Book Reviews

Book Review: My Fight Your Fight Ronda Rousey

My Fight / Your Fight

My Fight / Your Fight by Ronda Rousey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was surprisingly easy to read, especially considering that I read it post downfall of Ronda Rousey’s UFC career.

Ronda Rousey, a stupendous athlete known for her outspokenness, confidence and incredible martial arts prowess wrote and published this autobiography, subtitled “The Undefeated UFC Champion” right before her subsequent devastating back-to-back losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes. The book is broken down into small easy-to-digest morsels, arranged loosely in a chronological manner from her childhood to the climax of her UFC career. I was once perhaps, 1/200th of the athlete that Ronda Rousey was, hence I could relate to the sufferings she endured as a woman athlete – from something that seem mundane like wardrobe malfunction in a fight to weight and body image issues. Unlike Rousey, losses in matches was something that came like second nature to me. Thus I had first imaged it will be hard for me to go indepth into the mindset of a winner, albeit a deserving one, right before she suffered crushing losses.

Like many other Rousey fans/critics, I am unimpressed by the manner in which she handles her losses. It isn’t simply because she avoids talking about it, but that she never particularly acknowledges and give due respect to the sufferings her opponents may have to endured before taking her position. However, this book reminded me why Ronda Rousey is Ronda Rousey, what she did for women in combat sports and why I believe, despite the subsequent events, she is worthy of the glory she earned.

What I had not expect was how it gave me insight to why she remains a sore loser, nearly 4 years after she was knocked out by Holly Holm right before my eyes here in Melbourne. Before I’d even flip to page 1, there it was, those words that haunted me for a bit:

“For Mom and Dad, I hope you’re proud of me.”

When a human being defies so much of history and social expectations and dominates in an arena never dominated by any other person of the same gender before, she would stand on top of the world and utters how she hopes her parents are proud of her.

On that same note, I hope that whatever she chooses for now or in future that Ronda Rousey will feel enough pride for Ronda Rousey and never require the validation of any other human being, genetically related or not.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The devil is in the details, they say. A book this size has a lot of devils, any one of which will bite you if you don’t watch out.”

Disclaimer: I read this book with the hindsight of having watch the current 7 series on telly. Regardless, the knowledge of what is to come did not diminish the pleasure of reading this masterpiece at all. In fact, it served to reiterate what a momentous effort it must have been to create an epic story of this proportion.

I feel it is unwise to label this book as ‘fantasy’. The brilliance of this novel for me lies in the variety and complexity of characters interwoven with an even more complicated plot. George R.R. Martin’s inventiveness and grasp of history, religion, language even fashion is downright mind-blowing. The schemes and battles of the seven kingdoms resembles many stories in the real world, both past and present. Who is to say that the use of advance technology that is common in one nation can be depicted as witch craft in a less developed country? Should the schemes of our G7/G8/G10 nations be told from a different point of view, it may well sound like a fantasy too.

The novel also touches upon a large number of perennial subject matters, such as ambition, greed, sibling rivalries, failure and growth, class distinction and even the psychology of unequal parental love. The stark contrast between the two (Stark) sisters – Sansa and Arya is depicted splendidly. The two girls not only represents common sibling rivalry but also symbolises the conflict of two very different females and their place in society.

There was a guilty pleasure in devouring this book within a few days when I considered the years it must have taken to write it. Now I am hungering for more.

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