Sunday, January 30, 2022

It's Better to be Feared by Seth Wickersham

It's Better to be Feared by Seth Wickersham is a solid biography of Tom Brady and look at the New England Patriots under Bill Belichick. There's a huge amount of ground covered well in the book and below are some of the sections from it that reflect on the Amazon Kindle app as those most highlighted by others:

"The New England Patriots were a subculture within a spectacularly unhealthy world. They were defined by many of the things that defined America during the first two decades of the current century: an embrace of overwork; a refinement of craft to a previously unseen level; empiricism and a love of data, along with the creation and marketing of pseudoscience; tribalism and both its cohesive and splintering features; the pursuit of agelessness; an erosion of ethics; and finally, a zero-sum ethos toward victory."

"All athletes, especially great ones-especially those with impossible expectations for themselves-swing between extreme confidence and extreme insecurity in a way unfathomable to fans."

"Belichick's football ideology was the lack of an ideology."

"For Brady, uncertainly prompted a strange reflex. Every time he was doubted, or he doubted himself, whether he admitted it or not, he upped the stakes, to prove others wrong and to prove himself to himself."

"He taught himself to love-to be addicted to-the feeling of improvement."

"Jerry Seinfeld was once asked how he summoned the will to be great at comedy, even after his legend was secure. He replied that it wasn't about will at all. Will was required to pass on cake after dinner; this was love. He loved everything about comedy, from finding the precise language for a joke to perfecting its delivery. Belichick was the same. 'I enjoy all of it,' he later said. 'It beats working.'"

"It might not be enough to just love your job. You had to want to live in the world the job created. Working with people you like, a tribe with a common goal, would make your professional life far happier than any accolade, salary, or a company's prestige could. You need to do the work you love, at a place and with people you love. You have to feel-Brady repeatedly returned to this work-'appreciated.'"

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles is an engaging novel with compelling characters. The story is set in 1954 and features a young man recently released from a detention facility who embarks on a cross-county road with his young brother who he's responsible for, and which intersects with two others from the facility.

The book has a number of interesting people in it and they make choices other than might be expected, with those in some cases fascinating and in others, unsatisfying. The book certainly has its high points, but the ending of it feels to be a downer.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Fuzz by Mary Roach

Fuzz by Mary Roach features the subtitle When Nature Breaks the Law and the book jacket notes it as investigating the world where wildlife and humans meet. 

Chapters in the book include those on bears eating from trash cans, leopard attacks in India, determining if someone killed by animal, and counting cougars in the wild. 

Roach covers the lengths gone to in an attempt to mitigate the disruptive impact of animals on people. It's a quirky book and has some interesting stories in it, particularly those that involve life or death encounters between people and wildlife.