Book Nook: 12 Practices of a Real Champion

My wife Sarah and I actually read a fair amount of the same books. We have largely different personalities, but largely overlapping interests. Hey, we make it work. A few months ago, she attended a work-related training with a guest speaker, Steve Thomas. He gave out little books to the attendees. My interest was piqued when she said he was an assistant coach for Sacred Heart Griffin football. Any old sports reporter in my parts is automatically going to know the connotations of success that go with that distinction. Five state titles and four runner-up finishes since 1995 alone. So, … Continue reading Book Nook: 12 Practices of a Real Champion

Poem: Comfortless

By Edgar A. Guest As found in Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book I found him underneath a tree“And what is wrong,” quoth I,“That you so solemn seem to beUnder this summer sky?” “The birds above you gayly sing,The wildflowers brightly bloom,What is this awful, horrid thingWhich seeks to seal your doom?” Round the children romp and play,The gentle breezes blow,Sad stranger, tell to me I prayThe burden of your woe. “I do not see the sunbeams dance,Nor hear the birds,” said he.“There’s something faulty with my stance,I can’t get off the tee.” “All day I’ve shanked my mashie shot,My putts … Continue reading Poem: Comfortless

Book Nook: Legacy of Ashes, The History of the CIA

I’ve been plugging along with my reading, but it has been a while since I wrote up a quick review of anything I have read. I wanted to do that for this book, because it has been one of the more interesting reads of the year for me, even if it is about 13 years after it came out. Legacy of Ashes was written by Tim Weiner, a veteran reporter for the New York Times. It was published in 2008 and covers the history of the agency, from formation in post WWII through the second Bush administration. This is one … Continue reading Book Nook: Legacy of Ashes, The History of the CIA

Book Nook: Agent 355

Written by Marie Benedict and released last summer, Agent 355 is a revolutionary war era tale that is essentially a What if Pride and Prejudice was a spycraft story, in short story form. An Audible original, narrated by Emily Ranking, Agent 355 follows the story of Elizabeth Morris, an angsty teen with the misfortune of being born to British loyalist. This does not sit well with her and she does something about it. And that something is taking advantage of the fact men of that era did not take women’s intellect seriously and exploit that fact to become a spy. … Continue reading Book Nook: Agent 355

A New Star Delivers A New Entry In the Poetry Pantheon On Inauguration Day

Just last week, I went back and re-read Maya Angelou’s And Still I Rise. I can’t remember why. It was referenced in something I was reading or watching or listening to, I just can’t remember what at this point. I even included it in my 2021 reading log. It’s always good to go back and read the great works as a reminder that some things transcend time or events. And as of today, we have a new entry in this pantheon, and I almost missed it. I watched President Joe Biden’s speech, but a good chunk of the day, the … Continue reading A New Star Delivers A New Entry In the Poetry Pantheon On Inauguration Day

Book Nook: The Friends of Eddie Coyle

Want an idea of how many unread books I have in my house, look no further than The Friends of Eddie Coyle. I bought this book when the last season of Justified aired. I just now got around to reading it? Why do I remember it as the last year Justified aired? Well, because it was featured in the final episode of the show, an homage to the series’ title character creator, Elmore Leonard. Raylan tosses his dog-eared copy of it to a coworker on the way out the door. It was a subtle touch, but a meaningful one for … Continue reading Book Nook: The Friends of Eddie Coyle

Book Nook: The Devil All The Time

I often say “If I don’t know a guy, I know a guy who knows a guy.” Well, when it comes to gothic rural noir and most things disparate and desperate, my guy is Jeff Reno. Reno use to send me books to read, knowing my own deranged taste waded in similar waters to him. So, when he mentioned The Devil All The Time recently, I was surprised it was not already in a stack on my shelf. With a Netflix film set to come out in a few weeks, I decided it was time to crank through this one, … Continue reading Book Nook: The Devil All The Time