“Role of a Lifetime”
by James Brown (with Nathan Whitaker)
It’s Sunday afternoon, and there’s nowhere else you’d rather be than in front of your TV. You’ve got chips, liquid refreshment, the remote, and you’re wearing your lucky slippers. Gotta support the team, you know. But as you reach for a snack, you miss the game for just a second and something happened. You didn’t catch it. Arrgh! You’re momentarily lost. Thank goodness for sportscasters, right? But what do you know about the folks who bring you the nuances of the game? Learn about one of them by reading “Role of a Lifetime,” by James Brown (with Nathan Whitaker).
From almost the moment he was born in February 1951, James Brown says he was a “mama’s boy.” Mrs. Brown ruled the family with an iron glove covered in velvet; she demanded excellence from her five children; and she raised them with Bible verses on her lips. Mr. Brown worked hard for his family at various jobs, and likewise expected results. His parents’ high examples, morality and life-lessons are the ideals that James Brown still carries with him.
Despite that he’s most famous for his work with FOX and CBS during football games, Brown’s first love was basketball. He was fortunate, he says, to have had good and honest mentors during his teenhood, and he worked hard to make them proud. His athleticism garnered attention from several colleges, but, with the idea of a “fall-back career” in mind, he attended Harvard.
Following a disappointing summer in Atlanta, when Brown was turned down by basketball’s Atlanta Hawks, he took his business degree and stepped into the corporate world. While he was there, he learned lessons that sustained him through his career, first on local TV stations in the Washington, D.C., area, with FOX and with CBS Sports.
There are seven ingredients that make success, says Brown: “Good communication skills, appearance, personal relations, punctuality, thirst for knowledge, being a team player and overcoming adversity.” Put them all together, and you’ve got a winning combination. Wow.
I didn’t much like “Role of a Lifetime” at first. The first few pages made me think this was just going to be another look-at-me sports bio, and I’ve had enough of them. But I kept reading. I’m glad I did.
Brown has written a book that goes beyond sports (although there’s plenty of that for any fan). This book is part motivational, for any young person who wants to be a success. It’s part business, for anyone who needs a cautionary tale or two for advice. It’s also part testimony to faith, which makes it an easy gift for anybody. “Role of a Lifetime” offers relationship advice as Brown talks about his parents’ marriage, as well as his own. And it’s, of course, a biography about the friendly face you see each week on the TV, but might not know a thing about. Here’s your chance. Pick up a copy and enjoy. If you’re a business-minded sports fan, this is an unbeatable book.
by Dennis Lehane, read by Tom Stechschulte
Sometimes you think you’re losing your mind. You put something down and five minutes later you can’t remember where you set it. Half your time is spent losing things; the other half, looking for them. Your memory is – pffft – gone.
When U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels is assigned to find a killer, he knows she couldn’t have gone far. But in the re-released novel, “Shutter Island,” by Dennis Lehane, Teddy has to fight off his memories before he can start looking.
Marshall Teddy Daniels hated water. He hated it when his father took him out on a boat, and he hated it while traveling to his new assignment. Hunched over a toilet, retching, he thought about why he agreed to take this case. Shutter Island was remote and surrounded by water. A ferry came in once every few days, and was the only way off the island. And that was good, because most of the people who lived there were either orderlies, guards or inmates. Shutter Island was the home of Ashcliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Only the worst, most delusional killers were sent there. And one of them had escaped.
Rachel Solando was, judging by her photo, once a beautiful woman. But when her husband went away to war, something snapped and she drowned her three children in a nearby lake. Now, Rachel Solando was missing somewhere on Shutter Island. She couldn’t have gone far. Yet, nobody could find her. But Rachel Solando wasn’t the only reason Teddy Daniels took the assignment.
Years ago, Teddy was happy and in love. His Delores was a beauty, and the honeymoon never ended. On the day she died, Delores begged Teddy to stay home, but he had to go to work. They fought, and angry words were the last he’d hear her say. He thought often about the fire that killed her, and about Andrew Laeddis, the firebug who set the inferno and who resided at Shutter Island. If Teddy could find Rachel, Laeddis would be easy to locate; then, Teddy would get the revenge he desperately needed.
As he searched for both Rachel and Laeddis, Teddy began to believe that something was wrong. A little… off. Shutter Island wasn’t what it seemed. But then, neither was he. Like many people, I listen to audiobooks in my car, while I’m driving. In this case, I made up excuses to go places, just so I could listen to “Shutter Island.”
Lehane grabs you from the outset of this story and never lets you go, through twists and turns and gasps of plot. Teddy Daniels is a complex man with ghosts in his soul, and Lehane does a stellar job of writing emotion, from loss to love, confusion to fear. Add the incredible acting of reader Tom Stechschulte, and you’ve got an audiobook you won’t want to stop listening to. Originally published in 2003 and recently released as a movie, listen to this novel before heading to the theatre. Without a doubt, “Shutter Island” is an audiobook to search for.
The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. She has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. Terri lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.