Racing to the Finish by Dale Earnhardt Jr. isn’t just about racing, it is about learning when it is time to quit. Wanting to go out on your own terms is something that every competitor in every sport discipline can identify with. After years of physical punishment and concussions, it was time for Jr. to retire from his #88 ride at the end of his 2017 season, in this book, Dale explains why.
Concussions have long been a specter in motorsports, no amount of safer barriers and HANS devices can fully cushion the blow of an impact when you smack into the wall at 200+ mph. Dale goes over how his injuries have affected him throughout his racing career, experiencing concussion symptoms after a wreck, then shrugging them off to get into the car the next week. Concussions and the lack of understanding around them affect sports of all shapes and sizes and Dale Jr. does a phenomenal job of going over how the concussions presented themselves from within the car and in his personal life.
Dale also goes over the recovery process after his final concussion at Michigan International Speedway in 2016 and how he decided after that crash that, if he recovered, he would only race one more season in NASCAR. This story not only goes over Jr’s history of concussions but also goes over his drive to recover in those months leading up to his final season. A great insight into a legendary driver with a very personable voice. The narration feels like Dale is right there talking to you about his struggles. It truly is an insightful book that I recommend to anyone that is a fan of motorsports or sports in general. This book does a great job of bringing attention to the problem of concussions in sports and how little they are talked about or understood.
Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled is a remake of an original Playstation Kart racing game called Crash Team Racing. However, this remake has much more content than what was included in the original. This game includes all of the race tracks from the original Crash Team Racing as well as every track from Crash Team Racing’s sequel for the Playstation 2 Crash Nitro Kart.
In Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled, the player plays as a character from the world of Crash Bandicoot. Whether that be a giant tiger named Tiny, or an mad scientist with a rocket lodged into his head named Dr. N. Gin, there is a wide variety of cartoon racers to pick from and even more customization when it comes to the kart that the character drives.
This game is a ton of fun for anyone looking for an arcade karting game that isn’t Mario Kart from Nintendo. It looks beautiful, this remake really shows how far graphics have come in the 20 years since the release of the original Crash Team Racing.
Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled includes the Adventure single player mode from the original game, an online multiplayer mode as well as split screen support so you can bring a whole bunch of friends into your living room and race against each other there.
There is a ton to do in this arcade kart racer and even more fun if you have friends to tag along and do it with you. I highly recommend this game to fans of the original or fans of kart racing games in general. Even though it is a remake, it also serves as a reminder of why this game got a remake in the first place. This game holds up even after 20 years.
Forza Motorsport 7 is a racing simulator developed by Turn 10 Studios for the Xbox One. This Xbox exclusive is the latest in a long line of games that date back to the original Xbox console. Forza Motorsport 7 is one of the most robust racing games on the market with a plethora of ways to play and have fun for all experience levels.
The single player campaign follows the Forza Driver’s Cup, a series of 6 championships that are further broken down by divisions and once you beat enough divisions in each championship, you unlock the next one. Throughout this process, the player is continually unlocking new things. Cars, upgrades and even driver suits. Hours of racing can be spent in this mode alone.
Customization another mode that players can sink their time into and that doesn’t even involve racing. Like Forza games before it, Forza Motorsport 7 has deep and robust customization features, you can create practically any paint scheme you can think of or create new ones. Hours can be spent tuning your car and making it look as cool as it can be and that is all before you even hit the race track.
Online multiplayer is still receiving regular updates with new hoppers and modes being added every month with new competitive features being added in June. This game is constantly receiving new content that keeps the racing fresh for players looking to battle it out with racers from around the world.
If this sounds like a fun time, we have Forza Motorsport 7 available for check out on the Xbox One at the Davenport Public library.
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain had been sitting in my wish list in RiverShare OverDrive for a few months before I decided to give it a listen. The plot grabbed my interest, but every time I scrolled through my list to find a new book, I never picked it because the cover wasn’t appealing. Well, I finally decided to read it when I discovered that our Info Café Blog’s Online Reading Challenge had Kenya listed as the country for May. Circling the Sun takes place in Kenya! It was a win-win. Now that I’ve finished it though, I wish I had started reading this book a lot sooner.
Circling the Sun tells the story of Beryl Markham, a real-life record-setting aviator who lived a life of adventure full of strife and unconventional desires. She was born in England and then brought to Kenya by her parents because her father wanted to farm, despite the fact that he had no experience doing so. Her mother left her and her father in Kenya when Beryl was very young to move back to England. As a result, Beryl was raised in a very unconventional way by her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who worked on her father’s estate and lived close by. Growing up without what the English considered to be a ‘traditional’ female role model, Beryl because a bold young woman who was not afraid to share her opinions, to try new things, and who understood the balance of nature, something that her father passed down to her.
Once Beryl reached a certain age, her father decided that she needed to have a more traditional life and thus threw the cozy life Beryl is familiar with into utter chaos. Her relationships began to dissolve and she was left floundering and confused about what exactly she was supposed to do with her life. Taking the skills she learned from her father as a horse trainer, she decided to become the first woman horse trainer in Kenya, which of course proved to be a very tricky process. Her decision to become a horse trainer led her more deeply into the European Expat community in Africa where she met and became entangled in a messy love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixon, who was the author of the classic memoir Out of Africa. Their tangled relationship and Beryl’s continuous desire to try more, to do more, and to be able to fend for herself leads her to journey all over the world and to meet many remarkable people.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book, but I did find myself confused sometimes about who different characters were referring to. I know this was probably because I listened to the book and missed seeing the names in print, but I still was able to figure it out at the end. I also highly encourage you to listen to/read the epilogue where the author gives readers a glimpse into the real life of Beryl Markham and what happened to her, her friends, and family after the book ended.
The author also mentioned the book West with the Night that Beryl Markham actually wrote! She praised it highly and Ernest Hemingway even reviewed it with his quote directly on the cover. This book is on my to-be-read list and I can’t wait to read more about Beryl’s life from her own point of view.
This book is also available in the following formats: