“The cheap drama artists of my profession are…specialists at nosing out failure: hinting a fighter’s legs as suspect once he’s over thirty and finally in his prime; reporting a hitter’s wrists are stiff just when he’s learned to go the opposite way and can help the team by advancing runners. They see only the germs of defeat in victory, venality in all human endeavor. Sportswriters are sometimes damned bad men, and create a life of lies and false tragedies.”
- The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
Grantland Rice is perhaps the most famous sportswriter in history. He wrote in the first half of the 20th Century, and he most famously coined the name of Notre Dame’s “Four Horsemen” in 1924.
In fact, he likely penned the most famous lede in sportswriting history. Read more
Apparently, it’s a bad idea to read 1984 in Thailand.
If you’re heading to Bangkok, leave your George Orwell at home.
An in-flight magazine for the Philippines Airlines recently published its 5 tips for traveling to Thailand. The article says, “Despite being under military control, Thailand is very safe for tourists. If you want to blend in, try these for good measure.”
In addition to offering advice about passports and selfies with soldiers, the magazine says, “Don’t carry George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984. You don’t want to be mistaken for an ‘anti-coup protestor.” Read more
Whether or not you’re a Christian or read the Bible, I think you’ll find this infographic pretty interesting.
The Bible, by far, is the “best-selling” book of all time. In sheer numbers, just look at how it compares in terms of copies sold.
Also, of note, the infographic shows the books with the largest word count. Mission Earth by scientologist wack job L. Ron Hubbard has more than 1.2 million words. I wonder how many of those words Tom Cruise has read?
Second is a novel I’ve never heard of called Sironia, Texas by Madison Cooper. It weighs in at 1.1 million words. The King James Version of the Bible has a little over 788,000 words, which ranks fifth.
Interesting stuff here. Anything surprise you? Read more
These posts are just the gift that keeps on giving. Despite Google restrictions that have slowed down the amount of search terms WordPress blogs receive, these whacked out terms just keep on coming.
This is my 21st search terms post (see them all here), including two greatest hits editions! The internet is awesome.
Quick reminder that these search terms are real. They do find my blog. And they are completely unedited. If you’ve ever doubted their validity, I’ve included a screenshot for your viewing pleasure. This is just an example of one of the weird terms in a long list of hundreds of less entertaining ones. Read more
The Sportswriter has that gritty, realistic feel of an Updike novel.
To this point, it’s not near as dark as Rabbit Run, but the overall “feel” is the same.
Frank Bascombe is a failed novelist-turned successful sportswriter, divorced with 3 kids, one of whom recently passed. His background is sad, but he’s by no means given up on life. More than anything, he seems to be floating through life—simply responding to what comes his way.
The novel just has such an intuitive grasp of the human condition—on the slightly cynical side of things. I love how Frank describes selflessness and friendship in this passage, which follows a meeting with an acquaintance, Walter, who awkwardly reveals he’s gay. Read more
When I heard Robin Williams died the other day, I probably responded the same way as a lot of people. Shock. Surprise. Sadness.
Hardly a day goes by anymore without catching word of some celebrity somewhere who passed away, but this one is different. It’s Robin Williams.
Who doesn’t like Robin Williams?
From all accounts, he was one of the most well-liked actors in Hollywood, just an all-around good guy. The characters he played in Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting are some of my all-time favorites.
So I was reading a little more about Williams yesterday when I came across something he said during a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) last year. It’s applicable to this blog, so I thought I’d share. Read more
Oh, you thought I was done?
Well, I’m almost finished talking about The Lord of the Rings…after today.
I reviewed the book last week and have moved on to The Sportswriter. But before I officially kick off blog posts about The Sportswriter tomorrow, I thought I’d take a look back at all the posts about The Lord of the Rings.
So here’s a quick rundown if you missed anything: Read more
Last week, I told you about a bookish pet peeve that I’m completely guilty of—that being buying books that I never read. Many of you share that same trait—though some of us disagree on whether it’s a bad or good.
Let’s play off that thought today and hopefully generate a little discussion in the comments.
What’s your forever “to be read” book? It’s the book that’s always on your to-be-read list, always the one you’ll be reading next, yet somehow gets the cold shoulder when that “next book” comes around. Read more