What I’m Reading (May 2017)

May 31, 2017 Leave a comment

A few more good books this month:

  • Rock Beats Paper by Mike Knowles. Another superb crime novel from Knowles.
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Riveting book. Might have to watch the TV show.
  • Every Night I Dream of Hell by Malcolm Mackay
  • Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. Fantastic book about the early days of Nike.
  • Captain Fantastic: Elton John’s Stellar Trip Through the ’70’s by Tom Doyle. Entertaining and interesting.
  • Nowhere Near First by Cory Reese
  • Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
  • Steadfast by Lizzie Armistead
  • Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
  • Radical Candor by Kim Scott
  • Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan


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On 25 Years Of Marriage

May 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Twenty-five years ago, on a Saturday afternoon in Texas, two kids said “I do.” In the weeks leading up to this day, as I’ve looked back at the past two and half decades and thought about our time together, our life together, I’m almost at a loss for words.

As a high school freshman, after breaking up with another girl, I’d retreated to the sanctuary of the basketball court at West Avenue Elementary School, a few blocks from my house. I needed to think and the place I did my best thinking was on the basketball court shooting baskets by myself.

Relationships with girls always went sour. The only saving grace was that the relationships tended to go bad fast. Was I ever going to find the right one? What would a good relationship look like? How would it work? Could I even have a successful relationship with a female? I had no example of a successful marriage. I was a child of divorce and most of my friend’s parents were divorced as well. Divorce seemed to be the norm, but it was not a norm I wanted for myself.

A few years later, some recently married friends advised that marriage was work. Hard work. Books should be read. I like to read books of all types, except books on relationships. Conferences on relationships might even be necessary. In some cases, a counselor might be required to help you learn how to live together. Marriage is work, work, work.

This picture of marriage held zero appeal to me.

I knew little to nothing of what a good marriage ought to look like, but the fuzzy picture in my head seemed to be better than the one others were painting for me.

Fast forward to college. After a couple of failed relationships, I swore off the opposite sex. No more headaches. No more trying. I was done.

A day, maybe two, later, I walked into Nix Hall, one of the dormitories on the campus of Hardin-Simmons University. The fall semester was about to begin. A group of people were watching Midnight Run on the TV in the common area. Sitting on one of the couches in the corner was a brunette with brown eyes. We had met once or twice before. She looked over at me and said, “Would you like an Oreo cookie?”

Pierced by Cupid’s arrow.

For the next few days, we kept running into one another. Some times by coincidence, and other times because I’d figured out when she ate lunch and dinner in the cafeteria. I asked her out on a Thursday. We  stayed on campus and went to a place called the Sub, where we each had a Coke. We sat at a table and started talking. The next thing I knew, the employees were mopping the floors and stacking the chairs. Four hours seemed to pass in about fifteen seconds.

The next night we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant, Casa Herrera. Afterwards, we drove around the city talking.

It has continued on like that for nearly three years of dating and now twenty-five years of marriage.

Not once has it ever felt like work. Through ups and downs, highs and lows, triumphs and challenges, whatever the lottery of life might assign for the day, this marriage to this brown-eyed girl has always been the beacon of my life. She is always there, and that is enough. More than enough.

As a teenager bouncing a basketball and trying to imagine what a marriage could be like…I never dreamed anything this good. Not even close.

With much love and appreciation.


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What I’m Reading (April 2017)

April 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Sunset City is a book I’d recommend, especially if you like noir. Down City is a fascinating memoir.

  • Sunset City by Melissa Ginsburg (Page-turner, practically read in one sitting).
  • Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
  • Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy
  • Down City by Leah Carroll (Gripping, and heart-breaking)
  • The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone
  • Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic: Reggie, Rollie, Catfish, and Charlie Finley’s Swingin’ A’s by Jason Turbow
  • Brown Eyed Handsome Man: The Life and Hard Times of Chuck Berry by Bruce Pegg
  • Little Bets by Peter Sims
  • Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro
  • The Way of the Runner: A Journey into the Fabled World of Japanese Running by Adharanand Finn
  • The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller
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What I’m Reading (March 2017)

April 30, 2017 Leave a comment

I stumbled across a new crime writer this month, Mike Knowles, and binge-read his work. Also, Keigo Higashino has a new novel out.

Here’s what I read this month:

  • Grinder by Mike Knowles
  • In Plain Sight by Mike Knowles
  • Never Play Another Man’s Game by Mike Knowles
  • The Buffalo Job by Mike Knowles
  • The Name of the Game is a Kidnapping by Keigo Higashino
  • Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
  • The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone
  • User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton
  • Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan that Works
  • High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic by Glenn Frankel
  • Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture by Marvin Harris
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What I’m Reading (Feb 2017)

March 5, 2017 Leave a comment

This month’s reading with comments on selected titles:

  • Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh – An outstanding collection of short stories.
  • A MidSummers’s Equation by Keigo Higashino – A superb Japanese mystery.
  • Darwin’s Nightmare by Mike Knowles – A true hard-boiled page turner.
  • Road to Perdition by Max Allan Collins
  • Work Hard, Study, and Keep Out of Politics: Adventures and Lessons from an Unexpected Public Life by James A Baker, III – An intriguing memoir from one of the most important public officials in my lifetime.
  • Chuck Knoll: His Life’s Work by Michael MacCambridge
  • The Grand Tour: The Life and Times of George Jones by Rich Kienzle
  • Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi
  • Congratulations, by the Way by George Saunders
  • Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Bard Ricca
  • One Pan & Done by Molly Gilbert
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What I’m Reading (Jan 2017)

February 12, 2017 Leave a comment

A list of January’s read list

  • Under the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino – a phenomenal Japanese crime novel. One of the best I’ve read in awhile.
  • Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
  • The Last Quarry by Max Allan Collins
  • SHOUT!: The Beatles in Their Generation by Philip Norman
  • The Last Good Heist: The Inside Story of the Biggest Single Payday in the Criminal History of the Northeast by Tim White, Randall Richard, and Wayne Worcester
  • The Murder of Sonny Liston: Las Vegas, Heroin, and Heavyweights by Shaun Assael
  • Why Kerouac Matters by John Leland
  • Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out the Beatles, Made the Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll by Fred Goodman
  • Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Arts Agency by James Andrew Miller
  • In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown by Amy Gary
  • Everyday Cook by Alton Brown
  • Ask a Pro by Phil Gaimon
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What I’m Reading (Dec 2016)

January 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Here’s the list of this month’s reading.

  • Fever City by Tim Baker- an excellent noir novel, reminiscent of James Ellroy. Deserving of all the great reviews.
  • The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
  • Quarry by Max Allan Collins- I watched season 1 of Quarry, and after doing so decided to read the books on which the series was based. The books are entertaining noir.
  • Quarry’s List by Max Allan Collins
  • Quarry’s Deal by Max Allan Collins
  • Quarry’s Cut by Max Allan Collins
  • Quarry’s Vote by Max Allan Collins
  • Graveyard of the Gods by Richard Newman
  • DreamLand: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones- Fascinating book. Also worth the time to listen to his interview with Marc Maron.
  • The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis- Lewis continues to shine as a writer. Part about how we think and part about the friendship among two very different men.
  • Patient H.M: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich
  • Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age by Michael Hiltzik- About the infamous PARC group that set the stage for much of what we see in technology today.
  • API’s: A Strategy Guide
  • Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant by Roland Lazenby
  • Home is Burning by Dan Marshall
  • On Trails by Robert Moor
  • Everyone Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises by Lesley M. Blume
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