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Watch Me Go
Watch Me Go
by Mark Wisniewski
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.31
78 used & new from $3.51

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulls You Right In, January 22, 2015
This review is from: Watch Me Go (Hardcover)
Curious how those who have not read the book are so eager to slam it. The opening pulls you right in. Deesh, formed out of Mark Wisniewski's "Straightaway," a short story to be read more than once to catch all its nuances, stands falsely accused. Deesh, black, meets Jan Price, white, petite, attractive and his savior, in the pen right after Deesh's harried, distracted lawyer, his presumptive advocate, walks out. Wisniewski injects humor and social insight into the trying life stories of his characters. Watch Me Go, like so many of his works, is a MUST READ.


All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary!, January 11, 2015
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A unique look at WWII, the humanity and inhumanity of man, thru a blind French girl, a budding German engineer, their families and relationships. Tony Doerr's masterpiece shall stay with you for years.


The Bookseller's Sonnets
The Bookseller's Sonnets
Price: $6.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant weaving of the past and present, of interfaith and traditional marriage, December 28, 2014
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A touching story both past and present, of King Henry' VIII's court, of the Holocaust, and of faith-based issues of the modern day.


When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the New York Knicks
When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the New York Knicks
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars When NY and Basketball were Kings!, June 20, 2014
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The latest edition (2014) of the Spurs-Heat Finals was on. I watched the 3Q of the decisive Game Five. Impressively, the Spurs whipped the ball around the basket to the open man; they made one more pass to whoever had the truly open shot. This was the closest I had seen to the Knicks of my youth. Not surprisingly, in his superb account of those glorious Knicks, Harvey Araton makes the same observation of the Spurs of 2011. Araton humanizes the starters, the Minutemen off the bench, many of their opponents, Red Holzman and the characters around the Knick franchise--both famous fans and selected Knick employees. The character and fabric of the Knicks come to life. I've been telling all my contemporaries to have a read. So, let me tell you to do the same.


The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities
The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $14.99

8 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tour de Force, April 27, 2014
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“‘We were told we [had] to go turn ourselves in for something we didn’t do,’ [Reade] Seligmann said.”
Picture an intelligent, self-aware undergraduate, never in trouble before, and with a firm alibi against a rape charge having to proceed to court far outside his home district to respond to an indictment, encircled by a media, community and professorial frenzy. Athlete or not, he would be frightened to say the least.
Bill Cohan in his exhaustive look eight years later at the Duke lacrosse scandal delivers a tour de force in this mostly balanced look at all the players. This one has it all--race, sex, class, elite athletes, a prestigious university, a faculty its warnings previously ignored and its current pronouncements that much more vituperative, a perhaps vengeful policeman, a delusional prosecutor sensing an opportunity to cement his re-election, and a university administration and board of trustees with no playbook to defend this offense searching for a response.
Having read the book (in its entirety, unlike many of the critics on this page), I must say reading his extraordinarily well-researched narrative is well worth the effort.
When the lacrosse story first broke--I read it on the Duke Basketball Report site two weeks before the New York Times saw it fit to print--I was incredulous, but not in ways that most were incredulous. I couldn’t believe it happened. It sounded like Tawana Brawley all over again. As the story unfolded, I thought the Duke University Administration had made a serious mistake canceling the season, suspending Seligmann, David Evans and Collin Finnerty, and firing the lacrosse coach, Mike Pressler. With time my opinion softened but hadn’t really changed. Bill Cohan changed my view, as he puts you in the mind of the administration, the Board of Trustees, and the potential foment and violence threatened and that could have ensued. He quotes an encounter between a Board member and the legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski, a close friend of Coach Pressler’s, to give perspective to the decision to remove Pressler. Some may remain unpersuaded, but for those who are open enough to consider an alternative explanation, this book is for you.
Further, Duke’s decision to suspend Evans, Seligmann and Finnerty pending the outcome of Nifong’s delusional indictment is no different from how JP Morgan behaved. JP Morgan retracted its offer to Evans for employment upon graduation soon after his indictment, only to reinstate the offer the day after the declaration of innocence by NC AG Cooper. Duke reinstated Seligmann and Finnerty, too, soon after; they would not return. Institutions seem to deal with these challenges in a near-identical format--shoot the alleged malefactor as soon as you can to protect the institution.
I am a rabid Duke alum (note my Amazon moniker). I literally think about Duke every day, and not just because of basketball. This was a wrenching period in our school’s history, but is not unique to Duke. Cohan names lots of other schools comparable or greater than Duke in prestige where acts, alleged or actual, of sexual assault fueled by alcohol occurred on campus. As such, he lends context to the events.
The book has sparked much criticism, mostly from those who don’t want to re-examine the events. Cohan has been pilloried for estimating Duke’s ultimate cost at $100M. And perhaps rightly so, for he has only one data point--a tax lien improperly constituted. However, is he that far off in today’s litigious America? Due to confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements one never will know. Similarly, others criticize him for not speaking with the defendants--in his case not for want of trying. The defendants and their teammates refused to speak with him, again likely due understandably to confidentiality provisions.
A weakness in the book is spending so much time with Nifong and the prevaricating accuser Crystal Mangum, now in prison for years for killing her temporary boyfriend. Nifong says much, but nothing to change one’s opinion of him. Mangum is so flawed that one wonders why anyone believed her in the first place.
Duke today is beautiful, well endowed, with a faculty and student body the envy of any institution of higher education and with a lacrosse team nearly dynastic. It would be well not to be reminded of the incident, to have it buried deep below for archaeologists to find 200 years hence, but perhaps tomorrow’s players wouldn’t learn from its lessons. Cohan does much to teach them.
Comment Comments (18) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 17, 2014 8:00 PM PDT


The Amateur
The Amateur

906 of 1,050 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book before you vote in Nov, May 20, 2012
This review is from: The Amateur (Kindle Edition)
A few observations:
1) Bill Clinton was right. Hillary should have run in the primary against Obama. Klein's work reveals the broad support she would have had amongst Obama's 2008 supporters.
2) For the mainstream media, and their unquestioning adherents, The Amateur reveals you're missing a great political game.
3) Ed Klein's research is frightening in revealing Obama's lack of character. Out of decency, how does he not offer gratitude regularly to the Kennedys, Oprah, the Chicago and other early African-Americans supporters who launched him , and finally to his Jewish supporters who "earned like Episcopalians and voted like Puerto Ricans"? Politically, forget about morality now, by not having done so, he may be forced to exit the White House.
4) Finally, Klein's detractors seek to impeach Klein's integrity based on conclusions in the author's prior works. No one has disproved that the many interviews in The Amateur with Obama's 2008 supporters did not happen or contain misquotes.
The Amateur, easily readable and yet broad in scope, should be read by many an American voter. If only the mainstream press would read the book, too . .
Comment Comments (6731) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2014 3:06 PM PDT


To Be Sung Underwater: A Novel
To Be Sung Underwater: A Novel
by Tom McNeal
Edition: Hardcover
155 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! Cannot stop thinking about it, April 21, 2012
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Rather than repeat the other reviewers' praise , I have been thinking of the book's powerful themes of time and place, of what is love and what is marriage, parenthood as fulfilling and as an albatross, Midwest purity and coastal commercialism, does the author want us to follow our heart always or is there a place for ambition and joyful fulfillment. And what of Malcolm's loyalty or seeming lack thereof? No doubt, there are plenty of other thought-inspiring issues in this beautifully -written, well-crafted story.


Howard Cosell: The Man, the Myth, and the Transformation of American Sports
Howard Cosell: The Man, the Myth, and the Transformation of American Sports
by Mark Ribowsky
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.86
111 used & new from $0.01

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest of All Times, as Ali would have said, January 16, 2012
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Let me be Cosell's doppelgänger, a position which for decades I have held. It is colossal disgrace that more of the American public who heard the voice of this reporter at every significant event over a three decade period have not purchased and read Ribowsky's book. Exhaustive in its research, the book is Livy on Augustus, Sandburg on Lincoln. The book is a long overdue chronicle of the greatest announcer who ever lived. Ribowsky turns up a remarkable trove of remembrances from Cosell colleagues and friends that make the book rich and entertaining.
Two criticisms that do not change my top rating:
1) I could have done without the lengthy opening thesis from the author.
2) Copyright law does us an injustice. I would have loved links to the great Cosell calls--"Down goes Frazier, Down goes Frazier (which happens to be my ringtone); "It's over! It is over," concluding key matches; the John Lennon announcement on MNF, ending, "Dead on Arrival"; the countless interviews with Ali. Fortunately, YouTube exists. Better still would have been links to so much more.
What a man, what a time, what a book! Buy it!!


Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
by Walter Isaacson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.65
1174 used & new from $0.09

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Lessons for Technology Entrepreneurs, Businesspeople, December 24, 2011
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This review is from: Steve Jobs (Hardcover)
Our heroes always are imperfect and many die young. Jobs certainly is one. While the book is about Jobs, it is more than about him. Isaacson captures so many lessons for budding and adult entrepreneurs, for technology developers and for businessmen everywhere, who hope to "put a dent in the universe." I found myself highlighting many passages on my Kindle. Toward the book's finish, Jobs rails about the deficiencies in America's educational system, and Bill Gates agrees. It makes one think that a boy or girl in India or China will read this book, embrace its lessons, build a great company, and become the true successor to the Great Jobs.


State of Wonder
State of Wonder
by Ann Patchett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.82
543 used & new from $0.01

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by our college president!, November 30, 2011
This review is from: State of Wonder (Hardcover)
I read State of Wonder because Duke's President, Dick Brodhead, whose academic discipline is comparative literature, recommended the book. Thank you, Mr. President! I also read it because as a student three decades ago, my favorite book was Heart of Darkness. Thankfully, Padgett is not as eerie as Joseph Conrad. Through Dr. Singh, Padgett channels some of life's most difficult decisions, and leads the reader on a unforgettable journey.


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