Good Reviews

800px-Old_books_by_bionicteachingNot only did the December 15-16 Wall Street Journal Review section contain a “Books of the Year 2012” with recommendations from an illustrious cast, but it also contained three longer reviews of interest: My former colleague Sonny Bunch on The Revolution Was Televised (how bad big-budget movies led to quality television programming), Gregg Easterbrook on Coaching Confidential (juicy inside-the-locker-room stories from Daily News columnist Gary Myers), and Gena Feith on Creamy & Crunchy (a history of peanut butter).

One tidbit from the Coaching Confidential review was particularly striking—it involves the now former Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, whose son Garrett died of a heroin overdose last summer:

Mr. Reid, Mr. Myers reports, once took a leave of absence to try to reach out to Garrett—but it was only a few weeks in midwinter, when there is not much going in the NFL. Even during the off-season, Mr. Reid reported to work as early as 4:30 a.m. and often slept in his office, absent from his family for extended stretches, accessible to his players but not to his own sons. After Garrett’s funeral, he went back to work the next day.

Easterbrook’s complaint is that “parents cannot control their adult children, and perhaps Mr. Reid did all that could have been done. George McGovern was unable to save his daughter Teresa from alcoholism; sometimes even the most conscientious parents simply fail. But the section on Mr. Reid’s workaholic life fails to answer why NFL coaches ignore their families and sleep in their offices.”

And be sure to check out those recommendations from the likes of Judd Apatow, Thomas Keller, Joseph Epstein, and more.

Photo by Tom Woodward

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