Tuesday, 28 August 2012



Touching Down.


The story of NFL star and Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher is one real, genuine account that is even more inspirational than the influential book "The Blind Side" by big-hitting "Moneyball: writer Michael Lewis and the incredible film of the same name that garnered leading lady Sandra Bullock more Academy certification. With all due respect to the Oscar-worthy performance from Quinton Aaron and the book that started the reels of the motion picture, nothing compares to the words from the horse's mouth and the one who really and truly inspired all this interest.

The man himself, Big Mike, towers above it all with his own penmanship on 'I Beat The Odds.' His autobiography with Don Yaeger truly blindsides you, with true grit, realness and iconic inspiration. You couldn't script it any better, with all due respect. This bold, brave and beautiful book takes us from the unfathomable (to those lucky ones) perils of homelessness to the pure joy of what dreams are made of being drafted into the NFL and the star turns that now come with the unselfish and non-complacent individual Michael is.

The path from one extreme to another is a hard-worked and inspiring journey of family and education, and like students of Ole Miss or members of Mike's family, it's something we can all be incredibly proud of beyond the words. It's something we can all learn from and relate to as well, and most importantly, this read serves as a novel way to inspire us all. No matter who we are, or what we've been through, no matter what culture, country or creed we belong to, whether we've shared this man's experiences or not, we can all take something from his struggles and successes.

From sharing the stories of those touched to touching on the specific organizations and prescribed routes that can help, Oher doesn't just paint a picture of his life, he also illustrates the ways one can improve, be the best they can be and therefore beat the odds too. From reaching out to those who have nothing to putting his foot down on how rich superstars should look after their money, this book accounts for everyone. Furthermore, this writing is right up there on the shelf with the most inspiring autobiographies—up there with President Barack Obama's greatest prose and a champion among other sensational sports-star reads.

What separated this book from the rest is its realness. This genuine spirit doesn't mince words, whether it be in admitting his own shortcomings to the troubles and turmoil created from others letting him down. Still giving credit where credit's due, all praise is given to those who truly helped, and all motivation and encouragement is given to those who need a real role model in their life—and what a perfect one Michael Oher is.

Far from the almost "dumb" perceived kid he was unfairly portrayed as in the otherwise perfect vision of The Blind Side movie, Michael—with artistic integrity—fields the right story, running back through all the life changing moments of his young life, from the highs to the lows. Quarterbacking an insightful and indispensable run of pages, this really is one paper-turner that will become a fast learner for anyone willing to give it the time. From the reality of this smart guy's vision, it's no wonder he achieved his dreams.

From the hunger to the big games, Michael Oher has made it, and looking back and lending a hand to anyone who picks up his story, he shows how we all can, too. May the odds always be with him.



The Big Autobiography.

By Tim David Harvey


'Shaq Uncut', this writer has to admit. It took a long time for him to get round to this book, but not a long time to read and that wasn't because of the 'Large Print' edition I was accidentally ordered for Christmas. Then again a larger than life character like Shaquille O'Neal could only do it B.I.G. like this. The only reason it took me so long to get round to this tell-all autobiography penned only months after his retirement announcement was because I was still finding it hard to accept that the most entertaining figure in basketball who got an 11 year old English kid from a small seaside town in the U.K. into this great sport of Basketball was done.

The same kid, now 26 who purposely shaped his American holiday last April around trying to catch a glimpse of the big fella in action before he retired while in Boston, Chicago and Miami, even if it was for the Celtics and even if it was in the twilight of his career. I still had dreams of Jeanie, that the Buss family would bring Shaq back to L.A. for an All-Star redeeming, reunion with Kobe for one more go at Larry O'Brien. Still literally the biggest star of the NBA called it a one of a kind career.


It seems whether on or off the court, Shaq was always going at full-speed and never running on fumes. Whether it be his jam and rim dropping power plays, or his generous charity work, or extra-curricula entertaining activities. It's little wonder he crafted the follow up to his funny first autobiography ('Shaq Talks Back') so quickly, of course with the help of another Hall Of Famer in the form of Jackie MacMullan, the co-writer of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird's New York Times Bestselling 'When The Game Was Ours' dual autobiography. Jackie really brings everything together with her descriptive, nostalgic chapter openings and stories.


Coming out around the same time as Jerry West's highly anticipated book 'West By West, My Charmed, Tormented Life', this is another great gift that many Laker fans would have loved to have found under their trees this Christmas gone. Another purple and gold Laker legend colours his career over his scribes. Of course with Shaq, your bound to get more than a few smiles and belly laughs. Just check out what he bench pressed during one Celtic team talk last year in one of the last chapters. Still Shaquille knows how to move us with his words. The 'Little Warrior' details his upbringing and troubles that he didn't over-indulge in complaining about during his career. There is also a fitting and moving tribute to his late, great friend the legendary, rapper The Notorious B.I.G.


The NBA's biggie shows focus throughout these pages as he talks about his approach to the game and how the league works. Telling stories of how he developed his Magic passing skills in Germany when he couldn't dunk and the sealed with the blow of a kiss moment the light hit him that is was time to enrol in LSU University Shaq's nostalgia paints a picture of him we've never seen before. He also gives us a deep, through inside-knowledge analysis of his teammates, peers and the players that rule the league now and how far they can and should go. Shaq may be an NBA analyst on T.V. now but if that gig ever falls by the wayside (yeah right) he could seriously make it as a sportswriter.


Still it was on court where Shaq made his bread and butter, as he spread his talents into platinum, decent rap albums and some big Hollywood pictures. Shaq truly was the man and from his Orlando rookie days, to being the biggest Laker since Magic it really is interesting and inspiring to read about one of the biggest influences on the modern-day game. Any Laker fan looking to take a trip down memory lane, are drawn right into the greatest moments of the Lakers three-peat. With insight to how it all went down...and then how things fell down soon after, these are the words from the horse mouth that the media have been galloping after for years.


Still Laker fans needn't stop reading or put the book in the fridge like Joey from 'Friends' once Shaq takes his talents away from Chick Hearn and the Lakers and to South Beach. What follows is some hot pages about O'Neal's time with the Heat and his relationship with former coach Pat Riley. Like the great coach, this take is slick but thoughtful, concentrated but at times humorous...and in the end it all seems in good nature. After all the two men that where known to keep guaranteeing championships at parade probably have more in common than they think. As Shaq takes his talents from South beach to LeBron and Cleveland via Phoenix we are in for even more terrific tales from the tall man.


Shaquille O'Neal also gives it up to the legends before him. Speaking candidly about the giant greats that came before him and paved the way. Although his relationship with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton doesn't seem the best, he gives uppermost praise and respect to the 'Lord Of The Rings' forefather Bill Russell. He also respects Wilt Chamberlain's privacy with a testifying, tribute to the late, great, big Basketball God. From Penny, to Wade and LeBron Shaq also shares his insight and time with his sidekick guard greats with all due respect and consideration...and then of course there is the talk on Kobe. Which is humbly and honestly written with love, respect and consideration over the pages. The highs and the lows are reached here and it's all done without the usual B.S. that comes with other peoples biographies.


This is because Shaq really is the genuine article and over these chapters it's clear to read the reason this players career was so classic. It was more than just the power, problems and perfect game (minus the free-throws)...it was about the personality. In the character stakes even if Shaq was as tall as Muggsy Bogues he still would have towered above the rest. That contagious smile and enthusiasm keeps the pages of this book turning and although the man that has done so much details every distinct aspect it's often downplayed. Even though the character's ego is big, his humility is notorious too. The kid from Newark that always honors his parents and upbringing is still here.


Even 'The Big Fellas' last season as a Celtic are worthy of praise as you read more into it. From his contributions to his battles and his funny frolics around Harvard. The A* basketball student also shares with us his studied in the entertainment and social-networking industry and his graduation through the ranks of law enforcement. Often times it seems like O'Neal's career has been 'Shaq vs The World' but as you finish this book all those who are against him will even start to realise there is no one quite like Shaquille O'Neal on this earth. A legendary personality, player and generous, genuine man. Whether you know him as a Laker or a Cavalier, a platinum rapper or a genie from a boom box, a charitable force or a cop, after this real, revealing read, you'll know the everyone man simply known as...




Going West.

What else can we say about Jerry West? A Los Angeles Laker champion and legend as a player and a general manager, immortalised in bronze for an overdue statue this year. Olympic champion and one of the greatest players the league has ever seen. The man is the image of the logo of the NBA for heaven's sake...he is a basketball God. What more can you say than that? Or what more can be said about this man than Roland Lazenby's incredible read 'Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon'? Well how about some words from the man himself? A shy, at times troubled man who isn't one for interviews, press conferences or even events honoring him. What more do we need now than some words from the horses mouth?

So one of the Lakers greatest knight's finally opens up with Jonathan Coleman for the magnificent, moving memoir 'West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life'. A book that covers everything from the highest of Mr. West's highs to the lowest of his lows on and off the basketball court. Recounts of a classic career that saw Gold on the national and international stage, a bevvy of legendary teammates and associates and a reputation for being one of the best closers in the game are detailed here.

Relationships with Laker legends like Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pat Riley, Mitch Kupchak, Jerry Buss, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and the lack of one with Phil Jackson are detailed here. As our his relationship with Bill Russell and the Lakers bitter, storied rival the Boston Celtics who ignited the competitive fire by beating them six time in one decade. Extended testimony's from his closest friends and players, plus his dream team, dream game are also thrown in for different and interesting measures.

Still it's when Jerry details the facts about his personal life that things become more open and revealing. A private and sensitive side that should truly be explored if your read this book and not this review. Jerry tells his story best with humble honesty and touching tenderness. The guy said to have a regular Joe name could almost change it to Frank Forthright. The silhouette of the NBA comes out from the shadows to shed some light on his troubles and in a way helps illuminate the darkness of fellow depression sufferers. Jerry shows fellow sufferers that you can live with the mental affliction...and live happily too. It's an important lesson learnt throughout Jerry's life and this book. It's a bold and brave move which Jerry executes as precisely and perfectly as one of his buzzer-beating shots.

The Big Shot player doesn't clutch for sympathy or fish for compliments, instead he inspires with his profound, poignant look at the fragility of life and the strength of one's character. Mr. Clutch will have you in his grasp in a one-sitting, page-turning read. This is a influential portrait and as this pro confesses over some pros he remains even in retirement the consummate professional. One of the greatest finishes of all-time yet again sends a shiver down our spine with a big play that leaves everyone better off for it. Once again Mr. West finds his range and strikes the right chord. The man that won a championship, a gold medal and brought 'Showtime' and Shaq and Kobe to L.A. scores one of his biggest and most significant hits yet. TIM DAVID HARVEY.



Tyrese show's us the way.

This writer has put down the pen of late and picked up three inspiring books from three influential individuals in the urban music industry. The first was rapper/actor Common's spiritual journey 'One Day It'll All Make Sense', the second was business and music mogul Steve Stoute's cultural exchange 'The Tanning Of America', and now the latest is R&B and movie star Tyrese Gibson's 'How To Get Out Of Your Own Way'.

This isn't an autobiography, this isn't a self-help book...it's something in-between. Making for a powerful, motivating piece of prose Tyrese's success story is one of struggle, survival and self-strategy. Part religious and part spiritual, with God and self together it all blends into the perfect recipe of success and self-fulfilment.

This book really should garner your self worth's attention after a humbling, tragic foreword this book begins with Tyrese detailing his humbling beginnings in Watts California. Talking about how he had to ignore the financial and instantly gratifying temptations of the world of drug dealers in the 'hood. This millionaire actor and singer used to find it incredibly hard to string a couple of quarters together to get the bus to school and get his education.

We all remember his infamous Coca Cola commercial at age 16 and Ty' inspires us with how this 30 second spot resulted into a 15 year and counting career. His journey really is incredible he used to not be allowed on the bus, but following an advert where he sang on one about a soft drink he now never has to take the bus again. If your that doesn't serve as encouragement and inspiration then what will?

If this fact sends shivers down your spine then this book is for you from the spine to the acknowledgments. From Tyrese breaking down the relationship between men and women and that of positivity and success he really lets you into his mind and guides you down the right mental path without sounding too preachy or like he's trying to be the next Dr. Phil. Tyrese keeps it real with his talk and genuine accounts of his life's experience. He doesn't act all high or might or talk down to us, he acts like our friend sitting next to us through these pages. He tells us it's fine to be labelled 'weird' if we are just different (citing Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and himself) but that if we are feeling down we shouldn't label ourselves 'depressed', as the shoe will fit. It all makes perfect sense. It's not cheesy or corny, it's devoted and meant.

Tyrese shares the complacent life changing advice he received from mentor and megastar Will Smith and along with the Fresh Prince's five people theory puts it into words for our own benefit and reflection. To conclude this great, game-changing read the movie star-who this year starred in two top franchise sequels ('Fast Five' and 'Transformers: Dark Of The Moon')-talks about his break into acting (with John Singleton's 'Baby Boy') and how no matter how successful or happy we should all strive to always better ourselves.

Millions of Tyrese's social networking Twitter followers will know how much this man's character inspires on a daily basis. It's this constant motivation and feeling of self-worth that has just this week given this multi-platinum, Grammy winner a new number one album. Counting and sharing his blessings Tyrese offers us an 'Open Invitation' to his way of life and thinking and it's a real positive step forward. Like the man himself says "don't leave this on the bookshelf". This is a real page-turner with depth that reads more into life. So open up and don't let anything stand in its way. It's really out there. TIM DAVID HARVEY.



Hope from the pages of Chicago.

"Being a poet is a powerful thing".-COMMON

This year this writer embarked on a trip to Chicago a decade and a half in the making. Since 11, since Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and the Chicago Bulls I've been drawn to this beautiful, classic city. Since modern music greats like R. Kelly and Kanye West changed the tides of the Windy City music scene my ear has been lent even more. Over the last decade however one man from this city of Illinois has drawn me in further...even before President Barack Obama. That man is Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr.

"The First Emotion I Ever Felt Was Love".-COMMON

Otherwise known as Common. The rapper/actor has really shown us common sense, heart, love and inspiration and influence through his music and lyrics and other work. He has defined rap in the last decade with two positive moving and barrier-breaking albums (the back-to-back 'Be' and 'Finding Forever') that changed the game for the better like his groundbreaking classic 'I Used To Love H.E.R'. Even if he questioned it to begin with, without a doubt the writing of a book was always the logical and meaningful next chapter for this hip-hop spokesman. So here we have it, 'One Day It'll All Make Sense' (named after one of his breakthrough albums), a true to its name story of how everything in life comes together.

"'Be' was a great time in my life as an artist. I felt like I had risen to another level of artistry and fame".-COMMON

Common's story is really one that you want to absorb in all it's inspiration an love. It's the kind of wonderful read that will take you on a journey all day as you strive to take it all in on one, quiet Sunday, coffee shop tour of your town sitting. This book makes for the perfect Christmas present that you just want and need to come early. Legendary writer Maya Angelou is right this is a "magnificent memoir" full of marvellous memories of an amazing life. One that took part in a million man march and saw the election of the first black President. One voice of a race and generation that has seen and been a part of major change.

"What has kept me going through all the struggles I've faced in my life? The love of God. The love of family and friends. The love of hip-hop."-COMMON

As you really turn the pages this book will fill you with laughs, contagious enthusiasm and inspiration, you may also shed tears as Rash sheds light on his life and those he's lost with beauty and poignancy. From his humble beginnings in Chicago to his world-wide success, chapter by chapter of his life is told by Common and his mother Dr. Mahalia Ann Hines in inspiring italics. From feeling the effects of the brutal murder of Emmett Till to meeting another Chi-town icon while being a ball-boy for the Chicago Bulls to his success in music and movies it's all here. From his close brotherhoods with super producers Kanye West to the late, great, legendary J. Dilla (rest peacefully) to the acting advice from forefathers and icons Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman.

"Being an actor has helped me to articulate my feelings with greater clarity and precision".-COMMON

Common even gives light to the loves in his life from singer Erykah Badu to tennis ace Serena Williams as well as the places of the world that have had a profound effect on him from Cuba to China. This book also gives us some funny stories with Prince and insight into his triumph over the Fox News criticisms of his White House appearance. In this frank, honest but fair and considered memoir Rashid also shares his thoughts on his beef with West-Coast legend Ice Cube and his evaluation of his President, truthfully saying; "Whatever Obama has failed to do to satisfy certain people's political agendas has been far exceeded by what he's achieved on the level of our spirits".

"A man knows who he is and has a sense of responsibility for himself, his family, and his community. A man believes in something and stands for it. He does his best to practice what he believes".-COMMON

Each chapter (named after one of his aptly titled, iconic songs including 'Love Is' and 'Retrospect For Life') starts with a beautiful, heartfelt letter to someone in his life from his mother to Erykah, to his younger himself or his unborn son. This personal piece of writing makes for a book that is more than Common's love for 'h.e.r.' or his silver-screen dreams. It's a testimony to God, love, family and positivity, the cornerstones of his successful life. On one of his biggest hits; 'The Corner' this poetic rapper told us; "I wish I could give you this feeling". Well it looks like he finally has. A feeling of life, love, friendship, family and artistic integrity. This is a book for anybody, hip-hop head, movie buff or not, religious or spiritual, single or married with children. This is a book for anyone that believes that being good and gaining ones definition is not a tale of fiction but a story we all write for ourselves. After all that's just common sense. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

"My aim has been to inspire and raise consciousness".-COMMON


A reference to the definitive reading list.


'Read To Achieve' feature takes you through the library of some classic reads. Take what you please, just make sure you return for more.

FREEDARKO PRESENTS THE MACROPHENOMENAL PRO ALMANAC, STYLES, STATS & STARS IN TODAY'S GAME: This is the ultimate guide to today's game...if a few years out of date, sorry T-Mac and Gilbert. This is one awesome almanac. A different look at today's game with stats of greater significance, wonderful writing styles that could run on the same dunking line as 'SLAM' magazine and incredible, fitting illustrations that illuminate this read. With classic chapters about cult players and a forward by guard Agent Zero, Gilbert Arenas himself as a prologue this is bound to be one of the most entertaining basketball reads...ever.

FREEDARKO PRESENTS THE UNDISPUTED GUIDE TO PRO BASKETBALL HISTORY: One good book deserves a sequel. A different but delightful look at the history of roundball, written with passion and compassion and illustrated with style and substance. Pure poetry and art comes out of every page. This book is full of tidbits and great tales that you may have not heard. Such as the time after a Latrell Sprewell and Chris Webber Nike advert mocked C-Webb's dunk on Charles Barkley, Sir Chuck dropped 57 in a game on both players and backpedaled past their bench and yelled; "put that in a commercial". Need any more advertising for this book?

HOOPS: A big, beautiful photo album that takes you through the history of the National Basketball Association with perfect portraits of everyone from Wilt Chamberlain to Kevin Garnett. This book says a thousand words.

NBA COACHES PLAYBOOK: For coaching candidates and promising purists alike this textbook is the perfect study and revision of all basketball plays from Tex Winter's infamous triangle to Kareem's notorious sky hook. Why? Because they and every other legend of the NBA dry-erase writes these chapters you should constantly go back to for inspiration like Bible verses.

50 AMAZING YEARS IN THE CITY OF ANGELS: Young writers looking for inspiration need this book like those who bleed purple and gold. From the style of legendary Pulitzer prize winner and basketball story-teller Jim Murray to all the definitive articles and portraits of Laker success. This truly is the words of the Los Angeles Times.

WHEN THE GAME WAS OURS: Who better to speak on the rivalry, friendship, force and revolution that was Magic and Bird in the eighties then the men themselves? This dual autobiography really keeps Larry and Johnson together with stories better than what Grandmama could tell you. A slam dunk hit as the two come-together converse like their sneaker deal. This book was shot and assisted perfectly by Hall Of Fame sportswriter Jackie MacMullan.

SHAQ UNCUT: MacMullan also hits recently retired Shaquille O'Neal with a dime for a book that is almost as big and legendary as the mans career. Detailing his higher than the sky highs and his oft-publicised lows from the Magic to Celtics this is THE real account of one of the most unique careers in NBA history. Of course this read wouldn't be the same without some music or cinematic moments or of course the biggest attractions in Miami and Hollywood with the Lakers...and yes Kobe's mentioned. Want more? Then read to achieve.

SHAQ TALKS BACK: This isn't the only time the Big daddy's put big pen to paper. Shaq's first autobiography-written during his L.A. days is funny, frank, insightful and inspirational. The man who can make you laugh and see his point too really has something to say and if that isn't enough his Hollywood nights have some telling tales of everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio to Robert Downey Jnr.

WEST BY WEST: MY CHARMED, TORMENTED LIFE: Still if you like your legends a little quieter than how about Jerry West? He is one of the greatest Lakers of all time and the logo of the NBA after all. Breaking years of silence and coming off Roland Lazenby's classic 'Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon' West details his best of times and worst of times too. Mr. Clutch talks about winning on the floor and in the boardroom with the Lakers but also talks honestly and humbly about his battles with the devastation of depression and in doing so gives help and hope to those readers that may suffer from the same affliction. What a true professional.

SHOOTING STARS: LeBron James takes it back to the glory days of High School with the 'Friday Night Lights' of Buzz Bussinger and some old Irish. Revealing, real, nostalgic and nice this locker room talk of the high school days just shows this dynasty maker that to know where your going you have to know where you came from.

DRIVE-THE STORY OF MY LIFE: Bird's first autobiography takes the reader from the French Lick to the battles with Magic. The tricks of the Celtics legends trade is told in the pages of a perfect and precise pronouncement. This book plays out like Larry Legend's career, big, bold-at times boastful-but always beautiful. This blue-collar book is anything but hard work.

DRIVEN FROM WITHIN: Michael Jordan and Nike team up for a photo book/quote by quote autobiography that has an air of awe-inspiring influence. It looks great but don't think the style of this success story makes the substance give way. Inspirational and motivational quotes have only been greater in Muhammed Ali's 'The Soul Of A Butterfly' or the letters that make up Martin Luther King's autobiography.

MY LIFE: We picked this book up on from a side street seller in New York for two dollars but in reality it's worth it's weight in millions shipped. Earvin Johnson shows he's got the Magic for writing too with the tales of the tricks of his trade. A book as entertaining, enigmatic, magnificent, moving, inspiring, insightful, influential, and as real as the man himself.

THE ART OF A BEAUTIFUL GAME: Chris Ballard's book of this brilliant game of basketball is a beautiful ballad of sports writing. Every chapter is like a separate sonnet of praise to all the in's and out's and idiosyncrasies of different facets of the workings of legendary players minds and games. From Kobe Bryant's killer instinct to Steve Kerr's shot it's all here and it's never been told or explained better.

THE LAST SEASON-A TEAM IN SEARCH OF A SOUL: Coach Phil Jackson's classic and controversial book about basically the season of Shaq and Kobe's break-up drew rave-reviews and ravenous readers. It's revealing and honest, thorough and forthright as everything is taken to task with a gentleman's class. Sure as Phil and Kobe got back together in the name of two Larry O'Brien's some now render this book insignificant, but this story serves as more than a footnote to the careers of both Bryant and Jackson, plus many more too.

CHARACTER DRIVEN-LIFE, LESSONS & BASKETBALL: Derek Fisher's story extends further then the range of one if the Lakers and the leagues most legendary clutch playing, role-players. His life and times feature more hardship and positive looks towards inspiration than a Jay-Z song sampling 'Annie'. OK, boys and girls this man may have spent his career in the shadow of today's best Kobe, but even the greatest wouldn't have had half the hits without his perfect producer in his corner. Derek Fisher's tale is one that needs to be told. Are you sitting comfortably?

KAREEM: They say he's too closed off, but Cap really opens here. They say he's boring, but Kareem will make you laugh. They say he's dull, but this big-book has colour. They even dared to say he doesn't have a lot of love, but this book has as much heart as it does soul. Arguably the greatest basketball player turned writer gets shows so much personality in his most personal piece of published prose.

THE WINNER FROM WITHIN: From the cover to the preface this book looks like a self-help guide and in a lot of ways it is. Still, Pat Riley's autobiography is as slick, serious and sincere as the legendary coach and man himself. This book will inspire and influence you like no other but it will also tell you all about this one in a million, genuine guy. To hear the story of his whole life within and beyond basketball is to help take you further with yours and learn a little something extra about the game too.

WILT, 1962: One of the most important stories in basketball history told with truth by Gary M. Pomerantz. Different peoples takes and stories help document a moment taking us back to that infamous night in '62 when Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single, legendary basketball game and iconic moment in sports history. This game may have never been televised or taped but this biography brings this subject alive for the record. This is fact not fiction. There you have it. TIM DAVID HARVEY.



Seeing the light.

To say Steve Stoute is successful is a gross understatement to what this man can actually gross. This marketing genius has made a fortune of turning the fortunes of everyone from Gwen Stefani to McDonalds. This mogul has made it all look so effortless too as he shifted his tie between the music and advertising executive world, suiting and fitting in wherever he's been tailored. Now he tells his story, as well as the history of advertising and hip-hop's influence on modern culture and tastes in 'The Tanning Of America', a book that rewrites popular consensus and how things are done.

This best-seller, great-teller is a bookend of two stories. One being in autobiographical nature of Stoute's career and the development of hip-hop culture in the 'tanning of America' and the changing face of advertising and trends. While the other serves as the perfect business studies manual that would help any young entrepreneur reach their dream step by step. Look at the back of the book to see innovator Chris Gardener's co-sign amongst others (Kanye West and Russell Simmons to name a few). Endorsements don't come much better than from a stock broker that went for broke on pursuing his 'happyness' so well that Will Smith made a career movie out of it.

From telling tales of the make or break history of Coca Cola in all its bubbles to his own personal stories of sipping champagne and smoking cigars with Jay-Z, Bono and Roger Moore this book is rich with volumes of clever creative and inspiring real-life scenarios. It all started with Run DMC leading a sold out Madison Square Garden crowd to all hold up their Adidas trainers to Stoute and Justin Timberlake showing the world how much McDonald's is 'loving it'. Also amazing accounts of how N.W.A. changed and revolutionised the NFL and sports merchandising industry and how LL Cool J got smart with FUBU in a Gap commercial are also attributed.

There are so many more exceptional examples but to reveal more would be to ruin the insightful, discovery nature of this real read. You'll just have to go by the book to see just how well Steve Stoute wrote his own successful life script. Page by page, career move by career move it's clear to see Stoute, Hip-Hop and the modern day mainstream have come a long way and as cultures are brought together by this it's clear we are all the better for it. Anyone wanting the bright things in life need to shed some light on 'Tanning'. It's eye-opening and therefore truly visionary. Make sure you absorb it and take it in. Don't get left in the shade. TIM DAVID HARVEY.