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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Role of a Lifetime...Review

About the book:
We live in a world that all too often operates under the overriding template of self-promotion, embracing a "hooray for me" attitude, and which measures success in increasingly small time frames dotted with markers of temporal value.

Millions of viewers know James Brown as a sports commentator and former athlete. With ROLE OF A LIFETIME, James reveals a different side of his character. Brown rose from a middle-class home to earn a scholarship to Harvard and a chance at a professional sports career before moving on to broadcast journalism. Part memoir and part self-help, this book draws on James' lessons from his faith and life experiences to guide readers to find fulfillment and significance. He offers values and encouragement to others of all generations, assisting them in their search for meaning in navigating a world that increasingly promotes transient values, if any at all. His message that shortcuts and gimmicks are counterproductive to a person's success provides hope that there is a God who cares about them and their futures.

I freely admit that I am not a television viewer. While there was a time in my life where I was up on sports and knew everything that was going on with my two favorite NFL teams, that time is not now. And, while I was aware that James Brown was a sports show analyst and commentator, I knew nothing about the man himself.

Honestly, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I thought it would simply be entertaining. I didn't expect to be moved, much less inspired.

James Brown writes candidly about his life and his ups and downs and successes and failures. Being drafted into the NBA was his dream come true. Being released after training camp was a defeat. He's honest and open and never once do you think that he's feeling sorry for himself. On the contrary, this is a book about finding the role that you were born to live, and the role that God wants for you.

I appreciated James' view that we maximize our own potential as much by building others up and letting them shine, as we do on our own. James speaks openly about finding his faith and living it. His faith and family are important to him and he is who he is, in part, because of his mother's example of goodness. In his eyes, success is making a difference in the lives of others, and we can only do that with God's help. He's very quick to give credit to those people who've made a difference in his life and who've taught him and helped him get to where he is today.

If I have any complaints at all with the book, it's that I felt it needed a good edit. But, that's just me. I know a book is good when I want to high-light passages for future reference, and there were several here where I did just that. I'd love to hear James speak in person. I think his message would be both inspirational and motivational.

Thanks to Anna Balasi of Hatchette Book Group for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about James Brown here. You can purchase the book here.

Read 9/09

* * * *
4/5 Stars

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