Culture & Criticism Since 2003
Jay Wright serves as the head basketball coach at Villanova University. As the 2016 NCAA Basketball Champions, Villanova grabbed the national spotlight, with fans and pundits gathering to pick apart why this team was able to make their run though the tournament and beat North Carolina on a last-shot buzzer beater. Even though many were shocked at the Wildcats’ victory, Coach Wright was not. Wright’s whole game-plan is based on teaching his kids to bring the right attitude and approach – not only to athletics, but to life itself. In turn, he knew the Villanova players had the right mind-set and could surprise the Tar Heels. In Attitude, Wright steps forward to share his philosophy, and it should open some eyes in college programs throughout the world. In sum, Wright’s entire coaching strategy is premised on teaching players/students to first accept their individual roles – and then dominate them. As Wright shows, when a person accepts his place in society (on the ‘team’) he will be able to excel, excelling at the things which he does best. The second part of Wright’s lesson is about respecting and acknowledging the work that those who preceded you have done – learning that it’s not all about you, but instead, about the collective generations that built this country…and this world. Attitude is a vitally important contribution to college athletics; for as Coach Wright shows us, it’s not just about winning games, but about having a meaningful life. Read by Michael Sheridan, Director of Media Relations at Villanova and the former Managing Editor of Basketball Times. 10 hours on 8 CDS.
In this suspense-thriller, we are introduced to Celine, a private detective whose specialty is bringing families back together as she attempts to make sense of her own broken life. The book is an interesting examination of what motivates people to do the work they do and don the personas they wear. Read by stage actress Kimberly Farr. 11.5 hours on 9 CDS.
Do you wonder what makes writers tick? South & West is comprised of pieces from two of Didion’s never-seen notebooks, and provides a real-time glimpse into exploding mirrors and the creative process. Read by Kimberley Farr and Nathaniel Rich. Running time 180 minutes.
Anyone enamored with the history of the American West will find Dodge City indispensable, for it provides a gripping ride through this legendary town artfully immortalized in the long-running television classic Gunsmoke. In the mid 1800s, Dodge City, Kansas was regarded as one of the most violent places in the nation. It seemed as if every outlaw gravitated there at one time or another, often doing battle in the streets. And if it wasn’t for two self-taught badges named Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson, law would have likely eluded the region until the 1900s. Clavin’s book is a true tour de force, bringing to life many of the faces (Billy the Kid, John Hardin, Wild Bill Hickok, Doc Holliday, Jesse James) who have become a lasting part of the country’s historical fabric. One of the best aspects of Dodge City is found in Clavin’s ability to capture the human side of Masterson and Earp as we are invited to intimately intertwine ourselves with the many sides of these men. In turn, as we witness the way they loved and grieved and lived, we’re able to understand the ideals that motivated these maverick spirits to restore order to the Wild West. Read by John Bedford Lloyd, whose riveting narration makes the recording impossible to turn off. 13 hours on 11 CDS.