Tuesday, May 30, 2017

New Podcast: Examined Sport

My old Sports Ethics Show podcast has been on hiatus for far too long. Instead of just starting that back up again, I am relaunching it with a new name, Examined Sport, and a new concept.

The concept is ten to fifteen minute podcasts that focus on arguments or concepts from the philosophy of sport and analyze or explain them in simple and direct ways. I will look at classic, discipline-defining articles, exciting newly published works, and dig deep to rediscover important but not as well-known papers.

 Examined Sport mission:
  1. Extend the reach of the philosophy of sport literature.
  2. Be a resource for students to learn more about philosophy of sport.
  3. Highlight essential themes of the literature.
  4. Rediscover important and interesting papers.
  5. Spur new thought and research in the philosophy of sport.
The first episode is, logically, on Bernard Suits classic article: “What is a Game?”

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
You can also watch each episode on The Sports Ethicist YouTube channel. (Archives of the old show are also available on iTunes and YouTube.)

Review: Aftermath: Life Debt

Aftermath: Life Debt Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It took me a little bit longer to get into Life Debt than Aftermath, but by the half way point the book gets cooking. I know many people were critical of Aftermath and praised Life Debt more, but I liked Aftermath a lot. I also like Life Debt. There's more Han and Chewie, enough said. Admiral Sloane is a really interesting character and I'm curious to see what happens with her.

The first two books feel very much like a Star Wars story; Wendig does a great job of capturing the feel and the characters. It has to be daunting to write characters we know so well, like Han or Leia, but he does a believable job of portraying them. And the new characters he develops are quite good: Sinjir, Jas, and Mr. Bones are my favorites. Mr. Bones has some of the best lines: "A HUG IS LIKE VIOLENCE MADE OF LOVE" and "I ENJOY EVISCERATION."

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: Robert B. Parker's Little White Lies

Robert B. Parker's Little White Lies Robert B. Parker's Little White Lies by Ace Atkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first Atkins' Spenser that I was a little disappointed in. Atkins still does a good job of capturing Spenser, but the story here didn't quite come off. It meandered somewhat and engaged in a little too much nostalgia by trotting out too many characters from previous books. Individually, I like Atkins bringing this or that character back, but there were too many in this book.

That said, I like that Atkins is playing a bit with the characters and exploring them more. Spenser shows more vulnerability. Hawk is still mysterious but we get more of the contours of who he is.

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Friday, May 05, 2017

Review: Anansi Boys

Anansi Boys Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The story starts a bit slow, but as the pieces start to come together, it hooks you. Gaiman uses Caribbean and African myths as a backdrop to tell a story that is ultimately about finding yourself in the world. It is about coming to grips with where you came from (your parents, your ancestry), but at the same time being you and not letting that stuff either keep you down or define who you are.

Gaiman has a knack for writing stories that blend the mundane and the fantastical. Anansi Boys is no different: the fantastical world of the myths and stories fit naturally into the life of a rather boring bookkeeper’s life. Still, as the stories are told, this mundane boring life changes, evolves into something new and compelling.

Some might not like the tidiness of the ending or the predictability of various plot-lines; but the story captures the imagination and you want to ride out what you know is coming: (1) to make sure that is indeed what will happen and (2) because you want to watch it happen.

FWIW: I haven't read American Gods (yet)

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