While we are so excited about the arrival of Baby Girl Metcalf, I must admit that I’m enjoying my final days of peace and quiet, sitting on our front porch and reading a good book. With this upcoming major life change, I am full of emotions: eagerness to have her here so I can start getting to know her, fear that our life is about to completely change, and of course the joy that our family is going to grow.
Soon there will be a little girl making her presence known in our world but for now, it’s just me and a book, and quiet.
So here’s what I’ve been reading…
Those Guys Have all the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN, James Andrew Miller & Tom Shales: While I still haven’t been able to get through the 800 pages of Anna Karenina, I feel quite accomplished that I read all 800 pages of ESPN. If you are a lover of sports and ESPN, then this is the book for you. This book is composed almost entirely of interviews from people who work at ESPN and athletes that have overlapped with the network and they don’t appear to sugarcoat anything. Not only is this book about sports, however, it also addresses the changes and developments in the media over the last 30 years. Cable television, internet, creating multiple channels, magazines, documentaries, live television: ESPN has done all of these things. From a business perspective, this book is fascinating. I enjoyed learning about the different individuals who have run ESPN, how they’ve chosen to interact with the NFL, NCAA, NHL, etc. as well as their interactions with other networks, especially Ted Turner’s empire. If you know who the hosts of PTI are, the real name of “Stat Boy,” and that Rush Limbaugh was briefly a host of the NFL Countdown team, then ESPN is the book for you.
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President, Candace Millard: After reading The President and the Assassin, I was interested in learning more about presidents and their assassins. So I picked up Destiny of the Republic, which follows President Garfield and the man who ended his life, Charles Guiteau. Yet again, I was amazed by the contrast of the two men featured in this story and how intensely Guiteau focused on ending Garfield’s life. The book also discusses the drama following the shooting because ultimately Garfield died because of poor and mishandled medical treatment rather than the bullet. Destiny of the Republic gives a unique glimpse of a piece of U.S. History that is often barely mentioned or thought of.
Garlic & Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, Ruth Reichl: Well, I’ve been on a bit of a nonfiction kick with this series of books. My most recent read is written by former New York Times food critic, Ruth Reichl. Previously, I’ve read her book, Comfort me with Apples, about her time starting out as a food critic in California. Garlic & Sapphires takes the reader to New York, where Reichl is forced to wear disguises when visiting restaurants so the staff and management don’t know who she is. She visits these high profile restaurants both as herself and then as her new identity and in her review, compares the two experiences. Reichl’s disguises change with each restaurant and she shares with her reader, not only how her looks transform but also her personality. Through her memoir books, we learn about Reichl’s life, her family, as well as her professional work. This is a light, summer read that will make your stomach growl.
In case there’s a little too much nerdy non-fiction in this post, here are some of my older lists, in case you’re looking for other summer reads.
- Spring Reading 2012
- Fall & Winter Reading 2011
- Fall Reading 2011
- Summer Reading 2011
- Summer Reading 2011 (Part II)
- Spring Reading 2011
- Winter Reading 2010
- Summer Reading 2010
- Spring Reading 2010
Happy Reading! Cheers to summer!