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Books NBA Reviews

Lottery Picks, Politics & Process – “Built to Lose” Reviewed

Here’s a riddle: When is losing the best way to win?

The answer, for a long time, was the NBA Draft, as teams that lost – sometimes purposely – were rewarded with a chance to choose the best players coming into the league.

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Books Movies TV

Imagining a Proper John Grisham Universe

I’m unashamed to be a John Grisham fanatic.

While his work has been derided as “legal thrillers [that] are no more mentally taxing – or unpredictable – than fairy tales,” I enjoy them. Well, most of them. Some are quite bad, but there are a few that are actually very good. Most fall somewhere between the two. I usually read biographies and other works of nonfiction, but Grisham is like a reading vacation for me. I don’t have to read with a pen in my hand or work to untangle the density of the prose, and I love his pacing. Also, I listen to his audiobooks as background noise while working or doing things around the house.

As not only a Grisham superfan, but also the internet’s expert on all his books, I decided to take a look at how a live-action Grisham universe could look.

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Books History Reviews

John Adams Balancing Diplomacy and Family – “A View from Abroad” Reviewed

How can a writer bring a new perspective to a man – and a marriage – that ended two hundred years ago?

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Books Hip-Hop Music Rap Reviews

“The Motherlode” – A Beautiful, Undefinable History of Women in Hip-Hop

“Men write history, but women live it.”

Chloe Angyal

It’s true that history is written by the victors, but it’s also been predominately written by men. That is especially true in hip-hop. As the culture closes in on its fiftieth birthday, the contributions of women, whether behind the mic or behind the scenes, have been largely overlooked, marginalized, or outright ignored.

The Motherlode (Abrams, 2021) by Clover Hope could help begin to change that. A cogent and forceful entry in the ongoing need to give the ladies their due, it is a book that is undefinable, or at least not easily categorized, that also happens to be the definitive history of women in hip-hop.

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Art Books Education How I Work Learning Lessons Process Work

Get the Most Out of Your Books – Be an Active Reader (Video)

There’s a YouTube channel called the The Art of Improvement that does those funky illustrated videos to add a visual to written text.

Back in 2019, they asked if they could do the same for my essay “Get the Most Out of Your Books – Be an Active Reader.” I, of course, enthusiastically said yes! It’s a piece of which I’m quite proud, so to have someone not only appreciate it, but build on it in this way is very cool.

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Art Books Documentaries Films Learning

“The Booksellers”: A Documentary for Bibliophiles and Collectors

“The relationship of the individual to the book is very much like a love affair.”

Anyone that has studied or researched the finer points of books, particularly rare books, knows that it is a more complicated and layered world than most would imagine.

How do you identify a first edition? What makes a book rare? What is an “antiquarian” book? What makes a book valuable? And who are these people that dedicate their lives to answering such questions?

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America Books History Reviews

Daring to read, think, speak and write – “The Education of John Adams” Reviewed

“Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.”

John Adams, “A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law”

John Adams took his last breath on July 4, 1826, on the fiftieth anniversary of his – and his fellow revolutionaries’ – greatest achievement.

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America Books History Reviews

Personality Over Policy: An American Tradition – “The Problem of Democracy” Reviewed

Of all the hand-wringing about our current state of politics, a major complaint is that today’s voters choose personality and attitude over policy and ability. However, students of history know that this has been the case for centuries in America, almost from its inception.

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Books Hip-Hop Rap Reviews

“On Writing” for the Hip-Hop Culture: Rakim’s “Sweat the Technique” Reviewed

In most cases, progress and evolution happen slowly, over a period of time marked by small, incremental changes. Occasionally, however, a seismic shift occurs and a culture transforms overnight.

That is what happened in 1986 when a young man with a voice that sounded like it was from outer space came in the door and changed the game forever with “Eric B. Is President,” the first single from Eric B. & Rakim. The latter half of that duo was still in high school when he introduced a “new era of rhyme style” with complex internal rhymes full of multisyllabic words and a relaxed, composed delivery that was more conversational than shouting.

It was a new day in hip-hop.

Categories
Books Hip-Hop Reviews

A Fun, Glib, and Honest Trip Down Rap Memory Lane – “Ruffhouse” Reviewed

Growing up in the Philly area, there is a constant underlying feeling of inferiority, like a little brother, in regards to New York City, particularly within the realm of hip-hop.