Finkel's Fast Five #154

The tremendous book, article, movie, meathead moment and quote you missed this week...

Note: You are receiving this e-mail because you subscribed to my weekly Finkel’s Fast Five newsletter. Every Friday, I share 1 book, 1 article, 1 movie, 1 meathead item and 1 quote for you to think about.

BOOK: Ohio by Stephen Markley

I really enjoy reading fiction but I admittedly find myself pushing those stories to the back burner in favor of non-fiction history and sports and science and event books that come out. So every four or five books I make it a point to read a novel. I have a few favorite authors, but I’ll also look to see what’s winning awards or what people I trust are recommending… And one reader I trust, my good buddy Dan, just recommended Ohio to me last week and I gotta say, it’s brilliant. It reads like a buddy of yours (an insanely gifted literary buddy) is telling you about a crazy story from his hometown, complete with twists and turns and history and mystery. I’m about 180 pages in and this is one of those big, sprawling books that you won’t forget reading. Check it out here.

ARTICLE: Shades of Grey by Ashley Stimpson

When I’d visit my grandparents in Florida as a kid, one of my grandfathers would always take me to the dog track. I loved everything about it. He’d give me like five dollars to bet and we’d pick the dogs and win or lose I’d get a hot dog and a soda and a soft serve ice cream and have a great afternoon. I never thought about the dogs until I got older. What kind of life did a racing greyhound have? You’d assume a terrible one. Most people do, considering how many are rescued. But in Stimpson’s excellent piece, she questions all of the assumptions and does the hard work to find the answer…and the answer is not what you think. This is a terrific read.

MOVIE: “Manchild” The Schea Cotton Story: A Dream Deferred

The simplest way to describe Schea Cotton is that he was LeBron James before LeBron James. He was, by far, the most gifted and overpowering high school basketball player in the country…as a junior. He packed houses, basically had a Nike contract and worked with pro-level trainers. But most of you haven’t heard of him. I’m going to give a teaser here, but this documentary explores why, and it’s really good, loaded with interviews and first-hand accounts of his games, like the time he and KG squared off for high school supremacy…and Cotton won. Watch it here.

MEATHEAD MILESTONE: Getting back to the 305 bench club

I set a goal for myself in the spring of 2020 to see if I could be as strong at 42 as I was at 22. I graduated college in 2000, which was the last time I benched 305. I gave myself until the end of 2020 to get back. I made it with just a few days to spare. Enjoy my triumph and my Macho Man “ooooh yeah” as the weight goes up. Here’s the clip.


“No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training... what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” - Socrates

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