Coming Up For Air by Tom Daley

Coming Up For Air by Tom Daley
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Genre: Non-Fiction, Contemporary, Memoir
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

A deeply personal and inspiring memoir from the celebrated Olympic gold medal diver and LGBTQ+ advocate

Tom Daley is one of the most beloved athletes of our time, having competed as a diver in four Olympics, garnering medals and finally, in 2021 in Tokyo, winning gold. But few people know the realities of his life beyond the pool—his struggles, his secret triumphs and the mindset he needed to cultivate to become a champion.

In this deeply personal book, Tom explores the experiences that have shaped him and the qualities that brought him success and joy—from the resilience he developed competing at a world-class level, to the courage he discovered while reclaiming the narrative around his sexuality, to the perspective that family life has brought him.

Inspiring, candid and compulsively readable, Coming Up for Air offers an intimate window into the life and mindset of an athlete and advocate who has left an indelible imprint on sports.

A diver, a career and a long journey.

Tom Daley is well known for his time in the pool. He’s a professional diver and he’s competed at the highest levels. If you watched him in London in 2012, then there was some fantastic diving. This book is about that, but it’s also about him as a person. This isn’t a run-of-the-mill autobiography. It’s almost like a conversation with friends and a self-therapy session. The writing flows well, again like a conversation among friends, and kept me engaged throughout.

Daley talks about his struggles in the pool. It’s not always great and sometimes it’s bad. He talks about how he got through those times and honestly, it was helpful to see how he dealt with his struggles. He’s relatable. I liked learning about his journey to meeting and marrying his husband as well as his struggles in and out of the pool. Not because I wanted to see his faults, but it humanized him. He talks about his father being not the average sport parent, but just being a parent. When he’d struggle, his father wasn’t pushing him to the point of being terrible, but rather he pushed by not pushing. He let his son figure things out on his own. Reading about his father’s struggle with cancer and passing added a dimension to the story and again humanized them all.

If you’re looking for a sweet, funny at times, sad at times, but wholly engrossing, then this might be the book for you.

Kennedy’s Avenger: Assassination, Conspiracy and the Forgotten Trial of Jack Ruby by Dan Abrams and David Fisher

Kennedy’s Avenger: Assassination, Conspiracy and the Forgotten Trial of Jack Ruby by Dan Abrams and David Fisher
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Genre: Historical, Action/Adventure, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating; 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

New York Times bestselling authors Dan Abrams and David Fisher bring to life the incredible story of one of America’s most publicized—and most surprising—criminal trials in history.

No crime in history had more eyewitnesses. On November 24, 1963, two days after the killing of President Kennedy, a troubled nightclub owner named Jack Ruby quietly slipped into the Dallas police station and assassinated the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Millions of Americans witnessed the killing on live television, and yet the event would lead to questions for years to come.

It also would help to spark the conspiracy theories that have continued to resonate today.

Under the long shadow cast by the assassination of America’s beloved president, few would remember the bizarre trial that followed three months later in Dallas, Texas. How exactly does one defend a man who was seen pulling the trigger in front of millions? And, more important, how did Jack Ruby, who fired point-blank into Oswald live on television, die an innocent man?

Featuring a colorful cast of characters, including the nation’s most flamboyant lawyer pitted against a tough-as-Texas prosecutor, award-winning authors Dan Abrams and David Fisher unveil the astonishing details behind the first major trial of the television century. While it was Jack Ruby who appeared before the jury, it was also the city of Dallas and the American legal system being judged by the world.

The trial no one remembers, for the murder no one forgets.

I had no idea how much time or how much effort went into the trial of Jack Ruby. When I learned about the man, it was in passing. He killed Lee Harvey Oswald. That was it.

In the case of this book, there’s a lot more to the story. Abrams and Fisher mention the insanity defense that was used, the epilepsy defense and Ruby’s odd behavior to explain why he committed this murder.

This isn’t a short book and one must be interested in the topic, otherwise in places, it drags. One must be a student of history or at least like history, or again, the overwhelming details can make this book a bit of a trudge. If you’re interested in the case, then it’s fascinating stuff.

I’d suggest reading this book like you might a crime novel. It’s packed with details, makes one have to wonder if everyone is telling the truth and covers THE crime of the 20th century.

If you’re interested in a crime novel, then this might be the one for you.