Now Reading: David Wells – Perfect I’m Not

The autobiography of Joe Torre that I just read was fantastic! I was quite lucky that I had a train journey to London and back on Friday, so I read the entire book in one day. The first part of the book was about his life – his upbringing and the start of his career (his playing days). I didn’t know too much about him before I started reading, but I was interested to learn he had quite a tough childhood, that he almost didn’t get to play baseball, and that he had an older brother (Frank), who was also a baseball player.

The second part of the book was about his managing career. I had only associated him with the Yankees, so it was quite surprising that he managed for a long time before the Yankees (and not very successfully either). The Yankees must have been the right fit for him, as the last part of the book was an in depth description of the 1996 World Series. It was fascinating to get inside the mind of a manager as he makes all the decisions, like when to take a player out of the game, and when to let them try and rescue themselves. It was highlighted because Joe Torre was previously a national league manager, and gave us descriptions of that mindset.

I’ve definitely got a different opinion of Joe Torre (and to some extent the Yankees), after reading this book, and it will definitely be one I read again.

The next book is another of the baseball books I just bought from Amazon. I didn’t realise that Amazon had some ‘Preferred Partners’. Basically this means that you buy a used book from another company, but it gets dispatched by Amazon, from the Amazon warehouse, and is still eligible for free shipping. It means you can gets books for £1-2 instead of £7-15. The condition is stated up front, and was pretty accurate when the books came. I’m the kind of person that likes to enjoy reading (as you may have noticed), so I don’t worry about keeping books in immaculate condition anyway.

I’ve heard some stories about David Wells, so I’m interested to see if his reputation is true!

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Now Reading: Adelbert Von Chamisso – Peter Schlemihl

I’m taking it in turns between trashy books and ones that have a bit more substance, so this is the first of my set of books that are apparently ‘lost classics’. It’s about a man who makes a deal with the devil to exchange his shadow for everlasting riches. It sounds different, so we’ll see how it goes!

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I had a couple of requests to post a review of the Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham book that I just read – ‘The Wedding Girl’. I don’t want to spoil the story for those that haven’t read it (I hate reviews that give you the ending in the first line), so these are just my opinions.

I’m a big Sophie Kinsella fan – her shopaholic series was good, and she’s written some other books that I really liked too. Madeleine Wickham is her real name, the one she used before she ‘rebranded’ herself as Kinsella. Apparently she did it because she wasn’t sure about the new direction her books were going in. To be honest, she would have been better keeping her name, seen as though no-one has heard of Wickham. I can see why her books have been re-released as ‘Sophie Kinsella writing as Madeleine Wickham’.

Reading this book, you could tell she was younger and less experienced when she wrote it. Some of the character descriptions seemed a bit forced or exaggerated, which I think disrupted from the flow of the story. The plot was good, although the end seemed quite rushed. There was a lot of build up, and then it seemed to just fizzle out. Wickham made an effort to intermingle three different stories, and while most of the book was written from the main character’s perspective, there were also chapters written from the perspective of the other characters, but I don’t think these stories were developed enough. I would happily have read a longer book to get more of a complete story.

Regardless of all this, I still really enjoyed the book. The story was good for the most part, and it was just like most chick-lit books in that I got to the end and just wanted to keep reading to see where the story was going to go.

I’m looking forward to reading the other two Wickham books to see what they are like, but at this stage I have to say I prefer her as Kinsella.

Now Reading: Jean Webster – Daddy Long-Legs

Firstly, I wanted to say how interesting I found The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman. I always find it hard to read books about the war, but we must never forget the terrible things that happened. This book was the true story of the author who managed to escape death against all odds, with help at the end from a German soldier, who was killed after the end of the war. Apparently the film of the book won a lot of awards, so I will be watching that soon.

Daddy Long-Legs was my favourite book when I was younger, and when I saw it on amazon for £1.50, I had to buy it to read it again! It’s quite a short book, so will make a nice break after the last one.

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