004: To Me Reading is Everything with Amalie Benjamin

Amalie Benjamin is not kidding when she talks about her need of reading.  She is hardly, if ever, without a book or access to one.  She has a goal this year to read 50 books.  That’s a noble goal for anyone, let alone the mother of a young, growing family, and a traveling sports columnist for NHL.com.

Amalie’s life as a reader comes to life as she talks about growing up in a household with dedicated reading parents and having a best friend, a high school history teacher, who’s an endless resource of good book referrals.

Amalie is just as comfortable talking about Hop on Pop and other children’s books as she is about real-life journalistic thrillers:  Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm, and Bad BloodShe really shines when she makes herself vulnerable.  Her husband, fellow journalist and Dueling with Kings author Daniel Barbarisi, immersed himself deeply into the world of professional sports betting, sometimes putting more on the line than he let on.  For anyone who’s ever felt the intoxication of winning, and the despair of losing, you’ll identify with Amalie and Daniel.

Full Podcast Transcript

[00:00:11] Recorded live from the Sweet Tea Studios in Wellesley Massachusetts. You’re listening to the podcast, Why I Read Nonfiction. Hosted by broadcaster and author of The Perfect Catch and Follow the Dog Home. Here is Kevin Walsh.

[00:00:29] (Kevin) Hello WELCOME to the program. We got a good show for you today Why I Read Nonfiction it’s as much about the reader as it is about the books.

[00:00:37] This is a deep dive into why we love to read, how we read the platforms that we’re on, the way we make choices, and people ask why nonfiction? Well, because it’s real. And then we can draw from it. Sometimes we’ll cross over, but it’s got to have real elements. Reading impacts all of our lives and our next guest is going to speak to that eloquently with so much passion.  To receive the show automatically be sure to hit the subscribe button on your listening directory. It’s easy and it’s free. Our guest today is Amalie Benjamin sports reporter and staff writer for NHL dot com. Amalie has also worked for The Boston Globe covering the Red Sox and the Boston Bruins. Amalie what’s going on? Good to have you on the show finally.

[00:01:23] (Amalie) Not much. Thanks so much for having me. I’m honored to be a guest on this show.

[00:01:28] (Kevin) Well I know you love to read because we’ve talked about it a lot.  But, just in your words how would you describe your relationship with reading and how it impacts your life.

[00:01:38] (Amalie) I mean, to me, reading is everything.  It has always been everything. I think my parents would probably tell you that as soon as I first learned to read, as soon as I first picked up books, they captivated me.  And while with a two year old I’m reading a little bit more Hop on Pop and The Cat In The Hat than I maybe am books for me these days, it’s really something that reading is when I’m at my happiest, when I can sort of shut the world off and just sort of focus on either, you know, some imaginary world some fiction, or something that really happened in some nonfiction.  I’m sort of equally happy in both worlds, but reading really is sort of my, my absolute favorite thing to do when I get to find some find some spare time.

[00:02:28] (Kevin) Well sometimes life gets in the way you have a you have a small child and I know how that can be.  If you go through a stretch where you haven’t been reading, how does that impact your mood?

[00:02:39] (Amalie) You know it’s funny, I would say last year I didn’t read many books.  And I’m a devoted Goodreads person.  To me, I read about I think it was like 24, 25 books last year and that felt like nothing to me which, I, you know, I’m sure some people say that that’s a pretty good year. So, I made a commitment, I said I’m going to try I’m going to try and get to 50 books this year. I’ve 12 books in this this year so far, so I think you know I’ve been sort of recommitting to it and making sure I always have time for it, even if it’s just 20 minutes, or 15 minutes at the end of the night before I pass out, or heck even on line on my phone.  (Kevin) Chip away, chip away.  (Amalie) Exactly, exactly.

[00:03:18] (Kevin) All right, so I got a back story and this is how I discovered your love of reading.  Back when you were covering the Boston Red Sox, I was at a game at Fenway Park, and just so everybody knows the press box behind home plate is kind of theater style seating so you were down below me.  And in between innings baseball is one of those games where you have time to do stuff, and in between innings some people get up and refresh their popcorn or their coffee, go to the bathroom, or whatever. But, I noticed you would sometimes open a book and just read for a little. (laughter) That’s how much you love it. You just will do it every chance you can get, right?

[00:03:54] (Amalie) That’s, that’s true. You can find me sometimes flipping between between periods and those intermissions.  Sometimes I’ll flip to my my computer Kindle copy of whatever I’m reading that day even now, just to get a little break.

[00:04:07] Sometimes you got to reset a little bit, or sometimes you’re just so into what you’re reading that if you have any break in the day, you want to squeeze in five minutes maybe here and there. But yeah, it’s it’s just it’s just something it’s really fundamental to who I am and my day to day life. I mean it is as it is part of my every day life. It’s not a special thing. I mean it is special to read, but it isn’t something that I set aside for, you know, when I have a block of time, it is something that I make a priority for.

[00:04:38] (Kevin) Yeah that’s the thing.   I hate when people say “I love to read but I don’t have time. It’s, no, you find time.”  (Amalie) Exactly. (Kevin) I’ll give everybody an extra half hour of reading: sleep a half hour less. That’s how much it means to me and I’ll do it. You don’t find time, it’s not a commodity, it’s not like finding coins in the street.

[00:04:56] You make the time.  (Amalie) Exactly.  (Kevin) Tell me something. What was the first book you read that had a profound influence on your life?

[00:05:03] (Amalie) Oooh, that’s a good question. That’s a tough one. I mean, I, you know, I remember sort of from my childhood the books that really impacted me things like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn which was a favorite of mine. (Kevin) Tell me about that. (Amalie) Yeah it’s just, you know, there’s sort of the story just captivated me. And the ideas and sort of this, this you know foreign world of Brooklyn.

[00:05:33] You know there’s this other sort of land and time that I think, you know, it was just something that, you know, I probably could even give you enough plot details right now, to have someone understand you know what it meant, or or why it captivated me, but it did.  And you know it’s definitely a book that I sort of I read a couple of times and when I was young and I haven’t I haven’t read since, and now that I’m talking about it, I feel like I should go back to read and refresh myself on that.

[00:06:04] (Kevin) Do you do that? Will you go back and read books a second time or maybe a third?  (Amalie) Sometimes, not not very often. I actually reread The Phantom Tollbooth not that long ago.

[00:06:15] (Kevin) Tell me about that just so I know how it impacted you. And give me the elevator speech what it was.

[00:06:21] It’s funny. A Phantom Tollbooth is this like sort of an imaginary… it, it, it teaches you things.

[00:06:27] So there’s, you know, numbers, and there’s stories and imagination and a rhombus and, you know, there’s just all these sort of teaching tools somehow in this book about this kid and this Phantom Tollbooth.  I remember my fourth grade teacher read it aloud to us in class, which seemed like such a daunting thing.

[00:06:47] I mean it’s not a short book!  And he read it aloud to us in class and it’s sort of one of those vivid memories. So I went back and read it and it actually, it held up pretty well.

[00:06:56] It’s one of those books that I think about, you know with my son, and about books that I want to be able to share with him when he gets to sort of the appropriate age range, and that’s something that’s been really fun about parenthood is sort of thinking through the books that I want to be able to give him.  (Kevin) I’m totally down that we’re past the reading to our children (laughter) because they’re now getting into reading on their own, but

[00:07:20] they loved to be read to when they were younger.  And the one book that you mentioned  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, did I have that right? (Amalie) Yeah. (Kevin) So that this is the way my mind works. It’s like I hear tree: the first thing that popped into my head was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

[00:07:34] (Amalie) Yeah, yeah.  (Kevin) Did you like that book? (Amalie) I did. I did. You know I think it has a nice message and I think it has sort of an important thing to teach kids that, you know, you know you can’t can’t just take all the time. (Kevin) Yes! That was the difference!  (Amalie) Yeah. There’s a beautiful thing there.  The hidden message.

[00:07:56] (Kevin) Right, well let’s just go back to the beginning. Remember the boy goes to the tree and the tree is happy to see the boy. And I think that makes you think of your childhood because I climbed trees.  Did you climb trees growing up?

[00:08:10] (Amalie) I can’t, I can’t say I was a big tree climber. I think I didn’t have the upper body strength.  (Kevin) But I loved it.

[00:08:16] But you probably loved trees, or reading under a tree. (Amalie) Of course!  Yeah. (Kevin) We all have like a tree experience. And then the boy goes through different phases in life, but so does the tree. The tree grows up, the boy gets older and then he takes things from the tree: the apples to sell, he cuts it down to build a house with the wood, but he doesn’t come back. And just to me the bigger message is, as you said you, just can’t take.  It’s a two way street. It’s about friendship. You have to share.  Because if you don’t one side just ends up withering away, or just becoming a stump which then became the stool for the boy to sit on. So you said you were from a reading family.  (Amalie) Yes.  (Kevin) It was more your your mom and dad equally? Or was one more than the other?

[00:09:03] (Amalie) I think, you know, they each of them, I mean, I’d say my mom reads pretty constantly.  But there was always a book next to both of their beds all through my childhood, all growing up, still is.  And it’s funny they, you know,  they had all their books were were down in the basement, or on bookshelves of the house, so it’s such a fun thing to be able to sort of look through them and discover things that they had read that were there that I get then, you know, sort of have my own experience with.  (Kevin) And then maybe even talk to them about it.  (Amalie) Exactly.  (Kevin) Because as much as I like reading books and discovering it for myself, I like talking to people about it, and find out  if they were having the same feelings that I was having because, sometimes, we’re on the same page, sometimes it’s totally different. (Amalie) Yes.

[00:09:52] (Kevin) Our guest today is Amalie Benjamin, staff writer from NHL.com.  Why I Read Nonfiction is brought to you by Nirvana on beautiful Cape Cod, a stunning beach house on a private freshwater kettle pond not far away from the great beaches and restaurants of Cape Cod. So if you have a vacation planned for the spring, summer or fall, and you want great freshwater fishing, more than stripers at Cape Cod, check out Nirvana on beautiful Cape Cod. Amalie, the backstory. Born and raised in Boston?

[00:10:26] (Amalie) Indeed. Yeah, grew up in Newton, and now I’ve moved one town over.  So still, Boston girl, always a Boston girl.

[00:10:36] (Kevin) You can take the girl out of Boston, but you can’t take Boston out of the girl. (Laughter) To build your career, did you have to go away and work at smaller newspapers and publications?

[00:10:47] (Amalie) I got really lucky. I went away to school.  I went to Northwestern in Chicago, but I actually, I went to The Globe right out of right out of college, so I got very lucky getting to go home immediately.

[00:10:59] It was something I didn’t expect, and I didn’t expect to sort of be able to rise up the ranks there and I and I did, and then 12 years there, gone in sort of a flash, and then to NHL dot.com.  (Kevin) You recommended three books to me and your batting average is a thousand, ok?  (Amalie) Yeeeessss!  (Kevin) So I think you’ve read you’ve recommended more books to me than any other person and your success rate on what’s good is perfect. River of Doubt, which is the story of Teddy Roosevelt discovering a tributary off the Amazon River, and when I read that I just thought, well, I was in his house! And there are all these heads of of large game that he shot and everything. But, what I liked about the book, well, tell me why you liked it, and then why you thought I would like it?

[00:11:50] (Amalie) You know it was such a it was just so captivating, such as you know, such an adventure story really. You know, you see him go to the Amazon, and all sort of these trials and tribulations and it’s just the way it was written, just really drew you in. And I, we’ve talked about this, but I’m I probably I’d say 70, 30 percent fiction versus nonfiction.

[00:12:18] So I try to choose my nonfiction really well.  Which is why and then I choose my recommendations from that sort of small group.

[00:12:26] But you know I think for me, when I read nonfiction I just want it to be so captivating and that was a story that I didn’t know a whole lot about, I didn’t know a whole lot about, you know, I sort of know the broad strokes of Teddy Roosevelt’s life, but that was certainly, you know, something that I didn’t know anything about these adventuring exploratory trips. (Kevin) Well, he was all about taking what he called strenuous vacations.

[00:12:52] I don’t know about you, but when I go on vacation, I don’t want to do anything, right? I mean the rest the life is strenuous. I want to unwind. But, he almost died on that expedition. He had surgery on his leg along the way. And so you’re going through the rainforest and everything. Do you do you immerse yourself in a book so much that you almost feel like some creepy crawlies in the jungle, or phantom creepy crawlies are coming up your leg as you’re reading?

[00:13:19] (Amalie) I’d say not quite that much, but there are definitely points for you, if you’re just sort of in that place, it’s you, you’re feeling you’re whacking through the jungle too, and, you know, trying to avoid the flesh eating fish and all that.  (Kevin) Well, they were starving, they had problems with malaria.

[00:13:40] He was delirious with the fever from that they eventually accomplish the mission it took him two months or four months, or whatever, but it was a long journey, but it read well.  How did you arrive at that book?  Are you the type that really researches something before you take a dive?

[00:13:57] (Amalie) I have, I sort of have,  much like you, I have certain people who I, I know that my tastes align with.  (Kevin) Who are they?  (Amalie) My mom. A lot of our, we have a lot of fiction taste that are similar.

[00:14:11] And then I have one of my best friends from high school is a high school history teacher.

[00:14:17] (Kevin) Ohhh!  They’re the best aren’t they?  (Amalie) Exactly!  (Kevin) Teachers, they read so much and they know so much. And then she’s your friend, so she knows your taste right?

[00:14:24] (Amalie) Exactly and she’s she’s a voracious reader as well. So, a lot of, you know, some stuff she reads for class because she does teach history.  But other other things she’ll read for pleasure. So I get a lot of recommendations from from those two people and a lot of my nonfiction comes from her, from my friend, Kate. And, I think that was one that that she had read and recommended to me. She’s pretty spot on at nailing things that I would like.  Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm which takes us back to Hurricane Katrina. (Amalie) It’s harrowing. (Amalie) Did you feel like you were in the middle of the storm as that was all going on?

[00:15:03] (Amalie) You know, that one was in some ways a little bit more, not personal, because I wasn’t you know obviously New Orleans at that time, but I had spent the summer before Katrina in New Orleans. I worked at the Times Picayune. (Kevin) So that is personal. (Amalie) It was a little bit, yeah. I mean, I knew some of the places and… the… You know it was sort of in as much as, you know, I don’t want to, you know claim any bit of what people went through because it was so traumatic. But there was some stuff where I, you know, I had been in the Superdome a year before, and I had been on those streets and I lived there for three months. I was there in the, in the summer of 2003. So, I think it was two summers before. But before two years before. But yeah. So I think that was something that, I mean, that is such a well-researched well written, just a really incredible glimpse of the trauma.

[00:16:09] (Kevin) And it set a lot of records straight.  Because you remember some of the initial news reports about rioting and rapes and murder in the Superdome, and most of that was completely erroneous. There were there were other incidents of gunfire and violence around the city, but in the end, just in the chaos of it, so much of the information that got out was was wrong. And then even with with the people that died at that hospital because they couldn’t get out, and a doctor and nurses being charged with murder because they had high levels of morphine in their systems and there was a question well were they euthanized? They were later, their records were expunged.  It turned out to be not so. And, and I think that’s the value of a good book later on is, you have the time to let it breathe and when you’d have the right author that knows how to uncover the information, and in her case Dr. Fink, she knew how to translate it.  Because sometimes medicalese is a little hard for us to handle isn’t it?

[00:17:15] (Amalie) Absolutely. And I thought, I thought, also you know, I think it’s really interesting when people take something as big as Katrina and everything that happened and look at sort of a slice of it, and tell the story through that, you know, here here’s five days of what happened at this hospital, and everything, you know, so much happened in five days.

[00:17:37] But just, you know, without looking, without being able to detail everything that happened in the entire situation but to say this is representative of what everyone went through and the disaster that happened, and the supplies they couldn’t get to the right place and people who were stranded and here’s one slice that tells you so much.  (Kevin) It gives you the proper perspective.

[00:18:01] It boils a lot of things down, but in the appropriate doses. And sometimes you can’t tell the full story, and that’s a good lesson to storytellers, you can always tell the whole story. Just take a part of it that you think is the most compelling, and tell it as well as you can.

[00:18:18] We were talking the other day about a book that you’re reading which made you think as a journalist and it had to do with medical procedures and we were talking, and I do this with everything, and I just think this is the human condition. This isn’t just my weird wiring. I think when I hear a story about a situation, where if you’re just telling me a story about life, I’ll listen to it, and then I always turn it on myself and I start thinking about myself what would I do? How would I feel? How would I react to that? So let’s get into that a little bit with with the book that you read. What was it about, blood?

[00:18:54] (Amalie) The name is Bad Blood. It’s by John Carreyrou. And he is a an investigative reporter at The Wall Street Journal.  And he sort of dove into this world of this blood testing company that had become sort of the darling of Silicon Valley. It had become one of those unicorns and had gotten a multi-billion dollar valuation sort of out of nothing.

[00:19:20] They, they, they were really falsifying their information and fabricating results. And… (Kevin) Well what were they claiming to do? (Amalie) What was the product and the promise? (Amalie) Yeah sure. We all know, that you know, getting blood tested are not super fun to do them in doctor’s office hours.  O labs like Quest, or a couple of different diagnostic laboratories that sort of, you know, they stick the needle in your arm and they take a few days or a week or whatever to deliver results.  So the concept of this company which was developed by a Stanford dropout named Elizabeth Holmes and she had taken sort of this idea of, I don’t like needles, we’re gonna do this all with finger sticks. (Kevin) Oh, so it’s a less invasive thing.

[00:20:13] That’s the marketing so, we don’t get all the results you normally get with without having you freaking out about OK yeah. (Amalie) Exactly.

[00:20:22] So a tiny drop of blood from your finger, noninvasive, and we can do it, you know, with the snap of a finger, or we can do it really quickly.  But, the machinery didn’t work, the technology didn’t work. They had people working round the clock and it just, it was too little blood to do what they were proposing it was going to do.

[00:20:43] And they still kept raising money and getting glowing reports about them.  (Kevin) Oh boy.  (Amalie) It just sort of became this ball rolling down the hill that no one was going to stop, until someone stopped it.

[00:20:56] And that was this investigative reporter.  And I think part of what we were talking about the other day is what fascinated me was, you know, I mean the story’s interesting in the medical testing world is so foreign from sort of, you know, what I do every day and what we do every day.  (Kevin) Because it’s complicated and that’s one of the media, that is a place where the media is weakest, because quite often, when scientists are telling you this is the way it is or doctors, who are we to say no.  That’s not, it’s ok you’re the doctor I guess.  (Amalie) Exactly. Exactly.

[00:21:25] (Amalie) It’s very easy, even, you know, even people who they had written stories about this in places like Forbes, and they didn’t either know enough, or talk to the right people to understand that this was really a big, you know, scheme almost. It,

[00:21:45] I mean, it was just a completely bogus claim. So this one investigative reporter from The Wall Street Journal broke this story. I mean he spent months and months talking to people and finding people who used to work at the company who were willing to talk to him and who, you know, would go off the record to give him some information that he could then verify somewhere else.  And to me the fascinating. But what’s even more fascinating is, as a reporter, (Kevin) You wonder how you would handle it.  Would you do it the same way? Or like yeah! I totally would have done that.

[00:22:21] I would’ve let this breathe a little bit more.  No! I wouldn’t have done it that way.  Because we do that every day with how we cover stuff, right?  (Amalie) Absolutely.  (Amalie) I mean you’ll, we’ll be in a scrum around athletes or something.  You ever say “What the hell is Walshy doing right now? (laughter) But that’s a good sound bite, so I’m gonna use it anyway.

[00:22:39] (Amalie) But I would say, you know, I mean, what would I do certainly, you know, is not my position especially at NHL dot com. You know my job is not to dig and expose and investigate in the way that, you know, some reporters do, or that my job was at the Boston Globe. So, you know, this is someone who really is able, who has the skills and the know how to find the information and find the sources.

[00:23:09] And it’s it’s something that I just respect so tremendously. (Kevin) Yeah, a reporter’s reporter, right?  (Amalie) Yeah. He brought down this company. You know he brought down this company that other well-respected places had written about. Even the Wall Street Journal’s op-ed section had written about her glowingly. Even his own paper! So bringing down this company, and this billion dollar valuation, I mean, people like Rupert Murdoch, who owns the Wall Street Journal, who pays this guy’s salary were investors in this company. I mean the whole thing is truly amazing that he was able to find the information and verify it.

[00:23:49] (Kevin) Okay, so this is your glowing endorsement. (Amalie) Ah, yes, that’s your next one. (Kevin) Ok all right. And we will discuss it even further. Our guest today is Amalie Benjamin from any NHL.com.  For links to the books that we’ve been talking about, log onto our Website at Why I Read Nonfiction dot com. Many thanks to our sponsor Nirvana on beautiful Cape Cod. Have you been to the Cape? You know.  If you haven’t been, let me tell you, Nirvana is the best place for you to stay.  Right on the elbow of Cape Cod. Great fishing on a private freshwater kettle pond. If you can’t catch fish there you can’t catch fish anywhere. And believe me I know. It’s my favorite place in the world to fish.

[00:24:29] I want to talk to you about your husband’s book because this was the third book that you recommended to me and I didn’t think I was going to like it.  But, Dueling with Kings and there’s some extra stuff. So it’s the story of how fantasy sports and the gambling on it. And he quit his job, right?  To write this book?

[00:24:51] (Amalie) He did. He was actually, he also he worked at the Wall Street Journal.  And he was covering the Yankees then, and he sort of discovered this world of daily fantasy sports that was just sort of bubbling up at that time.  And he had some friends recommend “Hey you should try this. It’s fun.  You know, win a few dollars, lose a few dollars.”

[00:25:14] And he got sort of fascinated by it and he ended up quitting his job with the Wall Street Journal and just diving into this world of daily fantasy sports and all that.

[00:25:24] (Kevin) To me that’s ballsy as hell to quit your job. Did he have an advance that maybe softened the cushion, or he was all in and this had to work, or it was going to be something close to financial peril for you guys?

[00:25:41] I feel like I shouldn’t spoil that part, but it, he did have an advance that certainly helped to make the decision. The other part that probably helped make that decision was he was living in New York at the time, and I was living in Boston. So it did allow him to come up to live with me. So that certainly was a checkmark in the quitting your job category.

[00:26:04] But I mean he really did leave a career that he had worked his entire life to be part of. And he knew that likely when he quit his job that was probably the end for him of newspaper journalism.

[00:26:19] And given given the state of newspapers these days you don’t really quit a newspaper job if you have one. So yeah, there were there, you know, there there was a lot of gutsiness involved in making that decision and I will spoil the fact that we are still married. So it did all work out on that front.

[00:26:39] (Kevin) Right. Well, but he, there were times where he was my take away from it, he was greener than grass about it, and didn’t really know what he was doing. But he quickly tried to align himself with sharks, as he would call him. These are like the guys that really are making a ton of money doing this and know something that the rest of the world doesn’t know. And in the end he, he started getting some momentum didn’t he?

[00:27:03] (Amalie) He did. He did. I mean he is, I’m certainly biased, but he’s a pretty savvy guy. And so he went about it in the way of you know learning. He didn’t, I mean he started just sort of diving in and testing the waters and seeing what this was about. But when he decided to write the book he aligned himself with some of the people who really knew what they were doing and learned under them and spent time going up to say Toronto where his eventual mentor lived and getting some tutelage from him and finding out the ways in which the Sharks, guys were really good at it, were really able to make money at this game that’s sort of rigged.  And it was such a such a fascinating process just to watch from the outside.

[00:27:49] (Kevin) Well, were there times that he was in a little bit more than he was letting on to you?

[00:27:55] (Amalie) Absolutely. (Kevin) What was that like? (Amalie) You know I am, it’s funny, given looking back on it especially, I am very very gambling averse. I mean, I will go to Vegas and I will play penny slots for 15 minutes.  Lose 50 cents and be fine.

[00:28:14] (Kevin) I’m the same way.  Well the same with sports is like, I just think watching a game just for the game is entertainment enough.

[00:28:20] And when I hear people say well I put some money on it just to make it interesting. I’m like, to make it, it IS interesting.  I’m kind of glad I don’t have that gambling gene in me.  And I think my parents by design, they never really taught us how to play cards. They never really was doing that stuff because the gamblers mind, I mean, addictions to gambling are as strong as they are to drugs and alcohol, right?

[00:28:45] There’s no question to me. I would say you know even someone someone like me who is super gambling averse when I knew you know who is in his lineup that day or you know who he needed to do well you know it changes how you watch the game and it makes it it makes it really exciting. Like sports are exciting but it makes it really exciting. I will say that. But he did he had the money that he was gambling was from an account that I didn’t have any access to which was just the way I wanted it. And he did not tell me when he was losing. Sometimes he would tell me. What do you want. But as far down in the red as he got he did not tell me for a long time how far that was which was really really good for her relationship.

[00:29:27] Well I liked it because it got me off my soapbox where I said I hate fantasy sports. I’m tired of hearing people in places. When a play on the field or on the ice goes wrong they look good but it’s good for my food team. It just. But I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And this educated me about it and and I liked him and I liked his courage and I liked the vulnerability that you showed and that he showed in talking about your life and in an in tough decisions and taking career risks then financial risk.

[00:30:01] And I I just like that. Let me ask you this. Do you ever give up on a book or do you always finish it almost always finish. I mean

[00:30:12] I. It takes a lot for me to give up on a book even.

[00:30:16] Why is that. If it was crappy why why wouldn’t you just cut your losses.

[00:30:19] There’s got to be. That’s that’s just my personality I just I’m not very good at letting go. You know not doing something to sort of its its its end and you know I kind of feel like you know the books that I chose are chosen for a reason.

[00:30:38] Someone recommended them or your friend is going to be a payoff. Like you could just be patient slog through it.

[00:30:45] Exactly. And sometimes there is. Sometimes there isn’t. It’s funny though. I do have one sort of weird quirk I mentioned earlier that I’m sort of a.. I’m I’m a devoted. Good Reads person which harkens back to which harkens back to when I was a kid and when I was a kid my mom had me recall once I got to sort of chapter books my mom had for me record every single book I finished in this heart like on paper. This spiral down notebook I love somewhere I love where my parents’ house is a record of every chapter book. I finished probably up through high school but so I won’t put a book on good reads as me having as me reading it till I’m a quarter of the way through.

[00:31:28] I love I love the logging part of it because well have you ever read a book and you just you forgot about it. And then yes somebody is telling you about it and they’re like if you read that you really know it and you’re like wait a minute. I read that.

[00:31:41] How does that happen. Do you know how that happens. I have no idea. I guess we just all have so much in our heads right now that sometimes those things slip through the cracks. But I have definitely had that happen.

[00:31:53] Has there ever been a book that you’ve been reading that you were embarrassed to be seen reading I’ll give you one there.

[00:32:00] I’ll give you one just to jog. I’ll tell you I there is one book that I think since I’ve been on good reads that I have not logged as having read because I was so embarrassed I read it. All right give it up. It’s a book by a former Bachelorette and I am I am kind of a bachelor bachelorette person and it was so bad that I was like I can’t admit to having read this. It was embarrassing and bad. So like you got it got no points for any redeeming value.

[00:32:31] Well I read Howard Stern’s Private Parts. No I didn’t.

[00:32:36] Well aside from it was actually very good and I would recommend you do it. The problem was when I was reading it it had a cheesy lime green glossy cover on it. I remember that cover. Yeah. Yes. And so you knew whatever it was in my hands. And do you know how funny something has to be for me to laugh out loud. It’s got to be like triple funny. And I’m reading this thing and I’m laughing and people are looking over and the heck is he reading this is. But you know what I liked about it. It was. Of course it was raunchy and inappropriate. What it told us who he was and he’s a good interviewer of people because he has the guts to ask the questions that people want answers to and he doesn’t let it go. And people just give it up to him. There is a real skill in that. And I appreciated that and I appreciated his back story because he’s the king of media. He really is.

[00:33:30] But he had a tough childhood. He was bullied and you know look at him now. All right. Indeed. So what’s on the nightstand right now. What are we. What are we gonna go to bed to tonight.

[00:33:42] Incorrect I am. I just started actually speaking of nonfiction I just started Educated. The memoir that sort of bit I think on all of the to read lists you know best books of what I like about it just because I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’m not up to speed we can’t read everything.

[00:34:02] Who wrote it. And what’s the gist of it.

[00:34:05] Absolutely. Yeah. No it I’m only like five pages 10 pages in so far so I can’t tell you too much about what happens.

[00:34:14] But it is about a woman who grows up in sort of an Idaho family that is you know really sort of end of the world end of days. She doesn’t go to school.

[00:34:26] She you know they have this sort of guns and God life in Idaho and it’s sort of her memoir of breaking out of that. She eventually goes on and goes to higher education and finds her way into sort of this place of very different from her childhood. And the process of getting there. So so far so good. But again I’m a very early on but I this is one of those books that I have heard pretty much universal praise for so I have I have high hopes.

[00:35:00] Ok. Well let me know how that is and if it’s good I’m going to want to know it. I’m going to want details details details. Emily It’s a deal. Thanks for joining us for more about the books that Emily talked about and her husband’s book, Daniel Barbarisi’s Dueling with Kings log onto our Web site at https://whyireadnonfiction.com. There’s information about upcoming episodes. You can visit our bookstore and join the nonfiction network an exclusive private online community for our listeners to keep the conversation going and you can follow Amalie at Amalie Benjamin on Twitter and of course on NHL.com. Thank you to Nirvana on Cape Cod. The perfect spring summer and fall getaway with wworld-class trout and bass fishing subscribe to the podcast it’s easy and it’s free and do us a favor share the podcast with a friend. For Amalie Benjamin. I’m Kevin Walsh. We’ll see you again next time.

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