This is a book that has been on TBR for awhile but I wanted to wait until either close to or just after the publication date to read and review it so that more would know about the book and see the review - I certainly hope that is the case for this book as it was so good.
“Sixty-One: Life Lessons from Papa, On and Off the Court” by Chris Paul with Michael Wilbom
5 of 5 stars (excellent)
Review: As much as I like to read memoirs from sports figures, the best aspect of this book by NBA star guard Chris Paul is that it DOESN’T read like a typical sports memoir or even a biography. From the first pages, it is easy to tell that this is not only a book written from the heart, but it is a very moving tribute to a figure who was very important in Paul’s life.
His grandfather Nathaniel “Papa” Jones was a hard-working entrepreneur who overcame racial discrimination, naysayers and other obstacles to open his own service station in the Winston-Salem area of North Carolina. This made a very huge impression on Paul and his brother and they both took away many valuable life lessons. Paul talks not only about items taught to him such as the value of hard work and to always follow your dreams but even tasks taught at the shop. I loved when showed off his pride in being able to quickly rotate tires and change a car’s motor oil. If nothing else, that shows that his success in basketball hasn’t changed his view of more menial tasks that some undertake to make a living.
The moments with “Papa” that Paul shares range from unbelievably joyous (when he announced he was going to go to Wake Forest and Papa gives him a Wake Forest cap) to immeasurable sadness (when Papa was beaten and murdered at age 61, hence the title). Through them all, this is a loving tribute to a person that molded a future basketball all-star into the person that he has become today. Don’t expect a lot about Paul’s basketball career or a lot about his view on the social issues of today. There are significant passages on each of these, but the bulk of the book is a loving tribute to “Papa.”
I wish to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.