Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps said, "I used this book as an inspiration for the biggest win of my career when we ended UCLA's all-time 88-game winning streak in 1974."

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. Click the Book to read the players telling their stories in their own words. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information.

Confessions of a Shopaholic (7/10)

by Tony Medley

Run Time: 105 minutes.

Warning to guys: This is NOT a typical chick flick. I saw it at a non-press screening. The audience was 90% female. Even so, while the film features a close friendship between Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) and Suze (Krysten Ritter), and concentrates on Rebecca’s shopping fetish, it is not a film that only women can enjoy.

While men might not be able to identify with her sickness, this is really an old-fashioned, feel good love story between Rebecca and her editor, Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy). From two books by Sophie Kinsella, several screenwriters (Tracey Jackson and Tim Firth and Kayla Alpert) put together the final product. Director P.J. Hogan keeps the pace up when the concept seems terribly thin. But the movie owes its entertainment value to the outstanding acting by Fisher (who sparkles), Dancy (who brings freshness and excitement to a role that could have been pretty bland), Ritter (who creates a bizarre character with aplomb), and the rest of the cast.

But I don’t want to end this with a mere reference to “the rest of the cast.” There are some interesting actors in the cast who contribute to the enjoyment of this film, two I haven’t seen in awhile. First is Wendie Malick. I got to appreciate her in her scintillating role in “Dream On,” an inventive HBO sitcom from 1990-96. Then there’s Julie Hagerty, who always stands out in my mind for her terrific performance in Albert Brooks’ brilliant “Lost in America” (1985). Both of them can still bring it. They aren’t the only two who give fine performances in the cast, either. Everyone contributes to a pretty surprising result, at least for me.

This could have been really dreadful, but everything seems to work for the most part.

 February 12, 2009