Also, check out our Past Reads!

Alicea (reads a lot)

The Edge - 4/8/01
by Catherine Coulter

A Darkness More Than Night - 3/15/01-3/15/01
by Michael Connelly

First Wives Club - 3/12/01-3/15/01
by Olivia Goldsmith

Bad Boy - 2/11/01-2/14/01
by Olivia Goldsmith

A Painted House - 2/8/01-2/10/01
by John Grisham

Grisham’s newest novel forgoes his usual legal thriller style and introduces us to everyday life, a seven-year-old life to be exact, based on Grisham’s own childhood.  Luke Chandler lives on a cotton farm in Arkansas with his parents and grandparents.  The crop is ready so they hire ten Mexicans and a family of hill people to help with picking.  Over the next six weeks, Luke learns all about life and people, and is sworn to secrecy on numerous accounts.  Don’t let this new style keep you from reading Grisham’s latest.  It is just as captivating, maybe even more so, than his others.

The Cat Who Smelled a Rat - 2/1/01-2/5-01
by Lilian Jackson Braun

More mystery involving Koko, Yum Yum, and Qwilleran!

The Mists of Avalon - 1/23/01
by Marion Zimmer Bradley

I was almost done with this book - then it was due back, and we had to move. :(  so - I'll read the rest later.

Nathan (doesn't read much)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakban

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - 3/23/01
by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone - 3/21/01-3/23/01
by J. K. Rowling

One for the Money - 3/19/01-3/20/01
by Janet Evanovich

The Mark: The Beast Rules the World
by Tim Lahaye and Jeremy Jenkins

ESPN: The Uncensored History
by Michael Freeman

This book attempts to sum up the history of one of the most popular TV networks of today, ESPN.  From its humble beginnings to the colossal media conglomerate that it is today, this work tells it all - the goods and the bads.

My Comments: THIS BOOKS IS QUITE POSSIBLY THE WORST WRITTEN MANUSCRIPT I HAVE EVER READ!!!  While the content was enough to keep me hooked (though I think the author blows up some issues to make the book juicier), I cannot believe that anyone would want to put their name to this amateurish crap.  Freeman is obviously a member of the press, and his writing style is that of the 4 column-inch news blurb spread over 286 pages.  He refers to someone by their last name, in some spots, when he has not talked about that person in 50 pages!  I guess you are supposed to keep notes on each person he mentions so you can figure out who he's talking about it.  These issues, and others, are enough to drive you crazy if you are a picky reader.  HOWEVER, the subject matter is enough to keep any ESPN fan reading on.

The following is from a reader's review on Amazon.com:

As a former ESPN employee, I caution most readers to take most of the "gank" provided in this book with a HUGE grain of salt. The sexual harassment incidents described are anecdotal at best, and even if they are indicative of a "bigger problem" throughout ESPN Plaza, what else would you expect with a company when you throw a bunch of young twenty-something males who are all self-proclaimed "sports experts" with no social outlets in a sleepy little town in central Connecticut? (Freeman's characterization of Bristol as a "city" is laughable).

Freeman does do a good job of painting the painful sacrifice young singles must make to join this odd corporate culture. But maybe also mentioning the sacrifices the married employees and their families have to make (e.g. the intense travel demands levied on many ESPN employees, the quirky weekend hours, the extramarital activity), would have helped give this book more balance.

The book also neglects the overall stress on a given night in the screening room where every sporting event is being monitored. A brief synopsis of how a game becomes a highlight and the people involved -- from the PA logging the game to the highlight supervisor to the anchor reading it on the air -- might also help readers understand the electricity in the air on a given night at ESPN Plaza.

Other than that, though, the book is a compelling read. Many of the personnel mentioned in the latter half of the book, both talent and production, are still at ESPN. The timeline of ESPN's evolution from cable start-up to the model cable network is great. Freeman's assessment of ESPN as a "sports news" network and not just a "sports network" is very well done.

And for those wide-eyed soon-to-be college grads who would give your left arm to work for the Worldwide Leader (attention all men: they will most likely spare your arm but they'll begin to take your hairline upon arrival in Bristol), this book will definitely give you a moment of pause.


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Revised: April 10, 2001 .