Author Archive

Throwback Thursday: Honor Society 11/15/09

Headliner: Honor Society
Opener(s): Esmee Denters
Venue: Paradise Rock Club
Cost: $20


Book Review: So You Think You’re a New York Mets Fan?

Reading So You Think You’re a New York Mets fan was bittersweet. I always used to challenge my Dad to whatever Mets trivia I could find, and 9 times out of 10 he would get it right on the first guess. So reading this book now that he passed away, it made me wonder how many of these questions he would have known! (And how bad he would tease me for how little I knew!)

I liked this book because it was a trivia book at its core – but it also was educational.  Rather than just saying “Which Met did this?” and then “The answer is David Wright” it went into details about the history of things and each answer was a few pages of an explanation so if you didn’t know the answer now not only do you know the answer but you know enough back story to be able to impress your friends and hopefully remember the answer the next time it might come up.

I was also pleased that one of the questions about who had hit multiple home runs in a World Series game I knew the answer to – because I was at the game!  Definitely a must read if you are a Mets fan or a great book to get if you are friends with a Mets fan and want to try and stump them 🙂

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

So You Think You’re a New York Mets Fan? tests and expands your knowledge of Mets baseball. Rather than merely posing questions and providing answers, this book will give you the details behind each—stories that bring to life players and coaches, games and seasons.

This book is divided into multiple parts, with progressively more difficult questions in each new section. Along the way, you’ll learn more about the great Mets players and managers of the past and present, from Tom Seaver to Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez, Lee Mazzilli, Davey Johnson, Dave Kingman, Gil Hodges, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, John Stearns, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Piazza, Edgardo Alfonzo, Matt Harvey, David Wright, and so many more. The many questions that this book answers include:

• Who was drafted number one overall by the Mets in 1984?
• Who was on deck when Mookie Wilson hit his famous ground ball to Bill Buckner?
• There are two men enshrined in Cooperstown wearing Mets caps on their plaques, but there are 12 other Hall of Famers who played for the Mets at one point in their career. Name them.
• What do the Mets’ World Series MVPs from 1969 and 1986 have in common?
• The two pitchers who were on the mound in 1969 and 1986 when the final out of each World Series was made were actually traded for each other. Name them.

This book makes the perfect gift for any fan of the Amazin’s!

Virtual Race: Dementor’s Kiss

Race Title: Dementor’s Kiss
Distance:  5k
Company:  Hogwarts Running Club
Charity: 65 Roses

Book Review: Jack White: How He Built an Empire from the Blues

Jack White: How He Built an Empire from the Blues as a title pretty much explains what the book is about.  Jack White – one half of the white stripes (who were an ex-married couple and not siblings) got his start in Detroit.  Although he probably would have fit in more as a black man in the 1980s he has created an empire. The book is a timeline of his journey through music – and Jack is a bit mysterious so it was nice to see a little bit more from behind the curtain so to speak and learn more about him.  The book is based on interviews from band mates and friends and has a lot of interesting information in it.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Jack White, the “coolest, weirdest, savviest rock star of our time” (The New York Times Magazine) is one of music’s most enigmatic and mysterious figures.

Together with Meg White, the The White Stripes’ guitar virtuosity and shrieking vocals ousted all competition and ignited the blues-rock revival of the early millennium. White went on to collaborate with Loretta Lynn, Alicia Keys, Bob Dylan and more, founded The RaconteursThe Dead Weather and a critically acclaimed solo career whilst also rejuvenating Detroit’s arts scene through his innovative record label, Third Man Records.

Based on interviews from people close to White, including former band mates and Third Man artists, such as Neil Young and Seasick Steve, no other book goes as deep into the lore of Jack White and the mythical White Stripes.

Scrapbook Saturday: Disney Part 7

The last of the Disney pages!! I will miss being able to appropriately use orange on all of the pages but I have a feeling there will be more orange pages in my not so distant future 🙂

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Book Review: Odd Birds

Odd Birds is by Ian Harding who you may know as Ezra from Pretty Little Liars.  What you may not know is that he is into bird watching.  Since his character on the show wrote a book, Ian decided that he should be able to write a book as well.  The book talks a lot about his adventures in bird watching and relates some of the lessons he has learned while doing it to his life as well.  He also talks about how he auditioned for Pretty Little Liars, call backs and how he feels now that it is ending after seven seasons.

I have no interest in birds at all, but that didn’t take away from the fact that I really enjoyed this book. Although I would have preferred it talked more about his acting career I think he found a really nice balance of funny anecdotal stories, bird stories and other stories about his life.

I received a free e-copy in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A 7-time Teen Choice Award Winner on Freeform’s most-watched series, Pretty Little Liars … A social media influencer with over 7 million followers … An avid birdwatcher? Yes, you read that correctly. Ian Harding is all of these things, and so much more. In this memoir, explore the unexpected world of a young celebrity through the lens of his favorite pastime — birding.

Odd Birds is more than just a Hollywood memoir or tell-all. At its heart, this book is a coming-of-age story in which Ian wrestles with an ever evolving question— how can he still be himself, while also being a celebrity. Each humorous and heartfelt story features a particular bird—sometimes literal, at other times figurative. Using this framework, Ian explores a variety of topics, including growing up, life as a television actor and nature lover, and whether it is better to shave or wax one’s chest for an on-screen love scene.

A funny and heartwarming window into Ian’s life, Odd Birds is a must-read for fans of nature writing and memoir alike.

Throwback Thursday: Honor Society 11/12/09

Headliner: Honor Society
Opener(s): Esmee Denters
Venue: Irving Plaza
Cost: $25.50


Book Review: Attitude

There are very few college basketball coaches that I can name – but Jay Wright is definitely one of them.  I don’t watch too much college basketball, but whenever Villanova was on the TV I’d stop and check out the game.  This book has a foreward written by Charles Barkley and is all about Jay Wright’s path to becoming a coach and building a winning season.  Throughout the book there are “beyond basketball” notes with lessons that can be used in any part of life.  You really don’t need to be a basketball fan to enjoy this book, it’s a great read and a lot of really great information – even though Jay says he’s not an authority on leadership.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review,  I was not otherwise compensated.


About the Book

In this behind-the-scenes look at the making of a champion, the coach of the Villanova University men’s basketball team shares his competitive and cooperative philosophy, along with lessons from his coaching career and the story of his personal road to success.

When Kris Jenkins sank a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the 2016 NCAA Tournament, it was a victory not just for a team and its coach but for an entire program. In his twentieth season with the Villanova program, including a five-year stint as an assistant to Coach Rollie Massimino, Coach Jay Wright had achieved his lifelong dream—and witnessed the culmination of a decades-long effort to build a culture of winning around a set of core values.

In Attitude, Coach Wright shares some of the leadership secrets that have enabled Villanova, a private university with an undergraduate enrollment of less than 6,500, to thrive in the hypercompetitive world of college athletics. As he recounts the story of the 2015–16 Wildcats, Coach Wright offers anecdotes from his own journey up the ladder of success, with lessons learned on the Little League playing fields of his youth and wisdom passed down from his coaches and mentors.

Each step of Villanova’s journey to a national championship incorporates a signature term torn from Coach Wright’s own motivational playbook. Here are key principles that aspiring leaders can apply, not only on the basketball court but in the boardroom, the classroom, and the living room. From learning to accept your role to remembering to honor those who came before us, Jay Wright’s core values provide a positive blueprint for transformational team building based on the idea that anyone—from the head coach to the last player on the bench—can be a leader when the moment demands it.

The product of a lifetime’s worth of championship-level preparation, Attitude is perfect for anyone looking to build a team, achieve a goal, or nurture their own winning culture.

Virtual Race: Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezer

Race Title:  Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezer
Distance: 5km
Company:  Hogwarts Running Club
Charity:  Dogs on Deployment

Book Review: Blondie Parallel Lives

Blondie was like a reality show before there was reality TV.  In New York, in the punk era – they knew they had made it when they landed the cover of Rolling Stone in 1979.  Debbie’s entire life she had been trained to become a house wife and for marriage – but that’s not what she  wanted.  In a time when NYC was collapsing and life in New York resulted in seeing a lot of dead bums, Debbie and Chris had a spark and made Blondie a household name by 1980-1981.  This book was a really cool look back at a band that I wasn’t all that familar with – and as always – I loved all the pictures! There was lots of pictures.  I also loved reading about New York in the early 80s, even though it was nothing like it is today, it’s cool to see how far it has come.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

One of the most iconic groups of their generation, Blondie experienced an unparalleled rise to global superstardom during the late 1970s. As they topped charts throughout the world, vocalist Deborah Harry adorned magazine covers and bedroom walls everywhere.

Drawing upon extensive first-hand interview material from Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and many other significant players in the band’s long history, Blondie: Parallel Lives is the definitive eye-witness account of the group’s long and often tumultuous existence.

Beginning with their childhoods, backgrounds and influences, the book charts the development of Blondie to their massive popular success and eventual break up; the 1997 reformation, subsequent renaissance with their No Exit album; the controversies surrounding the 2006 induction to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, ending in the present with the release of Panic of Girls.

Co-author Kris Needs established a friendship with Harry, Stein and the rest of the band that endures to this day. As a trusted confidante, he now recounts the full story.