Book Review: It’s Game Time Somewhere by Tim Forbes


Author: Tim Forbes
TitleIt’s Game Time Somewhere: How One Year, 100 Events, and 50 Different Sports Changed My Life
Publication Info: Bascom Hill Publishing Group (2013)
Summary/Review:

I received this as an e-book through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.

In a long preamble to this book, Forbes discusses his lifelong love of sports and his realization as he turned 40 that he could go into sports management as a career.  Fast forward ten years of working on golf tournaments and Forbes discovers that he’s losing his passion for the games.  To address this, he decides to tour the United States for a year attending 100 sporting events  in 50 different sports.  Forbes likes golf and works in golf, so the first 40% of this book is very focused on golf.  I don’t like golf, so this was a bear to read, although there were interesting details about golf personalities and courses here and there.

Forbes comes to the realization that the big-time sports with athletes living large and the control of ESPN over big events are draining his love of watching sports.  Interestingly, he says he finds the behavior of crowds at big events more drunken and violent than a decade earlier.  In my own experience, going to a game was scarier in the 70s and 80s but since the 90s there has been more effort to control crowds, manage alcohol consumption, and create a family friendly environment to the point that the game experience is almost too sanitized.  Nevertheless, Forbes and I can agree that the real thrill of spectator sports is going to be found in lower-level divisions or in sports that are not in the eye of the big sports media complex.

Forbes makes his discovery when the same player helps win a  minor league baseball game that he saw in a college baseball game earlier in the year. His journey changes as begins to embrace minor sports like synchronized swimming, paddling, and high school volleyball.  He discovers communities of families, friends, athletes, and dedicated fans around the many different sports.  Finally, whether it be adult kickball, curling, or lawn bowl, Forbes finds that the best sports experience come from participation.

Rating: **1/2

Book Review: Shouldn’t You Be In School? by Lemony Snicket


Author: Lemony Snicket
TitleShouldn’t You Be In School?
Narrator: Liam Aiken
Publication Info: [New York] : Hachette Audio, 2014.

Other Books Read By Same Author:

Summary/Review:

The third novel in the All the Wrong Questions series reaches a turning point in the overarching story, and contains a lot of surprises.  I like this novel particularly because the many supporting characters introduced over the course of the series come together as a team.  Even S. Theodora Markson gets a turn to break away from her arrogant mien and general incompetence.  While the themes in this novel are dark – children are essentially held in prison and drugged with laudanum, for starters – there’s an optimism that stands out among Snicket books, and satisfying twist at the conclusion.

Rating: ***1/2

Book Review: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde


Author: Jasper Fforde
TitleThe Eyre Affair
Narrator: Susan Duerden
Publication Info: New York : [Westminster, Md.] : Penguin Audio : Random House ; Books on Tape, p2009.
Summary/Review:

It’s always good to revisit some old favorites from my 100 Favorite Books list, and this one continues to deserve it’s spot on that list.  This time I listened to it as an audiobook and Duerden adds an unexpected gravitas to the first person narration of Thursday Next.  Having read the many sequels to this book, which inevitably have Thursday juggling 3-4 ridiculous scenarios at once, and I was surprised at how relatively quiet this first book is.  Fforde has a lot of world to build in his alternate universe 1985, and he does a great job of establishing it in this book setting seeds for things that get explored more thoroughly in later novels.  Ultimately though, this is a great stand alone book with it’s mix of alternate universe science fiction, detective novel pastiche, literary allusions, and riotous humor.  And after all these years, I still want to live in a world where people perform Shakespeare’s Richard III in a Rocky Horror Show style, if only for a little bit.

Rating: *****