Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mafia Prince: Inside America's most violent crime family- "The Philly Mob"



Leonetti, Phil, Scott Burnstein, and Christopher Graziano.(2012) Mafia Prince: Inside America's Most Violent Crime Family and Bloody Fall of La Cosa Nostra. Hardback |    Running Press  |  ISBN -13:9780762445831  |  $17.16 USD  |   328 Pages

When you think of the history of Philadelphia, you usually think of things such as the Constitution, the Liberty Bell, and people like Benjamin Franklin. Yet, many people don't know about the more dark, sinister history of "The city of Brotherly Love".

Phil Leonetti's compelling book, Mafia Prince, is a true crime story about one of the ferocious eras in Mafia History led by the control of Philly mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo written by his nephew and under boss Philip Leonetti.

Leonetti was the youngest mafia family underboss ever at the age of 31. With his uncle at the helm of the Philly mob family, they are dragged into the bloodiest mob war played out on the streets of Philadelphia. Nicky Scarfo not only killed his enemies, he also killed his friends that he feared that they were competing for his power. These psychopath-type traits made him turn on family and childhood friends.

Their violent tenacity would become the downfall of their Philly crime family. After being connected to nine murders, Leonetti decided to turn state evidence against his own crime family. His direct testimony led to mobsters all over the country, including Mafia big wigs such as John Gotti (boss of the Gambino family), Vincent Gigante (Boss of the Genovese family) and of course, his own uncle Nicky Scarfo.
This was a book that was hard to put down. Mafia Prince was very detailed of the inter-workings of the mob. I think it's safe to say that Little Nicky was a very feared and dangerous person!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Game of the Thrones

           George R.R. Martin 's Song of Ice and Fire Series

According to the television ratings this season, The Game of Thrones is currently averaging a cumulative total of 13.4 million viewers (and rising fast), but because each season only covers a small percentage of the whole story that's in the books, in the long run, fans are thirsty for more..... So below are reviews for books 1 through 5.

Author George R.R. Martin does an excellent job in writing this series of medieval adventure books. Contrary to typical stories, he kept us in suspense by killing off some of the series the most beloved characters such as the honorable family patriarch, Ned Stark, in the first season, as well the infamous “Red Wedding “ scene that shocked the viewers worldwide (including my wife).

Many of my friends that didn't read the books in this collection, vow to never watch the series again after watching the very graphic scene when  Robb Starks,his mother, his pregnant wife, and many of his men were surprisingly  ambushed and killed at his uncle wedding reception.

Read the book! These books are a must read!

OK! I’m going to give you a sneak peek!

In the book, Robb Starks marries a girl named Jeyne Westerling, daughter of a Lannister banner man (Talisa, his television wife is not in the book). His wife in the book, Jeyne did not attend the “Red Wedding” and was not pregnant therefore lives on after his death("A Storm of Sword" Chapter 51).


Martin, George RR. (1997)  A Game of Thrones. Hardback | Bantam Publisher| ISBN -13:978-0553573404 | $17.63 USD | 831 Pages

A Game of Thrones is the first novel in the “A Song of Ice and Fire series of adventurous fantasy novels. The story begins in Winterfell, home of the Starks. The king, Robert Baratheon, is coming to visit his childhood friend Lord Eddard Stark to ask him to be his "hand" who will handle ruling of the seven kingdoms. King Robert was treacherous but not well-respected based on his excessive drinking and womanizing (not noticing his wife's incestuous relationship with her twin brother).

While the king is in Winterfell, someone pushes Bran, one Ned Stark's younger sons out of a window. Then the plot thickens. I can't go into any more of the plot without giving it away but there is mystery, murder, love, lust, intrigue, battle, honor, and treachery. Nobody is safe and everyone has to watch their back. Martin does a great job in this book by keeping the reader in suspense (This book is tie-in to the “Game of Thrones” series first season).

Martin, George RR.(2012) A Clash Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire. Hardback | Bantam Publisher | ISBN - 13 9780345535429 |$ 25.86 USD|1040 Pages

The Seven Kingdoms are torn apart. Joffrey, Queen Cersei's sadistic son, inherits the Throne following the death of (suppose to be father) King Robert. Joffrey does not turn out to be half the man King Robert was who won his crown in battle. Queen Cersei's family, the Lannisters, leads her father's fight to hold the crown for him.

King Robert's brothers, Stannis and Renly Baratheon also seek the throne.

Robb Stark, declared King in the North, battles against the Lannisters to avenge his father's execution and retrieve his sister from Joffrey's court.
Daenerys, the exiled last heir of the former ruling family, nurtures three dragons and seeks a way home.
Meanwhile the Night's Watch, sworn to protect the realm from dangers north of the Wall, dwindle in numbers, even as barbarian forces gather and being to approach the wall (This book is tie-in to the “Game of Thrones” series second season).

 Martin, George RR. (2003)  A Storm of Sword. Hardback | Bantam Publisher | ISBN –13: 978-0553573404 | $ 25.58 USD |1216 Pages

The Battle of the Blackwater is over, but the Seven Kingdom is still not at peace. Of the five Kings fighting for power, one is dead, another is hated, and still the wars rage as alliances are made and broken. This story continues after the slaughter outside the walls of King's Landing and the ongoing battle of the kings to lay claim to Westeros.
Tywin Lannister has arrived at King's Landing to take control of the kingdoms through his grandson, King Joffrey . Robb Stark continues his campaign to unite the west and rid his mother's homeland of the Lannisters. Stannis Baratheon sits defeated back in his home of Dragonstone, but plots his next move with the help of the evil Red Priestess.
Meanwhile, Daenerys Targaryen, mother of the last dragons, plots, navigates and bullies her way through the Free Cities building up her army. All while Jon Snow is contends guarding the after become and member of the honorable Night's Watch.


Martin, George RR. (2007) Feast for Crows. Hardback | Bantam Publisher | ISBN- 13: 978-0553582031 | $26.02 USD | 784 Pages

A Feast for Crows picks up the where A Storm of Swords left off and runs into some tragic events  The War of the Five Kings seems to be coming to an end. Robb Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, Renly Baratheon and Balon Greyjoy are dead.

King Stannis Baratheon has fled to the Wall , where Jon Snow has become Lord Commander. King Tommen Baratheon, Joffrey's eight-year-old little brother, now rules in King's Landing under the watchful eye of his mother, the Queen Cersei Lannister. The very clever Lord Tywin Lannister is dead, murdered by his son Tyrion in his escape from the city.

Sansa Stark is in hiding, protected by Petyr Baelish who has murdered his wife Lysa Arryn and named himself Protector of the Vale and guardian of eight-year-old Lord Robert Arryn.

Martin, George RR. (2011)  A Dance with Dragons. Hardback | Bantam Publisher | ISBN- 13:978-0553801477 |$ 19.49 USD | 1040 Pages
In the aftermath of a big battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance with threats coming from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys’s claim to Westeros forever.

Meanwhile, to the north lies the large Wall of ice and stone but the structure is only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

June 2013 - Mr. Philly Librarian's Book Recommendation :Play Their Heart Out: A Coach, His Star Recruit and Basketball Machine by George Dohrmann

Hi Friends: I highly recommend this book, especially to sports enthusiast. My teen book club @ Overbrook Park Library is reading this book for the month of June. named this the 2010 Sport Book of the Year!

|Dohrmann, George. (2012). Play Their Heart Out: A Coach, His Star Recruit and Basketball Machine. Hardback  | Ballantine Books  | ISBN-13:978-0345508614  | $17.63 USD | 448 pages

 This is a great sports book that details the true story about the scandal and corruption of AAU and College basketball.  The author George Dohrmann, Pulitzer Prize reporter for Sport Illustrated did a great job covering this story by revealing the cutthroat business of exploiting grade school athletes.  Dohrmann follow a 10 years old AAU, boys basketball team for 8 years. He was allow total access to the team after promising their Coach Joe Keller that he would not publish his story until after all this team members, were in college. Dohrmann document the corruption that began with Demetrius Walker who was an innocent 10yrs. old that was manipulated and fed an “Hoop Dream “ of become the next Lebron James.  This story other main character is the insane, money driven Coach Joe Keller who main purpose of coaching this group of elite 10 years older, was on the hope of financial gain in the future, through sneaker company and college coaches trying to get their hands on the next superstar basketball  player AT ALL COST (and yes he is still coaching).

Dohrmann talks about how sorry he felt for these kids and the families who most of the time were poor and very ill-informed and look at basketball as their only way out of their current situation of living in poverty. Even to the point where their parents would put them in harm way with the dream of one day become a millionaire in the N.B.A. I guarantee you that after reading this book you will look at AAU basketball very-very differently.