The Merry-Go-Round© by Bob Shallenberger

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Sun-bleached dreads striped by home­spun bands, tou­sled and mud­dled from the resilient north plains wind. Long beards tat­tered, pep­pered white and gray. Tat­tooed skin, red from the Dako­ta sun. Bifo­cals plas­tic, thick and brown. Tee shirts fad­ed mauve and sage. Shoes pale, old and tat­tered. Sweat­pants frayed from count­less miles and myr­i­ad hours train­ing, cir­cling the oblong track. Radios pinned …

Calico Joe” by John Grisham

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This is the first nov­el I can recall reading…in a long, long time. I guess “A Catch­er In The Rye” is a nov­el, but def­i­nite­ly not a mod­­ern-day nov­el. Grant­ed, this book, which is about a pair of fic­tion­al Major League Base­ball play­ers and their inter­twined careers, con­tains numer­ous fac­tu­al depic­tions of the ear­ly 1970 MLB play­ers and over­all his­to­ry. …

No Childhood” by Edith Rogers

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This is a very inter­est­ing book writ­ten by a Holo­caust sur­vivor about her expe­ri­ences as a young girl dur­ing the Nazi reign in Ger­many. The sto­ries are very basic — could have been trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish — with some poet­ry. What’s most unique is the per­spec­tive from a young girl whose moth­er and broth­er were tak­en away and …

All Things Possible” by Kurt Warner

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Pret­ty much about the 1999 Super Bowl season…nothing too new here…I think he wrote it in May of that year. The book has been repack­aged Ari­zona Car­di­nal Red. The only thing that has changed is that page 267 which orig­i­nal­ly con­tained Kurt’s stats from that mag­i­cal sea­son are missing…go fig­ure. GOOD BOOK

The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger

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I first read this clas­sic in the 6th grade after learn­ing about it in the “Prep­py Hand­book” in the ear­ly 80’s. I appre­ci­at­ed it much more this go around and gained inspi­ra­tion of style for my cur­rent work in progress. Although I still can’t under­stand why it’s a cult clas­sic, it’s a great book — and a short read — …

Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

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This might be the most inter­est­ing and insight­ful book I have ever read. By def­i­n­i­tion an “out­lier” is a phe­nom­e­non that lies out­side of nor­mal expe­ri­ence. This book focus­es on the sto­ry of peo­ple whose lives and expe­ri­ences are phe­nom­e­nal in that regard. It explains the careers of real­ly suc­cess­ful peo­ple like Bill Gates and dis­cuss­es what specif­i­cal­ly lead to …

Ciento” by Lorena Dee Cervantes

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We live in a world devoid of com­plete sen­tences, phras­es or speech. Our world has been over­run by Face­book and Twit­ter and the con­stant 100-word pro­file updates. This book con­tains 100 poems each com­prised of 100 words or less. One would expect the poet­ry to be con­trived and weak. Instead, it is real­ly out­stand­ing. For the Pri­o­ry guys out there …

The Extra 2%” by Jonah Keri

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Some call this the next “Mon­ey­ball”. I’d say it is more like an orga­ni­za­tion­al approach to Mon­ey­ball. It’s about the trans­for­ma­tion of the peren­ni­al last-place Tam­pa Bay Dev­il Rays to one of the top orga­ni­za­tions in base­ball, the Tam­pa Bay Rays. The Rays did the unthink­able by hir­ing non-base­ball minds from Wall Street to trans­form the orga­ni­za­tion. They rev­o­lu­tion­ized how …

Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugand

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This his­tor­i­cal­ly accu­rate account of the final two weeks of the life of Abra­ham Lin­coln is com­pelling and riv­et­ing. It cov­ers the last week of the Civ­il war through Lincoln’s assas­si­na­tion and the cap­ture of John Wilkes Booth and his con­spir­a­tors. I read this book in 24 hours and just two sit­tings. My mom out­did her­self on this one that’s …

Animal Farm” by George Orwell

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This book is a clas­sic which was assigned while I was at Pri­o­ry about 30 years ago that either I nev­er thor­ough­ly read or have sim­ply for­got­ten. I saw it lay­ing in the hall­way of my unit in the book pile and fig­ured “no bet­ter time than the present” to (re-)read it. I am glad I did. Orwell was a …