Calipari, Rose & Business Books Are Popular Summer Choices

By Jamie H. Vaught

          Books, books, books.....

         There are plenty of good readings in sports, business and biographies that you will like this summer if you are a booklover.

         And Kentuckians especially will enjoy a couple of new books with local ties.

         Kentucky coach John Calipari, as you have heard, has written a fine book, titled "Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out" (Penguin Press, $28.95), which was published in mid-April.

         It's amazingly a very good read, revealing a lot of interesting tidbits and stories about his players as well as his experiences, including the past five years as the so-called "CEO" of UK's basketball program.

        I liked the part where Calipari comforted a distraught 6-11 Nerlens Noel, who was crying in an airplane after his season-ending injury at Florida in February of 2013. 

      On the subject of his players who want to transfer, I agree with Calipari when he said they are free to go anywhere without any restrictions. That is unlike many other coaches who often block the transfers from attending a list of particular schools.

       Calipari's 276-page book, co-written with Michael Sokolove, discusses NCAA and his coaching philosophy, using a teaching tool called the servant leadership for his players.

       The book obviously would make a super gift for a faithful Wildcat fan. Even dad doesn't have to be an avid reader to enjoy the hardcover.

       There is another possible gift.  If your relative or friend is a Cincinnati Reds fan, he or she will enjoy "Pete Rose: An American Dilemma" (Time Home Entertainment, $26.95).

      The recently-published 341-page book by Kostya Kennedy is one of the best ones that I have read about baseball's all-time hits leader. This remarkable hardback is a triple, if not a home run.

      Also you may want to consider the following:

      --"Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises" (Crown, $35.00) by ex-Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner is a candid memoir, taking the readers behind the scenes of the worst financial crisis (2007-08) since the Great Depression. 

      --"Just My Game" (Mascot Books, $24.95) by Jason Grilli of the Pittsburgh Pirates reveals a fascinating story of his up-and-down baseball career, detailing his difficulties and success. One of the blurbs was written by sportscaster Erin Andrews, who had read about Grilli's emotional journey during the 2013 All-Star Game.

      --"Thrive" (Harmony Books,$26.00) by Arianna Huffington, one of the world's most influential women, is a deeply personal book about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a media career (Huffington Post Media Group), and raising two daughters.  Instead of focusing on money and power, she says people need to create a balanced life of well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving. Huffington's outlook on life changed in 2007 when she collapsed from exhaustion.

      --"Ruth & Billy Graham: The Legacy of a Couple" (BakerBooks, $19.99) by Hanspeter Nuesch is an intimate story of one well-known couple who lived for God and for each other. One tidbit that I didn't know or had forgotten: Ruth was born in China where her father was a missionary doctor, while Billy, the son of a dairy farmer, was born in North Carolina.  he book is filled with many personal stories and photos.

       --"Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt" (W.W. Norton, $27.95) by Michael Lewis is about a small group of unlikely Wall Street mavericks who figure out that, following the financial crisis, the markets have been rigged, becoming not more free but less, and decide to do something about it.

        --"The Power of One-On-One: Discovering the Joy and Satisfaction of Mentoring Others" (BakerBooks, $13.99) by Jim Stump attempts to show the readers how to develop mentoring relationships with people, using his personal stories and examples from the life of Jesus.  The author has worked with many student-athletes at Stanford University and has served as chaplain for the 49ers and the Giants pro teams in San Francisco.

     --"My Share of the Task" by General Stanley McChrystal (Portfolio/Penguin, $20.00) is a bestselling memoir that sheds light on the major episodes and controversies of his decades-long career in the U.S. Army.  It is also a book about leadership as McChrystal discusses the good and bad leaders that he has seen in his career.

     --"Michael Jordan: The Life" by Roland Lazenby (Little, Brown and Company, $30.00)  is a massive 709-page biography about the legendary superstar. The author has spent almost 30 years covering MJ's time in college and the NBA. His intimate access to Jordan's coaches, friends, teammates and family provided him a well-rounded perspective of the man, the myth and the legend.

     --"Redeemer" by Professor Randall Balmer (Basic Books, $27.99) is a religious biography of former President Jimmy Carter.


Posted June 2014