Matt’s Book Club

Posted: January 23, 2012 in Matt's Book Club, The Blog

I have always tried to be an active reader and whether it’s a newspaper, a book, or just catching up on ESPN.com, I have always enjoyed the hobby and feel like being (somewhat) well-informed can’t be a bad thing.  OK — perhaps reading an article outlining the problems in the back-end of the Reds’ pitching rotation doesn’t actually make me cultured, but is it too much to ask to let me have my moment of glory?

That unquenchable thirst for knowledge has led me to continue my constant pursuit of good books to read now that I’m in the Army, a hobby only further enabled by the Barnes & Noble NOOK my Mom and Stepdad bought me for Christmas (one of those fancy e-readers).  Even in the short time I have been out of Army training I have read a handful of books (thanks to the travel schedule and down time the Army life sometimes provides), some of which are worth mentioning while others would probably cause you to judge me for even reading in the first place.  Regardless, I felt this blog would be a great place to share with all of you some of the more worthwhile books I have polished off in recent memory.

Again, these are only books that I have read since I joined the Army as there is no need for me to review every book I have ever finished.  I’m sure nobody cares what happened in Book #23 of the “Goosebumps” series (which was Return of the Mummy, as a matter of fact, and it was outstanding).  Hey, I was in 5th grade, at least I was reading something at that age.

Since then I have gone through a wide range of genres trying to find my niche and nowadays I typically stick to sports nonfiction or biographical/historical nonfiction (nothing political) and the list will be limited to those books that I believe are generally worth your time (although the reasons for being worthwhile will vary, so if you have a question please ask).  I apologize in advance if neither of those topics interest you, that’s not to say there won’t be a little fiction sprinkled in from time-to-time, so FEEL FREE to offer suggestions of books that you consider must-reads and I’ll do my best to oblige.

In the lower left corner of the page you will find a “Matt’s Book Club” widget provided by the fine folks over at the neat social networking/book review website, Good Reads.  For now, just the books and a rating out of 5 stars will be shown in the widget.  Perhaps in the future I’ll start adding book reviews of works I find exceptional or, at minimum, post what I’m currently reading in case any of you want to follow along and then discuss it with me later all nerd-like.

And still, after all of that, if NONE of this interests you, at least you didn’t have to pay for this content?

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Comments
  1. Aaron says:

    Wuthering Heights was terrible, how could you give it four stars!?! Own the book War but haven’t read it yet and Tuesday’s with Morrie is a good book. I recommend Angela’s Ashes and then ‘Tis, both by Frank McCourt.

    • Matt says:

      Like I said, some books are worthwhile for different reasons. In the case of Wuthering Heights, here’s some explanation, in no particular order:

      A) It is generally regarded as a work of Classic Literature and thus is historically significant (along with the interesting back story on the three Bronte sisters in general).
      B) I did find it somewhat difficult to read which, in turn, gave me a sense of accomplishment.
      C) When I looked back at the story after I had finished, I did feel some emotion towards the outcome (a ‘wow’ factor for lack of a better word).
      D) Realistically I’d give it 3.5/5 stars but that’s not possible on that scale and 3/5 is only 60%, barely passing by most academic scales. So 4 stars it was.
      E) It was a gift with some personal significance (which may have created a bit of a bias).

      Hopefully that clears it up a little bit. Wuthering Heights is currently the lone work of fiction on the list and that will probably be the case for a while. Not every book on the list will be a world beater, I’m not that much of a literary snob to be reading books in those circles anyways; however, it has spawned like 5 big screen and/or made-for-TV adaptations, so I’d say it’s fairly significant.

    • Matt says:

      Oh, and thanks for the feedback, man!

  2. Samantha says:

    If you are an Apple fan try the Steve Jobs bio. It is very interesting.

    • Matt says:

      That actually does sound like a topic I’d be interested in reading, especially if it goes in to his leadership styles and motivations for his success. Thanks, Sam!

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