Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Game of Character: Review and Giveaway

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.
~Michael Jordan

I am always eager to learn more about President Barack Obama. In the early days of my blog, I read and reviewed two of his books, Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope. When I found out that the President's brother-in-law, Michelle Obama's older brother, college basketball coach Craig Robinson had written a book, A Game of Character, I was immediately drawn to it. Additionally, this book, a memoir published in 2010, is a NY Times bestseller which is touted as inspirational, so I was definitely not going to miss reading this one. Since childhood, I've enjoyed reading books about successful people, and often find them fascinating and inspiring, stocked with ideas that I try to incorporate into my own life. A book by the First Lady's brother was required reading, as far as I was concerned.

"To the best of my knowledge, my parents never consciously set out to develop a game plan for educating their children as to the importance of character. Nor, for that matter, would Marian or Fraser claim to have had any special knowledge or inherent parenting gifts for creating what I believe was the greatest start in my life that my sister and I could ever have wanted. And yet, the more time passes, the more amazed I am by how much they really did seem to know what they were doing."
~A Game of Character, Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson is an articulate narrator who talks honestly about his life and how he became involved with basketball, first as a player and later as a coach, and how the game of basketball continued to shape and refine his character. Born in 1962, he grew up in the Southside of Chicago, and learned about the importance of education, hard work, and discipline from his loving parents, Marian and Fraser. He excelled academically and in sports--basketball in particular--and attended Princeton University in the 1980s. Using basketball as a backdrop in his book, he discusses valuable life lessons, in chapters such as Meet the Home Team, Learn the Game, Not Just Your Position, and Luck Is Just Another Word for Hard Work, and infuses the book with intelligence and wisdom (which seem to go hand in hand). It truly is a brilliant book.

Having read A Game of Character, I now know that I'd sincerely enjoy meeting the Robinson family and the Obama family. In a sense, I do feel as if I've "met" them, due to this book, which is written in a friendly and down-to-earth manner, and features some family photos. I relished hearing about the Robinson family's initial impressions of Barack Obama, who had begun dating Michelle; they approved of our future president, who played basketball "with guts", right from the start. It's wonderful and reassuring to know that there are such caring, incredible families and people around, because strong family and personal values are at the core of character, on and off of the basketball court. Even if you don't know the "x's and o's, the nuts and bolts", of basketball, there is so much to learn from this book, and so much to be inspired by, that it shouldn't make any difference at all. Coach Robinson uses his life's passion, basketball, to talk about the development of character, and he does so in a very thoughtful and organized manner, making this a thoroughly enjoyable memoir!

Exciting news! Penguin is generously offering a giveaway for a copy of A Game of Character (U.S./Canada only).

  • To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment.
  • For another chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or let me know that you're already a follower, or that you subscribe in Google Reader.
  • For an additional chance, post about this contest on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

Enter by 5PM PDT on Monday, June 13. One winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Tuesday, June 14. Good luck!

Special thanks to Lisa from TLC for sending me this book. For more reviews of this book, please visit the other stops on TLC's A Game of Character book blog tour.


  1. Sounds like a super cool book.I haven't read Barack Obama's books (though I have had audacity of hope sitting on the shelf for sometime now).Mention of Robinson family's first impression of Obama makes me want to pick up this book soon. thanks for the lovely review..

  2. It sounds like this was a great read for you, and I am glad that you enjoyed it so much. You wrote a really great review, and highlighted a lot of interesting things within your review, and it was much appreciated!

  3. I read "Dreams of my father" and love this book ! It was one of the first ones I read in English and enjoyed to do this a lot ! This one seams to be good too !

  4. This sounds like a great memoir Suko. Glad you enjoyed it that much. Its nice to see a memoir that isnt about drugs and depression...He looks so much like Michelle!

  5. What a wonderful extract, many thanks for sharing what sounds like an inspiring read. Good luck to all who enter your giveaway, I shall, of course, include it on the comp/giveaway page of my blog.

  6. With two such successful children, it is clear that the parents did something right. I think it is great that you read the bios of successful people and try to incorporate what they've learned into your life. Maybe I should start doing that!!!

  7. Nice review. I had heard that Craig Robinson wrote a memoir. It would be especially interesting to me since Robinson family grew up in Chicago.

    I'm a follower in google reader.

  8. Thank you for all the comments. This is a wonderful book. Tomorrow I'll announce the winner.


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