Posts Tagged ‘memoir’

Shoe Dog

Sunday, July 1st, 2018 | Books

Shoe Dog is a 2016 memoir by Phil Knight, founder of Nike.

Most of the story focuses on the early days, from just before he founded Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964 to when he took Nike public in 1980. It feels like a true entrepreneurs story, grinding it out from selling trainers out of the back of his car, through the almost-bankruptcies and endless crises and eventual triumph.

It paints Nike in a good picture. They innovated, brought new shoes to the market, changed the industry. But then, any memoir is likely to do that. If you read Grinding It Out, Ray Kroc comes over as lovely guy. But I guess I want to believe because I genuinely love the stuff Nike makes. I’ve tried running in other people’s shoes and they’re not as comfortable.

When I bought my Nike holdall, it came with a label saying “we’ve been there since the beginning. For as long as we’ve been making shoes, we’ve been making bags.” I’m sure this is 100% true and not just a strategy to ward off buyer’s remorse. But it is weird that Knight didn’t mention bags anywhere in his book, even though he did talk about the launch of their apparel launch long after he had started selling shoes.

If you’re interested in the story of Nike, or you like tales of entrepreneurship, this is a good read. Otherwise, you’re probably not going to get much out of it.

Orange Is the New Black (book)

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018 | Books

I recently wrote about the TV show Orange Is the New Black. It’s based on a book by Piper Kerman, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, which is a memoir of the time she served at Danbury prison camp.

Her memoir is way less exciting than the TV series. There is no starving out, no trips to the SHU and no riots. That’s no surprise, of course, as the show is a drama and not a documentary. However, many of the shows features are easy to connect back to the book.

You don’t get long detailed descriptions of what happened. You do get character development though, as Kerman comes to terms with the harm caused to so many communities by the drug trade. Overall, its an okay read. It maintained my interest throughout, but I wasn’t desperate to read the next chapter so I wouldn’t recommend it as a “must read”.