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Matt Woodall

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Be Careful What You Wish For
Be Careful What You Wish For
by Simon Jordan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Put aside your thoughts on the man - it's an interesting & entertaining read, 20 April 2014
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There are positives and negatives to this book but it's a very entertaining read and does a lot to explain the 'behind the scenes' (mercenary) goings on in football. Personally I finished reading it with a sense of (some) sympathy for Jordan - not something I'd expected.

On the amusing / negative side there's an 'Alan Partridge' volume of Z list name dropping with the Bill Oddie role played in this instance by Theo Paphitis with a particularly amusing Partridge style put-down also aimed at Pete Doherty.

At times it's easy to hate Jordan, at others he seems like a bloke you could have a chat with over a pint.


Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
by Michael Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.34

4.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, 22 Oct. 2013
As someone who loves an interesting sporting story but doesn't have any particular knowledge of baseball I'd held off reading Moneyball at first but decided that in a choice of 'the book' or 'the film' I'd be better starting with the book.

Whilst a love of baseball probably helps it's by no means important, a vague understanding of the positions in baseball is useful, but again, not essential.

It's the typical underdog story of a small team trying to punch above it's weight using everything it can to overhaul the rich kids. This story is so much more than that though, there's the personal angle of the failed 'wonderkid' who's now General Manager, the internal politics, the external politics and the blue sky thinking. At times the writing style isn't the easiest to follow but if you do follow it what develops is a unique story of (relative) success against the odds.


Executioner Pierrepoint: An Autobiography
Executioner Pierrepoint: An Autobiography
by Albert Pierrepoint
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.05

4.0 out of 5 stars A unique life, 22 Oct. 2013
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After reading the book, and enjoying it, I'm still not entirely sure of what to make of it. Whilst it's a record of a life the likes of which are unlikely to be seen again you also feel that there's a certain desire to 'set the record straight' throughout the book.

Whilst the early couple of chapters covering Pierrepoint's early life were clearly relevant in telling the story of his life, they did feel a little laboured compared to the rest of the book. What follows though is an interesting account of an interesting life. Whilst Pierrepoint is careful not to go into excessive detail about the people he hung or judge their guilt, he provides an insight into the career of a British hangman and his feelings on hanging as a deterrent. It's an interesting read and one that leaves you feeling informed about an unique life.


Soccernomics
Soccernomics
by Simon Kuper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Changes the way you think about football, 22 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Soccernomics (Paperback)
Soccernomics is a rare book in that it successfully challenges many preconceptions around the beautiful game and has the statistics and research to back it up. Covering a subject matter which has the potential to be either exciting or exhausting, Soccernomics tackles it in a way which is definitely lively and informative for the reader. Definitely worth a read.


The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
by Daniel Coyle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, 17 Oct. 2013
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Probably the most engrossing book I've ever read, going from start to finish in under 2 days. You don't need to be a cycling fan to read this, it's just a really interesting story with enough detail to make you feel informed but without being bored. It's an honest account rather than the typical sports life story focussed on settling scores.


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