VictoryGin wrote:Not sure if I've mentioned these, but NASA's website has transcripts from all the Apollo missions. I find them fascinating to read...they were recorded on the ship, and you can read everything - the chatter between them, as well as transmissions back and forth to earth. I find them soothing, for some reason. Here's the Apollo 11 technical transcript: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/history/mission ... 11_TEC.PDF
At least they have that. They seem to have lost the Apollo 11 video recordings. This caused the moon hoax crowd to go out of the freakin' minds, although to be fair to the hoaxers, it does make NASA look pretty bad.
Forgot to mention that I listened to Rainn Wilson's The Bassoon King back around Christmas.
I had no idea he spent his childhood in Latin America. He's got a quirky enough story to tell, but he gets a little preachy about the B'hai faith and his Soul Pancake charity/thingy. Plus, there's only one chapter about his time on The Office. That's like reading a Hulk Hogan biography with one chapter on WWF/E. The foreward written as Dwight is amusing. If you're looking for a comedian's biography, I'd still say David Spade's is superior.
backsack wrote:Out, out brief candle. Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing. [SAD EMOJI FACE]
2nd Best Oral Receiver wrote:
Knuckles Goldberg wrote:You guys can judge all you want, but I doubt I'm the only one here who's had 5 hot dogs
I read the Shelby Foote Civil War series as a kid...great writing. He has a great sense of humor, too - if you ever saw Ken Burns' documentary, he's in it quite a bit. Love that Southern drawl of his.
I just finished Lisa Jakub's memoir - "You Look Like that Girl..." I grabbed it because it was a kindle daily deal with high stars. Very well written...if you don't remember her, she was the daughter on Mrs. Doubtfire, and the trailer park girl in Independence Day. She decided to suddenly quit acting (started age 4, ended age 22), move to Virginia, and become a writer/etc. It's not a typical memoir, and I highly recommend it. She managed all those years of acting without drug or alcohol addictions, major psychological trauma, or anything of that sort.
There's a touching story in there...while on set for Mrs. Doubtfire, her high school in Canada advised her they were fed up with her coming and going and trying to do work remotely, so they kicked her out. Robin Williams saw she was upset and gave her a letter to send to the school, asking them to reconsider. They took the letter, the principal framed it and put it on his wall, and they said "nope." Jerks.
Just got this one in the mail. I saw it at a coffee shop in Cave Creek (Local Johnny's) and started thumbing through it. It's old school and looked very interesting. It also mentions one of my childhood motorcycle heroes, Mert Lawill. Mert designed bikes with Gary Fisher and others, I believe. So it's now in the queue.
Has anyone read any Will Durant? Dan Carlin and others hold the guy in very high esteem in writing about history, but he's an author I just never got around to reading. If anyone has read his work, do you have a recommendation for the first to read?
VictoryGin wrote:Has anyone read any Will Durant? Dan Carlin and others hold the guy in very high esteem in writing about history, but he's an author I just never got around to reading. If anyone has read his work, do you have a recommendation for the first to read?
Dan Carlin is correct. Will and Ariel Durant's "The Story of Civilization" is still considered to be a benchmark in great historical writing. It's 11 volumes and strongly recommended for any serious historian and completely out of my league. A google search has shown me that a condensed version doesn't exist, so I might have to bite the bullet and buy the audiobook version and devote a year to it. Time well spent, in my opinion.
My favorite professor was a big fan of the Durants and told a story of visiting them, dressing the family in their Sunday best (the image of a 60s era eight year old wearing a jacket and tie is adorable) and making the pilgrimage to the great couple, who were charming and gracious hosts, as would be expected.
Iv been crawling through Mike Tyeon's latest autobiography- The Undisputed Truth.
It's a fun read and Mike Tyson is probably my favorite human being of all time, but also wildly uneven. The formative years was great, but it really slogs when it gets into his pro career. Just a series of name drops, braggadocio and "I didn't train for that one but I still knocked him out in 5 rounds." It barely even went into him severing ties with the D'Amato faction.
I just got to the rape trial part though, so I'm hoping it gets better when he talks about prison life. I might be hoping too much though, because his earlier tales of prison/reform school was basically a couple sentences like "I was scared at first, but then I realized that I already knew everyone."
The tales of his horrible early childhood and experiences with trauma and bullying, and his interactions with ache D'Amato are incredible in the first hundred pages. He's such an amazing person because he's so flawed and damaged yet so reflective and deep. I wish he would really take the years to write a proper autobiography instead of one of these ghost written halfasses books.
The Soundtrack of My Life: Clive Davis (Audiobook)
This is a rather perfunctory linear autobiography of Mr. Davis' professional life. I would be a snooze if it were about almost anyone else. Clive Davis was (is) intimately involved with the recording careers of a hall of fame of recording artists. It is interesting to hear the tale of a label executive whose primary interest is maximizing unit sales. I'd never read this perspective before. I believe the great majority of Mr. Davis' clients respect Mr. Davis and are grateful for having worked with him. But this would have been a more interesting work if some of the artists who recorded on his labels had an opportunity to express their experiences. To wit: There are several places in the book where, after an artist records a work in spite of artistic disagreement with Davis, he says something like, "The album went gold and sold $7,000,000 worldwide, but I always thought it could have done so much better."
Davis' story reflects the recording industry's age of massive profit. The age of dinosaurs. Davis mentions the shift in pop music delivery in the digital age only in passing in the epilogue. Of course, he disapproves. Vinyl and CD's were his milk cows. Also in the epilogue he reveals his middle aged conversion to sexual switch hitting. Wait, wut?
You Can't Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television - by Al Michaels Audiobook
You can judge this book by it's cover. It is what is says it is. Michaels covers a little of his non-professional life, so this is predominately a the linear story of his broadcasting career. Lots of anecdotes. He's had a good life. As you'd expect from Al, this is not a book of navel gazing and existential questions. Al reads only two chapters himself, but his stand-in sounds enough like him that it's no distraction. I recommend it as easy listening for American sports fans.
He identifies the good guys and the d'bags too. Many more of the former. Since the assholes are more interesting to hear about than the nice guys:
From not really so bad to intolerable: Boomer Esiason, Howard Cosell, Chet Forte. Cosell was merely annoying when Michaels began working with him. As he aged he became rotten to the core.
Started listening to David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. Wallace's descriptives go on and on and on. A few minutes in, he describes a father's convo with his pubescent son in which he describes the boy's counting of new armpit and pubic hairs. The new weight in his scrotum. The viscosity of the semen -fresh, then aged- that jets from his penis as he sleeps.