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Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike Reviews
Ranked #230 in Books

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    Recommended? You Betcha!
    June 01, 2016

    When I came across this book, I was genuinely surprised. Nike shoes are one of those things that have just always been around for as long as I can remember. I had never even wondered about who the founder of Nike was, or how they had come to be so universally popular. To be honest, I probably just assumed that the founder was long-dead and the company was run by someone else like most major companies. But it turns out Phil Knight, the creator of Nike, is alive and has a pretty incredible life story to tell.

    Memoirs are very hit and miss for me. The most incredible person can have the most boring memoir if it's not well-written. Thankfully Shoe Dog is extremely well-written. Knight's descriptive language jumps off the page right from the start, when he begins the book by talking about an early-morning run when he was a young man without much direction who decided to follow a 'Crazy Idea', as he puts it.

    He decides to chase a dream of going to Japan and coming back with high-quality, low-cost running shoes that he can then sell himself at a profit. You have to remember that this was less than twenty years after World War 2, when the idea of a young American man going to Japan to chase a wild business dream didn't seem like the best idea. But Knight's descriptions of his thought process that early morning, how he talks about his family's reactions, and his eventual trip abroad just jumped off the page at me. I was pulled in as if I were reading a novel, and I have to say that Knight's storytelling abilities are really impressive considering how hard it is to make a memoir that engaging.

    I kept reading on, wanting to know more, even though I knew how the story would eventually end (with massive success, obviously). Knight's done a great job of taking what could be a very mundane story (young man starts business, it does well, the end) and turning it into an engaging story about goals, dreams, and the meaning of a good life.

    If you want an interesting window into the mind and the life of a man who created one of the most well-known brands in the world, I highly recommend Shoe Dog. It's a great story with some really profound life lessons that made me stop and think about my own life more than once.

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