An easygoing, affectionate reminiscence about a career in basketball that offers some familiar advice.



A basketball coach reflects on the lessons he’s learned from a lifetime in the sport.

In his debut memoir/leadership book, Doherty tells the colorful story of his career in basketball, playing for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels early on. He eventually landed coaching jobs at Notre Dame and UNC, later working for a handful of other teams. The author grounds his narrative in his own life story, from growing up in working-class East Meadow on Long Island to playing varsity ball in high school to being courted by the Tar Heels just as he was entering college. Immediately after college, he was drafted by a professional basketball team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. The coach ended up telling Doherty that he “wasn’t going to make the team”: “I went into a free fall emotionally....My basketball career was over!” He took a job on Wall Street at Kidder Peabody but recounts that his heart was never really in it. “Although I loved living in NYC, I hated my job,” he writes. “I would hit the snooze button each morning, dreading to go to work.” Doherty soon moved back to the world of basketball, becoming head coach at Notre Dame in 1999 and, a year later, head coach at his old alma mater, UNC. The author narrates all this and his subsequent season-by-season career with ease, often expanding on discrete scenarios in order to show the larger lessons he learned. As with most what-I-learned-from-sports memoirs, some of these lessons can be hackneyed and overgeneralized, things like “It is very important for a leader to show strength and hope” during a crisis. or “You are only as good as your last game.” His job as a coach, he writes, was to push his players out of their comfort zones, but his book clearly has the opposite aim. This is the memoir of a sports success looking back in comfort at the straightforward lessons he learned along the way.

An easygoing, affectionate reminiscence about a career in basketball that offers some familiar advice.

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-73408-501-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Sports Publishing Group

Review Posted Online: March 24, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller


All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

The lessons to draw are obvious: Smoke more dope, eat less meat. Like-minded readers will dig it.


The chef, rapper, and TV host serves up a blustery memoir with lashings of self-help.

“I’ve always had a sick confidence,” writes Bronson, ne Ariyan Arslani. The confidence, he adds, comes from numerous sources: being a New Yorker, and more specifically a New Yorker from Queens; being “short and fucking husky” and still game for a standoff on the basketball court; having strength, stamina, and seemingly no fear. All these things serve him well in the rough-and-tumble youth he describes, all stickball and steroids. Yet another confidence-builder: In the big city, you’ve got to sink or swim. “No one is just accepted—you have to fucking show that you’re able to roll,” he writes. In a narrative steeped in language that would make Lenny Bruce blush, Bronson recounts his sentimental education, schooled by immigrant Italian and Albanian family members and the mean streets, building habits good and bad. The virtue of those habits will depend on your take on modern mores. Bronson writes, for example, of “getting my dick pierced” down in the West Village, then grabbing a pizza and smoking weed. “I always smoke weed freely, always have and always will,” he writes. “I’ll just light a blunt anywhere.” Though he’s gone through the classic experiences of the latter-day stoner, flunking out and getting arrested numerous times, Bronson is a hard charger who’s not afraid to face nearly any challenge—especially, given his physique and genes, the necessity of losing weight: “If you’re husky, you’re always dieting in your mind,” he writes. Though vulgar and boastful, Bronson serves up a model that has plenty of good points, including his growing interest in nature, creativity, and the desire to “leave a legacy for everybody.”

The lessons to draw are obvious: Smoke more dope, eat less meat. Like-minded readers will dig it.

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4478-5

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet