Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Boys In The Boat by Daniel James Brown

Life wins again, Dear Bloggites. :-/  I finished this book in October when it was the actual Books & Broads Book Club monthly choice, but am just now able to write this review.  The October Book Club book choice was The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown.

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James BrownI must admit, I was leery about reading this one because it was yet another book set in WWII and has Hitler as a feature due to the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  Fortunately, I rallied on and found that I loved this book!  My goodness, I was so surprised at what I read in this book because most of the Book Club members did not like this book and a few did not read it (yet).  I did go into this book thinking of it as a story about relationships through hard times thanks to the lovely Alice who enjoyed this book (I believe it was Alice, if not, please do not flog me friends).

Going into the story with the focus on relationships, I had the proper eyes to read this book and see all the amazing things about this story.  Daniel James Brown shared this amazing non-fiction story told from the eyes of one of the key members of the rowing team that fought their way to the Olympics against all odds.  While the author does go into a lot of technical elements of rowing and how the boats are built, I enjoyed reading the information because I am always loving to learn new things about the world around me.

The story focuses on nine young American college boys who joined the college rowing team.  All the boys are from many different walks of life and on different journeys in their lives, but managed to form a bond so tight that it dissolved the differences between them and forged the similarities that affected them throughout their lives.  These young men worked hard to obtain the right to go represent America in the 1936 Berlin Olympics and once there, won the gold medal against Hitler’s massive rowing team.

Throughout the novel, you are taken on an emotional journey of love, fear, joy, hate, and insurmountable dedication to achieve the dreams of these young men – a better life and a gold medal from the Olympics.  The relationships that the author highlighted throughout the novel between the boys and their family and friends, gave an intimate insight into life in the 1930s and how Americans lived during the depression and WWII.

The only fault I found in this book was that there were times that the technical repetition of how to row a boat throughout the book became a little daunting, but I believe it served a purpose to get the reader in the minds of the boys while rowing the boat as a team.  Overall, I loved this book and recommend it to those who love a real life, feel good story.

I give The Boys In The Boat by Daniel James Brown 4 out of 5 Bookmarks! 🙂  Happy Reading, Dear Bloggites!  Smooches!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in This & That

15 Minutes of Fame-Revisited

Above is a picture I took a few years ago.  It received some national coverage due to an incident that had happened at the beginning of the Baseball Season that year.  My friend, John, Tweeted the picture with a little blub to a few known sports writers as well as blogged about it on his blog site, Goin’ To The John.  I enjoyed my 15-minutes of fame and would like to share that memory with you, Dear Bloggites.  Never give up your dreams, your 15-minutes can happen at any moment, too…

Two years ago today, I had my 15 minutes of fame, my viral moment, in this social media driven world. We are probably all destined for one, at least according to Andy Warhol, and he made that claim before Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube existed – let alone the concept of the internet. Or the “information […]

via Cut Flowers — Goin’ To The John

Posted in Sports

Baseball: Good ‘Ol Sport

I love baseball.  Always have, always will.  My favorite team is the Texas Rangers.  I have celebrated the good times and the not so good times and just love them more and more each day.

As I was watching an awesome game the Rangers were playing the other day, the MLB’s Commissioner came on with the announcers and did a little interview with them.  I don’t know much about the Commissioner, Rob Manfred, but I liked what I heard from him on that day.

The Commissioner was talking about how he does listen to the team players and managers and truly desires to work with them because in the end they are all there because they love the game of baseball.  This statement made me pause and realize that I agree with him.

Out of all the different sports out there, baseball is the one that shows all the players, whether team mates or team competitors, playing

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 13: Nelson Cruz #17 of the Texas Rangers celebrates with teammates Michael Young #10 and Adrian Beltre #29 after hitting a grand slam home run against pitcher Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels on May 13, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX – MAY 13: Nelson Cruz #17 of the Texas Rangers celebrates with teammates Michael Young #10 and Adrian Beltre #29 after hitting a grand slam home run against pitcher Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels on May 13, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

around with each other and have just a good ‘ol time while playing against each other.  Now, I am spoiled rotten because my team, the Texas Rangers, have the amazing Adrian Beltre on it, who I believe does not see a single person he plays against as an enemy.

Belts is always teasing and joking with his team mates as well as the opposing team members and it just reminds me that baseball is just a group of great guys who get together and play the one game they all love.  It is nice to see when watching a sport.

So many times players in other sports view the opposing team as their enemy and treat them as such with rude comments, actions, etc.  It is nice to watch the sport I love being celebrated by the players and fans of the game.  Just makes my love for baseball that much more.

I want to Thank all the players, managers, owners, commissioner, and any other people involved in the wonderful game of Baseball for making my watching experience amazing!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Sports

One Great City (with Jonah Keri)

Good Times

~4-Ever, P

Goin' To The John

Up above us all
Leaning into sky
A golden business boy
Will watch the north end die
And sing “I love this town”
Then let his arching wrecking ball proclaim
I hate Winnipeg
– The Weakerthans, “One Great City”

Ok, this entry is not about Winnipeg.  But it is partially about Montreal, and a little bit about Dallas.  It is about cities, and about people, and about sports – and especially how the latter ties the three together in a knot that only a schizoid puppy knows how to untangle.

Imagine for a moment that your favorite team – your hometown team – moved.  As in packed their bags and went elsewhere, establishing a new team name in a new city, thus eschewing all history previously accumulated.  There are examples of this in many of the professional sports leagues of North America, but for the purpose of this entry, and…

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Posted in Sports

We’re Not All That Bad

Amazing sentiment full of truth…this IS a baseball town…with a heart…enjoy!

~4-Ever, P

Goin' To The John

March 31, 2014: Opening Day at Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX.  Fans, excited about the off-season additions of Prince Fielder and Shin Soo-Choo, flocked to the ballpark that those of us in the the know affectionately call The Temple.  And, wow, did they get there early.

It was a 1:05pm (CST) first pitch, but the tailgating was going on long before then – 9am or earlier.

As the masses made their way to the home plate entrance, it appears as if there was a shortage of trash cans for fans to dispose of their cans or bottles before entering the stadium.  So, instead of tossing them to the ground, they took what they probably thought was the safest option: placing the (presumable) empties on a monolith.

Unfortunately, this monolith was erected to honor the Brownwood firefighter Shannon Stone who lost his life in 2011 at the Temple trying to…

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