500 Level Fan Year in Review – Part One

As cliched as it may sound, I have decided to run a year in review series of columns on 500 Level Fan.  I figured it’s my blog so I can do what I please.

To kick it off, we have a very special guest columnist to discuss the past year in books.  This man is all of the below:

– a loyal reader of 500 Level Fan

– an emailer / requester for specific columns

– a creator of dynamic and controversial trivia questions

– the world’s biggest Frank Thomas fan

Funny story about the last point above.  He was the most excited person in the city when the Jays inked the Big Hurt to a contract in 2007, and the most gutted / heartbroken / disturbed / crushed man in the city when they released him in 2008.

Anyways, without further ado, here is a look back at the world of literature from Dr. Nudathan P. Smart.

After successfully completing my 2010 New Year’s resolution (reading 12 books in 2010), I thought I owed it to the loyal fans of 500LevelFan to give a thorough review of the books that I read in 2010.  Consider this a more robust, versatile, and non-bias review compared to that of “Heather’s Picks” and Oprah.  With that in mind, let’s get it started:

–          Open (The Andre Agassi Story) – I remember watching Sports Centre when this book was released.  There was a lot of controversy because of Agassi’s drug use described in the book.  Although it was an interesting book I learned two things.  One: Agassi lost to Pete Sampras A LOT   Two: Agassi did cocaine one time.

–          Where Men Win Glory  (The Pat Tillman Story) – This is one of my favorites of the year.  A heavy read for sure but I needed to educate myself on the Afghanistan situation and it is nice to get confirmation that all men are not chauvinists (see note below on The Devlin Diary)

–          The Golden Spruce – because of this book I am no longer on speaking terms with my brother.  He recommended this after reading 70 pages.  For the first 70 pages, I agreed with him but then it got terrible.  In my opinion, if you are going to read about the logging industry, it should be clearly stated on the cover.  I hope my brother calls to apologize soon.

–          Wolf Hall – I visited England a few months before reading this book and I really liked it.  The only issue was that there were 11 people named Thomas and 7 named Jane.  Hard to keep track of.

–          The Road – very descriptive. I liked it but most people I spoke to seemed to be annoyed by it.  I found easy to visualize myself in the setting. 

–          Pilgrim – a story about the great psychiatrist Carl Jung and his work a mysterious patient (Pilgrim).  The cover was misleading as is shows Pilgrim with a hand gesture mimicking oral sex on a female but Pilgrim is actually an asexual being.

–          Devlin Diary – feminist book.  I am in support of feminists that stand for reasonable demands but all the men in this book were pigs.  Not all men are pigs.  My friends Mark, Craig, Cooper, Brady. Pat Tillman and Dad are all good men.  We do not deserve this generalization.

–          Lost City of Z – another great read.  I now have tremendous respect for the Amazon.  A truly interesting Non-Fiction.  The only issue was that I felt like I had bugs crawling all over my body and I don’t do drugs other than love.

–          Pillars of the Earth – amazing.  Loved it.  Read it.  It’s long.

–          Bishop’s Man – I should have known  better when my mom told me this was a great book.  Horrendous choice on my part.

–          Five People You Meet in Heaven – I am not sure how I feel about this book.  I really liked it but I am starting to think that  I only liked it because it was thinner than the lace on Coco’s g-string.

–          The Tiger – too many Russian names.  You know how when you read a book and there is a tough name, sometimes you just connect the combination of letters as that characters name even though you never take the time to read the name properly? Usually this strategy is okay, however, in this book I got burned.  There were at least 50 names that I could not read and they all contained the same letters.  This made it difficult to read.   

Top 3 books of the year: Where Men Win Glory, Pillars of the Earth, Lost City of Z

Honorable Mention: Wolf Hall & The Tiger

4 thoughts on “500 Level Fan Year in Review – Part One”

  1. This man is clearly an avid reader – his passion for modern day literature is nothing short of inspiring.

  2. Great guest column. Needs a better title though. I suggest “The everyday man’s very basic review, of these 12 specific books.”

  3. Wow, very concise reviews. I agree with you on the Tiger…I had to keep flipping to the pictures to remember which Russian guy was which. They can’t shorten the names to help us out? But other than that, you were a bit lax in outlining the positives of the book considering you gave it a honourable mention.

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