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Sheldon Rapoza



I read lots of books. It’s not that I love to read. I just want to get better. Every day.


The memoir of hoop legend Carmelo Anthony. This book was not at all what I was expecting. It’s his story of the things he had to overcome just to make it to the NBA. A lot of athletes write books that are career highlights, which I do enjoy, but this one was more about survival. It’s not detailed about times at Syracuse or even Denver but more about how he grew up. I really enjoyed this book and would imagine any young athlete would love it, particularly those who grew up like him, inner city and in poverty. Probably my favorite basketball memoir I’ve read.

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Where Tomorrows Aren't Promised

Books | Carmelo Anthony

The story of a young girl, who like many of us, struggled early in life. However her parents sent her to a “therapeutic” boarding school and her story in this book details it all. The book is really well written for a first time author and was hard to put down. Really a lot of tough, difficult topics to explore as well as shows the insane inner workings of these schools and the trauma they put already troubled teens through.

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Books | Elizabeth Gilpin

I wouldn’t totally call this a memoir, but it’s the story of Eddie Gallagher, a highly decorated combat veteran. The book is almost entirely focused the events leading up to his “murder” trial that was sensationalized heavily by the media. As the title suggests, we should all be a lot more careful playing armchair quarterback with combat. The book was tough to put down as it basically reads like a true crime but it’s also tough to read. There are so many issues with not only the government, the coverage of it, the prosecutors, and Eddie himself is a brash guy. Either way, I wanted to learn his side of the story.

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The Man in the Arena

Books | Eddie Gallagher

This is more of a collection of essays with updated thoughts of the author. Shermer is one of the more famous scientific skeptics in the US and has been paid to speak/debate/write on many topics that today, I suppose we could call controversial. It’s a dense, slow read because there are so many different topics and I do think knowing a bit about his work would add to enjoyment. The Believing Brain is my favorite previous book of his.

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Giving the Devil His Due

Books | Michael Shermer

The memoir of Shaka Senghor, who was able to redeem himself and begin an amazing career post incarceration. I first heard of his story from Oprah’s most recent book. A timely read for anyone looking to better understand race in America today, the systemic issues we face, and the unfortunate familiar story of prison not being even close to a place to rehabilitate people. Very well written and was tough to put down. Takes on a lot of tough topics we face today that deserve more attention and conversation.

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Writing My Wrongs

Books | Shaka Senghor

The biography of Roger Federer. There have been other books and documentaries about him, but this is by far the most in depth as the author is a writer himself and former tennis player. Additionally, he gets unprecedented access to Federer. I really enjoyed this book. I am not a tennis player and barely know the rules so I would imagine that would help with some of the finer details but you still get to know the man and his drive. I am always curious about ultra high achievers and this book gives that glimpse. There was a lot about him and his family that I never knew. Great book!

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The Master

Books | Christopher Clarey

For me, this book is about the history of the Mormon religion. In particular, the “Fundamentalists”. As with all Krakauer books, I find them both full of information and difficult to follow. There is just so much nuance and backstory and the central theme of this book appears to be a disturbing double murder but at least half of the book is dedicated to other people. Crazy story…but again, his style of writing makes it difficult for me to follow.

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Under the Banner of Heaven

Books | Jon Krakauer

We are stuck in infinite browsing mode, as the author calls it in this new book. It’s largely a product of the systems and environments we are in but also, many generations growing up now simply don’t understand or value commitment. This book helps shine light on how that impacts us and what we can do. Like a lot of things, the “counterculture” or those who actually stay at something for decades end up leading happier, more purposeful lives. As with a lot of self help books, this book does a great job of explaining the issue but for my money, tends to drone on with the solutions part. Overall, I really enjoyed it. The idea of the grass always being greener isn’t true. Bloom where you’re planted!

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Books | Pete Davis

An excellent book about the science of our immune system. I really wanted to read this after watching the authors Ted Talk and it didn’t disappoint. Looking back, I wish I’d read this before I Contain Multitudes as they compliment each other very well. We are just at the very beginning stages of understanding bacteria and I can’t think of a time where taking control of your personal health has been more important. Written in a style like Mary Roach, the book is funny but walks you hard science.

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Books | Giulia Enders

A memoir of survival, from a very young woman diagnosed with leukemia. I think that there is something in this story for everyone as she touches on so much of what is rarely talked about regarding death and illness. She really spends a lot of time on relationships of all types and it’s difficult to hear both the good and bad outcomes. Really good writing and a great story.

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Between Two Kingdoms

Books | Suleika Jaouad

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