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Game Face: Bernard King
Autobiography , Sports / May 4, 2018

In “Game Face,” the biography of Bernard King by Jerome Preisler, a basketball legend talks about his life on and off the court from the beginning. Youth, college, and in the pros, King brought a certain style and New York aggression to the floor. Although an injury that some say costed his career, he bounced back and kept pushing until the end. From a 6 year old in Brooklyn, to a New York Knicks icon, Bernard King was one of the greatest to play the game in his time. The main theme from this book is King’s so called “game face”. He always goes back to this and is clearly a key role in the biography, hence the title. Bernard talks about this and how he got the game face. He focuses in on the game so much that he enters the zone where nothing else matters and he goes 100% on the floor with no turning back. At one point he says, “I could flip a switch and it was there. When my game face was on, I was tapping a deeper well of concentration.” (King, xix) Throughout his whole career, he has this mentality to go all out…

Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos

Choices have consequences. Jack Gantos, author and protagonist of Hole in my Life, learns this lesson when he is a young man just out of high school. He is living on his own during his senior year of high school. His parents are in St. Croix, trying to provide for the rest of the family, but he wants to finish his education. He is all set to go to college, has been accepted, but something spurs him to put his education on hold. His ideal college is University of Florida, and when he goes up for a visit, the dean of the school tells him he is not allowed to keep his car, his only possession, on campus. This revelation shakes him, and he decides to not go to college. After this first mistake, Jack returns to his family in St. Croix, where he gets roped into a world of drugs. He agrees to sail a boat filled with hash up to New York from St. Croix for $10,000. Inevitably, Jack and his sailing partner, Hamilton, get caught with the drugs on board, and he is then convicted and given a prison sentence of up to six years, but, because…

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

In The Last Lecture, professor Randy Pausch expands on a speech he gave at Carnegie Mellon University in September 2007. Pausch, who was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, wrote this lecture that became a book. It primarily targets young adults and children who are hoping to attain their dreams. Sadly, Pausch passed away in 2008, not long after he gave the “last” lecture. Written with humor and intelligence, this book reflects on the main points of the lecture: the importance of good parenting, dreaming big, and how to put people before possessions. For example, pausch once picked up his nephew in his new Volkswagen Cabrio Convertible. His sister told the kids not to mess anything up and to wipe off their feet before they got in, Pausch overheard this and decided to intentionally spill a coke all over the seats to show the kids that even though the car was nice, it was still just a thing. Pausch was a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, at the age of 47 he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. This, of course, shocked his family, he had three children, Logan, Chloe, Dylan and a wife, Jai. His book was actually written…

Trashed by Derf Backderf

Trashed is a graphic novel by Derf Backderf which talks about his experience as a garbage man. He goes in depth on how trashy of a job it is. Backderf has all these bad experiences like kids throwing apples and rotted food at him, and he has to deal with crazy people from the town who are totally unreasonable. People want him and his partner to take an entire old car in one day and get very angry when Backderf tells them what they can’t do, including hauling away cars, washing machines, and recycling materials.  After work, he get drinks with his buddies at the local bar to relax and clear his mind after an awful day at work and to forget about his horrible boss. He also has fun on the job. He goes to the graveyard and sees one of his friend’s, Magee, who is kind of goofy and just makes the job more easy going because of his attitude towards it. Also he gets to keep anything he wants if it’s left out, so he has fun finding some new furniture for himself. I would recommend this book for anyone because it is an easy read but…

Finding Me, review by Shalaina P.
Autobiography , Non-Fiction / January 19, 2017

Shalaina Parikh Finding Me by: Michelle Knight In story Finding Me by Michelle Knight, was a very hard read because it is so in depth about the tragic abuse Michelle went through as a kid and as an adult.  She had a baby boy named, Joey at the age of 21 and two years later got kidnapped when exiting a dollar store.  She was held captive for eleven years with no way to escape.  The only motivation she had was to continue trying to survive, so she could see her son Joey again.  There was not a day that went by where she did not think about him and wish to be with him again.  As difficult as this book was to read and wrap my head around, the fact someone survived through such a terrible experience, was eye opening for me.  Michelle looks at each day of her life as a new opportunity and blessing.  I feel so grateful to have what I have and live the way I do after reading what happened to her.  I would rate this book an 8 out of 10 because I continued to wonder how she made it out alive and what the…

Trashed – Derf Backderf
Action and Adventure , Autobiography / December 20, 2016

Trashed is a great fictional graphic novel by Derf Backderf that uses his experiences as a garbage man in the 1970s and 1980s, in a tiny town in Ohio, to tell the story. It reads like a normal book, but, in a sense, it’s a tribute to all the workers who have to deal with garbage removal. Trash, the smell, maggots, and waste that have been left out for days on end, this is what garbage men have to deal with. I would assume that working within these conditions could leave a worker sick and depressed. The main character is a college dropout named JB, who is still living in his mom’s house; his mom finally gets fed up with him leaving his garbage around the house and asks him to find a job, so he does. In the newspaper, there’s an ad for trash collectors, and he decides to take up the offer. In the graphic novel, the reader will find that the book is depressing because of how horrible and disgusting this job is, or, they may appreciate the humorous side of the “shittest” job ever that this college dropout experiences. Not only does JB have to collect…

The Rose that Grew from Concrete – Tupac Shakur
Autobiography , Poetry / December 13, 2016

The book The Rose that Grew from Concrete is a collection of poetry from the late 80’s to early 90’s from Tupac Shakur’s personal journal. This collection helps you understand what Shakur was going through during those years with all the ups and downs in his life. He talks about his emotions through his poetry, so the reader can have a feel for him. In his poem, “Sometimes I Cry,” my favorite, Shakur expresses how he felt alone even at the peak of his career: Sometimes when I’m alone I Cry, Cause I am on my own. The tears I cry are bitter and warm. They flow with life but take no form I Cry because my heart is torn. I find it difficult to carry on. If I had an ear to confide in, I would cry among my treasured friend, but who do you know that stops that long, to help another carry on. The world moves fast and it would rather pass by. Then to stop and see what makes one cry, so painful and sad. And sometimes… I Cry I find this interesting because you would figure a popular person like Shakur wouldn’t be dealing with…

Finding Me
Autobiography , Drama , Narrative Non-Fiction / September 22, 2016

Finding Me, written by the courageous Michelle Knight, has been a book that I have wanted to read for the past year, practically since it came out.  I am ecstatic to say that all of my expectations and hopes for the book were met.  This heart-wrenching story opened my eyes to a world full of horror, misery, and escape that was a result of pure heroism. On August 23, 2002, 21 year old Michelle Knight was kidnapped off the streets by a man who would hold her captive in his disgusting Cleveland home for the next 11 years.  This book recaps the horrifying events that Michelle Knight had to suffer through, while kidnapper Ariel Castro enjoyed every minute of raping, abusing, and his mental destruction of Knight.  But, when Castro kidnaps two more girls over the span of a few years, will that be her new found hope for escape?   If I had to give this book a movie rating, it would be rated R.  Going to this book, I had no idea how graphic and truly terrifying the details of the kidnapping would be.  Of course I knew they would be bad, but I did not know that…