Sunday, May 03, 2009

Book Reviews

There are two books I have been reading and I think both of them deserve some type of review.

The first book is Morning Drive by Michael Smerconish. Smerconish is a Philly based talk radio personality who, in my opinion, gives the most fair, honest and entertaining views on politics and current events. His new book, with the subtitle "Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Talking", is not only about politics, his positions on certain issues but it is also about how he came to his positions by researching all sides of the issue. The book is also, somewhat of a revealing, insider's take on talk radio and cable news shows.

Smerconish, on his show and in the book, unlike other talking heads, is not afraid to admit that there is more than two sides to every issue (as Michael Scott from Dunder Mifflin would say "I looked at this 100 different ways. Their way, my way and 98 other ways.). Smerconish makes it clear that most talk show hosts and guests will take a (politically speaking) Right/Republican side or Left/Democrat side to an issue on any given show.

I look at politics and political issues the same way I compare colors; it all depends on the light. In one light, gray looks more dark and the exact same gray in a different light looks lighter. For any political issue, news or current event it all depends on who is shedding the light on the topic. Smerconish's Morning Drive does a nice job of shedding the right amount of various lights on each topic and he is honest that the issue is still "gray".

I think what is understated in the book is Michael's drive. From a young age Michael had the drive to get what he wanted. In the book I think he tries to pass off some of his accomplishments as Karma, but I think it was more his determination to be involved, to find the right answers to be the best that he could be that landed him where he is today. His drive to be a lawyer, his drive to be a radio host, his drive to get the right people to talk to. It is understated but it is there.



The second book I have been reading is The Man's Book, The Essential Guide for the Modern Man by Thomas Fink. This book is BRILLIANT. Funny for any man and some woman. The book is a "How to" guide for things like the proper way to tie a tie and how build a tree house and it also has various lists of things that every man should know like the best movies for a man to watch.

The book states that Fink, the author, is a theoretical physicist. The book is full of scientific and mathematical equations on how to determine a woman's beauty or how one should pick a urinal when having to go pee. Fink includes his equations for the geeky/nerdy readers.

The book is broken down in easy to read chapters with sub-sections for each man category which makes the Man's Guide the perfect bathroom book, which in itself, makes sense. I was disappointed that the film Uncommon Valor did not make the 50 essential films for men list but other than that the The Man's Book is an excellent gift for Father's Day or Husband's Day. What? You never heard of Husband's Day...well no one else has either (Husband's Day is not in the book, it my invention) but I think a bunch of wives should get together and organize a day that celebrates husbands.

15 comments:

Melinda said...

You're funny.

Bogart in P Towne said...

I don't need no stink'n book to know not to pee next to another man if there is an open urinal that has noone next to it.

And I sure as heck don't need no science geek to tell me that Steel Magnolias, er, um the Dirty Dozen is the greatest man movie ever.

Anonymous said...

Only BOYS who don't want to grow up need a "Man's Guide". For a woman, it all comes naturally. We don't need books to "guide" us. We read for entertainment, that's when we can find the time. Our time in the bathroom is limited! Necessity, 2 minutes, shower, 3 minutes, no time to pick up any "guidance" there. My Dad, his Dad before him, my husband and sons, always seem to take a 45 minute "class" in the bathroom! No wonder you boys have time to read!!!! Maybe it's a good thing; otherwise you'd never become men, or at least try to be men. Read on.... guess who.

SciFi Dad said...

I've been reading the 2009 edition of The Man Book (due out this month) for a review (got it from the publisher). I'm finding it as entertaining as you are.

(I may borrow the bathroom reading line... with full credit, of course.)

gigglepotamus said...

"Funny for any man and some woman". I love the singular "woman", as in, SOME woman out there will find it funny...

creative breathing said...

I love your choice of books William! Now all you need is a "man cave." I am a political junkie and get so frustrated that I have to go to so many sources to get the "grey". Sigh, I miss living inside the Beltway! Have a great week! Elizabeth

Tori Spelling said...

I would be all for a holiday on which wives get together and celebrate their husbands. It's simple, really: we wives will gather over martinis while you husbands stay home with the kids. And rest assured, we will all go around the table and say such nice things about you! We will really celebrate you!

FilmFather said...

Thanks for the review of Smerconish's new book -- I was thinking of checking it out, and now I definitely will. He's undoubtedly one of the more balanced radio talk show hosts, especially compared to his "fair and balanced" colleagues on his Philly radio station, The Big Talker 1210.

kcinnova said...

I'm thinking this is a book I should buy for my son who just turned 18. It sounds a bit like the grown-up version of "The Dangerous Book for Boys."

Anonymous said...

I thought Oprah reviewed books.

JP said...

Sharkey and I saw Michael and family at Naples, FL a couple years back. We were a bit star struck and walked by his table a couple times just to get a look. And I'm thinking the Godfather made the top list of movies. But I also agree that you cannot beat Uncommon Valor w/ Sailor..

Anonymous said...

First of all everyday is HUSBANDS DAY!!!
And I agree about Morning Drive it is a
great read and Smerconish reports on the
news with out his views impeding the talk
And he doesn't cry over everything like his 1210 buddy Beck!

Anonymous said...

Just when I think you are 100% woman, you bring up Uncommon Valor.

Sue said...

Thanks for the review of the Smerconish book. I have liked him for a long time and wanted to read the book.

Mainline Mom said...

Don't tell my husband but BOTH books would be perfect for him for Father's Day. Absolutely perfect! Thanks :)

P.S. I miss Smerconish in a HUGE way.