Monday, October 13, 2014

Book Review: The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky and Death

Have you noticed how every new nonfiction book has a long involved title? It's always something pithy, followed by a colon and then some elaborately long descriptor. The Emerald Mile: the epic story of the fastest ride in history through the heart of the Grand Canyon. An Invisible Thread: the true story of an 11-year-old panhandler, a busy sales executive and an unlikely meeting. Lawrence in Arabia: war, deceit, imperial folly and the making of the modern Middle East. The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky and Death. Poker, Beef Jerky and that's a title! How could you not be intrigued by that?

Purportedly, The Noble Hustle is about Colson Whitehead's quest to compete in the World Series of Poker in 2011. However, it really is an odd mixture of memoir, travelogue, self-reflection and (only-a-little bit) poker manual. You don't need to play poker to appreciate Whitehead's musings and mutterings. Just go along for the ride as Colson, along with his friends, his coach and his personal trainer, navigates the world of high stakes poker.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Serendipity and Small Houses

Serendipity means I run into this book on the New Books Shelf:  Tiny House Living: Ideas For Building And Living Well In Less Than 400 Square Feet.  This came after the conversation at home about building an addition on to our house that would be about 150 sq. feet and I didn't think anyone would ever want to rent that small of a space.  Evidently, I am wrong, and this book inspires one to think about how much space you really need, and how many things you own.  And it all led me down the rabbit hole of tiny houses so that I found Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter - Scaling Back in the Century by Lloyd Kahn.  Which reminded me how much I love all of Lloyd Kahn's previous books on home built shelter and why I had to actually own this book, not just check it out of the library and renew it the maximum number of times.  And it led to the DVD Tiny: A Story About Living Small about building a tiny house in Colorado.  One of the people interviewed in that documentary had a near-death experience and decided to build her own tiny house and live smaller which brings me to the latest book on my reserve list: The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir.  And don't get me started on that 100 Thing Challenge as an offshoot of all this tiny home building.  Or the bicycle tour of Little Free Libraries.  No books on those topics yet, but I'll be ready to reserve them once some authors get busy and write them!  And yes there are reserves on all of these books - just add your name to the list and you can be pleasantly surprised when they arrive.
~More Books