Thursday, October 26, 2017

Reading list interrupted

My newest thing is to try to weave some biographies into my reading repertoire. My current rotation is about ten crime fiction novels, then a classic book, ten more fiction novels, and then one religious book. So I wanted to broaden my horizons a little more without delving into 800-page tomes like The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. More power to those who do, but I don’t have the upper body strength to hold those books the required time necessary, nor the patience or attention span.

And I didn’t want to do presidents, because those are all usually epic length, and also because everybody reads them and most have been studied to death and I have a working knowledge of most of them. So I’m leaning toward famous people, who I wouldn’t normally read about, don’t know a lot about beyond the rudimentary, but who also seem interesting and might teach me something.

So with that in mind, I knocked off Arnold Palmer’s A Life Well Played: My Stories.
Palmer takes stock of the many experiences of his life, bringing new details and insights to some familiar stories and sharing new ones. This book is for Arnie's Army and all golf fans but it is more than just a golf book; Palmer had tremendous success off the course as well and is most notable for his exemplary sportsmanship and business success, while always giving back to the fans who made it all possible. Gracious, fair, and a true gentleman, "Arnie" was the gold standard of how to conduct yourself in your career, life, and relationships.
I liked that he actually seemed to have written it himself. If he had a ghost writer it wasn’t a very good one. It was a little clunky at times, not as smooth as Doris Kearns Goodwin, but very interesting in a down-home gentlemanly way.

My main takeaways were that Arnie was a very competitive person, holds a couple grudges, loved his dad and his wife a lot, and is just a really, nice, old-school type of person who is not terribly impressed with the way society is headed. (It was like looking in the mirror with a lot less distance on the drives.)

It met my qualifications to be included in the rotation: quick read, interesting and I learned some stuff. Go figure.

I’ve also picked up a couple bios for the to-be-read file, including Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel, and Charles Lindbergh – Writer, Inventor, Pilot. I’ll keep you posted on those, but not until I knock off three or four of my usuals, or as I call them, the good stuff.

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