Review: Newton’s Football by Allen St. John and Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D.  


I was supposed to read this two years ago when I first joined NetGalley. I just never got in the mood to read about football… until a couple of weeks ago when a near-and-dear-one started playing youth football. I figured this book might help me understand a few things, plus it appealed to the “I need to know how things work” geek in me. 

Well, it’s certainly a scientific book. I mean, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist, but it would help if you can remember some basic high school physics and math. It’s also definitely a football book. The authors interviewed athletes and coaches, they use football lingo, and they refer to historical football games and their importance in the evolution of football. 

I understood it on a basic level, but I certainly had LOTS of questions.  I interrogated my go-to football expert about the no-huddle, a nickel, declaring eligibility for receiving passes, and his personal thoughts about football plays that bent the rules.  Seriously. This book showed me how much I really don’t know about the game. 

Even though I’m not well-versed in the grid-iron world, Newton’s Football was FASCINATING. I especially loved the examples of how changing one little thing in one particilar game had ripple effects in subsequent football games. And I appreciated the discussion on proper tackling and helmet safety. (There’s some progressive thinking in those chapters!)

Reading Newton’s Football was work for me, mostly because I went in pretty clueless about plays and positions. But if you’re a football fan and you want a fresh perspective on the sport — or if you’re not but you’re bold and curious like me — go for it.


Review: All Played Out by Cora Carmack

01all In science, every action might have an equal and opposite reaction, but not in life. Life is unbalanced. Life is complicated.

This series keeps getting better and better. The football aspect is even starting to grow on me. These books have just the right amount of emotion and heart. Nothing too sappy, but the perfect amount of realness. And Mateo’s story is just that. It made me want to crawl in and join that group of friends.

First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay… Scratch that. She knows she hasn’t had the full college experience).

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a “to do” list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it’s impossible to get hurt… again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she’s never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he’s willing to take the chance when it’s more than just a game.

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.

I totally connected with this story, since I was a very sheltered and school driven myself. I never really experienced the “usual college activities.” So I enjoyed Nell’s list making and the checking off of the items. I wish I did that, when I was younger. Work is important, yes, but if that’s all you have, you’re going to live a half life. So, I was glad to see Nell attempt to take control and change it for the better.

Mateo was the best kind of guy. No, scratch that. He was the best kind of guy, for Nell. His joking and flirting, around his friends, hid his true feelings. But Nell saw right through those and was able to help him move past them. He was the comic relief that was needed. Everyone group of friends need a Mateo.

I also enjoyed their smoking chemistry. To have that kind of instant attraction, is the best, when it is well written and not over the top insta-lust. And that is exactly what this was. The perfect balance.

Somewhere between my chest and my stomach there’s a knot that twists every time I see her. And I’m starting to enjoy it, the strange pleasure pain of wanting her.

I enjoyed seeing the other characters, and how they’re slowly dropping in the coupledom. We also see a glimpse of what’s to come in the next book. I’ve been waiting for that one. I’m very excited.


Buy All Played Out: A Rusk University Novel

Review: Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

13539044 Although this book had been made into a movie and one of my favorite actresses even won an Oscar for her portrayal in it, I still had no idea what this was about or if it was a good book. So I picked up the audiobook completely blind to what this was about, which I much prefer to seeing the movie and then reading the book.

Pat is just getting out of a psychiatric hospital and he’s back living in his parents home. He is unclear on exactly what has transpired to land him in the psych ward, how much time he spent there or what has happened out in the real world since he’s been gone. All Pat knows is that he wants “apart time” from his wife, Nikki, to be over now. He doesn’t get along well with his father, his mother is protecting him from reality and when Pat meets Tiffany, a troubled woman just like himself, he doesn’t know what to make of this new life.

During the first few chapters of this book I was confused as to what exactly was reality and what was not. But as I read on that seemed to be the point of the book – to be as confused as Pat was and to not be able to discern what was past or present. Pat struggles to maintain his grip on what is happening in the present and comes to realize that he has been away for closer to 4 years. He wants to see his wife Nikki more than anything and can’t understand why that isn’t happening. He becomes friends with Tiffany and as that friendship grows, she helps him in ways that he can’t quite grasp, coming to grips with everything that’s happened.

This book was surprisingly funny and touching. There was an awful lot of sports references and as one who really hates sports I thought that would bother me but instead I saw it as what it was – the bonding between men when there is no other ways to bond.

4 stars

~ Clio

Buy it Now The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel