Simone Byles to Write Memoir

Of course she is. She’s one of the most known athletes in the world right now. What better time to publish a book? I mean, Gabby Douglas did it after becoming a household name. And no one was calling her the greatest gymnast ever.

I imagine Byles getting a seven-figure advance for her book followed by at least a handful of endorsements. Likely more. I’m also beginning to doubt whether she actually attends UCLA. She won’t be competing in gymnastics at the school because she’s already turned pro. Which means she’ll be sacrificing A LOT of hours in the gym for school work. Which makes the prospect of repeating her 2016 performance in 2020 a bit less likely. Not to mention that the world championships will be here before we know it.

Simone Byles has plenty to think about in her new post-Olympics world. But who wouldn’t want to be in her shoes?


Saturday Selects: Ali

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the first Saturday of each month to discuss something outside the general bookish theme of the blog. Today’s topic is Muhammad Ali.

He died last night, which I’d been expecting for a few days. Too many vague statements about his health situation. There’s been an outpouring of support in the hours since the news broke. Many people have been praising Ali the boxer while others praise Ali the humanitarian.

But for me it all comes down to one thing. The boxing doesn’t matter and the humanitarian efforts only came after his career was over. I’ve looked up to him for neither. But I’ve looked up to him for speaking out against war and the military draft. He gave millions of people a voice by standing up and sticking to his beliefs. He did something that we now take for granted. Imagine if every person who spoke out against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was suddenly unable to find work for more than three years. That would leave us with no presidential candidates left.

Ali has been great on several fronts, but what I appreciate the most is his unrelenting resolve to stand up for what he believed in. We could all take a page from him in that regard.

Rest easy, champ.