Shoe Dog Book Review

Shoe Dog Book Review

Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator of Nike by Phil Knight tells how Nike got started and goes through all its ups and downs. The book is mostly about how his shoe business developed. However, we also learn about the author’s life along the way. I was interested in this book because I am a runner and often wear Nike shoes. When I saw the book, I thought it would be interesting to see how Nike began.

Shoe Dog synopsis

Phil Knight begins Shoe Dog with how the idea of starting a shoe business originated. Although Phil loved to run and wanted to be a professional athlete, he was not good enough. The second best thing would be to help runners. He thought seriously about pursuing this thought of selling shoes while he was on one of his morning runs.

Phil had just come back home after attending college for seven years. While running, it just hit him to consider his crazy idea again that he wrote about in a college assignment.

He often refers to his “Crazy Idea.” He came up with it when he was doing a research paper for an entrepreneur class in college—the report was about running shoes.

“I’d written a research paper about shoes, and the paper had evolved from a run-of-the-mill assignment to an all-out obsession. Being a runner, I knew something about running shoes. Being a business buff, I knew that Japanese cameras had made deep cuts into the camera market, which had once been dominated by Germans. Thus, I argued in my paper that Japanese running shoes might do the same thing. The idea interested me, then inspired me, then captivated me. It seemed so obvious, so simple, so potentially huge.” (p. 9)

crazy idea

In Shoe Dog, Phil describes his adventurous tour around the world. He began his adventure to pursue his crazy idea by taking a world tour. One of the places he would visit is Japan, where he met with Mr. Miyazaki at Onitsuka Co. to discuss if their company would allow Phil to sell their Tiger Shoes in the United States. To his amazement, they said yes. Phil had to come up with a company name spontaneously. He chose Blue Ribbon Sports because he thought of all his blue ribbons hanging on his wall in his room from races that he had won. That is how it all got started.

Phil waited months, after he finished his world tour, to receive the shoes from Onitsuka. Finally, they arrived, and Phil asked his former track coach if he wanted to join him in his company as a partner. His coach, Bowerman, agreed. Phil asked a few other people if they would be interested in selling the shoes. They sold a lot of shoes. Furthermore, they made recommendations to Onitsuka to improve the shoe.

Shoe Dog continues with how the business teetered on failing. They sold many shoes, but the financial books were always in the red because all the money they made had to be used for payroll and to purchase new shoes.

While building his company, Phil worked as an accountant to pay his expenses. Later on, he became a Professor at a local college, where he met his wife. Phil did not start paying himself a salary until seven years after the business started.

Nike brand

Eventually, Nike was born. Phil and some of his employees came up with a new name and a logo for the new company. They needed a new company name to go along with a contract they signed with a different factory to design the Nike shoe.

A local artist designed the new logo. Phil and his team all decided on which logo to choose.

“Gradually we inched toward a consensus. We liked . . . this one . . . slightly more than the others.
It looks like a wing, one of us said.
It looks like a whoosh of air, another said.
It looks like something a runner might leave in his or her wake.
We all agreed it looked new, fresh, and yet somehow – ancient. Timeless.” (p. 181)

Someone else came up with the name Nike in a dream.

“He says he sat bolt upright in bed in the middle of the night and saw the name before him.” (p. 183)

It took many years to get to this point. As you know, the business became a big success. It took a lot of work, but Phil never quit. He kept following his dream.

my analysis of shoe dog

I enjoyed the Shoe Dog. Phil Knight wrote about all the struggles he had to keep the business afloat. It took a lot of work. I liked the little insights he gave about his family. He didn’t talk about them much, but it was enough to know what Phil did when he was not working long hours on his business. It also showed his personality.

I have a lot of respect for Phil. Every time I see the Nike logo, I am reminded of this book. It puts a smile on my face.

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern Book Review

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern Book Review

I read this book, “Love, Rosie“, because I watched the movie “Love, Rosie” first. I loved the movie so much I wanted to read the book since I usually find that the book is so much better than the movie. So immediately after watching the movie, I searched for the book to read. The author is Cecelia Ahern, who also wrote “PS, I Love You.”

Love, Rosie Synopsis

Love, Rosie is a love story between Alex and Rosie that begins in childhood and spans through several decades of their life. They were destined for each other but were too afraid to tell each other how they really felt. They are living in Dublin, Ireland.

Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart have been best friends ever since they were children. They shared everything together. However, they have had misunderstandings throughout the years which created days, months, or sometimes years away from each other. However, Alex and Rosie always ended up becoming friends again. This scenario repeats many times over the course of their relationship for the next several decades.

Love, Rosie begins with Alex’s 7th birthday party. He invites Rosie to the party, but not her dog! Rosie ends up not going to Alex’s birthday party and they stop talking to each other. Eventually, they reconcile and become friends again. The author doesn’t show us when or how they make up. They just start talking to each other again and continue with their friendship again where they left off.

“I just called by to have a word with you about my daughter Rosie’s birthday on the 8th of April. . . I think there seems to be some sort of little problem with Alex and Rosie lately, I don’t quite think they’re on talking terms. Hopefully you can fill me in on the situation when we meet. Rosie would really love if he came to her birthday party.”

I am looking forward to meeting the mother of this charming young man! (p. 4)

High School

In high school they dated other people but were still friends. Then Alex’s family relocates to Boston during his last year in high school. Neither are too happy about it, but Alex then thinks that it will still work out great because after high school he can attend Harvard to become a doctor and she can go to Boston College for Hotel Management. They will still be really close to each other and they can both go to great schools to have careers that they both dreamed of. It didn’t work out that way.

“Why did he have to break up with Slutty Bethany just two weeks before he left? Then I wouldn’t have gotten used to him being around so much again. Things really got back to normal, Steph. It was brilliant. We spent every second together . . . literally. We had so much fun!” (p. 26)

There is a pivotal point in the story when they were teenagers. Alex was supposed to come back to Dublin to take Rosie to the prom. He did not make it there in time, so Rosie went with someone else and had sex with him. She got pregnant that night. She didn’t tell Alex and just told him that she was not accepted into Boston College. They will be separated and their lives go on without each other. Throughout their lives, they are reminded of this incident that happened. If only Alex had come back in time to take Rosie to prom, everything would have turned out different.

My Analysis of Love, Rosie

Love, Rosie is such a sad story because Alex and Rosie were in love with each other since high school, but didn’t end up together until later in life after each had failed marriages and children with other mates. They should have had a beautiful life together, instead of constantly being hurt because they were watching the love of their life having a happy life without them. That is how life is sometimes.

I was cheering them on in each phase of their life, hoping that each time that they would talk to each other again that they would tell each other the truth and say how they really feel about each other.

Even though I like the movie better, Love, Rosie is still a good book to read. I enjoyed their love story. There is a lot of heartache and disappointment, which happens in real life. I like those kinds of stories.

When a movie is based on a book. I almost always enjoy reading the book much more than watching the movie, but not this time. The book is all dialog. The characters are mostly emailing each other. Once in a while, there is a letter of communication. This made it difficult for me to get to know the characters. I like when the people and places are described in detail where I could picture the scenery and know the character’s personalities. I did enjoy reading the Love, Rosie, but I was glad that I watched the movie first so I knew what was happening and what was coming up next. It doesn’t spoil the story for me.

I’m used to reading through a book fast. However, with this book, I needed to slow down to make sure I knew who the sender and receiver of each email and letter were.

Gone Missing by Linda Castillo:  Book Review

Gone Missing by Linda Castillo: Book Review

Gone Missing by Linda Castillo is another Kate Burkholder crime novel. Kate is the Chief of Police in Painters Mill. She also grew up Amish and all of the murder cases in these books involve the Amish people.

The story refers back to other cases Kate has been involved with, including the Slaughterhouse Murders and the Plank Murder Case. I’m guessing these cases are the subjects of Linda Castillo’s other books. I have not read the books so I am not familiar with these cases.

Gone Missing Synopsis

Kate and John developed an intimate relationship during the Slaughterhouse Murder case where someone killed John’s wife and kids. A few years pass, and they continue their relationship. Then State Agent John Tomasetti called Kate to see if she would consult on a case with him since Kate grew up Amish the case involves the Amish. She understands the culture and will be able to gain the Amish people’s trust faster.

Furthermore, Kate speaks Pennsylvania Dutch, the language the Amish speak. She uses this to her advantage when she interviews Amish families. Speaking their language assures them that she was one of them, and convinces them that they can trust her. The Amish do not like talking to the English, who is anyone that is not Amish. Unless it is prudent, they keep to themselves.

Gone Missing during Rumspringa

Three teenage Amish girls have gone missing in the last year. The most recent girl is Annie King, who is fifteen years old and has been missing for thirty-six hours. The other two are Bonnie Fisher (16 years old and missing for two months, and Leah Stuckey (16 years old and missing for one year). The police added one other teen, Noah Mast, to the list. He is the only male and has been missing for ten years. He was never found and may have a connection to the other missing Amish teens. They are from different Amish communities within the same Ohio area.

The first day Kate begins her investigation of the case, she arrives at a scene where two teenage girls are fighting. One of them, Sadie, is her relative. This girl looks up to Kate because she left the Amish life and has a career, and Sadie wants to do the same. Sadie is creative at designing clothes. But if she stayed in the Amish community, her talent would be stifled. Since Sadie is on Rumspringa, she has this time to choose what she wants to do with her life.

“Rumspringa is the time when young Amish people are allowed to experience life without the constraints of the Ordnung, while the adults look the other way. Most teens partake in some drinking and listening to music – small infractions that are generally harmless. I wonder if this girl will be one of the 80 percent who eventually become baptized.” (p. 26)

Missing Turns into Murder

Soon after coming on the case with the missing Amish teens, a fisherman finds one of the missing girls’ body. Later that day, the police find out that Sadie Miller, Katie’s brother-in-law’s niece, is missing. She is a fifteen-year-old Amish female. Katie just talked with her a few days before. Sadie fits the same profile and age as the other missing teens.

In the first half of the book Kate and John interview the parents of the missing teens. Nothing exciting happens. Then, after Kate gets closer to finding the murderer, the story becomes sinuous. There are lots of action and twists in the story.

My Analysis

After I read halfway through the book, I did not want to put the book down. It was getting closer to solving the mystery behind the missing Amish teens.

The ending is phenomenal. I liked that after the murderer was caught that the story still went on to explain the motives behind the crimes. Also, it calmed things down after being intense for the last half of the book. Kate still needed to talk to the victims that survived for her closing reports of the case.

While she was talking to one of the girls, Kate astonishingly discovered a new twist in the case. And the story ended. I wasn’t ready for it to end. There is more to it. I immediately looked on Linda Castillo’s website to see if there was a sequel to this book. There is none.

Just when you think the story is all wrapped up, a zinger is thrown in. It is one of those books where the story continues and you need to use your own imagination to come to an ending that you like. The story is not over.

It is a story that I needed to just sit and ponder for a while before moving onto reading another book.

I highly recommend Gone Missing if you like psychological suspense novels. Melancholy Baby is another great book that is similar to this one. Here is my book review.

Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline:  Book Review

Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline: Book Review

Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline is a psychological suspense thriller novel about how far a family will go to protect the people they love. As in Lisa’s other books, there is a twist at the end, which makes it exciting to read, trying to figure out who did it. I enjoy reading her books. Keep Quiet is the second book by this author that I have read so far. I picked up this book, and as soon as I saw the author, I knew I would like the book. It did not disappoint me.

The story takes place in Pennsylvania. The main character’s wife, Pam, is a Judge on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and is trying to get a position as a federal judge. Since I live in Pennsylvania, I was more interested in that detail. Furthermore, some of Pennsylvania’s criminal laws about hit and run homicide were interjected into the story because many of Jake and Ryan’s decisions are based on the probable outcomes of these laws.

Keep Quiet Synopsis

At the very beginning of Keep Quiet, Lisa Scottoline gives us details about the accident and the decision Jake made immediately afterward that will be the basis for the rest of the book. Jake Buckman picks up his 16-year-old son, Ryan, from the movie theater. Ryan asks his father if he can drive partway home. Jake does not think it is a good idea because it is 11:15 p.m., and Ryan only has a learner’s permit and is not allowed to operate a motor vehicle after 11:00 p.m. That is the law. However, Ryan pleaded with his father and furthered his argument, saying that he already has been driving for five months with the learner’s permit and only needs one more month before he can take the test to get his license. Jake caves in and allow his son to drive.

The Tragic Accident

A devastating accident happens. While Ryan is driving and at a moment when he is looking over at his father, he runs over a female runner. Jake checks on the victim and finds that she is dead. He yells to Ryan to call the police. However, after Jake learns that Ryan had been smoking marijuana, Jake decides to leave the scene of the accident, without calling the police. He felt that he needed to protect his son. He has his whole life ahead of him. Ryan may go to jail, and this would ruin his life. Jake tells Ryan to Keep Quiet.

“They would convict him of driving under the influence and vehicular homicide. He would go to jail. There would be no college, no future, no nothing. Ryan’s entire life would be ruined – and all because Jake had let him drive.” (p. 16)

Ryan never wanted to lie. He was driving and felt awful that he had killed a lady. He implored his dad to call the police, but his father did not allow him. How both Jake and Ryan deal with this lie is the basis for the rest of the book. Neither of them goes to the police because they want to protect each other.

Protecting His Son

The next day they found out the victim was Kathleen Lindstrom, a 16-year-old girl who was in Ryan’s class in high school. Ryan really wanted to go to the police and confess that he killed her, but his father wouldn’t let him. He wanted him to Keep Quiet and not tell anyone.

Jake caused Ryan so much anguish. Jake did what he thought was the best decision for his son, but it turned out to be very bad. Not long after, Ryan came to the same conclusion. He kept silent to protect his father.

“He felt a creeping dread that it had only increased the pressure on all of them, tying their family together in a corrupt bargain, each one tethered to the other in a way that doomed them not to survive, but to sink.” (p. 209)

Jake told one lie, and then he kept on having to tell more lies to cover his tracks. Moreover, he breaks more laws to make sure he is not found out. When is it going to stop? Each time he could have stopped it and confessed to the police. The continuous lying and breaking the law is just getting him deeper into trouble.

My Analysis of Keep Quiet

My first thought is it was idiotic to hide a horrible crime. If Jake would have just done the right thing and called the police, everything would have been fine. The rest of the book is the consequences of his decision. I also thought that the woman might have been dead before they ran over her because I don’t think a person would die instantly after being run over by a car. I kept thinking that Jake would figure that out, but he never did.

From the very beginning of Keep Quiet, after reading about the accident, I thought I knew how the story would end. The story was mediocre to me until I got to the middle of the book, where the exciting turn of events happened. One fact that was revealed in the end, I had guessed when I first read about the details of the accident. But everything else kept me in suspense throughout the book, and I was surprised at the conclusion.

I thought is was a good book. If you like psychological suspense novels, you will enjoy Keep Quiet. Another book that I read by Lisa Scottoline was After Anna.

You may want to check out another author, Lisa Jackson, who writes the same type of stories. I wrote a book review of Tell Me by Lisa Jackson who also writes similar novels like this one.

The Brain Warrior’s Way by Daniel Amen: Book Review

The Brain Warrior’s Way by Daniel Amen: Book Review

The Brain Warrior’s Way, by Daniel G. Amen and Tana Amen, illustrates how to improve the health of your brain by creating new habits. The book is filled with advice and success stories from clients who followed The. Brain Warrior’s Way plan. It is not filled with technical and medical terms. On the contrary, it is easy and enjoyable to read.

I have been following Dr. Daniel Amen for a few years now. While I was researching Integrative Nutrition, I came across Daniel Amen. In January 2020, he started broadcasting a six-week class called “The End of Mental Illness: Brain Health Revolution,” in which he was also promoting his new book with the same name. After I watched the broadcasts, I immediately wanted to read his previous book, The Brain Warrior’s Way. I got the book right away and started reading it. His wife, Tana Amen, wrote the companion book, “The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook.” His new book became available in stores in March 2020.

The Brain Warrior’s Way Synopsis

Daniel Amen often tells his patients to ask themselves before making a decision, “Is this good for my brain or bad for it?” For example, at some restaurants, we can have as much free bread before a meal as we want. If we ask this question to ourselves, the answer should be “no.” Do not have the waitress bring the bread to your table because eating this food is not good for your brain. Make better decisions by continuously asking this question. Soon it will become a habit, and it will be easy to say no to bad foods and yes to healthy alternatives.

The program in this The Brain Warrior’s Way is the exact advice Daniel Amen and his associates give their clients at Amen Clinics. It improves the health of the brain and body by helping you to create healthy habits. The more healthy decisions you make a habit, the more spontaneous it becomes. You won’t have to think about it because it will become automatic.

“To be a Brain Warrior, you must love your brain, understand what to avoid because it hurts your brain, and know what to do to keep your brain healthy.” (page 64)

Brains can become damaged from age, head injuries, toxins, and many other ways. The great news is that it does not need to stay that way. There are ways to improve your brain through food, environment, and physical activity. Many people don’t realize that their brain has been damaged.

“Now, twenty-five years later, my brain looks younger and healthier, which is not usually what happens as we get older. Typically, brains become less and less active over time, but now we know it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve discovered that with the right strategies brain aging is optional.” (page 14)

Amen Clinics

Patients at Amen Clinics get brain scans to show what is wrong with their brain, and so the doctors can diagnose and know how to treat the patient. Amen utilizes the SPECT imaging for the brain in his clinics. He says that every other medical professional scan the body to see what is wrong, except for psychiatry. Once he learned about SPECT imaging, he started using this scan to see the health of the brain of his patients.

SPECT imaging shows three things about brain function. I could have too little activity, too much activity, or good activity. Of course, you want to get your brain function to good activity.

Depending on which brain type you are, there different treatment plans. Since most people cannot go to Amen Clinics to get their brains scanned, Daniel Amen developed a brain assessment to do online to figure out your brain type. The questions only take about five minutes to complete.

The Brain Warrior’s Way has advice throughout the whole book to get your body and brain healthy. At the end of the book, there is a 14-day program that includes what foods to eat and a journal to keep track of what you eat and your activities every day. There is also a checklist of reminders and things to do.

My Analysis of The Brain Warrior’s Way

I received a lot of valuable information from The Brain’s Warrior’s Way. I refer back to this book often to make sure I am doing it right. It is hard to remember everything by just reading the book once or twice.

It is much better than a diet book. If you eat correctly and follow the plan, it is just natural to lose weight. But the book is not focused on losing weight; it is to have a healthy brain so you can have a better quality of life. I like how there is active advice throughout the whole book.

Personally, food affects my brain tremendously. Eating sugar and some other foods give me a headache. Unless I eat perfectly, my head hurts. Recently I figured out that eating walnuts give me headaches. I would love to get my brain scanned at Amen Clinics to see what brain type I am and to get a personalized treatment plan. In the meantime, I will follow the plan in the book and take the brain assessment online.

The 14-day meal plan give the names of recipes, but you need to go to its companion, The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook, to get the recipes. I would have liked the recipes in the book, but it just gives more room to go into more detail in what you can do to improve the health of your brain. I have both books.  These foods are suggestions.  You can choose any food you want within the specific guidelines. 

This book is for anyone who wants to get more healthy, especially if you have mental or physical ailments.

Death in Paradise by Robert B. Parker:  Book Review

Death in Paradise by Robert B. Parker: Book Review

Death in Paradise by Robert B Parker is the third book in the Jesse Stone Series. As of this writing, there are seventeen other books in this series. I read and wrote a book review on Melancholy Baby from the Sunny Randall series, which is another set of novels by the author. After looking through the pages of Death in Paradise, I realized that writing most of the story in a dialog is the style Robert B. Parker writes. The chapters are also very short in both of these books. Another similarity I found in both of these books was that one or more of the characters go to psychotherapy.

This novel did not capture my attention as much as Melancholy Baby. I felt it was kind of boring in the beginning. I, however, kept on reading just to finish it, and to see if it would get any better. It didn’t.

Death in Paradise Synopsis

Jesse Stone is the Chief of Police in Paradise, Massachusetts. After finishing a softball game with his colleagues, Jesse heard screaming. He ran over to the noise to see what happened. The screams came from two men who had just found a dead body in the water. After looking at the body, Jesse guessed that it was a young girl, but it was hard to tell. She probably was in the water for a few weeks. A quick assessment of the girl determined that someone murdered her before dumping the body into the water.

In Death in Paradise, Jesse needs to figure out the identity of the girl and to find the person who killed her. The first clue they found is a high school ring on a chain. They assume that it belonged to her boyfriend since the ring is too small to fit the girl. Another mystery Jesse Stone needs to investigate is why the family of the dead girl never reported her missing. Moreover, why did they deny that she was their daughter?

After some investigation, Jesse is almost positive that the floater is a fifteen-year-old girl named Billie Bishop. He just needs to prove it. The parents did not report the girl missing. Jesse only had the ring as evidence and traced it back to a high school, where he then deduced that the missing girl was probably Billie Bishop. Jesse went on a mission to find out where she went after she ran away from home. I will lead to the person who shot her in the head.

Jesse Stone’s Character

In Death in Paradise emphasizes the character of Jesse. He is really good at softball and he has a drinking problem.

A significant amount of the story is dedicated to Jesse’s drinking habits. Jesse’s excessive drinking is one reason why Jenn, his ex-wife, divorced him. His drinking problem damaged his career also. Jesse got fired from his last job in L.A. from drinking on the job. Yet he refuses to give it up.

“His drink was gone. One more. He got up and went to the kitchen and made another one and brought it back to the deck. The scotch made him feel integrated, complete. Not a wild drunk, Jess thought. Mostly quiet. Mostly the booze enriched him. Jenn wasn’t nasty about his drinking. She had too much psychotherapy not to understand the struggle.” (page 97)

Jenn asks Jesse to talk to her psychotherapist regarding his addiction. The psychotherapist is a recovered alcoholic and understands the difficulty in quitting. Jesse complies because he would love to get back with Jenn.

Softball plays a large part in Death in Paradise also, but not as much as the drinking. Jesse plays on a softball team, along with some of his colleagues, that is a part of the Paradise Men’s Softball League.

“Everyone laughed. They were happy with the story. They all knew that the better you were, the more you talked about your failures. Jesse was clearly the best player in the league, maybe good enough to have played in the majors if he hadn’t got hurt.” (page 47)

Jesse was a shortstop on a minor-league baseball team, and then he tore up his shoulder. The injury ended his career. This devastated him when he was younger. Then he chose to become a policeman as his career.

My Analysis of Death in Paradise

The story emphasizes more on Jesse’s character than on solving the homicide case. In a crime novel, I expect to be taken away in trying to solve the crime. I did not receive that in Death in Paradise. The detective work was intermittently placed in the book. The majority of the book focused on Jesse’s personal life, which had nothing to do with the case. I lost interest because there was nothing to anticipate.  It definitely was not a page-turner.

I still would be interested in reading more of Robert B. Parker’s books to see what else Jesse Stone is up to. He is not my favorite character, but the stories are good. The author wrote seventeen other Jesse Stone books, maybe the other ones will be better. I would give another of his books a try.

If you have read other Jesse Stone novels, this is a good book. It reveals a lot about Jesse’s character. Sometimes getting to know the main character is just as important to the reader as solving the crime.

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