A few book recommendations from Ryan Nyquist, Bob Scerbo, Chad DeGroot, and Mike Escamilla

Ryan Nyquist
Books are like the written versions of movies, but better. If you’ve ever read a book and then seen the movie version, you may have been disappointed. It always seems like something was left out, or that it wasn’t quite as fantastic or dramatic as what you had created in your head while reading the book. There’s just something about being able to act as the director in your head to make scenes or stories larger than life.

With that said, I’d like to recommend a book to you. It’s a book you’ve all heard of, and you may have even been forced to read it during school. It’s called The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. I never enjoyed it during school because I had to read it. It was homework, and homework sucked. It took me six or seven years to finally go back and read it on my own time, and now it’s one of my favorite books. It’s about a young man who has been expelled from numerous schools and is in the process of getting expelled again, while at the same time having a nervous breakdown. He just about loses it, but before he hits rock bottom he has a moment of clarity about his life and his future.

Ryan Nyquist, rocket wall-tap at Hardcore Sports in Kansas City, Missouri.  credit: Mark Losey

This book is excellent if you’ve ever felt lost or confused about where you wanted to go in life, or if you like books that make you reflect and think. The best thing is that this book isn’t horribly long. I remember reading it in school but never understanding it. Since it’s considered a classic I thought that I’d give it a second chance. It was well worth it. Forced reading sucks.

Bob Scerbo
The last good book I read was called Basic Economics, a Citizens Guide to the Economy, written by Thomas Sowell. The book mostly explains the way an economy works and what dictates the prices you pay for goods as well as what factors decide the wage of employees. Basic Economics also compares and contrasts capitalism to other economic systems such as communism and anarchism.

The thing I liked about this book is that it clarified a lot of the questions I had about the prices of goods, wage rates, and government-run programs such as welfare and social security. I don’t know how interesting this sounds to anyone, but if you ever wondered about any of these topics I suggest reading this book. The author has a way of making complicated information very easy to absorb by using easy-to-understand examples rather than confusing graphs and charts.

Bob Scerbo, icepick in Matt Beringer’s garage in Salt Lake City, Utah.  credit: Mark Losey

One last thing is that this book is very biased to the republican/conservative way of thinking, so if you choose to read it, don’t accept all the information as concrete. Read up on some other types of economic and government systems and then decide what makes the most sense to you. A Peoples History of the United States by Howard Zinn would be an interesting follow up to this book.

Chad DeGroot
Break on Through; the Life and Death of Jim Morrison This book contains 544 pages that put some closure on the life of Jim Morrison. He wanted to do things his own way, yet leave mystery for everyone’s imagination. He had no singing experience yet didn’t care. He did everything his own way and most people followed. This book is hard to put downn, but I realized halfway through that you should take your time with this book; you’ll get pulled in without even knowing.

Chad DeGroot, sub box toothpick at Mission in Orlando, Florida.  credit: Mark Losey

Everyone has seen the movie about Jim Morrison, most have sung his songs, so expand your mind and break on through to your other side. Look and live life a little differently, and maybe even grow a beard and be like Jim. The rock star life isn’t for everyone.

Mike Escamilla
I used to hate reading and I really missed out and wasted a lot of time because I decided to watch TV or play video games instead. I started trying to read books about eight years ago, but I would get discouraged because I would start to daydream and before I knew it I was four chapters into the book and didn’t know what I read. My short attention span killed me. It would take me nine months to read a book you should be able to read in a month. So I quit trying. Then I found a book that interested me in a different way. It was a conspiracy book about the Bible called The Bible Code. It still took me four months to read it, but I did finish it.

Since then I’ve read a few other books. I tried to read ones that I was interested in but they all took so long. I realized if I was going to overcome my short attention span I needed to find subjects that either confused or scared me, or was something I could see myself doing.

Mike Escamilla, abubaca on the West Coast Samurai tour.  credit: Mark Losey

Now I’m not claiming I love reading, but I definitely know the books I will and will not finish. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of movie scripts; they’re a bit easier to read because you’re changing characters and you can see the movie come to life in your mind. That’s helped me stay focused on reading regular books. You can go online and find pretty much every script ever written. Right now I’m in the middle of reading a book called Time Traveler. It’s a life story about a paleontologist and all these trips he went on in search of dinosaur bones 40 years ago. I’m about halfway done, but I’ve had a lot of time-consuming projects with The Samurai that slowed me down. Oddly enough, I’ve decided to write a book myself and it will be about all the adventures of The Samurai and other things I do (skate tours, rock tours) and some other bizarre things I get to do (catching wild boar, spear fishing, etc.). It should be done in early 2005.

I wish I would have had someone to really encourage me to read at an early age or at least took the time to look and see if some books interested me. If I could give any advice it would be to choose a book about something that really grabs you. And don’t forget the saying, “You don’t choose the book, the book chooses you.”