Sunday, January 1, 2012

I'm Starting On My 2012 Book Tally

After realizing I had a pitiful, pitiful 2011 book count I rescued some books from the bargain bin so I could start on my 2012 tally right away:

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Confessions of a White House Ghostwriter: Five Presidents and Other Political Adventures by James C. Humes — Over three years ago there was an interesting Washington Post profile on Barack Obama's chief speechwriter, Jon Favreau. That article and this book piqued my interest because in the Philippines where they're sometimes labeled "ghostwriters," it's rare that the identities of the President's speechwriters are public knowledge. Off the top of my head, the only past or present presidential speechwriters I can name are Teodoro "Teddy Boy" Locsin, Jr., who wrote for Cory Aquino, and Mai "The wine sucks" Mislang, who wrote for Noynoy Aquino.

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The Stone Cold Truth by Stone Cold Steve Austin with Jim "J.R." Ross as told to Dennis Brent — Of all the WWE wrestlers who rose to prominence during the Attitude Era, Steve Austin is my most favorite.

First, his character wasn't convoluted and his gimmick did not require too much suspension of disbelief unlike, say, Gangrel, Kane, or Undertaker's "Deadman" incarnation.

Second, even though Austin wasn't built up as a "technical" wrestler like Bret "Hit Man" Hart, there was a logical progression in his finishing sequence that I thought was a nice touch. Austin would kick his opponents in the gut or groin first, causing them to bend over in pain and be in perfect position for his Stone Cold Stunner finisher. Contrast that with Randy Orton, who regularly hits his RKO finishing maneuver from out of nowhere and without any kind of setup whatsoever.

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Total Access: A Journey to the Center of the NFL Universe by Rich Eisen — One of the best things about my college semestral breaks was that on weekday afternoons I could watch SportsCenter on ESPN. That show was top-notch in terms of production values,and had a lot of great anchors like Dan Patrick, Rich Eisen, Stuart Scott, Kenny Mayne, and Linda Cohn, to name just a few.

For some reason I found Eisen especially entertaining. Maybe it's because he had these folksy catchphrases that he used in reporting the day's sports highlights, like "He busts out the whuppin' stick!" whenever a baseball player hit managed to hit a home run. Or maybe it's because Eisen looked like he could be Dan Akroyd's little brother. I can't decide.

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