Sunday, May 6, 2012
What I've Been Reading
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I'm going to be honest. I bought the book only because the movie was coming out and sometimes that's convincing enough to get me to purchase a book. It was pretty well worth it. You probably don't need a summary of what the book's about. It's "every man for himself" if "man" means boy and girl teenagers. I was a little surprised that it took so long to get to the actual games, but I guess some of the romance and fashion stuff was geared toward appealing to girls. I just wanted to get to the competition.
In the President's Secret Service by Ronald Kessler. I'm a bit of a history nerd, so I thought this book was pretty interesting, even though it wasn't the most well written book. By the end I was growing tired of Kessler's theme that the Secret Service is underfunded (I get it - agents don't get paid enough and their guns aren't state-of-the-art), but the anecdotal tidbits were fun. For example, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, the Secret Service only sent two agents ahead to scope out the parade route. And despite my history nerdiness, I had not read the story of the assassination attempt on Harry Truman; a couple Puerto Rican nationalists made a pretty bold attempt to just walk into Blair House with guns blazing.
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman. I got into the series through a friend of mine who wouldn't stop talking about it and eventually let me borrow the books. Basically, a rapidly spreading disease is turning everyone in the United States into zombies, and the story follows the few remaining survivors as they look for sanctuary. The graphic novels are completely different than the TV series on AMC, with many of the same characters but lots of different story lines. The two constants seem to be that a) nobody wants to lead but they all hate the way Rick leads and b) Lori is extremely annoying. I hate Lori. I wish she would die, but she's pregnant so she probably won't.
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. This book hooked me from the opening chapter. There was a little bit of a lull about one-third of the way in, but after that it took off like a rocket. At times Martin gets a little wordy - it seems every character, no matter how minor, needs a full physical description - but the story arcs and the way they intersect with each other are amazing. I don't know how Martin keeps all of his characters straight. His writing room must be filled with interwoven family trees of Starks and Lannisters and Targaryens. I expected a little more of the supernatural to be involved, but other than some strange creatures beyond the wall and an interesting scene involving some dragon eggs at the end, it's mostly just a big, violent political drama.
Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx. This is the story of former Baltimore Colt defensive end Joe Ehrmann, who is a minister and used to serve as the defensive coordinator at the Gilman School in Baltimore. That is, of course, the same school that 2013 defensive tackle Henry Poggi attends, and where Henry's father Biff is the head coach. The author was a former ball boy for the Colts and met up with Ehrmann to get a peek inside the football program, where he and Poggi attempt to change the lives of their football players. The story is a little bit cheesy, but it's a good overall message and there are some lessons to take away from it as a football coach.