Review: I Am The Secret Footballer: Lifting the Lid on the Beautiful Game

I Am The Secret Footballer: Lifting the Lid on the Beautiful Game
I Am The Secret Footballer: Lifting the Lid on the Beautiful Game by The Secret Footballer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun! I wanted to read about the naughty wives of famous footballers, but he doesn’t explain it here. The stories he does tell was fun.

He makes it clear that not all footballers are dumb oafs. Well, that’s obvious, not every footballer’s idea of a good time is getting drunk and laid all the time, at the same time, and several times at once. At least, not all the time. But to see it articulated in such a manner, with such a sense of self-awareness is refreshing.

From an education perspective, however, I do prefer The Secret Footballer’s Guide to the Modern Game, which isn’t all textbook, but explains a little more behind some of the things that are happening on the screen.

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Review: The Cider House Rules

The Cider House Rules
The Cider House Rules by John Irving
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Review: The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life

The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life
The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is an audiobook, provided for free by Ferriss himself. It’s clearly a promotional tool, and he leaves out all the recipes and sidebar notes and stuff, so a good portion of the book is not covered here.

I’m aware I’m on shaky ground here if I portray myself as having ‘finished’ this book, but this isn’t about you. I’m writing my impressions here, so an old man like myself doesn’t forget. Technicalities be damned.

This book isn’t about cooking alone, although it does feature quite a lot of that. It’s really about how you can learn a skill quickly, in the shortest possible time. Ferriss covers things like learning a new language, competition level dancing or whatever, about how it’s important to do something that isn’t ‘conventional’ to get to the heart of the matter in learning – something that isn’t learning by rote. There’s an optimized path to learning things, and he lays the framework for doing exactly that.

And he applies that to cooking. There are recipes that accompany pretty interesting stories, so it isn’t outside the realms of possibility that I pick up the actual book to see how things are done. Which is brilliant marketing on Ferriss’s part.

I enjoyed the parts that aren’t hardcore cooking. The anecdotes and the non-cooking stuff had knowledge that I’d like to remember and incorporate in my life. Language learning is something I’d like to do in a couple of years, so the principles should apply.

Now if only I have that damn book to refer to…

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Review: Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent book. I prefer Far from the Madding Crowd, but I think that’s possibly because it had a different ending (I’m almost tempted to say a happier ending, but then that was never a ready I preferred one book to another, was it? Right?).

It was a book simply filled with tension, because it was just so… unfair, for Tess. And I found myself getting angry several times during the book, and not the least of which was the scene where the secrets where laid bare between Tess and Angel. This was bait and switch, baby!

I’ve a work document to prepare before I head to bed, and this sentence has no business doing in a book review, but it speaks to my state of mind as I write this. The writing is brilliant, and the plot moved along well enough. It’s the ladies, I tell you. In this time period what happens to the ladies and how they are treated and how they feel like there’s literally nowhere else to turn to when things go sour is so unfair.

The ending was almost shoddy, in my opinion. Tess’s act at the end there was almost clumsy and if I didn’t know any better Hardy himself didn’t know how to get her out of the quandary and decided to just fast track everyone to the ending. After what happened it was clear what was to come, so no surprises there, but everyone was frankly an ass to her, and what happened to her again smacks of total injustice.

Bah.

It’s a great book. Read it. Despite my bah.

[Finished in March 2016 – exact date unknown]

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