Book notes: Born a Crime

Born a Crime Trevor Noah book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah


Synopsis: Trevor Noah, one of the comedy world’s fastest-rising stars and host of The Daily Show, tells his wild coming-of-age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. In this Audible Studios production, Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

The stories Noah tells are by turns hilarious, bizarre, tender, dark, and poignant – subsisting on caterpillars during months of extreme poverty, making comically pitiful attempts at teenage romance in a color-obsessed world, thrown into jail as the hapless fall guy for a crime he didn’t commit, thrown by his mother from a speeding car driven by murderous gangsters, and more.” -Amazon

Opening Thoughts:

All I know about Trevor Noah was that he took over as host for The Daily Show on Comedy Central after John Stewart left, that he’s hilarious, and he’s South African. Other than that, I knew nothing about Trevor. I saw the ratings and reviews and was instantly sold. I’ve been looking for a good autobiography to pick up, but thought this would be a separation from the typical books I read about business moguls, high performers, and wealthy people. The last book I read about a comedian was Steve Martin’s book, which was a good time as well.

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Book notes: Open

Open book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

Open by Andre Agassi

Synopsis: “From Andre Agassi, one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court, a beautiful, haunting autobiography.
Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely limned. Alongside vivid portraits of rivals from several generations—Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer—Agassi gives unstinting accounts of his brief time with Barbra Streisand and his doomed marriage to Brooke Shields. He reveals a shattering loss of confidence. And he recounts his spectacular resurrection, a comeback climaxing with his epic run at the 1999 French Open and his march to become the oldest man ever ranked number one.

In clear, taut prose, Agassi evokes his loyal brother, his wise coach, his gentle trainer, all the people who help him regain his balance and find love at last with Stefanie Graf. Inspired by her quiet strength, he fights through crippling pain from a deteriorating spine to remain a dangerous opponent in the twenty-first and final year of his career. Entering his last tournament in 2006, he’s hailed for completing a stunning metamorphosis, from nonconformist to elder statesman, from dropout to education advocate. And still he’s not done. At a U.S. Open for the ages, he makes a courageous last stand, then delivers one of the most stirring farewells ever heard in a sporting arena.

With its breakneck tempo and raw candor, Open will be read and cherished for years. A treat for ardent fans, it will also captivate readers who know nothing about tennis. Like Agassi’s game, it sets a new standard for grace, style, speed, and power.” -Amazon.

Opening thoughts: A friend of mine actually bought this book for me back in college but I never picked it up because I wasn’t really into books at the time. 5 years later, I saw this book on a recommended reading list from someone I respect so I kept put it on my to-read list. Since I already had the physical book,  figured I might as well read it. I’m not really into tennis but I’ve had great experiences reading biographies and autobiographies of top performers so I figured I’d get a ton of value and learn a lot of great insight, especially in a field I have no familiarity with.

12 Life Lessons of Open

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