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I have been holding back on the review for The Afterlife of Emerson Tang by Paula Champa so that I could purposely publish it this week.  Why? Because it’s Car Week here on the Monterey Peninsula which culminates with our world famous Concours d’Elegance and part of this book actually takes place at Concours. So it’s kind of a local car thing  that is kind of relevant to me and relevant to the blog because it’s about the love of a car- (but that is FAR too simple of a way to describe this book- which I will get to in a minute). This book is NOT NASCAR related- nor is it really even race related- but it is about the love of a very special car and has local tie ins so I had to review it for you. (more…)

The Race by Gina Fava

The Race by Gina Fava

When books get offered up to me to read and review for my readers here at BadGroove- I do it with trepidation because everyone has books that are their “type” and books that aren’t their taste.  I realize that just because I enjoyed delving into that particular author’s world doesn’t mean you will.   I do try to keep the books that I do review at least loosely related to racing of some sort- whether that be fiction or non-fiction- since that is the main focus of BadGroove.   When I agreed to review THE RACE by Gina Fava- I did so with my usual reserve, knowing only that the book’s main character was an F1 driver and well the title was THE RACE so…it sounded like something I might like to read.

The first thing I did when I got it is that I read the back jacket- which as most do gives an overview of the plot of the book (I will be giving you my own soon).  I will tell you this- if I had been browsing at a bookstore (something- unfortunately I do much less than I would like because there aren’t really any bookstores around here- isn’t that sad?) I would most likely NOT have picked up this book. Judging by the synopsis on the jacket I had already decided that this book was probably NOT my thing and thus was going to be a chore to read- and likely review.  However, since I had already promised a review and I didn’t really have anything else to read- I decided to give it a start and let me tell you I AM SO GLAD I DID! Lesson learned: Not only can you not judge a book by it’s cover- but sometimes not by it’s synopsis either. Or maybe I enjoyed reading this particular book because it was a little bit different than what I usually read. Either way- I think you will enjoy this book. (more…)

Mobil 2 GM UAW Corvette from the American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca in 2012. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

Plenty of us were racecar drivers. But a racer was something else, someone who loved driving and competing above all else and who’d drive anything anywhere anytime, just to be strapped into a five-point harness.Dead Man’s Switch by Tammy Kaehler (page 116).

You may remember that last week I reviewed the novel Braking Points- the mystery novel that takes place in the ALMS (American Le Mans Series) racing series by Tammy Kaehler.  As I mentioned in my review Braking Points is actually the second book in the Kate Reilly (Kate Reilly is the main character and race car driver) Racing Series by Kaehler and since I liked Braking Points so much of course I had to pick up the first book in the series: Dead Man’s Switch. (more…)

Tea and a good book…Braking Points by Tammy Kaehler (Photo credit: Amy K Marbach)

“I smelled race day: fuel mixed with hot metal, rubber and concrete, plus a dash of sweat, sunscreen and cigarette smoke. There was nothing like it.” -Braking Points by Tammy Kaehler (page 211).

I haven’t been in the mood to read recently. That isn’t odd for me- I am usually feast or famine when it comes to reading. Even though I love to get lost in a good book and often just want to read read read it’s not uncommon that I then go through a stretch where I don’t want to read or nothing seems to hold my interest.  That is exactly where I have been lately (oddly enough my writing is the same way- I either have a lot of ideas and struggle write them all down fast enough before they leave my brain or conversely I sit there with a blank page and a pen and just blink at it).   I still wasn’t in the mood when I was offered a complimentary copy of the book Braking Points by Tammy Kaelher to read and possibly review for my BadGroove readers.  I took the offer however because I was somewhat intrigued by the brief synopsis of the storyline that was in the email- it sounded like something I would like and it sounded right up the alley of this website.  Little did I know that I was accepting to read a book that I would not only end up loving but would ignite again in me the read read read feast part of my personality.

As I mentioned I thought Braking Points would not only be a book that I would possibly like but that you my readers would like and I still stand by that after reading it.  You will probably be surprised to find out that Braking Points is actually not set in the NASCAR world – the heroine Kate Reilly is a race car driver in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).  We enter Kate’s world at Road America in Wisconsin- where during the race she sends a popular NASCAR driver pulling double duty in ALMS to the hospital in an on track incident.  Then during her post race interview Kate ends up going off on camera, provoked by an extremely upset fan of said NASCAR driver.  The end of her day finds Kate reconnecting with two friends from back in her Skip Barber Formula series days at a local tavern, only to finder her boy friend in the parking lot of the tavern a couple hours later with one of those friends, only that friend is dead. (more…)

(Going to the Las Vegas Race? Check out the bottom of this post on how you can meet author and Las Vegan Jamie Little on March 8th or March 9th)

I was recently contacted and offered a complimentary copy of a new book called Essential Car Care For Women by Jamie Little (yes- that Jamie Little- ESPN NASCAR reporter) and Danielle McCormick (Discovery Channel’s Turbo Expert) for reading and possibly reviewing here on Bad Groove.  I jumped on it because I am pretty sure most of my readers (I know not all- Kevin and James) are women judging by the ones who leave the occasional comment. I was intrigued by a book about cars written by women for women.

As a woman and a car owner I was interested to see what the book had to offer. I am NOT a car expert by any stretch of the imagination- I know just enough about cars and their internal workings to be slightly dangerous and sometimes sound like I know what I am talking about.  I owe that to watching a lot of NASCAR honestly. Needless to say as soon as I got the book I sat down and dug right in.

I have to say the book is well thought out, well presented and I will even go so far as to say that I think that every woman who drives a vehicle should not just read this book but probably keep a copy in their glove box.  This advice is actually in the book itself and I admit I initially scoffed at it but that was before I sat down and read through the book.

Essential Car Care For Women starts off by giving a primer on how an engine works. It’s written in plain language that is easy to understand without being dumbed down. It then continues in the same easy to understand language to the rest of the major components of your car- what they are, how they look and how they work together to make your car function including brakes and suspension.  It doesn’t overwhelm the reader with information or get too technical. It even includes pictures, diagrams and illustrations that help readers familiarize themselves with the parts and how they work.  There are also chapters on common car lingo (like what is a horsepower? Or what does it mean if my car is 2.4 Liter?), and one on common services that should be done on your car.  Essential Car Care For Women even gives solid advice on how to pick a mechanic, how to buy and sell a car, and what to do in case of an accident.  There is even chapters on how to change a tire (complete with illustrations) and another all about driving in the snow. I could have used this several years ago – as when driving to Vegas one January evening I got caught in snow.  Probably not a big deal to some of you (it was light and I didn’t end up needing chains)  but I was FREAKED out because where I live in California- it just doesn’t snow.

While I highly recommend this book- if you consider yourself a gearhead or change your own head gasket (don’t know what that is? Then read this book!) then this book might not be for you. However- I think a majority of women (and some men) would get SOMETHING out of reading this book!

IF YOU ARE IN VEGAS THIS WEEKEND YOU CAN MEET THE AUTHORS JAMIE LITTLE AND DANIELLE MCCORMICK:

There is a book/autograph signing March 8th, 2013 from 7:00-9:00 pm at The Cannery Hotel and Casino located at 2121 E. Craig Road in North Las Vegas.

There is also a Book Launch Party on March 9th, 2013 from 7:00-9:00 pm at Pole Position Indoor Karting located on 4175 South Arville in Las Vegas!

Here is the nearly weekly reading list- with a Tony Stewart video excerpt from InsideNASCAR. Enjoy.

Tony Stewart Carries Clout, Swagger Like Dale Earnhardt Did- Nate Ryan USA Today

NASCAR Reinstates AJ Allmendinger- David Newton ESPN

NASCAR New Hampshire: Tony Stewart Just Looking To Continue Progress With Solid Run- Bob Pockrass Sporting News

Family Matters Get Awkward When It Comes To Business- Amanda Vincent Auto Racing Daily

Stewart Keeps Owner Issues Off Track- Dave Caraviello NASCAR.COM

Denny Hamlin Seems Focused, Relaxed Now- Larry McReynolds FoxSports

Overheard: What Fans Say To Tony Stewart At An Autograph Session- Jeff Gluck SBNation

Gratuitious Tony Stewart Video:

 

My nearly weekly list (only nearly because occasionally I don’t do one for whatever reason- my last excuse reason- things have been kind of crazy) of NASCAR related articles out there in the interwebz that I think you should read.

Before I get to the list though- let me know if you like the new “freshened” BadGroove layout. I personally LOVE it (I was getting tired of the all the red but still loved the basic idea of the design so Karah-Leigh fixed it up nice for me). Now on to the stories of the week:

2012 NASCAR Chase Media Day: Drivers Gather In Downtown Chicago- Jeff Gluck for SBNation.com

Tony Stewart Knows His Prognostication Limitations- Joe Menzer for NASCAR.COM

Happy Hour: Who’s To Blame For Kyle Busch’s Downfall- Jay Busbee for Yahoo!Sports

Jeff Gordon Working On His ‘Stache, Crew Chief Alan Gustafson Shaves His Head- Bob Pockrass for SportingNews.com

NASCAR Sprint Cup Drivers Have Family Support- Fox Sport Photo album

Johanna Long Interview: Please Don’t Compare Me To Danica Patrick- Jeff Gluck for SBNation.com

Dale Earnhardt Jr Says He Feels Like A Championship Contender Heading Into Chase- Bob Pockrass for SportingNews.com

Gordon Rejuvenated Going Into Chase- Andrew Seligam for SI.com

 

And of course the gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:

Tony Stewart Poses With The 2012 Sprint Cup Chase Class

Tony Poses with the 2012 Chase Class at Richmond. (Photo Credit: Official Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

 

 

Lots of great articles today for you to read…and the playback of the Ritz chat with Tony Stewart is at the bottom! Enjoy and #GoTonyGo in Atlanta!

Tony Stewart’s Helmet Toss Raises Questions About Fan Demands- Dustin Long for SportsIllustrated.com

Why Bloggers Scare Tony Stewart – Misty for BadGroove.com

NASCAR Needs Kyle Busch To Be Himself- Jenna Fryer for AP

Mercedes-Benz DTM Pit Crew Airline Accident (with Video) -Jonathan Ramsey for  AutoBlog

The Backseat Driver’s Fan Council on Bristol- Dustin Long for Athlon Sports

There’s Something About Tony- David Caraviello for NASCAR.com

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Photo:

This awesome picture of Tony throwing his helmet- well just because I can.  This picture was texted to me the day after the race by Kevin!:

Thanks for point this picture out Kevin! (Photo Credit: Earl Neikirk/Bristol Herald Courier)

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Video:

Today’s Tony Stewart video is the playback of his online chat with fans sponsored by RITZ:

Watch live streaming video from ritzcrackers at livestream.com