Books       Letters       Me

Books       Letters       Me


Apr 09, 2024


Bookman: 1. a person who has a love of books and especially of reading. 2. a person who is involved in the writing, publishing, or selling of books. Oh, hi that's me!!

I'm not in the habit of recommending books by boys about boys: But for The Boys in the Boat I will make an exception. I read this phenomenal non-fiction novel many, many years ago. Lately, it seems I find a way to bring it up in conversation every day. This fast-paced – reads like fiction but isn't – book tells the story of the 1936 USA rowing team winning their way to Berlin in what became known as “Hitler's Olympics”. It follows the real-life events of Joe Rantz and his hard-to-believe life, raising himself during the Depression and learning the grueling sport of rowing purely to get his tuition to University of Washington covered. This book will shake you, excite you, and reveal an American story of friendship and resilience that will move you. It's one of my favorite books, and it's providing the blueprint for the next one I want to write. Oh, and yes – George Clooney directed the adaptation of this book and it does not disappoint. But for the love of paper, read it first.

What I'm writing: I've written 5 non-fiction books. One fiction book. And the book I'm mapping out next is, like The Boys in the Boat, a blend of the two – a non-fiction novel. This essentially means everything in the book is true, but it has the pacing, plot, character development and storytelling of a novel. It also centers around an olympian. I'm jazzed about it, and just kicked off the process last week. Is there anything you want to know about writing a non-fiction book? I'm considering letting you all follow along in detail...would that be interesting?


What gets passed down becomes our history. A few for the canon:

Caitlin Clark, the basketball record breaker playing for Iowa, has the whole world to paying attention. Every time I see the stats from March Madness and how many viewing records women's basketball is smashing right now – I celebrate. “No one watches women's sports” is such a gross relic of white-male past, and I've been looking for the cultural analysis to break it all down. Alas, I've found it in Lindsay Gibb's substack. In her own words, she describes this deep dive as “how women’s sports have proved their commercial viability and promise time and time again over the past century; we’ll examine the ways that those invested in upholding our patriarchal system have worked to squash said promise, not stoke it; we’ll also talk about the real reason why women’s sports are being marginalized and examine whether things are starting to change.” It'll change the way you think about women's sports. Read it.


Stories are heirlooms. Here's one of mine:

I facetimed my Mom just minutes after the total solar eclipse had passed. I'm in the southern hemisphere. She was in the South of the Northern Hemisphere, in the path of totality. Since 2017 during the last solar eclipse, I've been looking forward to this world wonder event. But as my FOMO raged (from not being able to be there), I remembered that particular viewing moment from 7 years ago. I was flying from London to NYC when the flight attendant walked down the aisle passing out eyewear. From beyond the tight, double-paned pinholes, we were going to be able to see the precious moments of the moon and sun passing like ships in space. It did not underwhelm. High above the clouds, leaned back in my window seat as far as my crowded body could manage, I watched it. This week I didn't, but I did watch the unifying nature of nature – wherever we are, whomever we are – together we were in awe.


My words are written just for you.