Steroid Nation

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Friday February 29, 2008.

If you ever wondered why people care about the use of steroids by athletes and anyone else, look no further than this book. It says an awful lot.

The book was published at the time the Mitchell Report) was just being completed and making its way into the public realm. As the hearings in Congress went on, one recurring theme was that it’s not just athletes that use these drugs to improve performance. It’s their wives and possibly even their kids who use them to look better for photo shoots and to reach a point where they may someday be as good as their dads.

What’s the problem, you may ask. People use them to recover from injury…how is that any different than Drug X or Drug Y? Read the book and find out exactly what that problem is.

From my Shelfari entry:

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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Wednesday January 23, 2008.

I finished Freakonomics about two weeks ago and finally am getting around to putting up what I thought of it. Actually, I’ve been trying to get through the blog posts they included in the “revised and expanded edition” that I have. I’ve got to say that it was a fantastic book.

I’m game for someone trying to figure out new ways of thinking and exploring issues that seem to be resolved. Moneyball was the first book I read that was in this vein, and it was an instant classic to me. Freakonomics is right up the same alley and couldn’t have been a better addition to my library.

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The Virgin Suicides

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Thursday January 3, 2008.

This is easily the toughest review I have written. It’s definitely the worst, but that doesn’t say a whole lot. I had a hard time figuring this book out. Whenever I read a book, I look the book up and get other people’s takes on it. I don’t wait until I’m done or anything like that. With The Virgin Suicides I struggled because I didn’t think I was seeing it the same way as everyone else. When I watched the movie after finishing the book, that view was pretty much confirmed.

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Ball Four

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Monday December 17, 2007.

Being the baseball fan that I am, it was difficult to watch the game and pay attention to the current climate in the game (steroids) without running into people over and over who suggested I read Ball Four.

It’s the book that changed everything about how players are seen in the eyes of the public—from how they pass the time to how they get through the difficult stretches, and even what they do on their own time.

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The Plot Against America

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Sunday November 25, 2007.

I found this book by dinking around on Shelfari. I made the decision to read it based on a couple of things: a comment about it made by Reno Rambler, the popularity it seemed to carry on that site, and the cover. Having studied German in college and being interested in German history, the swastika on the cover grabbed me and told me I had to check it out. I’m glad I made that decision.

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