Monday, December 31, 2018

Review of "The Home Run Kings: Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron," by Clare and Frank Gault

Review of
The Home Run Kings: Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron, by Clare and Frank Gault

Four out of five stars
 This book of two short biographies of Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron is a good fundamental book written for the young adult. However, there is one glaring shortcoming and that appears on pages 42 and 43. It is a rendition of the (in)famous incident where Babe Ruth “called his shot.” The rendition here is that it actually happened rather than simply being a coincidence of the  ball landing where he was pointing.
 Ruth and Aaron were both extremely talented and consistent players that played the game well for a long time. Even though their records have now been eclipsed, their accomplishments remain the fodder for legends and are captured here. Ruth was flamboyant while Aaron was reserved, yet they shared greatness at the sport where they both excelled.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Review of "The Salesman"

Review of
The Salesman

Four out of five stars
 This book contains a series of photos with short captions stating what the main character is hearing when he presents that specific facial expression. The character is played by actor David Oliver and the premise is that he is in the last row of the ballroom, so it is unlikely that anyone will be able to see and respond to his reaction. A movie was made with the same name as this book and it was designed to be a humorous interlude to be played at sales conventions. The images here were taken from that movie.
 Anyone that has suffered through lengthy pitches made by an executive will relate to the captions in this book. There appears to be a book somewhere containing platitudes to be said to the sales flock in an attempt to rally the troops to greater performances in the future. For example:
“The only way to hit our sales target is to aim our sales gun.”
“This problem cannot be solved by the glib reverberations of glittering generalities or by the soothing syrup of sugar-coated platitudes.”
Sound familiar to all readers that have attended an all-hands-on-deck rally the troops meeting?

Review of "Frank Gifford’s NFL-AFL Football Guide 1968," by Frank Gifford

Review of
Frank Gifford’s NFL-AFL Football Guide 1968, by Frank Gifford

Four out of five stars
 Written in anticipation of the 1968 pro football season, this book is obviously dated. Yet, it is a look at a season where the outcome fundamentally changed the football perspective. For the AFL champion New York Jets emphatically defeated the favored Baltimore Colts, cementing the upstart AFL as an equal to the more established NFL.
 The book opens with a brief explanation of all offensive and defensive positions, with the exceptions of the kickers. The roles of each of the positions as well as specific modifications that may take place depending on the circumstances.
 The next section contains a brief description of each team, the best players as well as those that are simply ordinary or can be exploited. Along with specific strengths, Gifford’s predictions regarding their chances for success are included.
 Given his years as a football announcer, it is easy to forget that Gifford was a star player for the New York Giants, for some time he held team records for offensive performance in running and receiving. In this book, Gifford relies on the knowledge he acquired as an all-star performer to provide a basic explanation of the pro game of football as well as his perspective on the upcoming 1968 season. He did say that if the Jets stayed healthy, they could go all the way.