Uncommonly Good Books Round-up

Librarians Dave and Nate write mostly about sports-related books. Their reviews appeal to the sports enthusiasts or even to readers simply fascinated by stories of perseverance, leadership and competition. Dave likes to throw in a few military and history-based books for your enjoyment too.

Their blog Uncommonly Good Books Read by Two Common Guys is published periodically on tscpl.org. If you’ve missed their previous posts, here’s a few we think you might like.

Leave us a comment about books guys read and why we might consider reviewing them.

The Last Great Game by Gene Wojciechowski

The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed Basketball, written by Gene Wojciechowski. The game the title refers to is the 1992 East Regional Final played in Philadelphia, which determined one of the slots in that years’ Final Four. I remember watching this game when it happened, and although it seemed like a good game at the time, I don’t know if I really appreciated just how good it was. I’ve seen it a couple of times since, on ESPN Classic and such, and each time I watch it, I’m more and more impressed.

One Shot at Forever by Chris Ballard

One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season by Chris Ballard is the story of a high school baseball team in a small central Illinois town that made a run through the state playoffs in 1971. The coach of the team was a young English teacher who had no coaching experience, long hair, facial hair, and didn’t fit into the establishment at all. With no coaching experience, he makes this team a consistent winner. He knew how to instill confidence in his team, help them relax, and make them believe they could win any game. The small town team won against much bigger teams. Enjoy getting to know both the coach and the players. Read full text of this review here.

Last Men Out by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

Last Men Out: The True Story of America’s Heroic Final Hours in Vietnam by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin is the story of the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War. Read about the heroics of helicopter pilots who flew for hours on this evacuation mission and the American soldiers on the ground. Readers will enjoy learning about all of the Marines who were at the embassy and how these events in their lives brought them all together in this one place. The book conveys that many, including government administrators, thought the evacuation was a lot more orderly than it was. Read full text review here.

Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard discusses the life, presidency, and assassination of James Garfield. The Ohio man was the 20th president, who was assassinated. He was also a Civil War general. What readers find out from the book is that Garfield had the potential to be an outstanding president if he had lived. Most of his rise had to do with the fact that he was just an all around good and decent man. The book is set in the middle of one of the most corrupt times, politically, in the history of our country and delves into the effects of Reconstruction and racial division. You can delve into the full text of the review here.

Reviews written by Nate Hohl and Dave Coleman

A public relations professional, editor and writer, Lisa shares the library story in her blog posts, in the bimonthly Library News, and media interviews. A self-described social media and news nut, Lisa harnesses that passion to raise awareness and understanding of the library's vital role in this community.