference between survival and doom.

There are some decent profiles here, like that of Mark O'Meara, who won two of the four majors in 1998, the year of Feinstein's narrative. O'Meara seems affable, but I got no sense of hunger from the guy. Brad Faxon offers some revealing insights, but since he didn't contend for any majors, he seemed a waste of time in the ultimate scheme of the book. A lot of golfers Feinstein profiles are like that. Meanwhile, players who did contend in 1998 majors are skimmed over, like PGA Championship winner Vijay Singh, British Open runner-up Brian Watts, and most crucially, Tiger Woods. Feinstein probably couldn't get the same level of access to these guys he could to those he dotes on, but that shouldn't be the reader's problem, should it?

Unlike "A Good Walk Spoiled," the writing feels tired. The humor is forced. He throws in some clunky metaphors. A caddy "studies the wind the way a political pollster studies trends." Tiger Woods' security entourage are "like the guys chasing Butch and Sundance: You could see them coming from miles away." This makes the rote approach to the subject all the more apparent, and enervating.

Feinstein seemed to be trading in on the good will he engendered on the pro circuit with "A Good Walk Spoiled." That's great, if he gives the reader something for his new access. But whereas "Good Walk" was a candid and often blunt description of what went on inside the ropes, "The Majors" seems more an exercise in puffery and back-patting, never more egregious than with Fred Couples, a decent golfer and a good guy who Feinstein blows totally out of proportion in his narrative. Couples doesn't contend except at the Masters, but Feinstein can't let go of him for more than a chapter at a time.

The biggest problem about this book is it isn't about the title subject. He doesn't give equal time to the four majors, doesn't really relate any of the day-to-day drama, and offers little insight as to the courses or the final-day fields. He reports the winners, and some key shots, but that's it. If you want majors excitement, read Herbert Warren Wind or "Massacre At Winged Foot."

"The Majors" won't interest people who don't care much about golf, and though it has some interesting insights that made it more than a one-star read for me, it's not something that knowledgeable golf readers are going to find that illuminating. ... Read more


15. Into Thin Air : A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553478672
Catlog: Book (1997-05-05)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 386104
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Into Thin Air is the definitive, personal account of the deadliest season in the history of Mount Everest--told by acclaimed journalist, and
bestselling author of Into the Wild and Eiger Dreams, Jon Krakauer.On assignment for Outside magazine, Krakauer, an accomplished
climber, went to the Himalayas to report on the growing commercialization of the planet's highest mountain.Even though one climber in four dies attempting
to reach the summit of Everest, business is booming as guides take the rich and the adventurous up the mountain for a fee of $65,000.Krakauer examines what it is about Everest that has compelled so many people--including himself--to throw caution to the wind and willingly subject themselves to so much danger, hardship, and expense.
... Read more

Reviews (1256)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for the Adventurous Reader
Adventure has always intrigued me. Books, movies, and sports all have that critical element of action and suspense that makes for interesting media. Into Thin Air met, and at sometimes exceeded my expectations. Jon Krakauer does an excellent job of portreying the raw emotion of losing his comrades and friends. I really felt as though I was there on the summit, among Scott Fischer, Rob Hall, and Niel Beidleman. The sheer realism of the situations presented to me was expertly crafted. I felt triumph at reaching the summit, sadness at the loss of Doug Hansen, and I felt the true burden of leadership that was quickly and brutally placed on the shoulders of Stuart Hutchinson and Neal Beidleman. I also enjoyed the book becasue it gave some of the history of Everest. I especially enjoyed hearing of Reinhold Messner, an alpine legend. The only problem with devling into history is that Krakauer got a little too engrossed in it and strayed from the story. Learning about where Everest got its name may be interesting to some, but I prefer to stick to the climb itself. Another plus in the book that I enjoyed was Krakauer's interaction with the other climbers and how he showed the way they felt and what was going on. These extra "characters" add lots of depth to the plot and make for a more interesting read. I also was a little frustrated with the way the timeline skips around. This is very apparent in the later chapters of the book, where keeping track of time becomes increasingly difficult. Into Thin Air is a well done book, and nearly got five stars, if only Jon Krakauer stuck to the basics and stayed organized.

4-0 out of 5 stars Criticism on Into Thin Air
Criticism: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

The book that I have read I called Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer. The main character in the story that sets the plot in motion is Jon Krakauer, or Rob Hall, his leader. He writes, in depth, his accounts of his mountain climbing. Next, the villain, who is against Krakauer, could either be the mountains, or Sandy Pittman. One Antagonist is the mountain. They try to challenge Jon to the best of his ability, and make it so that he doesn't succeed. Or, it could be Sandy, because she kind of makes a mockery of climbing, such as bringing an espresso along on her adventures. Some other important characters are the Sherpas, who are very dedicated, Hall, who completed expeditions in harsh conditions, too. Also Rob, who was in his group, Scott Fischer, Andy Harris, Lene Gammelgaard, Tim Madsen, Charlotte Fox, and Nel Beidleman. Scott Fischer was the leader of the Mountain Madness expedition, Andy Harris was a guide on Rob Hall's team, and Doug Hansen, who was a postal worker, and his dream was to climb. There were also some important places, which were Mt. Everest, Dhera Dun, Pakding, Lobuje, and many others One symbol is I think Mt. Everest. It symbolizes the problems we have today. At first, it hits you head on. While you are trying to overcome it, you have more problems, and hardships, that make it difficult for you to succeed. Then, when you reach the top, you are overjoyed and relieved. This is just like any problem that you will encounter in real life. Each character has a conflict with him vs. nature. They climbs, but the mountains do anything they can to stop them. As they get higher, there is less oxygen. Being very fatigued, it is hard to go on, so it takes even longer. It is very cold, too, which makes your body weaker. The weather is very icy and stormy. On top of all this, they have to climb a mass of land that is vertical. There was also a self vs. society, because sometimes on group leader had to make a decision, which would put the other group members life's' on the line. This book is ad, because thirteen people died in one season, just because they wanted to try to climb a steep mountain. When they are climbing, they are low on oxygen, and some get very ill. But, the different groups are kind of like families, since they are putting their life into someone else' hands, and trusting them with it. The reader also becomes part of their family, feeling bad for the different things that happen to the characters. It is tragic, yet adventurous at the same time. Into Thin Air is adventurous, because first he talks about how steep the mountain is, and how hard it is to climb. Next, when they are climbing it, it talks about all the hardships, such as weather, oxygen, and oxygen depletion. This is the climax of the book, since you are very intense to see what happens to the characters. Lastly, the outcome, or denouement, occurs and some are happy, since the character made it, and some are tragic. The book leaves you like there should be more. When he's talking about how he hasn't slept in a long time, under nourished, and very sick. I know I wouldn't have the energy to climb if I hadn't slept in 57 hours, only eaten soup and candy, and separated ribs with a bad cold. However, I also liked that the book left you hanging, because then you could imagine what happened, good or bad. I liked this book a lot, since it had to sides. It was very visual; you could picture the climbers climbing up the mountain. This book makes you want to look into climbing, but then when you read how hard it is, and how easily you can die, you rethink it. I recommend this book to readers of tragedies, and adventure novels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't stop reading it...
This tale is Jon Krakauer's personal account of his attempt to summit Mt. Everest. Rob Hall is the leader, a guide with impeccable credentials who is also a man of caution...yet a daring individual, as anyone would have to be to climb Everest (especially time and time again). Rob leads the team up the mountain, and everything is going fairly well until that fateful day where everything seemingly went wrong. It's almost hard to read this book knowing there's a tragedy coming, but I couldn't put it down to find some heroism also involved in this story...the will to survive is amazing, and it is demonstrated clearly in this book. I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting!!
I loved this book! I read it a few years ago and have recommended it, and given it as a gift, to many people. I also heard Beck Weathers speak at a sales meeting a few years ago, and he recounted his story, much as it is in the book. If you like real life adventure stories, this book is definitely for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars fascinating
An incredible account of the Everest Disaster. Krakauer is an expert at including as many details as possible without being too wordy. This book reads like a novel, and in fact the story is so incredible that at times you have to remind yourself that it is non-fiction. I appreciated the vivid pictures he painted of the important people in this book, a talent for which he is as skilled as the best contemporary fiction writers. Reading the book, you can grow so fond of some of the more likeable characters that you feel a deep sense of sadness when you read about their passing. In a sense, Krakauer has accomplished the difficult task of explaining in laymen's terms the technical aspects of high-altitude mountaineering (which is necessary in a book like this), and somehow also gave the reader a sense of the profound grief of the situation. This is something that is lost among the litany of newspaper articles, less-talented writers, and the controversy of conflicting accounts fails to do.

Oh yes, the controversy. I suppose that it is inevitable that when you're dealing with this magnitude a disaster, with equally-high magnitude of some mountaineers' egos, you're going to get arguments. Unfortunately, Krakauer has been sucked into this and actually has devoted a portion of the book to responding to someone's complaint about his account. Frankly, it reads like an internet message board flamewar, and it detracts from an amazing book. Hopefully, a year from now when I think back about this book, I'll remember not the controversy but rather people like Rob Hall, one of the people who died on the mountain. ... Read more


16. Dale Earnhardt: Remembering the Intimidator
list price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1553586042
Catlog: Book (2001-08-01)
Publisher: DH Audio
Sales Rank: 1457716
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17. Wilt, 1962 : The Night of 100 Points and the Dawn of a New Era
by GARY M. POMERANTZ
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739319744
Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 993764
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hershey Native Reviews Wilt, 1962
I was born and raised in Hershey, Pa., and worked as an usher at the Hershey Arena all through high school. I saw every sporting event in that remarkable little town throughout my life. But I missed that game. I was away at college, Wake Forest University, and missed the greatest night in the history of my hometown.
Obviously, the story of this game, this player (the Warriors trained in Hershey as did the Eagles) and this town is very personal for me.
Gary Pomerantz did an eloquent job of capturing the times, the player, the game and the town. He grasps the sensitivity of the social issues of the time (remember JFK's New Frontier was in full bloom) and the hearts and the minds of the people who lived. He describes with brilliance this innocent period and the bigger than life presence of Wilt Chamberlain, who dominated it and bent it to his will.
This is a book of history, of sport and the civil rights movement and of a man who captured all of our imaginations until the day he left us.

Ernie Accorsi
General Manager
New York Giants

5-0 out of 5 stars Wilts As a Cultural Phenomenon
Wilt Chamberlain was a true athletic phenomenon, as special to his sport as Babe Ruth had been to his 40 years earlier, and author Gary Pomerantz, who started his professional career as a sportswriter, does an excellent job of showing why Chamberlain was so important to the NBA.

But Pomerantz does much more than that. He takes the reader on a tour of Chamberlain's multi-layered life, showing how he rose above, literally and figuratively, the prejudice of the time. When he played at Kansas, restaurants were racially segregated - but not for Wilt. He dated many women, and wasn't particular whether they were black, tan or white. The NBA had informal quotas but with Chamberlain's dominance, the quotas became irrelevant and fell away.

Pomerantz uses the framework of the game itself, an otherwise obscure event between the Philadelphia Warriors in Hershey, Pa. that wasn't even covered by the New York press, to weave in his social messages.

One of the most evocative passages describes Wilt striding through the Harlem nightclub he had a small part of, "Big Wilt's Small Paradise," among the black icons of the time and the white patrons, comfortable in both worlds but somehow apart from both as well.

The book captures beautifully an era when life and basketball were so much different than they are today, and I recommend it highly.

Glenn Dickey
(...) ... Read more


18. No Finish Line: My Life As I See It (Nova Audio Books)
by Marla Runyan, Sally Jenkins, Emily Schirner
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1587887592
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Nova Audio Books
Sales Rank: 1866290
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Blind? I think there's no doubt that Marla Runyan can see things much clearer than most of us with 20/20 vision."(Lance Armstrong)

Marla Runyan was nine years old when she was diagnosed with Stargardt's disease, an irreversible form of macular degeneration.With the uneasy but unwavering support of her parents, she refused to let her diagnosis limit her dreams. Despite her severely impaired, ever-worsening vision, Marla rode horseback and learned to play the violin.And she found her true calling in sports. A gifted and natural athlete, Marla began to compete in the unlikeliest event of all: the heptathlon, the grueling women's equivalent of the decathlon, consisting of seven events: the 200-meter dash, high jump, shot put, 100-meter hurdles, long jump, javelin throw, and 800-meter run. In 1996, she astonished the sports world by qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials and, along the way, set the American record for the heptathlon 800. It was then that she decided to concentrate on her running. Four years of intense effort paid off. In 2000, she qualified for the U.S. Olympic team by finishing third in the 1,500 meters. In Sydney, she placed eighth in the finals, the top American finisher-the highestwomen's placing for the United States in the event's history.

With self-deprecation and surprising wit, Marla reveals what it's like to see the world through her eyes, how it feels to grow up "disabled" in a society where expectations are often based on perceived abilities, and what it means to compete at the world-class level despite the fact that-quite literally, for her-there is no finish line.
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Obstacles and Perspectives
One can never truly understand a piece of literature, much less an autobiography, without actually becoming that person. In this case, one may "understand" that Ms. Runyan had a painful and frustrating past, but since we are not that ones that experienced it, we do not truly understand. Being blind takes away from you just as much as it gives. You take on a completely unique perspective on life; you take nothing for granted, and take great pleasure in the small things that make life worth living. Ms. Runyan, you will win a gold medal in the Olympics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Witty, insightful, humorous inspiration.
I'm not legally blind, but I could really understand it and identify with the struggles she endured in being different throughout most of her life. The writing style is so engaging and easy to read that it feels almost like conversation. Just when you have a question, the answer appears. Marla's dry wit is refreshing and intelligent. There is no pity party here!

Marla has really struggled in life and sport. She continues to learn and perservere as a person and athlete and that is what makes a champion in life and on the track. I can't wait to see her medal in Athens at the next summer olympics. I'm a better person and athlete after reading her story. ... Read more


19. Driver #8
by Dale Earnhardt, Jade Gurss
list price: $24.98
our price: $16.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586212591
Catlog: Book (2002-01-01)
Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 411324
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the growing world of NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., is a new kind of star. His down-home modesty, rock-and-roll lifestyle, and blinding intensity on the racetrack represent the new face of this fast-paced sport. Now Dale Jr. straps you into the #8 car for a wild ride through his rookie year.

In this full-throttle story, Dale Jr. shares a tumultuous year of victory and joy, tragedy and heartbreak. At the age of twenty-five, he embarks on his first Winston Cup season. In a time filled with lofty expectations, when he tries to concentrate on winning, he is thrust into the limelight and forced to endure the crush of the media, huge crowds, endless travel, and faster and more dangerous cars than he has ever driven before. Week after week he goes bumper-to-bumper with his father and more than forty of the world's finest drivers-all the while trying to carve out his own identity and win the respect of his peers.

DRIVER #8 takes you on NASCAR's inside track. You'll see how races are won or lost and the strategies that go into every lap and every race. You'll get a compelling look at the bond necessary between a driver and his team and understand how, come race day, the spotter is often the driver's best friend. And you'll learn how that bond can be stretched when the season begins to turn sour and the weight of racing against a man who is not only your father but also your boss, your toughest competitor, and a NASCAR legend takes its toll on a young driver.

Powered by a high-octane mix of bravado, humility, and a lot of beer, Dale Jr. captures the unique pressures of making split-second, life-and-death decisions behind the wheel of a racecar...and highlights the perks-and often the drudgery-that go along with being a rising star in the world's most colorful and exciting sport. Thrilling, vivid, and authentic, DRIVER #8 is one helluva ride. ... Read more

Reviews (76)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fabulous book
This book is one of the best I have ever read. It is definitely a must read for any NASCAR fan, especially one that is a fan of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. This book is extremely captivating, and I completed it in two days. There is not a bad spot in the book, although he does tend to focus on Bud Girls...there are hilarious moments in this novel, one of them being the 2000 Winston and it's tale about a man dressed as a giant Oreo. Although it was penned by Jade Gurss, you can tell that the stories are entirely Dale Jr.'s, and his personality comes shining through. You feel closer to him somehow after the completion of this book. Dale manages to use colorful language to his advantage; it's an easy read, but definitely makes you think. The photo inserts in the middle are a great addition, as is the epilogue covering the events of 2001 and how he coped with his father's death. He is very candid about everything, and it's refreshing. Overall: it's just a great, great book and can definitely be reread numerous times.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fresh & Honest Prospective on NASCAR
This is a wonderful read for all NASCAR fans even if you are not a Dale Jr. fan. I was glad to find that Dale Jr. divulged emotions regarding the death of Dale Sr. appropriately and respectfully while conserving the privacy that he and all NASCAR drivers fight daily to preserve. As a twentysomething NASCAR fan I naturally related to his new millenium attitude and approach to the industry, his career, and often complicated issues such as media infringement, sponsor committments and unstable fans. Additionally, this book provides the reader with fantastic play by play descriptions of the races along the NASCAR circuit of his Rookie season with driver oriented explanations of various technical issues of the cars and tracks.
Overall, I rated this book 5 stars for its easy readability and attention keeping entertainment factor. By the end of this book you'll be ready to invite this guy over for a cold Bud!

5-0 out of 5 stars I laughed, I cryed and I was pleasently surprised
This book was one of the most entertaining books I have ever read. I laughed and cryed and could not put it down. Dale Jr. has a nack for writting and seems to really speak from his heart. I hope he will continue to give us more to read on his exciting journey through the NASCAR spotlight. This book is a must read for any NASCAR fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it!!
I actually bought this book as a gift for a friend. I opened it up to read the front cover, and could not put the book down!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dale JR.'s First Season
The Book "Driver#8" is a must read for all Dale JR. fans. You really get to know how he acts and what he does. "Driver#8" tells you all about his first season. How his first season had ups and downs and wins and loses. And the tradgety that happen in 2001 at Daytona is in the Epilogue. This book uses some very strong language. Its a must read for all fans! ... Read more


20. Touching My Father's Soul : A Sherpa's Journey to the Top of Everest
by Jamling T. Norgay
list price: $25.95
our price: $25.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0694525375
Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 410345
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

As Climbing Leader of the famed 1996 IMAX Everest Filming expedition, Jamling Tenzing Norgay was able to follow in the footsteps of his legendary father, Tenzing Norgay, who with Sir Edmund Hillary was the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. Touching My fiather's Soul chronicles Jamling's profound adventure, which entwines the lives of a family, a mountain, and the Sherpa people.

Interweaving the dramatic story of his own ascent during the infamous 1996 Mount Everest disaster with little-known stories from his father's historic climb and an insider's view of the Sherpa's world, Jamling offers the first complete account of the Everest experience. Yet, this is also a story of personal discovery. For when he reaches the top of the mountain, we witness more than one man's triumph--we witness a son finding his family's honor--and touching his father's soul.

Read by Norbu Tenzing ... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
This newly published book is a marvelous feat as told by the son of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, the Sherpa who accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary on the first ascent of Mt. Everest. By weaving together the story of his own effort with a number of little-known stories from his father's Everest ascent, this book brings the spirituality of the Himalayas to the forefront. While the world celebrated Hillary and Tenzing for their achievement, Jamling was inexorably drawn to attempt Everest in his own time. According to the book, both men reached their goals through remarkably similar experiences which shows, as probably few other people can, that climbing Everest is still a personal journey that is remarkably unchanged over the last 40 years even though both the culture and equipment have changed considerably. Although there is not much that is new in this book about the well-documented troubles on Everest (see Krakauer's Into Thin Air) in 1996, this book does break new ground by telling the story from the perspective of the native Sherpas.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Everest '96 Books
Perspective - that's the real key this book gives one with respect to the disaster of Everest '96. Many books have been written, from the bigger than life action thriller angle of "Into Thin Air", the defensive shield of "The Climb", the horrific cringe of "Left for Dead" on through the somewhat egotistical air of Lene Gammellgard's book. But to me, "Touching My Father's Soul" is the best of the lot.

This book is not fast moving, nor impressively dramatic but it is exceedingly real. Having been born a Sherpa, raised in India and schooled in America, Jamling brings us a unique perspective on the events. I've read countless books written by westerners that attempt to describe the culture of the Sherpa, but none compare with this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Three books in one
Excellent book! The way I view it, it's 3 books in 1: a book about Tenzing's climb and personal life told by his
son, a book about his son's 1996 climb and his life and thoughts, and a book on Sherpa's life and Buddhist
customs. I really enjoyed reading it. The photographs include some photos of Tenzing as well.

3-0 out of 5 stars Touching My Father's Soul
Nor what I expected and rather a disappointment, this books seems to be a local writer and a son cashing in on the family name. There is little excitement or depth of character exhibited here and the work seems unlikely to be that of a man Himalayan born and bred. Who actually wrote these words ? Whose thoughts are they ? Not Sherpa thoughts I think.
Far better is another book I have just read - Tenzing and the Sherpas of Everest by Tenzing's grandson, Tashi - an uplifting and honourable book about the Sherpas. It is simple and seems to me to truly represent the Sherpa viewpoint. This guy seems to be a true climber and talks like one. A far better book than Jamling's.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Sherpa Man Finds his Spiritual and Family Roots
This book was absorbing emotionally and stimulating intellectually. It is the only book about the 1996 Mount Everest disaster written by a Sherpa, the indigenous people who work as porters and guides for commercial expeditions. I have read about five of the books written after the disaster, and wondered about the Sherpa point of view as there was surprisingly little mention of them.

The other books only mentioned them in passing and in terms of what the Sherpas did for the expedition. Jamling Tenzig Norgay, the author, experiences this attitude. After the disaster, he and his team stay at Base Camp. He wrote, "The other Sherpas were hanging out in a depressed funk. Some of them hadn't gotten so much as a thank-you from the guided clients whom they assisted down the mountain, often after exceptional struggle. The clients simply disappeared, some without saying goodbye. We notice this kind of behavior."

Norgay was skeptical about Buddhism at the beginning of the climb- but gradually came to believe in it. He requests and receives divinations from llamas- and uses their information as part of his decision-making. The book provides fascinating beginner's information that is accessible to someone like me who is just learning about Buddhism. He describes spirituality in a practical matter.

For example, he says, "in the icefall, as in the mountains, we hope we have been imbued with enough tsin-lap to handle any situation. Tsin-lap is roughly translated as "blessing", but it really means the mental ability and strength to allow our minds to be changed in the direction of complete awareness. When we pray to the wisdom deities, to the Buddhas, we pray for tsin-lap." He talks about the fact that he and the other Sherpas who carry loads for the team hike over each trail numerous times. This improves their athletic ability and knowledge of the mountain.

Norgay, spent over a decade in the United States and was also deeply familiar the clients who were paying to climb the mountains who were mostly from industrialized countries. The author does not idealize the Sherpas. He describes the positive parts of their culture, but also tells the reader that the main reason they are on the mountain is as a profession. It is to earn money. He explains that many of the Sherpas risked their lives for their clients during the disaster. But some expected a large award to be posted on the radio. It is not clear whether they might have saved the lives of their guide had an award been offered. Wong Chu, the sirdar responsible for logistics, kept a stick in the kitchen and "would whack miscreant Sherpas on the butt when they acted up. 'You came here to do work.' he would say loudly."

Norgay is the son of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa who accompanied Edmund Hillary on the first successful attempt of the summit of Mount Everest. His story is interwoven with his father's story. And by the end of the book, you can see that the son had climbed two mountains- a real one and the metaphorical on that each of us must climb to integrate our past with our present and future. ... Read more


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