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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Review: A Game of Character by Craig Robinson

A Game of Character: A Family Journey from Chicago's Southside to the Ivy League and Beyond 
Publisher: Gotham
ISBN: 1592405916
Pages: 288 pgs
Genre: Biography
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge


Buy this Book: Amazon, Powell's, Indiebound  


Summary from publisher:

This inspirational memoir by Craig Robinson pays tribute to his parents, his coaches, and the lessons his experiences have taught him.

Foreword by Marian Robinson

When he stepped into history's spotlight at the National Democratic Convention, Craig Robinson recalls that nothing could have been more gratifying than introducing his sister, Michelle Obama, to millions of Americans. Within minutes, he won the hearts of the nation by sharing highlights of growing up in the modest Robinson household, where he and his sister were raised by devoted parents who taught them the values of education, and hard work, and the importance of reaching far beyond what even seemed possible.

Those lessons of character were fundamental in shaping Craig Robinson's own remarkable journey: from his days playing street basketball on Chicago's Southside while excelling academically, to admission at Princeton University, where he was later named Ivy League Player of the Year, twice. After playing professionally in Europe, Robinson made an about-face, entering the competitive field of finance. With his MBA from the University of Chicago, his meteoric rise landed him a partnership in a promising new venture. But another dream beckoned, and Craig made the unusual decision to forgo the trappings of money and status in the business world in order to become a basketball coach. He soon helped transform three struggling teams-as an assistant coach at Northwestern, then as head coach at Brown, and now at Oregon State University. In his first season at OSU, he navigated what was declared to be one of the nation's best single season turnarounds.

In A Game of Character, Robinson takes readers behind the scenes to meet his most important influences in his understanding of the winning traits that are part of his playbook for success. Central to his story are his parents, Marian and Fraser, two indefatigable individuals who showed their children how to believe in themselves and live their lives with conviction through love, discipline, and respect. With insights into this exemplary family, we relive memories of how Marian sacrificed a career to be a full-time mom, how Fraser got up and went to work every day while confronting the challenges of multiple sclerosis, and how Craig and Michelle strengthened their bond as they journeyed out of the Southside to Princeton University and, eventually, the national stage.

Heartwarming, inspiring, and even transformational, A Game of Character comes just at the right time in an era of change, reminding readers of the opportunity to work together and embrace the character of our nation, to make a difference in the lives of others, and to pave the way for the next generation.

My Review:  

I have to admit that I was initially attracted to this book because of Craig Robinson’s connection to President Obama. But I ended up liking this book because of Craig Robinson. That’s saying something.

I loved reading about Robinson’s life and experiences.  I couldn’t help but form some admiration for him. He did give me some inspiration for my own life—which I find very rare in my reading material. He made the life choice to quite his job as an investment banker to coach college basketball where he would be happier. I kind of identify with that decision at this point in my life where I could choose the career that would be steadier and more dependable or the one that I know would truly make me happy.

I found this book to be both interesting and entertaining. Robinson’s story kept my attention throughout the book. I especially loved Robinson’s stories about his early life and his family. His family was extremely close-knit and supportive of each other. I loved that he does not focus on his more high profile family members. It would be so easy to write a book and name drop throughout.  I was glad that he didn’t take the easy route. Granted these famous family members were mentioned but not in a “look at my famous family” way but in a loving and familial pride kind of way. 

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.

1 comment:

  1. Great review, Grace! And I hope you follow your heart when making your career decision :-) Thank you so much for being on the tour!



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