Lebron James – Clayton Geoffreys – Kindle Unlimited

Lebron James
Lebron James

Clayton Geoffreys writes small books about current basketball superstars.  Lebron James was raised solely by his mother, Gloria Marie.  They struggled with poverty.  At times they couldn’t even afford to heat the house.  A local football coach had his eyes on on Lebron James.  He was scouted to play youth football.  This coach would open his home for Lebron James to live in.  He would also introduce Lebron James to basetball.  They put Lebron James on a youth team that would represent Northeast Ohio.  Lebron and 3 close friends on the team would name themselves the ‘Fab Four‘.  They collectively decided to go to St. Vincent – St. Mary high school to play basketball.  In that neighborhood, black people didn’t typically attend St. Vincent – St. Mary.  There was another school nearby that were more accepting of black people.  So, the “Fab Four” did stir a little controversy.

The Fab Four would excel in high school basketball under the leadership of Lebron James.  Lebron’s game play would fill the bleachers with fans.  The games would have to be played at University of Akron to ensure that all fans were able to see Lebron James.  Some of these tickets would be selling for $100 each.  This team won the Ohio state championship 3 out of the 4 years that Lebron was on the team.  Sophomore year was very successful.  Lebron James gained a great deal of media attention.  He attributes this superior confidence building to not winning the championship Junior Year.  He said that junior year, the team wasn’t working as hard.  They were just expected to win.

In 2003, Lebron James signed a $90 million contract with Nike.  That was before he entered the NBA draft.  Lebron James then entered the draft right out of high school.  He was selected first overall by his home state’s Cleveland Cavaliers.  In his first NBA game ever played he put up 25 points.  By 2006, he was averaging over 30 points and have led the Cavaliers to their first playoff appearance in 8 years.  In 2007, he had led the team to their first NBA finals.  Unfortunately, San Antonio took the title in 4 games that year.

In 2010, Lebron James became a free agent.  He would join the Miami Heat that year.  He would be joining other fell free agents Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade.  In the 4 seasons that he spent with Miami he had led them to the Finals each year.  The Miami Heat would win the NBA championship in 2012 and 2013.  For the 2014-2015 season he comes back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Once again, he brings the team to the NBA finals.  The prior season Cavs had 33 wins and 49 losses.

Lebron James may easily be the best basketball player ever.  He came from poverty, but managed to accomplish so much through the help of good people from Akron, Ohio.  He had been the youngest player to break many records.  Moreover, he is a great team player as evidenced by the amount of assists he has.  Clayton Geoffreys write many books about basketball stars.  His book provides a thorough background, great insight of Lebron’s development, and details about specific games that were important.

Wayward Pines – Blake Crouch – FOX – Kindle Unlimited

Wayward Pines
Wayward Pines – Blake Crouch – FOX

Coming soon to FOX is Wayward Pines.  Executive Producer M Night Shymalan.  This is what caught my attention when I noticed this was an audio book included in Kindle Unlimited.  If FOX is going to create a prime time tv show based on the novel, I figured it has to be pretty good.

Spoiler Alert – there may be items in this article that you should not read if you want to wait for the FOX show and not know about the premises of the story.

Ethan wakes up confused.  It’s mainly due to waking up to amnesia.  He tries to get some facts by going to a coffee house.  The cashier is horrified and Ethan is nervous.  He starts wondering if he did something wrong that he can’t remember.  Ethan soon realizes that one side of his face is completely messed up.  He checks into the nearest hospital.  The nurse at the hospital works with him to try to help him remember things.  All he remembers is Mack.  This is because a Mack truck hit him.

Throughout the interaction, Ethan feels strange in Wayward Pines.  Something in the town seems off.  In his exploits throughout the town he has to deal with a difficult sheriff.  He tells the sheriff that he is a federal agent to ward off any questions about his strange behavior.  He tries to get information from a bartender, but just ends up pissing her off because he has no money.  He tries to hot wire a car to leave the strange town, but is caught in the act.  He will also end up fighting strange beasts in this unknown land.

In other scenes in the book, Ethan has flashbacks from his time served in the Gulf War.  Also, the book skips to portray his grief stricken wife and son because they have not seen Ethan.  His wife has lost hope and is at the point where she just wants to see his dead body for closure.

Dr. Jenkins starts informing Ethan of what’s going on.  He is the Wayward Pines psychiatrist.  Even though we come to a realization that he is not really a doctor.  Wayward Pines, Idaho is the only place left that houses mankind.  They are actually living in a time period where humans are almost extinct.  To preserve humankind this small area was created.  They try to get people to stay because all the other parts of the earth are surrounded by people that tried to kill Ethan.

It’s a very addictive book and I look forward to seeing where Blake Crouch takes us in the 2nd book.

 

 

Wonder Boys – Chabon – Kindle Unlimited WhisperSync

Wonder Boys
Wonder Boys – Michael Chabon

Wonder Boys is about a middle-aged author who had successfully published a book in the past.  Recently, he is spending many years writing a book that he can’t complete.  Grady Tripp, the main character, is also a college professor.  Some of the students he teaches have an easier time writing novels.  That is expected, since Tripp has a maturity level lower than most of his students and seems to be addicted to marijuana.

Tripp is having an affair with Sara.  She is the school chancellor and her husband happens to be Chairman of Tripp’s department (English) at the school.  During a party at the chancellor’s/chairman’s house, Sara informs Tripp that he had gotten her pregnant.  The only member of the household that seems to know about the affair besides the people involved is the dog.  When the dog attacks Tripp, James Leer shoots the dog dead.  Leer is one of Tripp’s suicidal students.  Leer is so obsessed with suicides that one of his talents is recalling facts about suicides from different movies.

Tripp’s agent Terry Crabtree comes to town.  Crabtree brings with him a transvestite, Miss Antonia.  Crabtree is very similar to Tripp.  They are both men that act like kids.  Crabtree is in town with hopes of making money.  He goes through Tripp’s 2,000+ page draft for his novel, but doesn’t like it.  He finds more interest in what Leer is able to produce.

While all of this is going on, his wife had dumped him that morning.  His in-laws invite him over to Passover dinner.  His wife is an Asian women that was adopted by a Jewish family.  Chabon’s writing style is random humor.  The whole book is quite random.

The book turned into a movie back in 2000.  The motion picture included an all star cast that included: Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Robert Downey Jr., and Katie Holmes to name a few.  7.4 out of 10 on IMDB.  Michael Chabon is a popular author with some good books.  He also wrote a good portion of Spider-Man 2.

Sh-t My Dad Says – Justin Halpern – Scribd Audio

sh-t my dad says
sh-t my dad says justin halpern

I found sh-t my dad says by Justin Halpern on Scribd.  Recently, I have been doing research on other unlimited book subscriptions that offer Audio Books.  Currently Amazon Kindle Unlimited contains approximately 2,000 audio books that are free.  Then there are about another 7,000 books that are free on Kindle Unlimited, but you have to pay a few bucks to turn them into an audio book.  Scribd is about the same price as Kindle Unlimited, but offers approximately 30,000 audio books.  Audible, an Amazon company, gives you a selection of 150,000 audio books.  Many of Audible’s audio books are very popular, but it’s the priciest subscription of the ones I mentioned.  Currently, for approximately $15 a month you get one audio book from Audible or for $22 you get 2 a month.

Sam Halpern is Justin’s crazy father.  He curses quite a bit when he speaks to Justin, but his funny quotes are witty.  Justin Halpern started utilizing his father’s quotes in away messages.  Then he started posting them on twitter.  Originally his friends were the only ones enjoying Justin’s father’s intellectually humorous quotes, but with a few weeks the amount of Twitter followers had grown exponentially.  At the time of this article, Halpern has 2.87 million followers.

Once Sam Halpern found out that his anecdotes were posted on twitter, his response was that he didn’t give a sh-t.  Sam doesn’t really care what people think.  Even though, father Halpern seems pretty rough with his commentary, he is a loving father.

This makes a superb audio book, especially while at work.  It is full of really funny comments and it doesn’t require consistent listening.  The readers do a great job narrating.  Justin Halpern did a great job putting the book together.  Not only are the father’s comments funny, but so is the presentation of different story lines in this book.  I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a good laugh.

Take Me With You – Kindle Unlimited – WhisperSync

Take Me With You
Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde – on Kindle Unlimited with WhisperSync

This was the next book I found on Amazon Kindle Unlimited with WhisperSync (which means free audio book when you have the Kindle Unlimited subscription).  Take Me With You is a coming of age story about someone who gets stuck watching someone else’s sons for the summer.

WARNING: There are some spoilers in this article.

August, is a science teacher who likes to spends his summers taking journey in his RV.  Some vehicle troubles bring him to an auto mechanic.  He has a Jack Russel Terrier named Woody.  The auto mechanic’s two sons Seth (12) and Henry (7) take a liking to Woody.  Wes, the auto mechanic, takes this opportunity to coerce August into taking his boys for the summer.  It sounds a little strange, but Wes is going to prison, and he doesn’t want to send his boys to an orphanage.

August takes the boys with him on his RV road trip and realizes that the kids have great manners, even though their father is in prison.  Henry is really shy and quiet.  After some investigating, August realizes that Wes is in prison for multiple DUI violations.  This is ironic because August is a recovering alcoholic himself.  We learn that August had a son who died in a car accident.  The car was driven by August’s ex-wife who also was and still is an alcoholic.

The premises of their RV summer trip is that they are taking Phillip’s (August’s son who passed) ashes to Yellowstone Park.  They go hiking and do some rock climbing.  Seth accidentally spills Phillip’s ashes over a peak.  Seth is devastated, but August tells him that’s what his son would have wanted.  He describes his son as a dare devil that would love to go down Niagara Falls.  August is making this all up as he doesn’t want Seth to feel bad for spilling the ashes.  Through this journey August ends up falling in love with the boys.  After the trip is over they agree to stay in touch.  August’s Alcoholics Anonymous mentor tells August that staying in contact with the boys is probably a bad idea.  The mentor advises August that they have a father and that August should just let them be.

Even though August’s relationship with the boys was distant they still kept in touch.  Years later when Seth is in college he reaches out to August over Skype.  August is now having physical difficulties due to an ailment.  But August is more in a position to say Take Me With You.  Seth and Henry surprise August by taking him on an RV trip instead.  They blind fold August to surprise him, as Seth drives diagonally cross country to reach Niagara Falls.

Take Me With You is a great read for someone who is looking for a heartfelt book.  I look forward to reading other Catherine Ryan Hyde books in the future.  If I don’t get a chance to read her Pay it Forward book, I will definitely put it on the Netflix Queue.

 

 

 

Coming Clean Kindle Unlimited WhisperSync K R Miller

    Coming Clean - Kimberly Rae Miller

    Coming Clean – Kimberly Rae Miller

In Kimberly Rae Miller’s biographical book she describes what it was like to live with hoarding parents.

Before reading this book I always saw hoarding as an inconvenient way to live as things are constantly in the way and items are regularly disappearing.  In Miller’s childhood account she tells a story of living in a flea infested house.  Then she goes on to tell us about other serious issues that result because of the hoarding.  For example, the family lost use of running water because the house was so cluttered that they couldn’t get a plumber to get into fix pipes.  Her father became very defensive when Kim tried to help out by throwing unnecessary stuff away.

Miller’s father was a former veteran who listened to NPR everyday.  He had his mental issues and struggled to throw out any paper.  Her mother was someone that should have had spinal surgery at a young age, but did not and had become handicapped because of it.  Kim’s childhood had given her nightmares about walking through the sludge of the dirty home she lived in.

Kim is frequently called upon to help her family clean the clutter that is their home.  She is embarrassed to show her friends her parents home.  Eventually she has to ask her friends to help her out with cleaning her parents house.  In one part of the book, Kim talks about throwing out 70 construction bags of trash in one day.

This book also addresses Kim’s interests in acting.  She starts landing off-Broadway roles.  She finds her true calling as a blogger and web show host for a Conde Nast entity.

This is a very well written book.  Miller‘s writing style is very witty keeping the reader engaged.  The book is very successful on Amazon, as evidenced by all the positive reviews.  Her LinkedIn profile is very impressive.

Confessions…Monica Mayhem Kindle Unlimited WhisperSync

Monica Mayhem
Monica Mayhem

Monica Mayhem had put together this biography to help the reader understand what had driven her to pursue a career in the adult film industry.  In her 7 year span as an adult film star Mayhem had roles in approximately 300 films.

Born in Australia, Mayhem was the daughter of an abusive, alcoholic mother.  When she was very young her father had moved out of the house.  Her mother did not like to work and she did poor job keeping steady jobs.  The family was subjected to live on welfare.  Any money that was received from Mayhem’s dad for child support was spent by her alcoholic mother.

Mayhem ended skipping class time quite a bit and then got into drugs.  She had dropped out of school altogether.  She started taking jobs that used her looks to make money.  This was appealing to her.  Her father had tried to get her into administrative work to get her foot in the door into the corporate world.  Eventually, she would get involved in Futures trading.  This even led her to a stint at Salomon Smith Barney.

In her head, she always wanted to go back to work that utilized her looks to get attention from others.  She got into nude modeling.  Her photographer got her connected to a videographer.  She realized that she could make much more money doing adult films, than photography and the rest is history.

The next two-thirds of this book goes into her actual career as an adult film star.  She gives us a perspective of her peers.  Mayhem said most of the female adult film stars are uneducated crackheads.  They are extremely dirty and there homes are kept the same way.  She writes about the out-of-pocket expenses involved in this industry, which mostly make up looking good and getting tested monthly for STDs.

Mayhem is happy with the path that she has chosen because she loves the attention and enjoys the fornicating part of the job as well.  But she gives us insight as to the cutthroat nature of what she does and talks about how many days can be 12 hours of filming which takes its toll on you.

Overall, the book is well written by someone who is intelligent.  It’s an interesting topic because I am sure many people wonder what would drive someone into this field and what happened in their lives to get them there.

Doc: A Memoir Kindle Unlimited with WhisperSync

Doc Gooden
Doc Gooden

Doc: A memoir was the next book I decided to listen to on Kindle Unlimited with WhisperSync.  I was drawn to this book because I am a big NY Mets fan and I figured it would be an interesting biography due to Doc Gooden’s drug problems.

Becoming a Mets fan in the mid-80s I felt an instant connection to Doc Gooden‘s story.  He was the youngest All-Star pitcher in MLB and a member of the last Mets World Series team (unfortunately almost 30 years ago).  This biography changed my assumptions/perceptions on quite a few things.

Since Doc Gooden was a major league star with drug problems, I had originally assumed that he may not have had the best parents.  After this book I realize that Gooden had exceptional parents.  His father was a great guy who seemed to be a great listener, as well as a great teacher.  Doc’s father was able to give his son great advice in his succinct messages.  His mother was a tough woman and a very loving parent.  The challenging parts of his Tampa’s upbringing included his sister getting shot and his drug dealer/pimp cousin.

The books begins with a great story.  Something I didn’t specifically remember, as I was only 5 when the Mets won the World Series.  When the Mets celebrated with their NYC parade, Doc Gooden was not there.  After winning the world series he celebrated near a project development partying with Cocaine.  The next day was the day of the parade and Doc was too paranoid from the Cocaine to make it to the parade.

In my youth, I knew that Doc Gooden had a cocaine problem.  His biography made me realize the extent of his addiction problem.  He always had his drug dealers phone number on his mind.  Doc seemed to have serious addictions to alcohol, cocaine, and women.

I would say that everyone believed that Daryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden were like brothers.  Based on this biography, Daryl seemed jealous of sharing Mets fame with Gooden, and back stabbed Doc every change he had.

I didn’t realize that Doc Gooden was in Season 5 of Celebrity Rehab.  In the book this program seemed to get him back on the right track the most.  He still keeps in touch with councilor Bob Forrest.  This book is great for Mets fans and has the power to inspire people with addiction problems.

Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin – Kindle Unlimited

Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson

I was first attracted to this read because the high amazon ratings and because it is WhisperSync compatable. In the Kindle Unlimited member service there are now more than 2,000 books that have an audio component. So, I sit back and relax and let the book read itself to me.
Like many celebrity stores this book is an account on how crazy Johnny Carson’s life was. It is told by Henry Bushkin, who had been originally chosen to be Carson’s lawyer, but came to be Carson’s personal assistant. In the early stages of this biography Bushkin becomes involved in spying on Carson’s first wife which had already moved away from Johnny and begins to have an affair with then NY Giants great Frank Gifford. We later learn that Carson is not the most faithful husband and that’s why his relationships tend to sour.
This book also explores the poor legal and business decisions that Carson makes. He is a great entertainer, but doesn’t get involved  in business. Bushkin delves into their time spent in Las Vegas. Going around Vegas with someone as powerful as Johnny Carson can be a blast. In Vegas Bushkin meets and has a fling with Joyce DeWitt.  She is Janet from Three’s Company.
There are other great parts of this biography like Carson being the headliner for an inauguration party for president Reagan, as well as Bushkin losing his original family because he succumbed to the temptations of hanging out with Carson, and Carson’s poor relationship with his family and friends.
There is much more to this biography and highly recommend you read it. Not only was I engaged the whole time, but Bushkin (or the book’s editor) writes this biography very well. The flow of the biography is perfect and there are many witty remarks.

Yellow Star on Amazon Kindle Unlimited with Whisper Sync

 

Yellow Star Novel
Yellow Star Novel

Recently I have decided to join Amazon Kindle Unlimited.  The biggest selling point was that they had a nice collection of books with free narration.  A little something to compete with Audible.

I started reading Yellow Star because of the great reviews the book had on Amazon as well as Good Reads.  When you download a Whisper Sync book it tells you how long the book is going to be.  This one happened to be under 3 hours which was perfect for me.

The main character Syvia is only a 4 year old child when her family is sent to the Lodz Ghetto.  The book goes on to talk about how with the help of her father, Syvia was able to hide in cellars from the Nazis.

The book is really well written by Syvia’s niece, Jennifer Roy.  Roy’ is a professional children’s book novelist.  In the beginning of the book Roy talks about her struggles to write this non-fiction novel, as she wanted to keep young readers engaged.  Roy decided to write Yellow Star in free verse.  It was a great decision as the free verse compliments Syvia’s distracted thinking among the turmoil of living in the Ghetto and hiding from the Nazis.

It’s a moving novel and it wont take a long time to read.