Kings of the County League: One Summer, One Team, One Dynasty
In a story that will touch the heart of the readers, Kings of the County League: One Summer, One Team, One Dynasty is a feel-good story that makes one glad to be American. This impassioned story is all about the “Great American Past time,” but not in the way that most would expect.
Author Craig Ohlau has done a marvelous job of immersing the reader into the world of semi-pro baseball; which is his world. In sharing his experience as one of the members of The Kings of the County League, Mr. Ohlau has not only opened up an entirely different perspective of one of our beloved games, but in the process will more than likely convert even some of the most loyal fans of MLB to the semi-pro aspect. He does on excellent job of painting a vivid picture of the differences between the two levels of the game and illuminating the supposed “lower” levels of the game, that most people think players go to die or that they can’t quite cut it in the big league. I beg to differ, and you will too after you read this rousing book.
As this is a real-life story, I can say that the story reads like a good fiction novel. The author does a fantastic job of fleshing out the characters in the story, which were his real-life teammates. The story is a first-hand account of one summer that is told from a first-person perspective, but I suspect that Craig Ohlau is simply speaking from his heart when writing this book, as readers will be able to tell that it came from a place of love.
I highly recommend Kings of the County League to readers who want a feel-good story that shows what amounts to the triumph of “the little guy”. This spirited story may in fact change one’s view that the “little guy” is actually the coolest.
Pages: 259 | ASIN: B08KWQXB74
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: author, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Craig Ohlau, ebook, goodreads, indie author, kindle, Kings of the County League, kobo, literature, memoir, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, sports, story, writer, writing
Red Cagle: West Point’s Three-Time All-American
Christian Keener Cagle was a born athlete. Nicknamed “Red,” Cagle was destined for greatness. From a rural upbringing in Louisiana to college at West Point, Cagle excelled at any sport he tried. His competitive nature followed him throughout his short but fascinating life.
Red Cagle: West Point’s Three-Time All-American, by Cathy C. Post, is a riveting biographical account of an extraordinary athlete. Cagle never set out to be a nationally known athlete. He grew up as a true cowboy on his family’s ranch in Louisiana. He loved the sport of football like he did all other sports. He was a natural, despite his relatively small stature for a football player. He was lightning-fast, and colleges picked up on his prowess. Southwestern Louisiana Institute and the prestigious West Point vied for his attention and won. The National Football League came knocking, and Cagle answered. He gained an extraordinary level of fame while representing his chosen schools and then the NFL, but it did come at a price. Should he stay true to his sweetheart, Marion? Should he break a code of honor? What about all his fans flocking to arenas to witness his amazing athleticism? How can one person keep everyone happy?
Author Cathy C. Post is a master at drawing in the reader with her smart inclusion of details and the way in which she is able to give readers a look at the inner workings of West Point. This compelling biography will appeal to readers that have a love of football because of her play-by-play recounting of Cagle’s football games in which he participated. The games offer so much: danger, camaraderie, and fierce competition, and readers are able to understand and appreciate this due to the authors fantastic writing. Post puts the reader right in the middle of it all. The author also provides an interesting look at the history of football such as when President Theodore Roosevelt “slammed down the hammer”. He vowed to abolish the game unless “major changes were put in place.” This insistence from President Roosevelt led to the creation of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It’s things like this that make this book enlightening as well as entertaining.
Fans of sports biographies will delight in the details of a young hero out of the South in the 1920s playing “America’s game.” Readers of all kinds will enjoy Red Cagle: West Point’s Three-Time All-American because of Cathy C. Post’s engaging storytelling.
Pages: 208 | ISBN: 1455625159
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: author, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Cathy C. Post, ebook, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, Red Cagle, sports, story, writer, writing
Running Dreams by Carlos Servan is a story about determination and following your goals. The author details his life with the Peruvian army and the important choices he makes to dedicate his life to an important role, with physical and mental fitness preparation and a focused mindset. He realizes his dreams when he enters his first year as a cadet at the School of Officers for the Peruvian Investigation Police, entering his first patrol, which changes his life.
This book begins with the author’s childhood, where his dreams center around protecting his country, which would eventually become realized and change the direction of his life in unexpected and sometimes dangerous ways. I appreciated the amount of effort spent on detailing childhood memories, which creates a clear picture of Servan’s personality, family relations, Peruvian background, and ambition.
I found the book to be deeply moving and impactful, as the author details not only his rise to success within his early adulthood but the challenges he faces and his ability to cope. There is sincere openness throughout the book, which gives readers a sense of Servan’s personality and impressive resilience as a hero. This stirring memoir gives readers a sense of inspiration and understanding about the author and his incredible journey.
Running Dreams is a beautifully written story about strength and determination. Carlos Servan has written a fantastic memoir that instills hope and faith in readers through an incredible story that will keep you engaged from the very start.
Pages 278 | ASIN 1639886435
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: author, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Carlos R Serván, ebook, goodreads, indie author, inspirational, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, Running Dreams, sports, story, writer, writing
When Baseball Was King
When Baseball Was King, The New York Yankees Were Kings of Baseball by Dr. Len Bergantino is the full recounted story of the popular sport and its greatest players. From baseball’s history to its player’s stats and respective journeys throughout their careers. And while the main focus is the New York Yankees, there is also mention of other great teams and their players.
The peculiarity of this book is that it’s visually graphic. It includes texts and images from other sources such as magazines and newspapers. This adds a unique touch to back up the author’s quotes and citations. However, at times it seems like the author simply copied and pasted the pages of the books he thought relevant without summarizing and citing the information correctly. The book is fifty-three pages, almost a third of these being scans or excerpts from other books.
The story is narrated through Dr. Bergantino’s point of view as he discovers baseball and dives further deeper into its history and greatest stars. He tells the story of how his father introduced him to the sport and how he then fell in love with it; this gives it a nostalgic touch that I’m sure old baseball fans will very much appreciate.
While this book is non-fiction and primarily informative, having a “character” narrate gives it a storylike quality that makes it more enjoyable and feels less of an educational text and more like something to read for fun. This book gives readers a general insight into the sport and exciting facts about the most prominent players. It’s perfect for any baseball fans or as an introduction for anyone looking to get into the sport. It’s short and easy to read and quickly captivates the reader’s attention.
When Baseball Was King, The New York Yankees Were Kings of Baseball is an exciting historical look at the game with illuminating facts and entertaining stories.
Pages: 98 | ASIN : B085WMX5P6
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: author, baseball, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Dr. Len Bergantino Ed.D. Ph.D., ebook, goodreads, history, kindle, kobo, literature, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, sports, story, When Baseball Was King the New York Yankees Were King of Baseball, writer
The beauty about Gary Evans and his book SOL: Still Our Lions – The Rise, Fall and Renaissance of Detroit and its Pro Football Team is that you do not need to be a football fan, or even a sports fan, to enjoy his introspective book. The author writes in a way that is moving, and every sentence he pens is more attention-grabbing than the former. His way of expressing his thoughts on the subject matter is well thought out and stated directly. Gary Evans writes from the heart, and that is what makes his writing so appealing. He is authentic and candid in all he writes about. In between the sports discussions, readers get life lessons that the author shares while telling his story and the stories of others.
This informative book is about the Detroit Lions team in the NFL. The author writes about the football team’s history, major events, wins, losses, relationships with fans, the community, and everything in between. Gary Evans chronicles forgotten events, little-known heroes, and the role sports play in communities. The author explains how he believes sports loyalty works, writing that the Detroit Lions were loved through both their accomplishments and failures. The rise of the team, the challenges, and the goals achieved are what make the Detroit Lions special. Reading from a fan’s point of view is the magic in the entire book.
This book may focus on sports, but as you read on, you see that other themes arise. The other themes are politics, family, freedom and independence, race relations, policy making, and love. I appreciate that the author compiled notes about unheard-of history icons as he shared inspirational tales in his narrating. Reading this book gives one a feeling of nostalgia, even if not from the area being written about. The author has created an entertaining book that will give readers an appreciation of history and get them to see sports competitions in a different light.
Apart from learning about football as a sport and the Detroit Lions, the author also enlightened the reader on how to preserve culture and how to build a community with people that share the same interests. At the start of every chapter is a quote from historical icons. Two of my favorite quotes are “Time Slips away, leaves you with nothing, mister. Just stories of glory days,” by Bruce Springsteen, and “There is a fine line between honoring the past and losing yourself in it” by Eckhart Tolle. The lessons about life doubled with the impeccable storytelling skills make this book an interesting read. The reader gets to reflect on the past and appreciate the present.
SOL: Still Our Lions is more than a sports history book; it is a well-crafted and deeply thoughtful look at how sports impact and influence the communities they are part of. More than just a game, football is an avenue to bring people together that would otherwise not cross paths.
Pages: 396 | ASIN : B0BBKYW3XG
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, football, Gary Evans, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, SOL, sports, sports history, story, team sports, writer, writing
The Greatest Basketball Player I Ever Saw
The Greatest Basketball Player I Ever Saw by Dr. Len Bergantino is a touching mix of sports biography and autobiography. It is likely the most unique biography you’ll ever have the pleasure of reading. Doctor Bergantino is an eccentric writer who has already written on various subjects. However, with this book, he has turned his hand to writing a sports biography. The strange part is he has chosen to write it about a sportsman you will never have heard of who died at the tender age of 18.
The book is a biography of Billy Finn, Bergantino’s high school best friend who died in a car crash before he ever had a chance to become famous. Bergantino spends much of the book explaining why he thinks Finn was the best basketball player of all time. Finn’s abilities are described as almost supernatural. This part of the book will likely appeal to anyone interested in basketball or amateur sports.
The book isn’t just about Billy Finn, the sportsman, however. Instead, it is a monument to Finn, Bergantino’s friend. I think this is the part of the book that will really appeal to most readers. Bergantino shares with us, the reader, touching anecdotes of what he and Finn got up to as young men. His love for his childhood friend, even 50 years after his passing, is evident and touching.
Bergantino’s affection for Finn is almost infectious. The book is written in such a way that the reader finds themselves caring about a young man they had never heard of before. Finn’s personality is described as warts and all. The two young men don’t always see eye to eye, and Bergantino doesn’t shy away from this. Even the best of friends annoy each other from time to time.
The book is a short, easy read. Bergantino’s writing is energetic if a bit frantic at times. He is a fan of hyperbole, and some of his claims about Finn may have to be taken with a pinch of salt. The eccentric style is enjoyable for most of the book, but the final chapter, in which he talks about how Finn has been reincarnated, may leave some readers, myself included, feeling a little cold. It feels like this last chapter goes off on a little bit of a tangent.
All in all, The Greatest Basketball Player I Ever Saw is a touching biography of a young man you more than likely have never heard of. But, whether you’re a sports fan or not, the book is mostly a beautiful monument to a man whose best friend still bitterly misses him.
Pages: 81 | ASIN : B0865X1P48
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: author, basketball, basketball coaching, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, coaching, Dr. Len Bergantino Ed.D. Ph.D., ebook, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, sports, sports biographies, story, The Greatest Basketball Player I Ever Saw, writer, writing
Squash The Boorish Louts
The Ballpark Buster follows a boy who grows to be over seven feet tall and takes the baseball world by storm with his impressive skill and strength. What inspired the setup to your story?
I had been reading about a young man known as the Alton Giant — Robert Wadlow of Alton, IL. Robert had a pituitary disorder that caused him to grow at an unprecedented rate. In fact, he was more than 8 feet 11 inches tall when he died at the young age of 22 in 1940. Somewhere around the time of that research, I accidentally rediscovered a set of captivating baseball park cartoons done by artist Gene Mack for the Sporting News in the mid-1940s. I liked these cartoons as a kid, and as I revisited the panels after all these years I started thinking about what would happen if a super-large kid (one who benefited from a surgery that Robert Wadlow did not get) landed in historic baseball settings of the past. It took a lot of fitting together of plot puzzle pieces and baseball chronology in order to make this “new” history possible, but my big kid Buster made his way and knocked down quite a few barriers.
Buster Logan is a charming character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?
I wanted to keep Buster pretty down-to-earth throughout the book. Although he has obvious physical gifts, I didn’t want him to try and intimidate anyone as he competed in professional sports and lived his life. He did not draw attention to himself. He was a quiet boy with a lively sense of humor. He never veered away from the simple values of loving one’s family and being accepting of others along the way.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Buster’s great size often positioned him as an outsider, and I didn’t minimize the struggles he had as a young person who sometimes took abuse from competitors, unruly fans and insensitive strangers. In the book, Buster rubs shoulders with others who are outside the norm in one way or another — players like Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth and Ted Kluszewski. Buster both provides and receives encouragement from them. He interacts with a number of vicious people (including one major league manager) and, with great effort, learns to conduct himself with restraint even though he’s tempted to squash the boorish louts.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
This isn’t anything traditional, but these days I’m writing and assembling a large compendium of comedic wordplay puns paired with images. (You could even say they’re memey.) I’m likely to release them as a collection in early 2023.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, baseball, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Don Shearer, ebook, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, sports, sportsfiction, story, The Ballpark Buster, writer, writing
Acknowledge Fear And Indecision
How to Run a Marathon in 13 Years details the variety of obstacles you faced while fighting to regain the ability to run a marathon again. Why was this an important book for you to write?
At first, I thought it would be a fun book about running. But as I went back over the years, I saw my life had been collapsing financially, physically, emotionally; pretty much in all areas.
Running became the scaffolding upon which I hung my reactions to the challenges that arose. Hopefully, readers will glean a few good lessons.
I appreciated how candid you were in your book. What was the hardest moment in your life to write about?
The deaths of family and friends. Recalling their passing triggered varied memories and emotions, often reminding me of times when I was petty or mean.
I can’t repair the past, only strive to be less self-centered in future.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is struggling to find motivation?
Acknowledge fear and indecision, then think of one tiny action you might do right that moment that will guide you toward your goal. Small things, little deeds got me in motion.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your story?
We never lose the choice of how to respond to the cruelty of time and the unfairness of life. And maybe a couple of laughs.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, health, How to Run a Marathon in 13 Years, indie author, inspirational, JP Mac, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, sports, story, true story, writer, writing