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    1. Run Like a Mother: How to Get
    2. The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and
    3. The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues,
    4. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes,
    5. The Book of Basketball: The NBA
    6. Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing
    7. The Dangerous Book for Boys
    8. Indian Fairy Tales
    9. Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey
    10. How to Beat Up Anybody: An Instructional
    11. How Lucky You Can Be: The Story
    12. Sports Illustrated The Hockey
    13. SAS Survival Handbook, Revised
    14. The Games That Changed the Game:
    15. One Goal Achieved: The Inside
    16. Death to the BCS: The Definitive
    17. Titanic Thompson: The Man Who
    18. The Daring Book for Girls
    19. The Mentor Leader: Secrets to
    20. Lost Balls: Great Holes, Tough

    1. Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving--and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity
    by Sarah Bowen Shea, Dimity McDowell
    Kindle Edition (2010-03-23)
    list price: $14.99
    Asin: B003D3N2AQ
    Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    In Run Like a Mother, authors Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea offer both inspirational advice and practical strategies to help multitasking women make running part of their busy lives.

    McDowell and Shea understand the various external and internal forces in everyday life that can unintentionally keep a wife--mother--working woman from lacing up her shoes and going for a run. Because the authors are multihyphenates themselves, Run Like a Mother is driven by their own running expertise and real-world experience in ensuring that running is part of their lives.

    More than a book, Run Like a Mother is essentially a down-to-earth, encouraging conversation with the reader on all things running, with the overall goal of strengthening a woman's inner athlete.

    Of course, real achievement is a healthy mix of inspiration and perspiration, which is why the authors have grounded Run Like a Mother in a host of practical tips on shoes, training, racing, nutrition, and injuries, all designed to help women balance running with their professional and personal lives. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read to make you lace up the shoes
    I bought this book with a lot of hope and some trepidation. I'm a lapsed runner, and my last serious race dates back to the postpartum year after my first child was born, when I was eager to show myself I still had my athletic mojo. I just had my fifth child, and ordered this book to help me get inspired again. The authors' voices are real, thankfully, and the essays are honest and accessible. The training tips are great, because they're rooted in an understanding all the things mom use as excuses NOT to run. But what got me really lacing up my shoes again was the page full of short quotes by women saying how they feel after running. Powerful. Competent. Strong. Optimistic. It was like a quadruple dose of any of those herbal mood-boosters hocked by health magazines!

    5-0 out of 5 stars So relatable, it's sick!
    Since finding this book (and blog! and tweets!), I have been completely entertained and inspired and able to connect with a whole new community of runner-mamas.

    This book is so utterly relatable, it is sick! Even as a newbie runner! The moments of "O-M-G! That is EXACTLY how I feel" were countless, as a mom, spouse, runner, wannabe writer and overall multi-tasking-life balancer.

    The book inspired me, me made me laugh out loud causing my fellow commuter train riders to stop and stare (As soon as I would snort, I would hold up the book so everyone would get a peek...long enough for them to write down the title and and go buy it themselves!)

    This is my go-to book for prezzies for my runner mama friends and has saved the day with some much needed inspiration after the oh-let-it-be-over ugly runs.

    I savored every chapter like a rich ooey-gooey chocolately dessert and was thrilled to find more even more witty (and oh so true!) writing online through the blog

    Seriously, check it out, you won't be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I'm not a mother, but could still relate
    I bought this book after hearing about it from several people. As my title says, I'm not a mother, but I could relate to most of the book.

    I found the writing very easy to follow--as if it were a conversation--and refreshing. I laughed out loud at some things and it gave me that little "umph" to get back to my running. I felt like I got to know Dimity and Sarah, just by following along in their journeys.

    I would definitely recommend this to others.

    5-0 out of 5 stars For Female Athletes Everywhere
    Run Like a Mother feels like one of those conversations you have with a friend on a long run. It's a book that all female athletes can relate to, regardless of motherhood status or running experience. However, for those of us who both run marathons and mother small children, it's an especially relatable book. At times it's part memoir--telling of Sarah's and Dimity's journeys as runners and marathoners (including a few race reports!), and other times it's more like a helpful training manual--giving advice on running gear, nutrition, and staging a post-pregnancy comeback. You won't find a 16-week marathon training plan in here, but you'll emerge from this book knowing what worked and didn't work for Sarah and Dimity as they trained. As a running coach, I liked the technical talk about running 8 X 400 meters and other training-specific tidbits. But as a mother and a fellow female athlete, I think I most enjoyed the deeply personal revelations about body image, weight, marriage, and mothering. I loved the personal essay format. By the end of the book, you'll feel like you have two new friends: Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and laugh out loud entertaining
    I'm a mother of two and a fairly competitive runner (with myself). I love this book. The writers are honest and get right down to what is real. And this is what makes some of the excerpts laugh out loud funny. I so relate! But likewise, it is very honest about how difficult it is to run and be a strong runner while balancing kids and family. I read it an excerpt at night night for inspiration for the next day. It sounds corny, but I do. After having D, I know how hard it is to keep the fitness up. So many days I'd rather sit and hold the baby and be at home. But running makes me feel real, at peace and clean. I know this, but I also need the push. The pull, at times, is strong to stay home with the "kidlets." So thanks gals!

    Clothing tips, stories about racing, training, just everyday runs and how to pull yourself out of bed to get out on the road. Pregnancy and running, recovering from giving birth and beginning to run again and all that is involved in that. Right on and inspirational! The quotes and facts from regular runners make me feel part of a great club of women who push each other and support one another in our every day struggles to make the run happen. Totally inspiring. Sarah and Dimity know runners! And I totally feel a closer bond to all the mommy runners out there. I'm going to buy this book for all my mommy running friends.

    I just bought the book for my friend who is off to Boston in a week and am giving it to so she can indulge on her plane ride there. She has two kids, 5 and 3 and worked her butt off to get to Boston.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
    I purchased this book when I was training to walk/run my first half marathon in my life. As I am not a runner per se I was skeptical about how much this book would pertain to me. I was pleasantly suprised. The book is well written and truly is a must read for anyone who is a ruuner or thinking about becoming a runner. The book is entertaining, informative and fun. It also would make a great gift for a runner in your life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Run Like A Mother Will Give You The Strength For Motherhood
    I love running. I especially love running as a mom. It is my "me" time, my recharge time and one of the few things that is just for me. I so enjoyed every bit of this book from the humor to the tips. I love any book that inspires moms to take care of themselves and to realize that they can run, will love to run and deserve to run!

    Thank you Sarah and Dimity for giving a shout out to Stroller Strides!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read like a runner
    A friend of mine recommended this book to me as a new runner, and she was right! It's motivational and informative. I read part of it while on an airplane and it was all I could do not to run up and down the aisle! A great read for all running mothers!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for lady runners
    This one's for the ladies. The ones who like to move and move fast. It's called Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. It all started with two women who had just had children, trying to get back into running shape. They decided to pitch an article to Runner's World about their journey. That whole experience with them trying to balance family, work, and running lead them to write this book.

    There is a lot of great advice in here for runners of all ages, but it is geared toward time crunched mothers who have to consider their families in their decisions. They give advice on nutrition, racing, finding motivation, and managing children and husbands. Their insight is both humorous and helpful. This is a great read for women athletes who can relate to the authors' experiences and find inspiration in their successes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolute greatness
    This book was absolutely wonderful. I have really enjoyed reading it and saddened by finishing the final chapter. The words of Sarah and Dimty really stayed with me - during runs, during my wanting to not run. I am buying this as gifts for all my running mother friends. I laughed out loud and found myself saying "thank you" for touching on all subjects that us mothers want to ask, but are afraid to. Loved it!!!! ... Read more

    2. The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood
    by Jane Leavy
    Hardcover (2010-10-01)
    list price: $27.99 -- our price: $12.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0060883529
    Publisher: Harper
    Sales Rank: 36
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Jane Leavy, the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy, returns with a biography of an American original—number 7, Mickey Mantle. Drawing on more than five hundred interviews with friends and family, teammates, and opponents, she delivers the definitive account of Mantle's life, mining the mythology of The Mick for the true story of a luminous and illustrious talent with an achingly damaged soul.

    Meticulously reported and elegantly written, The Last Boy is a baseball tapestry that weaves together episodes from the author's weekend with The Mick in Atlantic City, where she interviewed her hero in 1983, after he was banned from baseball, with reminiscences from friends and family of the boy from Commerce, Oklahoma, who would lead the Yankees to seven world championships, be voted the American League's Most Valuable Player three times, win the Triple Crown in 1956, and duel teammate Roger Maris for Babe Ruth's home run crown in the summer of 1961—the same boy who would never grow up.

    As she did so memorably in her biography of Sandy Koufax, Jane Leavy transcends the hyperbole of hero worship to reveal the man behind the coast-to-coast smile, who grappled with a wrenching childhood, crippling injuries, and a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. In The Last Boy she chronicles her search to find out more about the person he was and, given what she discovers, to explain his mystifying hold on a generation of baseball fans, who were seduced by that lopsided, gap-toothed grin. It is an uncommon biography, with literary overtones: not only a portrait of an icon, but an investigation of memory itself. How long was the Tape Measure Home Run? Did Mantle swing the same way right-handed and left-handed? What really happened to his knee in the 1951 World Series? What happened to the red-haired, freckle-faced boy known back home as Mickey Charles?

    "I believe in memory, not memorabilia," Leavy writes in her preface. But in The Last Boy, she discovers that what we remember of our heroes—and even what they remember of themselves—is only where the story begins.

    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars The Man behind the Hero, and the Hero behind the Man - A Wonderful Page Turner that you will LOVE!!!!

    How wonderful in an age when we don't have heroes anymore, we can go back to an earlier age in our lives, when we did. We can then hand a book like this to our children, and perhaps, just perhaps they can come to understand how a different generation from their own, could have revered such a man as Mickey Mantle, who represented everything that we all wanted to be.

    For all of us, it was a dream that could not be fulfilled, but that didn't mean we couldn't still fantasize about it, and maybe that's why some pay so much for collectibles. We are able to hold, or touch something that belonged to the hero, and the hero's journey.

    First of all, you must love sports, and sports heroes to thoroughly enjoy this book as I did. Ms. Leavy has captured the real Mickey Mantle, and although she covers the warts and all, this is still very much the story of a hero, a hero of mythic proportions. In ancient Rome there were the Gladiators. In the 20th century, we have our sports heroes, and surely Mickey Mantle captured America's attention like no other.

    He made us forget about Joe DiMaggio who dominated an earlier generation of Yankees in center field. DiMaggio knew it, and made Mantle pay for it emotionally for his entire career. You might want to read Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life by Richard Ben Cramer, a great biography of Mantle's predecessor in center field.

    Ah, and can Ms. Leavy write; she is accomplished, having earlier penned a magnificent biography of Brooklyn Dodger hero Sandy Koufax. When I began to read about Mickey, I at first wondered if she could capture the same spirit she captured in "Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy". By that I mean could she capture the essence of the man and the time in which Mantle lived. She had done this so well with Koufax, could she do it again.

    How do you replicate in words, what it was like to have Mantle in the Bronx, and the Dodgers in Brooklyn? If you are a reader living in Texas, or California, can you do it? The author answered that question and more. This lady is at the top of her game as they say. Through 416 pages she covers it all, Mickey's extraordinary potential, and his partial realization of it, having been plagued by injuries during his entire playing career. What haunted him at night is laid out, from his belief that he would die at an early age as his father did, to his first years in baseball where DiMaggio would not even speak with him. Do you want to know what it was like for this young magnificent talent to be snubbed by the leader of the team while trying to build his own identity? It's all here in story after exquisite story. Myths are shattered while new truths are revealed.

    The author is clear, and admits she's biased. Mickey is her guy, just as he was our guy. She loved him, and we all loved him, and now many years after his death, we love him even more, and still feel our loss, a loss for a youth that none of us can ever have again. The title of the book says it all, "The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood". How appropriate for a title for this man, and at this time.

    We were moving from the age of innocence under Eisenhower into the turbulent world of the 60's with Viet Nam, JFK, Civil Rights, drugs and the counter culture, but through it all, there was the constancy of Mickey Mantle and the Yankees. You either loved him and them, or you hated them. There was nobody on the fence when it came to the Yankees, and it's probably still a true statement today.

    Even in those cities that hate the Yankees, no team in baseball filled the stands in enemy territory like the Yankees, and it's all based on the myth and mythology which survives for as long as any of us remember this man and his extraordinary exploits. The most exciting hitter in baseball playing drunk, and with extraordinary pain, and injuries. Nobody knew the real Mickey, maybe no could. We know more about him now through this author and others, than we did when he was setting world of sports on fire.

    The book is organized into five parts. The unifying theme is the author meeting Mickey in 1983 at the Claridge Hotel, a casino in Atlantic City. In those days, baseball did not pay like it does today. Although Mickey was paid $100,000 per year by the Yankees for years, very few baseball players saved any money, and basically all of them had to find careers after baseball in order to survive. Late in his life they asked Mickey what he would be paid today if he were in the game. He said, "I don't really know, except I would probably be sitting down with the team owner, and saying, how you doing, PARTNER?"

    In each of the five parts of the book, the author continues the story of her meeting Mickey at the Claridge Hotel, and then she reverts back into discussing his biography along chronological lines from his first days in baseball, through his last.

    Here's some of the things you will learn in this wonderful book:

    * In four quick phrases, you learn the essence of the man. He was so gifted, s flawed, so damaged, so beautiful.

    * Admirers were so enamored of Mantle that they were willing to pay anything for memorabilia. Both Billy Crystal the comedian, and David Wells the pitcher got into a bidding war for a damaged glove that Mickey played with. The spirited bidding made Crystal the winner at $239,000. The author has done her homework, and engages the reader in a real and detailed understanding of the collectors' world and how it influenced Mantle, who could make $50,000 in an afternoon signing his name. His near mint rookie card went for $282,000 in 2006.

    * Originally a shortstop, legendary manger Casey Stengel said I will personally make this man into a center fielder. DiMaggio went ballistic. It's quite a story and its aftermath went on for years. As was explained in the book, Stengel loved Mantle and disliked DiMaggio.

    * Other players could not believe Mantle's abilities. It was said that he was more speed than slugger, and more slugger than any speedster, and nobody had had more of both of them together. Stengel said this kid ain't logical, and he's too good. It's very confusing. When you compared him to others, and the others that came before him, Mantle was unique, and he had the charisma to match. Together it was an unbeatable combination, and then add in a media crazed New York.

    * Branch Rickey the general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates who would make history breaking Jackie Robinson into the majors, once said about Mantle, "I hereby agree to pay any price for the purchase of Mickey Mantle."

    * It was said about Mantle and his teammates that they lived over the speed limit and being with Mantle was like having a get out of jail card free card. Nobody could play ball like Mickey, and nobody could play like Mickey. The stories, the philandering, the booze, the nightlife, it's all here, and it's here in abundance.

    * Mickey was generous to a fault. If you were his friend, you did not need other friends. He was there for you through thick and thin. Teammate Joe Pepitone got divorced. Mickey told him, I got two rooms at the St. Moritz. You come stay with me. Pepitone stayed two years.

    * And then there's the naivet�. He's constantly getting conned into putting money into bad deals with bad people. In one deal, his teammates asked him, did you have a lawyer. He responds that he didn't need one, the other guys already had a lawyer in the room.

    We haven't even touched upon the game of baseball itself and Mantle's contributions to the game, his impact. Leavy covers it all, and there's much to cover. The World Series where Sandy Koufax, a pitcher who during a five year period was deemed to be unhittable, strikes out Mantle, and then in the seventh inning, Mantle makes contact with what he felt was the fastest pitch he had ever seen. The ferocious noise of the bat making contact with the ball was painful to those sitting in the dugouts, and then the ball wound up in the upper bleachers, but it wasn't enough. In the final inning Koufax would strike out Mantle again, and win the World Series. Mickey goes into the dugout and says, "How in the f---, are you supposed to hit that s---.

    You will not put the book down. You will re-live your youth. You will be filled with joy at the thrill of one hero and the world of baseball. You will also find much sorrow in the sadness of life after baseball, of cutting ribbons at gas stations for a thousand dollars, doing bar mitzvahs on weekends, and attempting to live on past glories. What an American story, and only in America could it have happened. Thank you for reading this review, and I gladly give this book five stars.

    Richard Stoyeck

    5-0 out of 5 stars Honestly Affectionate
    It's easy to love a hero, an ideal, an image. But Leavy shows us that it is better to love the reality, a man whose gifts and flaws were both larger than life. This sympathetic but honest depiction of the golden boy of America's golden era shows us the crushing internal and external pressure Mantle struggled with, including the burden of that, well, mantle of heroism he knew no one could ever live up to. And yet he tried. And gave us moments we still cheer for. Leavy's graceful writing, diligent scholarship, and, above all, devoted dedication make this illuminating, heart-wrenching, and ultimately inspiring story one of the best books of the year and one of the best books about sports ever written.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A thorough and honest review
    A through and painfully honest review of one of the greatest and most compelling sports legends of the 20th century. As in her book about Sandy Koufax, Jane Leavy did meticulous research about the subject matter with numerous interviews with contemporaries. However, despite being a very well written book, the Koufax book left the reader with a sense that we never really knew Koufax. We saw many of his virtues, but there was little insight into Koufax's faults. He almost seemes too good to be true at times. Conversely, the Mantle book leaves very little unanswered. It is brutally honest, showing Mantle as a human being with flaws, warts, imperfections as well as redeeming qualities.

    Unlike Koufax, Mantle has been the subject of many books, and his accomplishments, relationships, alcohol issues and sexual exploits have been well documented. But Jane Leavy has broken new ground by her research and personal interactions with Mantle and has provided new insights about the Mick. An outstanding book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Baseball plus
    "The Last Boy" is a superb job of research and writing, a rare combination indeed. The author covers Mantle's
    baseball career quite lucidly, but adds the enormous dimension of his alcoholism, in detail, and places it all
    in the contest of American societal development during his years in the spotlight . . . and beyond. A page-
    turner from the very first. This must take its place among the very best baseball books on anyone's shelf.
    Well done.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mantle's Life - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    As a baby boomer, I grew up with some of the greatest home run hitters of all time - Mantle, Mays, Snider, Maris... the list goes on. We use to play home run derby as kids and would choose who got the first choice in who they were representing. Mantle was always #1. As kids, he had this image of being infallible. Not the greatest fielder, but pure power when it came to hitting. He truly was our sports hero. The season of 61 when the M&M boys were chasing Ruth's single season record was the most exciting sports season for me as a kid. I saw them both hit home runs in Cleveland that year.

    This book provided me a perspective on Mantle I never realized as a kid. Mickey and his family were truly dysfunctional. And the extent of his drinking and womanizing was surprising. Jane Leavy does an excellent job of sharing the good, the bad and the ugly of Mantle's life. It certainly is a lot different than the hero we worshiped as kids. Her perspective on seminal events in Mantle's life including tracing down people related to the event (like the kid that found the Tape Measure Home Run ball), and the technical analysis of his stats and swing make this for a very interesting read. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in baseball history.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Last Boy
    Great book about one of my all time heros. Sad, but poignantly sad and also full of what-ifs in his baseball career.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Sensational Biography
    I am not old enough to remember Mantle's playing career, and his post playing days were marked by mostly embarrassing drunken escapades and a final year of atonement and sobriety. But reading this wonderful book gives me insight into the hold the man held over baseball and much of American popular culture for so long. He was one of the best players ever, but there was so much more to it than simply being a gifted slugger and center fielder. He was complicated, an active alcoholic for almost his entire adulthood, tender hearted but capable of great cruelty, and beloved by many millions.

    Read this book! Highly recommended. ... Read more

    3. The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean
    by Susan Casey
    list price: $27.95 -- our price: $12.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0767928849
    Publisher: Doubleday
    Sales Rank: 58
    Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    From Susan Casey, bestselling author of The Devil’s Teeth, an astonishing book about colossal,  ship-swallowing rogue waves and the surfers who seek them out.

    For centuries, mariners have spun tales of gargantuan waves, 100-feet high or taller. Until recently scientists dis­missed these stories—waves that high would seem to violate the laws of physics. But in the past few decades, as a startling number of ships vanished and new evidence has emerged, oceanographers realized something scary was brewing in the planet’s waters. They found their proof in February 2000, when a British research vessel was trapped in a vortex of impossibly mammoth waves in the North Sea—including several that approached 100 feet.

    As scientists scramble to understand this phenomenon, others view the giant waves as the ultimate challenge. These are extreme surfers who fly around the world trying to ride the ocean’s most destructive monsters. The pioneer of extreme surfing is the legendary Laird Hamilton, who, with a group of friends in Hawaii, figured out how to board suicidally large waves of 70 and 80 feet. Casey follows this unique tribe of peo­ple as they seek to conquer the holy grail of their sport, a 100­-foot wave.

    In this mesmerizing account, the exploits of Hamilton and his fellow surfers are juxtaposed against scientists’ urgent efforts to understand the destructive powers of waves—from the tsunami that wiped out 250,000 people in the Pacific in 2004 to the 1,740-foot-wave that recently leveled part of the Alaskan coast.

    Like Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, The Wave brilliantly portrays human beings confronting nature at its most ferocious.
    ... Read more


    4-0 out of 5 stars The Discovery Channel meets ESPN, September 2, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Susan Casey's THE WAVE features an introduction that would be right at home in a Tom Clancy thriller. Following the headline "57.5 (deg) N, 12.7 (deg) W, 175 MILES OFF THE COAST OF SCOTLAND... FEBRUARY 8, 2000," she launches into sixteen pages of prose describing a handful of shipping disasters.

    Have you ever been on an ocean liner where half the passengers were turning green with nausea as the ship pitched and rolled in 25-foot swells? That's nothing. Dead calm by comparison.

    Monster waves, the height of a ten-story office building (and taller) have taken ships --big, huge ships-- and pounded, pummeled, and overturned them, split them in half and buried them forever along with everyone aboard under thousands of tons of water, and it happens with a frequency that you can't begin to imagine.

    I read those first pages, and by the time I got to Chapter one, I was electrified. This was going to be a page-turner of the first order.

    Only it wasn't. As it turns out, Casey's THE WAVE is about 1/3 "The Discovery Channel" and 2/3rds "ESPN's Gnarliest, Awesomest, Surfin' of the Century."

    Don't get me wrong. It's not that I have anything against people who surf. In fact, there was a fair amount of the surfing story that I found simply fascinating (and until reading this book, I knew NOTHING about.)

    Case in point: Cortes Bank. This is an area in the Pacific Ocean about 115 miles off the coast of San Diego. As it happens, there is a submerged, underwater chain of islands there, and when the large Pacific swells --beefed up by storm fronts-- hit the shallow water... well, surf's up, dude, in a majorly-tasty way.

    Casey's description of her six-hour trip out to this isolated area in a rather small boat with a band of some of the best surfers on the planet looking to ride 100-foot waves was astounding. I had no clue that surfing was anything but a near-the-shore sport.

    But my issue with the book --and the reason I've given it just three stars-- is the amount of ink she devotes to the surfers, their injuries, their families, their gear, their homes, the award ceremonies... well, you get the picture.

    The sections of the book that I was expecting --where she writes about the science of the waves, both what we understand, and that which remains (at this point) well beyond our ability to figure out, are very well written. I really like her writing style, and enjoyed her 2006 book about the Farallon Islands, "The Devil's Teeth" a little bit more than THE WAVE, if only because the subject was a touch more 'focused'.

    - Jonathan Sabin

    4-0 out of 5 stars Well written ultra press release for The Laird...Ultimate Wave Guy (TM), September 5, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    First things first. The Wave was fun to read because Casey is a very solid writer. She knows how to put a sentence, paragraph, and tale together. Technically, her writing is near impeccable; it's a pleasure to read a galley proof and see almost no errors, compared to so many authors who apparently can't write ten words without needing spellcheck and an editor. So from that standpoint, this was one of the best advance copies I've seen of anything over the past few years.

    I haven't read Casey's other book, about sharks, nor have I read her as editor of Oprah's O Magazine (I have trouble picking up a publication that has its owner on the cover every issue, who also named it after herself). After reading The Wave, I might just check out Casey's other writing, as she understands what good scribbling is all about. She always keeps things moving, rarely bogging down in arcane detail even when discussing the science of climatology, waves, etc, and has a fine eye for the telling fact. Perhaps too fine, but we'll get to that in a minute. What's best about The Wave is the overall scope; Casey links how the earth's weather is changing to how waves are growing, and there's no denying the stats: there is a clear correlation. She visits various scientists and marine salvage folks and shares their stories; they all agree that we're seeing the oceans get nuttier, and it's only just beginning.

    Enter our hero! Laird "Larry" Hamilton, big wave rider extraordinaire. In this book he comes off as very humble, very brave, and very wise. You root for him at every turn on every wave and it's clear that Casey has quite a rapport with the guy. She always seems to be at his house, near the infamous Jaws/Pe'ahi, a Maui big wave break, chatting with Larry and Curly and Moe. Just kidding. These guys are no stooges; they've almost perfected the art of tow-in surfing, which is the only way to catch a 50 footer or above---paddling in is too slow. But towing is still very controversial to many, and Casey pretty much skips that argument altogether, a telling omission.

    We're taken to some of the world's best big breaks, like Todos and Cortes and even Jaws' big sister Egypt, which never breaks unless it's almost 100 feet high and provides the highlight of the book, a wild day where Laird and his tow partner almost get killed, and when they realize maybe it's not worth dying to catch the biggest waves. (The fact that Laird went out again at 80-foot Egypt that same session certainly dispels any doubts; this guy definitely does live for the really hairy waves.) That chapter, and the scene where Laird takes Casey on a jet ski down the face of Jaws, offer some visceral thrills for the reader, and are part of why this book is fun. Even if its title should really be The Wave: Kingdom Of Laird.

    Which brings me to some thoughts we're unlikely to hear much about when this book hits the stands. [If you're not a surfer or are just curious if The Wave is good, no need to go further. Enjoy the book, it's a fine read.]

    As a surfer, though sadly landlocked, I've followed Hamilton's exploits on occasion since I first read about him in the '90s. When his infamous Teahupoo monster wave was on the cover of Surfer mag in 2000, I remember standing at my mailbox in true awe at the insanely malevolent lip above his head. That thing could easily vaporize anybody. From that point on Laird became the Ultimate Big Wave Surfer, TM, and suddenly he was everywhere. But here's what's most interesting about LH: he disdains surf contests, for many good reasons, and is seen as the Pure Surfer. Seeking the biggest, baddest, bestest waves on the planet, he has jettisoned the crass commercialism of the surf world to live on his own ethereal plane of Ultimate Waveness.

    Except for those American Express commercials. And that Oxbow stuff. And his own brand of products. And...well, you know, a guy's got to make a living, right? Fair enough. But here's the problem: so do other guys. There's a scene in The Wave where Laird, with his faithful reporter tagging along, gives some grief to Sean Collins, who started the website Surfline, whereby anybody can see where the best waves will be on the planet. Laird feels that's cheating, and not everybody should get that knowledge. Just like many feel that tow-in surfing---which Laird, Buzzy Kerbox and Darrick Doerner pioneered in the '90s---is completely wrong, with its gas fumes and noise and pollution of Mother Ocean, and its disrespect towards paddle-in surfers.

    But you see, when Laird does it, it's pure. Sorry, Pure TM. Just as Surfline isn't pure. And contests aren't. And maybe they're not, fair enough. But you know what? It's time Hamilton realized that while he may be a better surfer than the rest, and thus deserving of more respect out there, he's not the only surfer, and other riders want and maybe even deserve the big waves too. And the magazine covers. And the videos. And the movies. And the American Express commercials.

    And the book written by Oprah's go-to writer gal, which when you really look at it is a long, very well-done puff piece on Laird Hamilton, posing as a scientific inquiry into the world of waves. Which it also is...but it always seems to come back to Laird. So why not call this book Laird: The Super Mega Master (And His Big Waves, Etc)? Well, that would be so crass. And maybe a little too transparent.

    Hey, it fooled me. One of the reasons I picked this up was Laird, but I also wanted to hear what the real wave experts think. And they confirm what many of us were talking about 20 years ago: the waves are getting bigger due to climate change, and there'll be some awesome tubes the size of houses out there, ever bigger. So it's only logical that guys like Laird and Doerner should be stoked, and studied. Wait a minute...who?

    Another weird thing about this book is Darrick Doerner's very peripheral status. He's barely mentioned, even though he was Laird's original long-time tow-in partner. Even though he was catching monsters when Larry was a kid (including a 1988 Waimea wave still considered one of the all-time great paddle-in (ie real surfing, non-TM) waves). Even though true waterman Doerner is seen by many in Hawaii as Laird's predecessor and teacher, in many ways. So why is Darrick barely mentioned? Good question. Just like Buzzy; he and Laird had a falling out and now it's all about Kalama and Lickle here. But if this book is really about big waves, Doerner merits far more time and respect.

    And where is Eddie Aikau?! Come on. He deserves at least a paragraph, if not a chapter. Same with Jeff Clark, who surfed the insanely hairy Maverick's alone for 15 years, probably the greatest big wave feat that ever will be. You'd think that Casey, whose comfort in and respect for the water adds much credence to her writing here, would give those guys the space they very definitely earned.

    Finishing The Wave, I decided to check out Laird's website, which I've never done. And guess what? It was only there and in linked articles that I found many fascinating facts skipped over in The Wave. Like, Casey lived with the Hamiltons on Maui for five years (never once mentioned in the book...why? Seems germane. Maybe too much so?). Like, Laird's site sells a bumpersticker, Blame Laird, a weirdly ironic theft of a sticker popular on many cars at many breaks now. He's being blamed for costing plenty of surfers endless waves by popularizing the stand-up paddleboard, wherein you stand on the board way outside the break and get ALL the best waves. It used to be the old longboarders way outside who peeved folks they too are mad at the stand-ups. So it goes.

    So Blame Laird. But also make sure to check out Laird's new line guessed it, stand up paddleboards! Yes, the ads are all over his website, but Casey never mentions in the book that LH has this product on sale, but she does talk about him stand-up surfing and plugs it as a genuine Hawaiian thang, and ain't it cool, etc. Hmmm. Perhaps Casey is head of O due to a very skillful way with product placement along with her literary skills?

    And Laird's website's front page now has various articles about...this book! It wasn't until I read those articles that I saw very clearly that The Wave was practically commissioned by Laird, or perhaps his wife Gabby. Her own line of products is on his site as well, and she just wrote a gushing piece on she and Laird hobnobbing with the rich in the Hamptons while promoting...The Wave! Wait, are we still talking about Laird Hamilton, hater of surf contests and all that is phony in the surf world? Can't be.

    But it gets better, or worse, or something. Laird is also now sponsored by, try not to laugh...Chanel! Yes, the perfume folks, now hawking watches. Clearly from Gabby's starstruck article ("Laird sat next to super famous artist/New York scenester Julian Schabel at dinner!"), she is all about leveraging the Hamilton brand, and Laird is being dragged along.

    Or rather, towed, into the modern world's Greatest Wave of all: Selling Yourself.

    The pictures of Laird at that party for this book show him almost cringing , and who can blame him? This whole PR exercise can't be his doing (one hopes, but one wonders...). One also hopes that he soon pulls out of this ever-bigger monster wave, with a thousand logos across its face and all sorts of bumpy shelves on the way down to the trough of Eternal Product Placement, where there is naught but a crashing, crushing lip; that's one wave you can't bail on once you're in its brutally gnarly closeout barrel, bruddah.

    Sure, LH has to make cash for his family (always the ultimate excuse for selling anything), but he can't simultaneously hate on Sean Collins, other tow-in surfers, and the surf world in general for following his lead. Especially when he's making all this money selling himself as Mr. Ultimate Big Wave Surfer in TV commercials and books and movies. Pick one or the other, Laird. You're the purist, or you're the sell-out like everyone else. You can't be both...and you ain't. The Wave and its glitzy parties and no doubt upcoming Oprah tie-ins are no better than any surf contest or gaggle of tow-in noobs at Jaws on that rare huge day every three years...they're just somewhat more subtle. Judge not lest thee be judged. You may have started it, but you can't have it all to yourself while cashing in as well. (Just like you can't preach about the purity of Mother Ocean and then jet ski into waves while spewing gas all over your mother).

    So now, along with his t-shirts, movies, bumperstickers, hats, paddleboards, vitamins, watches, credit cards, etc etc etc etc, Laird has a book, The Wave. It's a very well-disguised, well-written, intelligent product placement, and it tricked me up until I went to Laird's website. Kudos to all concerned for the subtlety. But in the end this book The Wave is yet another all too crisp meta-ironic piece of modern culture, a warning of the dangers that modern human life has unleashed on the planet, while also being the kind of well-crafted consumer-culture advertisement that has lead to the selfish earth-trashing behavior that may have caused all these freaks of nature in the first place.

    Oh well. It fooled me and I had fun while it lasted. And that's what matters.

    Isn't it?

    4-0 out of 5 stars she's not one of the boys yet, October 22, 2010
    the book begins excitingly - susan casey is a tour de force when it comes to research. she knows her subject and does all the homework, ranging over continents to talk to sources in science and industry and sport. she obviously has money, because she spares nothing in expense. she also has an amazing ability to bring esoteric concepts to life by translating the phenomenon of these giant waves into little images and analogies that the reader can relate to - she writes vibrant, muscular prose. what disappointed me: when she finally gets to the big waves and big wave surfers, that boldness seems to dissipate. and she writes like a schoolgirl with a crush on things like laird's hamilton's muscles. no longer the intrepid adventurer, she writes about quivering with fear and nervousness at actually going out with the surfers to the wave break-- but in the flank of it, where all the boats and skis sit, the safe zone. she has a tin ear for her own dialogue - her questions seem to be suddenly a whole 6 octaves stupider, focused on feelings and "how do you feel" questions to men she's already characterized as not much for excess words. women surfers appear almost nowhere in the book. the more it annoyed me, the more i began to see casey as just another goggle-eyed chick in a bikini, and i was disappointed because her book began with such a dramatic crackle of energy. when i researched around and read on laird's website that she made a financial deal to pay for access to his world, i felt even more disappointed.

    so i went back to read her first book, about great white sharks. same tendencies. amazing writing, with the same snap crackle pop of good prose. prodigious research, and capacious funds to undertake it. and yet somehow in the middle of the book she becomes all thumbs - afraid to jump from a sailboat to a dinghy, afraid to bait a fishhook, afraid of the dark, afraid of ghosts. afraid her expensive underwear will get taken by a storm. pointing out that she feels sexy wearing fashion rugged gear in the company of men. once again she never really mentions the women interns who are actually living at the farralones - who actually deal every day with the things she finds overwhelming as a visitor. they're there, but the experiences she focuses on are her own, not the experiences of those with more mileage and qualifications under their sexy belts. when a shark researcher shows up (and yes, he's handsome!!! picture included!!) she admires his muscular forearms but seems vague about what he actually does. they go to the aquarium together at the end. meanwhile she manages to lose a sailboat, set off government inquisitions and insurance claims, break federal regulations, and get one of the top research scientists fired from his job, with not so much as a fare-thee-well of regret for being the cause of so much trouble.

    i look forward to the day when casey goes through the teeth of an experience and develops a little stamina and endurance of her own. so far both her books are based on having watched specials produced by others on tv - which means it's a recycled experience, more or less. someone else pointed the way, and she picked up well on the clues, but the path was already given. and she comes across as an amazing woman who still gets self-conscious and intimidated being in the world of rugged men. her claim to fame is access, not achievement. she has too much talent to waste on schoolgirl crushes. the best adventure journalists of our time don't just get their la perla underwear dirty - they write having already gone through transforming adventures of their own.

    apologies to all concerned. as a woman writing and working in the world of men, i took these observations as a cautionary tale about tone. and tone-deafness. and being naive instead of weatherbeaten.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Waves Are Not Measured In Feet Or Inches But In Increments Of Fear, September 9, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    "The relationship between the waves, the weather, the planet's rising temperatures, and the overarching ocean cycles is wildly complex. And, they result in more frequent and higher extreme ocean waves which are a result of Global Warming" Susan Casey tells us this, and so much more. I loved this book, the waves transfixed me, the information transformed me, and the oceans and seas filled me with the fear of God.

    The stories Susan Casey carries with her and places on the written page about waves, oceans, seas, surfs, research, surfing and the people who follow and do these crazy stunts have filled me with a sense that we, the humans that populate this earth, have done it wrong. The oceans absorb 80% of the heat, and as the water heats, the wind increases, storms become more volatile. The ice melts, and the sea levels rise and millions of us who live near the ocean are at risk. The more we know about the waves and our weather and how it affects us, the better off we will be. The next generation is in for a rough ride.

    Susan Casey is a superb writer, she strings the stories of waves and the researchers in language I can understand. The people who ride the surf, the Laird Hamilton's and the Lickles, seem heroic and foolish all at the same time. The risks they take, but it seems they must. They were born to ride the waves, and they must find the highest and the fastest. They become the best surfers. They know the waves, the science and how to read the oceans and the waves. The waves become their friends and their foe. They move from ocean to ocean and place to place to meet these waves and conquer them. Sometimes they succeed.

    What I find especially fascinating are the researchers of the waves. The people who make their life's work studying the waves and how they change in size and their relationship to the universe. The people who rescue the ships that are lost at sea, the products they carry, and the people they lose. One or two ships are lost every week at sea, and it was not until 2000 that a group of like minded men came together to study why these ships were lost. It used to be said that extreme weather was the cause, well, sort of. There is so much to learn, and the list of lost ships and their stories are listed in a ledger by Lloyds of London. The reasons are waves, earthquakes, tsunamis, wind, temperature and a little bit of this and that. The Caribbean particularly Puerto Rico and the North west are overdue for tsunami inducing quakes. Scares me, does it scare you?

    Climate change has been on all of our tongues for many years, and now, we must face it up close and personal. Hurricane Katrina was but one example that should serve as a warning. Look around you and listen, everyday there is an example of warming, floods, ships lost at sea, increase hurricanes, heat, and rain and snow of unheard proportions. Susan Casey has given us a book that enlightens us all.

    Highly Recommended. prisrob 09-09-10

    The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks

    Women Invent!: Two Centuries of Discoveries That Have Shaped Our World

    2-0 out of 5 stars More the book about and from a extreme surfer groupie..., December 1, 2010
    ...than a book about waves! Susan Casey is obviously fascinated by extreme surfers and spends most of the book on them, their close calls, their family life etc... Now, granted that it is a fascinating life but despite her breathless prose, one does not really get the scale of what these guys are doing: maybe a video of them riding those monsters and talking about would do more justice to their accomplishments. But, in all that, what I had bought the book for, thinking on the basis of early reviews that it would be dealing with the forces creating these monster waves, was basically lost even when eventually she talked to scientists, drawing out of them more their personal experiences than the science of it. A more accurate title would be something like "In pursuit of the ultimate ride"

    5-0 out of 5 stars Surf's UP!!!!!, November 12, 2010
    An incredible account of nature in all her unsettled splendor. I was thoroughly caught up in the telling of how the oceans spawn monstrous waves which are both awesome to behold and at the same time can be devastating to people, ships, and the land.

    Ms. Casey wrote a wonderful book based on scientific evidence and personal accounts from many people who study, live and play on the world's oceans.

    Imagine surfing on a 70ft wall of water. Too hard to imagine? Look up at a 7 or 8 story building, then stand next to it and look straight up. That's where the surfer drops into the moving wave of energy. Can you feel it?

    Photos of ships being pummeled by giant waves; of the devastation left behind when monster waves hit land; and of the very brave people who surf these giants are included.

    I love this book! I grew up on the east coast and remember some very large waves that hit beaches during stormy weather. The waves described in the book far outweigh my experiences.

    A must read for anyone who thinks about global warming, and how weather is dynamically changing the very face of the oceans.

    3-0 out of 5 stars The ocean is full of unpredictable forces and characters too, December 14, 2010
    Here we are presented with a concept book that attempts to hold various subjects, incidents and characters together around one unifying piece of information. That the ocean is full of unpredictable forces that create huge waves, some as high at 100 feet. We join the crew and scientist aboard the RRS Discovery in the North Sea as it is hurled about for days. We attend scientific workshops where mathematicians try and study waves. Find out climate change is going to make the oceans even more unpredictable. We learn two large ships sink each week on average (worldwide) and no one ever studies the cause as we do with airplanes that crash. Their disappearance is simply recorded as the results of "bad weather". Susan Casey then layers on top of this what I found to be the complete idiocy of big wave tow surfing with Laird Hamilton of Maui as the main character we are to identify with. He is sort of the Spiderman of surfing. He and his buddies (in conjunction with the surfing industry who at one point offer $100,000 to the first person who successfully rides a 100 foot wave) risk life (several surfers deaths are covered in the narrative) to just get the rush of the big wave. And interestingly enough it does not count if it is not filmed so we also meet an incredible group of surf photographers. So you mix all this into the stew and bounce around a lot and you find yourself loving and hating the book.
    For me reading is much the joy of learning things you never knew or would know if you had not read a given book. And there is lots to learn in THE WAVE about the ocean and the phenomena of big waves and I doubt many people have heard of the sport of tow surfing or how one goes about doing it. Or that the biggest waves to surf are found some 100 miles off the coast of San Diego in some 6 foot deep water which covers the tops of a huge mountain range, an area called the Cortes Bank. So the book has much to offer. What seems wrong is its balance. The surfers, especially the hero worship of Laird Hamilton gets old after a while. Does Susan Casey ever think Laird's actions as a father with a family are a bit irresponsible no matter his skill and Zen like personality? Is he really a wave whisperer with no warts?
    The interesting character for me at the end of the book is Laird's buddy Brett Lickle who having suffered a major injury which left his left leg with a scar that was "though his entire calf had been melted" (and have being saved by Laird Hamilton) stands on a cliff watching his friends challenge the latest Maui big waves. Lickle made it clear that he no longer misses "the circus, the jeopardy, the nerves" by saying, "The only thing I'll say is that the accident was a kind of ticket out, you know what I mean? What we had was a gang. And you couldn't get out of the gang. There was no way out. There's so much peer pressure like, `come on, you're the man! Let's go!' You can't just walk away can't. But if you get shot up and almost die, they let you out." For the surfers the big waves are a personal challenge and thrill like climbing a mountain. For the scientist and ships crews the waves are something to respect and fear.
    If the subject interests you which I am betting it does I believe you will enjoy the book although I found it very uneven and is a bit to hero worshiping in its promotion of the tow surfing culture.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Scientists, ships and lots of surfing, October 1, 2010
    Susan Casey is a captivating writer. Somehow she is able to take the concept of something as comparatively non-threatening as waves and spin it into an interesting tale, highlighting how wrong I was about the pretty waves breaking on the beach.

    Casey interviews mariners, Lloyd's of London reps, physicists, and--primarily--surfers about their experiences with and predictions for a huuge wave, dude. The science is a little glossed over but I suspect that it would be difficult to go into wave physics in more depth without the reader glazing over. I really did enjoy the section about Lloyd's of London and their history in insuring ships (and Tina Turner's legs, of course).

    The major problem with Casey's approach is I think she got a bit too caught up in the surfing scene. For each original section where she talked to a scientists about their dire predictions for the potential destructivenss of waves, or someone on a ship who had been caught in a wave, etc., she intersperses it with a scene about another wave-chasing day with the surfers, and it got a bit repetitive by the end of the book. I don't know, I think I would have admired the surfers more had I actually known a little less about them by the time the book was over. Anyway, this flaw wasn't enough to drop it to 3 stars. I learned a fair bit about surfing, and I finished the book in awe of the giant waves that could pay us a visit any time they like.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Radical brah, September 27, 2010
    My surfing experience is limited to boogie boarding in San Diego when I was 22, but I had many surfing dreams for about a year after that. Whatever it is, it is powerful. Still, like many others I expected less surfers and a little more exploration into others who deal or have dealt with massive waves, but I still enjoyed the book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars More Stories than Science of Waves, but Conveys Their Beauty and Destructive Power., September 2, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Susan Casey likes water. In "The Devil's Teeth", she wrote about great white sharks in the Farallon Islands. In "The Wave", she explores the subject of big waves, taller than 50 feet, 100 feet, or even 1,000 feet high. Big waves are normally associated with storms, earthquakes, or reefs... and then there are rogue waves, whose very existence was doubted until recently, that seemingly come out of nowhere to swallow big commercial ships. Water in large volumes at high speeds is perhaps the most powerful force on Earth. To get a feel for these behemoths, Casey talked to the big wave surfers who seek them out, marine salvage experts and maritime meteorologists who help mariners escape them, and the scientists who are trying to understand them.

    Casey crisscrossed the globe for a few years speaking to experts in fields related to waves and tagging along with a group of big wave surfers whose most famous member is Laird Hamilton. Out of 13 chapters, only 5 are not about the experience of surfing big waves: Casey takes us along to the Tenth International Workshop on Wave Hindcasting and Forecasting and Coastal Hazard Symposium, where researchers present their theories on wave formation and prediction. She visits Lloyd's of London, which insures most of the world's shipping fleet, and learns how vulnerable bulk carriers are to big waves. She talks to geohazard experts, scientists at the National Oceanic Center in England, a marine salvage expert who saves ships in distress, and a geologist who speaks of the 1,740-foot wave created by a 1958 earthquake in Alaska.

    And Casey hangs out with people who like big waves: the tow-in surfers who routinely surf Pe'ahi in Maui, Teahupo'o in Tahiti, Mavericks south of San Francisco, and a handful of other big wave hot spots. She travels to those places with surfers and their photographers to get as close as she can to experiencing big waves for herself. And there's the carnage. Two dozen big commercial ships are lost at sea each year; surfers who seek out big waves don't always make it either. "The Wave" has a jaunty pace, and the surfing stories give it glamour and drama. Casey's decision to dedicate so much space to the folks who spend time inside these waves for fun is a good one. They are intimate with big waves and convey a fear and awe of them that helps the audience grasp the size, power, and beauty of such a thing. "The Wave" is a fun read. ... Read more

    4. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    by Christopher McDougall
    list price: $24.95 -- our price: $14.58
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0307266303
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 80
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    An epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt?
    Isolated by Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons, the blissful Tarahumara Indians of have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In a riveting narrative, award-winning journalist and often-injured runner, Chris McDougall sets out to discover their secrets. In the process, he takes his readers from science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to a climactic race in the Copper Canyons that pits America’s best ultra-runners against the tribe. McDougall’s incredible story will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars A great story and so much more, May 16, 2009
    Born to Run succeeds at three levels. First, it is a page turner. The build up to a fifty-mile foot race over some of the world's least hospitable terrain drives the narrative forward. Along the way McDougall introduces a cast of characters worthy of Dickens, including an almost superhuman ultramarathoner, Jenn and the Bonehead--a couple who down bottles of booze to warm up for a race, Barefoot Ted, Mexican drug dealers, a ghostly ex-boxer, a heartbroken father, and of course the Tarahumara, arguably the greatest runners in the world.

    Born to Run is such a rip-roaring yarn, that it is easy to miss the book's deeper achievements. At a second level, McDougall introduces and explores a powerful thesis--that human beings are literally born to run. Recreational running did not begin with the 1966 publication of "Jogging" by the co-founder of Nike. Instead, McDougall argues, running is at the heart of what it means to be human. In the course of elaborating his thesis, McDougall answers some big questions: Why did our ancestors outlive the stronger, smarter Neanderthals? Why do expensive running shoes increase the odds of injury? The author's modesty keeps him from trumpeting the novelty and importance of this thesis, but it merits attention.

    Finally, Born to Run presents a philosophy of exercise. The ethos that pervades recreational and competitive running--"no pain, no gain," is fundamentally flawed, McDougall argues. The essence of running should not be grim determination, but sheer joy. Many of the conventions of modern running--the thick-soled shoes, mechanical treadmills, take no prisoners competition, and heads-down powering through pain dull our appreciation of what running can be--a sociable activity, more game than chore, that can lead to adventure. McDougall's narrative moves the book forward, his thesis provides a solid intellectual support, but this philosophy of joy animates Born to Run. I hope this book finds the wide audience it deserves.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A phenomenal book about running but more importantly a way of life, May 17, 2009
    My wife handed me Born to Run about 24 hours ago and said "you might like this." Having run quite a bit but nursing an achilles tendon injury for about 3 years, I had almost given up on my dreams of getting back into marathon shape. 24 hours (and very little sleep) later, I feel inspired, awed, and enlightened, and I have Christopher's wonderful book to thank.

    In a nutshell, I have not been this entralled by a story since Shadow Divers, Seabiscuit and/or Into Thin Air. Christopher's recounting of the forbidding Copper Canyons, the amazing Tarahumara, ultramarathoners young and old, and the greatest race you've never heard of is enough for me to give this a rave review. But like the aforementioned books, there is so much more to this story, not the least of which was Christopher's own quest (and amazing resiliency) to run without pain. Finally, he put to words many of the thoughts and feelings I've had about running but am unable to articulate. And Christopher is a great writer - I laughed out loud many times throughout. He has a style akin to a Timothy Cahill - a great wit that was obviously aided by a wonderfully intriguing cast of characters.

    As the sun was coming up this morning I was a bit sad to see this book end, and am already contemplating picking it up again. But only after I strap on the old, beaten up sneaks and get in a quick jog. Thanks so much for writing this book - I hope it changes lives and perspectives in the process.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Cure for Modernity, May 11, 2009
    If, when you finish with this book, you don't immediately get yourself outside and run like hell, then there's probably not a drop of living blood in you. This book is the perfect antidote to everything that's wrong with modern running and the way to find everything that's still so right with it. Even if it were all a work of fiction McDougall's tale would still be worth the price of admission. Fabulous.

    4-0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for inspiration, 3 stars for some hyperbole, July 5, 2009
    I have to ditto other readers who said this book changed their life. And that is not hyperbole. Prior to reading this book I viewed myself as a fast short distance runner and I rarely, if ever, ran more than 3 miles at a time. I felt this was just the way things were and that I should accept it.

    "Born to Run" completely changed my internal thought process about running. I was already aware of the running shoe issue. I've been slowly using Vibram Five Fingers for over a year and I've been trying to alter my gate from heel strike first to toe strike first. I found that it just takes patience and time to adapt in getting those muscles developed. McDougall is no liar - we've been screwed over by the running shoe companies. The first time I ran with the Vibram's I could barely walk for a week I was in so much pain. Now I can climb mountains in them.

    What changed for me after reading this book was just the simple notion that I wasn't limited by some personal flaw or lack of will. I was failing to run longer distances because both my mindset and my running style were flawed. One, we can all run farther than we think. Two, don't get obsessed over speed or time, just run at a pace that feels comfortable. Your body will tell you when you can step it up a notch. In other words, just enjoy the experience.

    Before I started the book my max was 3 miles with a hard push on the first two. Five weeks after reading the book I can now do 8 miles or more. I can probably do 10 or more now, but haven't pushed because I'm still working on getting those calve muscles stronger and adapted to the new running style. Don't get me wrong - I'm running slow! But wow, does it feel good. I'm enjoying running more and I feel better than ever before. My blood pressure, which was high, is now below normal and I feel great. One of the points McDougall makes in the book is that many experienced ultra runners don't run that fast. Many of them are just doing 10 minute miles. That's part of what caused me to rethink my obsession over speed.

    Unfortunately, as a few critics have pointed out, McDougall's book does come off as hyperbole in some parts. I also strongly disliked his focus on extremists. "Barefoot Ted" is one example.

    Just search the net for the term "barefoot running" and you'll find some of the most absurd absolutist garbage about how the only way to run is barefoot and anyone who stoops to using shoes (even the likes of Nike Free shoes or the Vibram's) is misguided or even stupid. The sad reality is that we have all been lied to by the shoe companies - Nike especially. These lies are pushed on us by the alleged "experts." I recently picked up a pair of Nike Hayward Prefontaine runners. "Runners World" gave them a mixed review and slammed the shoe for not having enough support. So we have the barefoot absolutists telling us to ditch our shoes and we have the mainstream press telling us we need to wear the very shoes that are making us weaker runners. And the accepted normal shoes do make us weaker - I was told by a doctor after two major ankle injuries that I'd be limping for life if I was injured again. That ankle is the strongest it has ever been after changing my running style.

    You don't change people's minds by using extremists to make your case. And that's unfortunately what comes across at times in McDougall's book. I would have personally preferred more information about his personal transformation and less on the likes of "Barefoot Bob" and the other runners who share very little in common with everyday people who just want to get into shape.

    I don't think "Born to Run" is going to be that interesting to those who are already hardcore runners. The more you already run, the more the hyperbole will stick out. But I do recommend the book to those who thought like I did about what was physically possible for them. After reading this book you won't be able to watch a marathon again and think of how it's beyond your abilities. You won't make it into the Olympics, but the odds are you can run a marathon.

    And speaking of marathons, McDougall makes an earth shattering point about older runners and their ability to outrun teenagers. The age at which you can beat a teenager (in long distance running), assuming you've trained appropriately, will blow your mind. Since it's one of McDougall's "secrets" I won't post the spoiler here. It's just one of his many points that will make you rethink your own ability to run.

    EDIT: I have to scoff at all the critics of this book who say to take it all with a grain of salt. Each person is obviously different so your mileage will vary. Nonetheless, the central message in McDougall's book is that YOU can run and you can run longer distances than you think.

    I served in the Army and I was a runner in high school. And yet, at almost 40 - with heart disease and a stent implant! - I'm now running longer distances than I have ever run in my life. One of the reasons is simply because I took McDougall's advice. I'll never run ultra-marathons, but that doesn't matter.

    There are nuggets of truth and inspiration in this book along with all the exaggerations. If you're already a long distance runner there's very little meat for you to digest and the hyperbole will annoy. But if you're one of the many people who've never gone more than a few miles there's a powerful message here.

    I now can outrun all 3 of my nephews (15 to 24) nephews in the long distance. On one fast 4.5 mile mountain hike (Mt. Monadnock in NH) I beat my athletic 15 year old nephew by more than 3 minutes. He led the entire run/hike until the end when I left him in the dust after he ran out of steam. He had the speed, I had the stamina - just like McDougall presents it in his book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars running-yes, Tarahumara-?, August 18, 2009
    I am not a runner, but I did find the running portions of the book interesting. However, the parts about the Tarahumara people was another example of outsiders glorifying one portion of a peoples' lives and ignoring or not reporting correctly the rest.
    I lived on the western edge of the Copper Canyon for five years amongst the Tarahumara. They are amazing runners! I had the privilege of watching not the long races, but the shorter 5 to 10 mile ball races in which the men split into usually two groups of about 4. They take turns kicking a wooden ball to a designated spot then return. Bets are placed on the runners and teams. Women also have a races. The races can take hours and the teams are very soon lost to sight, but the crowd stays put and waits. Bets range from chickens to tesguino #homemade corn alcohol# parties #the later being far more popular#.
    However, though the races are exciting, they are only one small highlight in the often miserable lives the Tarahumara live. One review used the word frugal in relation to the Tarahumara. I rarely have seen a word used so wrongly. Most live in extremely small homes built of logs or planks, while the more remote live in small caves. They have nearly as close to nothing as humans can get. This is NOT by choice; they are desperately poor. Often men will commit crimes so that they can be put in the small town jails where they receive a blanket, clothing, and regular meals #once a day of usually beans and corn tortillas#. The people try to grow corn #not sweet#, beans and squash, but the terrain is rocky and steep, and the dirt is poor for crops. Most must apply fertilizers they receive on a debt schedule from the government. Though many have goats, these are not for eating, they are instead used for fertilizer. If a goat dies, then it gets eaten. The list of privations is long and sad, especially concerning the children #an area of Tarahumara life that is often far from glorious#. And they are vicitims of drug growers, just not always how we think of victims.
    My criticism is not of Mr. McDougall's admiration for the Tarahumara runners because he is correct: they are fantastic runners. My hope, however, is that people will see far more than just the running.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not just for runners, May 23, 2009
    When have you seen a book with this many reviews and none below 5 stars? You know what this book is about from the other descriptions and reviews. Here's how I feel about it. This is the first time I've reviewed a book on and it's the first thing I wanted to do when I finished the book ten minutes ago. The second thing I will do is email many of my friends to urge them to get the book. I will NOT loan them my copy! My wife will be reading it next, though I interrupted her so many times to read portions of it that she is already thinking of people to tell about it.
    I've been a serious runner (sometimes more/often less) for 40 years and have read countless articles and books about running. This is the best. It satisfied my running soul and my academic mind. I couldn't wait to finish it and I didn't want it to end.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Strong finish, just like a great marathoner, August 23, 2009
    If you'd asked me for a review halfway through this book, I would have said that it was pretty good, but it was also annoying. I enjoyed the travel adventure aspect and the and sociology study of the Tarahumara people of Mexico, but I was annoyed by the author's hipster language and gung-ho, X-games style. (I find that type of writing to be designed to make you feel guilty that you're not as cool or fearless; but I always think, well, how does this guy's wife and two kids feel when he leaves for 5 weeks to go on an adventure for an article?)

    But at some point, the author found his stride (or perhaps I found a way to match his stride), and I was hooked. McDougall has a fantastic finishing kick, in the sense of tieing things together. He wraps up disparate ideas from sociology, history, biology, modern athletic competition, nutrition, and X-games type partying into one satisfying whole. And, contrary to making me jealous, the book potentially will change my life. I'm starting to work on the running style that he advocates, and I hope that it will reduce or eliminate the persistent heel pain I've had for more than 5 years.

    McDougall, is an established freelance writer who's not afraid of challenges (war reporting, X-games types of adventures, etc.). He's not your average guy, despite his effort to portray himself as such. But the one nagging thing for him is that he's been unable to become a decent distance runner despite years of effort, expensive equipment, and the help of a multitude of doctors, massagers, and physical therapists. At the point of his worst failure, he decides to find out if a radically different type of running style will give him the breakthrough that he is seeking.

    And thus, McDougall goes in search of the Tarahumara, "tribes" of natives who live in the Copper Canyon region of Mexico. Living in an extremely harsh environment and desperate to hide from centuries of human predators (conquistadores, Mexican government, drug smugglers), the Tarahumara have developed super-human abilities to run long distances in the heat and without much water or food. Are they just rumor, in the same way as the legendary running monks and other endurance specialists? McDougall sets out to find out if they exist, and then if they have learned techniques that can be translated to the lifestyles of the rest of us.

    The descriptions of wandering around Tarahumara territory are fascinating. The land is a bunch of dirt trails and shantytowns of 5-20 buildings, set impossibly deeply in canyons and almost invisible from 50 yards away. But with the help of an American, Micah True, who's refashioned himself as Caballo Blanco and become a part of the Tarahumara community, McDougall gets to meet some runners and see them in action. He's convinced that they are doing things differently, and he agrees to help Caballo Blanco by publicizing Caballo's dream of a race between the Tarahumura and the world's best distance runners. Actually, the Tarahmuara have raced -- and won -- ultramarathons throughout the US West; but Caballo's idea is to bring the modern world's runners down to Tarahumara territory instead.

    As we build towards the race, McDougall explains how the Tarahumara run: literally. The Tarahumara run in homemade sandals from discarded tires, and they can go 50, 60, 100 miles a day over unforgiving terrain. The different is that they move differently than those of us who use highly padded running shoes. They use their whole feet and their legs to absorb impact, rather than landing on their heels. Apparently, our high-tech shoes have made our arches soft, which has then pressured our Achilles, calves, ankles, etc., and that's why so many of us distance runners have chronic injuries.

    In exploring this difference, McDougall gives us quick history and biology lessons, covering evolution, the Olympics, and utra-distance running. It's great stuff. And he introduces us to Scott Jurek, perhaps the world's most accomplished ultra runner, and a never-quit guy; up-and-comers Jenn Shelton and Billy Barnett, two surfer-hipsters who eschewed proper food and normal training; Dr. Joe Vigil, an elite running coach who also believed in the innovations of the Tarahumara; and Rick Fischer, a runner and entrepreneur who first brought the Tarahumara out of the Canyon. Other characters abound, too.

    It all comes together unforgettably on the road trip down the Canyon, complete with near-death experiences, warm cultural exchanges, and the ultimate respect that world-class athletes have for each other.

    And if this book has exposed me to a running style that will reduce my pain, then it will literally change my life. How often can you say that about a book?

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Run Revolution is BORN, May 17, 2009
    There is no confusing the message of this book and it starts with the title. It is a message of adventure, inspiration, hope, revelation, and living your life unconditionally. If you are a runner, you will want to read this book so slowly, not wanting it to end. And, you will most likely be wanting to head out for a run after each chapter anyway. If you are a frustrated runner with injuries or a beginning runner, this book gives you HOPE and possibility. Quite simply, McDougall lays the foundation of how we were all Born to Run and tells you why we "should" be running.

    Most of all, this book leaves a lasting "runners high" for runners and non-runners alike. This is a story about following your passion and how powerful self belief can be.

    We are all born to run, but maybe even more important, we are born to be individuals, and McDougall is masterful at taking a true running adventure with real characters and illustrates how powerful running can be to life, and how powerful life can be to running.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read, September 20, 2009
    One of my favorite things about Born to Run is how the author explores several technical myths (mostly perpetuated by athletics companies) about exactly what you need to do in order to be a great distance runner, and dispels them.
    I've been a casual runner ever since my late teens, but I've never been able to get beyond the 8-mile mark due to some knee and hip problems. Information in this book led me to restructure my form and diet after a long break from running, and now I'm doing 6 miles a couple times a week and my old joint issues haven't so much as reared their heads. I'm training for my first half-marathon in November, and I plan on doing a full one soon thereafter if all goes well.

    But the technical stuff only occupies the smallest percentage of what this book is all about, and isn't the best reason to check it out. Not by a long shot.

    Born to Run is, at it's heart, an adventure story. It's hard to imagine a book about distance running being very exciting, but Christopher McDougall's (completely true) account is full of so much action, it could be made into a Hollywood blockbuster. From his surprisingly dynamic and exciting descriptions of the few footraces he chronicles in the book, to the close-call brushes with death the characters must face (among them some chilling encounters with territorial drug traffickers), this book is as entertaining as any novel I've ever read. Near the end of the book when the author describes the race mentioned in the title, I swear it was like watching Top Gun for the first time when I was a kid.

    And yet that's not all this book has to offer.

    Born to Run has the power not only to make you love running, but to spark in you a greater love for being human and humanity as a whole. McDougall makes an extremely powerful case for several novel ideas, among them that the ability to run for extremely long distances (a very unique ability in the animal kingdom, and indeed the major one that sets us apart from other creatures, second only to our intellect in importance) was the primary reason for our species' success in it's earliest infancy. He also suggests to us that because running is so intimately tied to our survival as a species, it is also intimately tied to our most important emotion for survival: Love. Love is by far the biggest theme evident in this book, and it doesn't seem at all like a coincidence that it shines through to an amazing degree in the personalities of each and every one of the athletes mentioned. Love of life, love of running, love of others, love of self.

    To sum it all up, this is a truly three-dimensional work of literature that had a profound effect on me. Intellectually, it changed the way I think about the human race, our origins, and our place in the world. Physically, it gave me information that allowed me to improve my performance as a runner and aim higher as an athlete. And spiritually, it reinforced the lessons of unity, compassion, peace, and brotherhood that great men and women have been trying to teach us for thousands of years which still, somehow, get pushed to the wayside when we look for the easy way out.

    Best $20 I ever spent.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, May 12, 2009
    I am not a runner, but I want to become one now. I picked this book up not as a fan of ultra distance running- I had always considered ultra distance runners as masochistic freaks driven by the runners high as their body tries to cope with this grueling activity that they were never meant to do. After reading this book, I still think ultra distance runners are freaks, but not masochistic ones. They are freaks because they are some of the few who understand that man was designed to run, and run long distances. The book centers around trying to unearth the secret of the Tarahumara Indians- how are they able to run long distances on insufficient nutrition on bad terrain with little foot protection without injury? While doing this, McDougall winds through the entertaining history of ultra running and its quirky athletes along with scientific evidence for the health benefits of endurance running, and barefoot endurance running in particular. This book is funny, mesmerizing, thought-provoking, and, if you thought you were not cut for running, may make you give it another go. Highly recommended. ... Read more

    5. The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy
    by Bill Simmons
    list price: $18.00 -- our price: $10.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0345520106
    Publisher: ESPN
    Sales Rank: 70
    Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Foreword by Malcolm Gladwell
    Newly updated with fresh takes on LeBron, Kobe, the Celtics & more*
    *Including even more footnotes!

    Bill Simmons, the wildly opinionated and thoroughly entertaining hoops addict known to millions as’s Sports Guy, has written the definitive book on the past, present, and future of the NBA. From the age-old question of who actually won the rivalry between Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain to the one about which team was truly the best of all time, Simmons opens—and then closes, once and for all—every major pro basketball debate. Then he takes it further by completely reevaluating not only how NBA Hall of Fame inductees should be chosen but how the institution must be reshaped from the ground up, the result being the Pyramid: Simmons’s one-of-a-kind five-level shrine to the ninety-six greatest players in the history of pro basketball. And ultimately he takes fans to the heart of it all, as he uses a conversation with one NBA great to uncover that coveted thing: The Secret of Basketball.

    Comprehensive, authoritative, controversial, hilarious, and impossible to put down (even for Celtic-haters), The Book of Basketball offers every hardwood fan a courtside seat beside the game’s finest, funniest, and fiercest chronicler.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, absurd amount of information, October 27, 2009
    I need to preface this by saying that I've been reading Bill Simmons for over 8 years now, before the fame, before the podcasts and almost frightening fan following.I've seen him mature from the old Boston Sports Guy to this all-media presence now, and in the process, his writing has greatly improved. The culmination of such an improvement is this wonderful book, "The Book of Basketball".

    I managed to get an early copy of this book, and spent the next 48 hours plowing through it as fast as I could. It's very clear that Simmons put everything he had into the book. There aren't a lot of loose words around. Even the genitalia jokes are well-constructed. Yes, it's pretty good.

    The basis of this book is determining who mattered in the NBA. Which teams, players, coaches, etc. played the biggest role in getting us to where we are today, in shaping our perception of what it takes to win in the NBA, and how we remember different players and events. It's very interesting to see him go back into the 60s and 70s and try to write about Walton, Russell, and Chamberlain and how they were perceived then, and try to get to see what forces created and changed that perception. This is ultimately what the book is all about. It reads almost like a history of the NBA, in a very easy-to-read style.

    My personal favorites are his ABA pieces. Not nearly enough has been written about this crazy league, and Simmons did a very good job looking at just how things broke down, at what could have been, and how the ABA led to many fundamental changes in the NBA itself.

    Finally, this is definitely a book for the NBA junkie. It's comic style and easy-to-read writing style does make it accessible to those with only mild-to-intermediate interest in the NBA, but at its core, it's for the junkies who want to fill up with as much NBA knowledge as possible. It's a great book, and for its price (as of October 27, 2009), a great deal.

    4-0 out of 5 stars buy the dead tree edition instead of the Kindle edition, October 28, 2009
    (10/28) Still working my way through it, but here are my impressions so far:

    (1) Buy the dead tree version even if you have a Kindle. Simmons buries an absurd amount of information in the footnotes, a lot more than just citations. They're set up as endnotes at the end of each chapter, which is awkward for Kindle users. The footnotes are almost like one of those extra audio tracks in a DVD where the director provides running commentary on a film; for better or worse, you're missing out on a lot if you skip the footnotes. Why he thought this was a good way to write a book is beyond me. But you're going to want to read the footnotes.

    (2) if you bet "under 1.5" as the first chapter in which an NBA moment is compared to a scene in Shawshank Redemption, you covered.

    (3) if this book had an MPAA rating, it would be rated R. He says things that he could never get away with in his ESPN columns. For example, he refers to going off birth control as "pulling the goalie" and calls the Hawks' selection of Marvin Williams in the 2005 draft (instead of Chris Paul or Deron Williams) "an Aretha Franklin sized mistake."

    (4) I've probably read half a dozen different "Wilt or Russell?" articles over the years, and Simmons' handling of the debate is probably the best one.

    Will update in coming days.

    Update (11/3): Man Reads Entire Book of Basketball -- And Lives!

    If the Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract is the '86 Celtics of sports history books -- a timeless classic that could succeed in any era -- then TBOB is the '79 Sonics: a championship team but not one that will be remembered forever, and one that could probably only have won a championship in its own time. Why does TBOB fall short of the absolute pinnacle? Is it because of the salty language? (No; recall that James' entry on Don Mattingly in the Abstract is "100% ballplayer, 0% bulls&%$.") Is it because Simmons can barely contain his disdain for players like Kareem and Laimbeer? (Again, no; James can barely contain his disdain for Rogers Hornsby, Dick Allen, Maury Wills, etc.) Is it the fact that the book contains some post-consumer content (e.g. the entry on Pete Maravich is basically lifted directly from an [...] column he wrote about Pistol a few years back?) Again, James recycled old material for the Abstract, so that's not it. Ultimately it's the endless barrage of throwaway pop culture references that is going to make this book feel dated quickly (people might still remember Teen Wolf or Rocky IV in ten years, but is anybody going to care about Keeping Up With the Kardashians in 2019?)

    All told, this book has freakish athleticism, jumpability, length, and tremendous upside.

    3-0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars. Would have been twice as good at half the length., November 11, 2009
    If you know who the Sports Guy is, then you know what this book is like. I enjoyed it well enough, but by the end it got a bit tiresome. I've got no problem with 700-page books, but I can do without a 700-page book that recycles the same gags over and over and over (and over) again.

    The positive side is that it's a fun ride and an easy read; there's a ton of info about the NBA and players who should be remembered; and Simmons' love of the game leaps off of the page.

    The negative side is that there's a lot of padding, a lot of opinion presented as fact, and a whole lot of pseudo-statistics that are less convincing the more you think about them.* Editors are your friends, Simmons. You don't use the verb "sauntered" twice in three pages. The game is Bid Whist, not Bid Wist. You can't use your own "Trade Value" columns as independent evidence to support your own opinions. And "infinitely better" does not mean the same thing as "a lot better."

    If Simmons had taken his best 400 pages this would have been a really great book. But he didn't. But if you like Simmons you'll like this. Buy it and read it like he recommends: dip into it for 50 pages, then walk away for a while. Because it's kind of like eating Halloween candy - enjoyable at the moment, but if you do it for too long you get sick of it.

    *(My favorite is the table comparing performances for two guards from ages 22 through 24. Except for Allen Iverson he makes the "executive decision" to show ages 23-25 because AI "spent five months in jail and missed his senior year in high school." Yeah...that's not really how stats work. You can't just toss the numbers you don't like and pick the ones that support your argument. Well, obviously you CAN, but that's cherry-picking, not statistics.)

    3-0 out of 5 stars For better of worse, reads like a typical Simmons column..., December 9, 2009
    I've been reading Simmons on [...] for some time now. His columns have often provided me comic relief during a taxing work day or a grueling law school class. However, his columns are just that -- brief and instant gratification. The problem with this book is that it reads like a series of hundreds of mini-Simmons columns. At times, his grasp of the subject matter and eloquence in describing it shines through (for instance -- the Wilt v. Russell debate, his childhood Celtics memories, and his excerpt on Elgin Baylor), but more often than not, any given passage of the book reads like a shoddily put together column. The book is replete with cocaine and porn jokes, as well as references to obscure movies that only a limited cohort of his readers can comprehend. Furthermore, it is altogether too clear when Simmons is discussing an era or player that is foreign to his own experience. Take his section on the history of the NBA: it literally reads like a summary of 5-10 books that other people have written -- Simmons' only contribution to this section is, well, typical Simmons-column language (i.e., "X player ACTUALLY didn't do that, but wouldn't it be crazy if he did??"). Additionally, the book is unfortunately filled with several typos (numbers, years, improper tenses) -- I myself noticed nearly 10. All that being said, I think it's worth a read -- any dedicated NBA fan can certainly appreciate portions of the book. Just know going in that a significant portion of the book is terribly biased -- at times it just seems like Simmons is way in over his head.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Decent but imperfect, November 30, 2009
    Overall it's hard to bag on this book since I enjoyed reading it and kept my interest. But objectively it had a ton of flaws. It felt disjointed...when I got to certain players in his Hall of Fame list I had already heard a ton about them from his MVP and what-if section. I wonder if the book would have worked better going in chronological order of the league as I kept forgetting who won what in the late 1960s and which guys were overrated. He also repeats the same jokes over and over with too many porn references and too many "____ was a name that could have only existed in the 50s!!" or jokes about smoking cigarettes or drinking scotch.

    There's a good book in here as the author is truly passionate about the game and does a nice job balancing historical statistics with how piers felt about the players and the true legacy. But this isn't the Bill James version of a basketball book as a lot of the "statistical" breakdowns are overly simplistic. And I think this is where the book fails to be a true's an enjoyable read but that's about it as I can't take a lot of the analysis seriously.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Informative but poorly written, November 12, 2009
    I have been reading Bill Simmons work since his Sports Guy website (about 9 years now) and have always been a huge fan. I've seen a decline in his writing in recent years, but I always assumed that was because ESPN was "holding him back", however I think this book pretty much solidifies his writing for me.

    This book could have been something different. He could have written from his perspective as a viewer watching all those Celtics game as a young kid or focus on an era. Instead, he tried to write about everything about basketball. He could write a 10 part series and still wouldn't be enough.

    Bill also references a lot of books that influenced him. You figure he would have at least attempted to write a book instead of just a 700-page ESPN column. This was probably my biggest gripe. There was no attempt whatsoever and along with those endless footnotes, it completely ruins the flow of reading a book. Part of me believes Bill wrote it this way because that is how he got to this point in the first place. Why try to write like someone else? I feel like Bill is smart enough to make some attempt and put a good piece of literature together.

    The way I see this book is like Hollywood adapting a novel into a movie. They'll have to strip a lot of details and parts in a book and cram it into a 2 hour film. This works brilliantly sometimes, but many times, it doesn't work. This book to me is the Hollywood version of a book.

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's great to see him grow from a self-made website to #1 on NYTimes best seller and I will continue to read his columns, listen to his podcasts, and read his tweets. He's entertaining and I think that is part of the problem with this book. I am just trying to give my unbiased opinion on the book. I've learned a lot about the history of basketball from this book and I've learned a lot from Bill, not just in sports, but as a thinker - I just wish he could have written it better.

    2-0 out of 5 stars The book needed an editor., December 4, 2009
    Thoughts (Simmons style):

    Simmons must have hired John Iriving's editor to edit this book... and that's not a complement. What was the point of the Grumpy Old Editor? To not edit?

    I think this is the world longest coffee table book.

    The Most Valuable Chapter? Why was this in the book? This was excruciating to read...

    Over all, it's hard to disagree with where Simmons ranked everyone. The only WTF ranking I saw was Garnett over Isiah and Pippen. But everything else is nitpicking.

    I'm not sure I needed a few thousand words about how Simmons once sat next to Jordan at a resturant. Actually, I'm positive.

    Again, the editing of this book killed my rating of it. Stories are told twice, footnotes are repeated, guys are mislabeled or represented... crappy editing that absolutely killed this book. When talking about the '83 Philadelphia 76ers, when mentioning who they lose to in the playoffs next year, it says Philly in five. Apperently Vancouver and Minnesota entered the league at the same time (they didn't, Toronto and Vancouver did). These mistakes happen all the time. I know mistakes are made in a 700 page book, I expect three or five things to get past people... but twenty-five or more?

    Most annoying aspect of the Book of Basketball? When Simmons starts out with quote from a former player (say Bill Bradley) discussing another player (random 70s player). Simmons tells us that this PERFECTLY describes random 70s player... and then Bill spends a few thousand words discussing random 70s player. 'hey look, I know that Bill Bradley just totally nailed Jerry West, but I'm going to lob on an extra 2,900 words to hammer home my own views on a guy I never saw play and as I said, is perfectly described by what Bill Bradley said already!'

    Finally, I should say, Simmons' passion and love of basketball comes though and his endearing style makes the book hard to hate. But the flaws are too great to over come what should have been a fantastic book. The book wasn't a history of basketball as much as a review of the games great players and a few teams. I can't help but think that a "Fever Pitch" type book where Bill discusses his love for the Celtics would have been a trillion times better. I know Bill has said that this is the best book he'll ever write... but he's setting the bar far too low.

    3-0 out of 5 stars It's entertainment, and not for the Kindle., December 2, 2009
    Bill Simmons writes the most entertaining sports column on the internet, and his podcasts are lively and fun. His book is an exhaustive foray into a sport he feels passionate about, and his writing reflects his love for basketball. He does not come across as the foremost authority, but instead as a fan who thinks about things like "Pantheons" and ranking players by their abilities and impact on the game. I found myself frustrated by the Kindle version for not being able to skip forward to find out who ranked #1 in his list of best players, and I say that as a compliment. However, I feel that sometimes his love for the Celtics clouds his judgment at times (KG that high? Really?) but as any sports fan who sometimes takes things too seriously, this is entirely understandable, and ultimately forgivable. The Kindle version gets a lower mark due to the inability to readily access footnotes, which makes Bill's book unique, and takes the fun out of reading it. As a previous reviewer stated, buy the dead tree version.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Lenthy...but where's the meat?, December 1, 2009
    "The Book of Basketball" is certainly long but I found author Simmons lack of in depth knowledge of the game disappointing. The one facet of this book that sticks out to me is that it is a fan's guide to the game, and as such, I could have written a similar book: Would I want someone to read 700 plus pages of my own ramblings about the game that admittedly I love so much? Not sure.

    Simmons is not an insider. He is just a guy who has always loved basketball. But he possesses no special knowledge or understanding of the NBA, having never coached, played, or even covered the league. Again, the thought I kept having is that, "I could have written this book!"

    I would tell any serious readers of sports lit to read "Breaks of the Game" or "Heaven is a Playground" or any of dozens of books on the game before diving into "TBOB." I can recommend it to fans of Simmons (and there certainly are plenty of those) but not to serious fans of the game of basketball.

    2-0 out of 5 stars The Bloated Book of Basketball, January 19, 2010
    I thought I would enjoy this book, as I did Simmons's 'Now I Can Die in Peace'. After a promising introduction, it goes downhill. I lost track of how many times Simmons has to remind the reader Wilt was in it for the records... 4 times? 5? This book could have used a good editor, someone who would have said, "Bill, trees don't need to die for this." My editing technique was to say the hell with this and bring it back to the library.
    As for the author photo, it was the first time I wished I could have reached out and smacked the author. ... Read more

    6. Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity
    by Drew Brees
    Hardcover (2010-06-24)
    list price: $26.99 -- our price: $15.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1414339437
    Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
    Sales Rank: 218
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    When a potentially career-ending shoulder injury left quarterback Drew Brees without a team—and facing the daunting task of having to learn to throw a football all over again—coaches around the NFL wondered, Will he ever come back? After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, leaving more than 80 percent of the city underwater, many wondered, Will the city ever come back? And with their stadium transformed into a makeshift refugee camp, forcing the Saints to play their entire 2005 season on the road, people questioned, Will the Saints ever come back? It takes a special person to turn adversity into success and despair into hope—yet that is exactly what Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees has done—and with the weight of an entire city on his shoulders. Coming Back Stronger is the ultimate comeback story, not only of one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks, but also of a city and a team that many had all but given up on. Brees’s inspiring message of hope and encouragement proves that with enough faith, determination, and heart, you can overcome any obstacle life throws your way and not only come back, but come back stronger. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Great for teens and sports fans
    Just read this book today and wanted to quickly share a "two thumbs up." This is the inspiring true story of Drew Brees' life, including being injured and having a comeback in professional football. Not to reveal the whole story, it is inspiring and involves a lot of courage and stamina on Brees' part as he faces challenges throughout his life, including a lengthy physical rehabilitation. The book is current and tells of the ups and downs, laughter and tears, victories and defeats of his life. Very interesting read for sports fans, and terrific read for teens whether they follow him or not. I have a couple of teen boys in mind who will love receiving this for a gift. I know teens aren't always keen on reading about adversity, but it's a great reality check and good book for conversations over dinner or a campfire.

    If you want to read about a positive example, role model, mentor, or hero for young men today, Drew Brees is a great one!

    one quick correction: the audio version is read by Chris Fabry and would be terrific for a car trip/vacation)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Real Treasure!
    This is an enlightening well-written book for anyone! One lives through some days of adversity with Drew from a high school injury, college, draft, and the San Diego injury. These moments all played a role in preparing for his opportunity to play for the Saints. I began to see how his attitude, focus, preparation and team spirit has brought him to where he is today. I've been drawn to Brittany as I've seen her on television and was happy to see how much credit she is given as part of this story of success. This is definitely a very special family! Some incidents were quite amusing when the "idiot quarterback" at Purdue meets Brittany and his first thought is "I'm going to marry her" and she won't even talk to him and for good reason as Drew freely admits. I laughed out loud when Drew six months later is trying to get acquainted with Brittany and offered to drive her home in her car with a stick shift. Also special were Drew and his brother Reid as kids, the birth and naming of Baylen, and the weeks in the New Orleans home with a mattress on the floor and two camping chairs to sit in at night. We've all taken a turn at "camping in" in an empty home but it was just surprizing to see one additional revelation I could strongly identify with in the book. Finally reading about their Foundation and the enormous accomplishments to help others - children with cancer, schools and parks in New Orleans, Purdue Sports and the other ways Drew has helped in the community and supported our military. Adversity knocks on everyone's door and Drew offers some great advice on how to get yourself through it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars great story, great guy
    already liked Brees - this just reenforces my belief that he is a stand-up guy. wish we had more athletes like him for our kids (and us) to look up to.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Role Model for the New Era
    I live in Northeastern Ohio but have been a Saints fan since the "Dome Patrol" Era in the late 80s. I have always been my own man and I did not want to be like my father and like the teams he liked (he is a Browns fan). Fast forward to this past year. We (as in the Saints) won the Super Bowl and The Browns are looking for their first trip.

    When I was exercising at my local Natatorium and saw the interview with Drew Brees about his book, I knew that was my Summer read. Right before my family went to Canada for vacation, I got the book and in record time, finished it in 3 days.

    I didn't know much about Drew Brees up until his injury. I knew he played for the Chargers and that he was a decent Quarterback hidden in the shadows of Tomlinson at the time. When Katrina hit the Gulf and destroyed New Orleans, I was scared for the team and the 3-13 record reflected that. I loved Drew's upbringing, his discussion of his birthmark, his college days, the passion he had for winning and the struggles to not only impress his wife Brittany but to impress the Saints and the people of New Orleans. One negative side was that he had his team chants in there. The entire 2009 season people wanted to know what that was and he always told them that it was a team thing and he would not disclose it. Now, if other teams wanted to use it, they can since it is spelled out in the book. Although I wanted to know what they said, I think that he gave away a part of their success in the book.

    The progress of success continues throughout the book and his faith maintained as well. I am always a little skeptic when reading about someone's faith because it turns into preaching and it is always forced. Drew never did this. He told about how faithful he was to his religion and that he always knew he was destined for something through God's will. In the end, he His love for his faith, wife, team, city, child culminated in Superbowl 44. Even after the climax of the Superbowl, Drew gives one more surprise at the ending and it gave me tears in my eyes because how similar his life and mine are in regards to his thoughts on his family.

    I completely recommend this to any sports fan even if you are not a fan of the Saints. In a world of sports stars who are using PEDs, involved in scandals, always surrounded by shootings, robberies and drugs, Drew Brees is a role model for anyone and I truly wish there were more sports figures out there like him. After you read this, you will be in complete agreement with me.


    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read and Inspiring Story
    Few books can both inspire and entertain at high levels, but I found Drew's book to be one of those rare exceptions.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great man, a great book.
    This book was written beautifully, from the beginning when Drew painfully describes his near career ending shoulder injury, it feels like you were feeling it yourself. I also enjoyed his sweet story of meeting Brittany and his determination to show her the real Drew. But what really affected me was (and I don't know how I could have missed this when it happened)his realization of his mother's suicide, so sad and shocking. I love that throughout the book he very much defines what faith is through his actions and his openness to let God guide him. I have met Drew and Brittany and Baylen several times and they really are such a humble, giving and loving family. The impact they have had on New Orleans can never be overstated. Now everyone can know how truly great the man is with this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Brees!
    I loved this book! Drew Brees believes that everyone has a purpose in life and that we should all live up to our potential. He expresses his faith throughout the book. Drew Brees takes you on a journey through his life which led up to the defining moment of winning the Super Bowl and receiving the blessings from the people of New Orleans, Louisiana, and the rest of us WHO DAT NATION around the world! It is an easy, enjoyable read for anyone who loves the SAINTS or for anyone who can appreciate an athelete doing something worthwhile with the talents they have been given.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Relaxing Read...
    Enjoyed the book. Nice to hear from football star that isn't selfish. He had to overcome many odds to achieve his dream. It is a valuable lesson to everyone. We learn more through our failures and trials.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond Awesome and Inspirational
    I have been a New Orleans fan for the entire existence of the team first watching the games as a little girl when my father would watch them on Sunday. I attend all Saints home games and as many away games as possible. I originally purchased the book because of my devotion as a Saints fan but was pleasantly surprised to learn that the book was so much more than another tome about football. To say that COMING BACK STRONGER is an inspirational book about the courage it takes to wade through everyday life is a gross understatement. I have already recommended this book to several people and will definitely recommend it to my eighth grade students. My favorite quote from the book, and a wonderful testament to the kind of person Drew Brees is, appears in the acknowledgements: "And last but certainly not least, I would like to thank the city of New Orleans for embracing me at a time when I needed it most. You saved me." And Saints fans thought he saved us!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book by an excellent person
    What an incredible book. I have been a Drew Brees fan since he first stepped foot on the field for Purdue. This is an incredibly well-written and well-detailed account of the different points of adversity he has had to overcome in his life. I've met Drew a few times, and let me tell you, he is just about the nicest and most personable man in such a high position that you could ever meet. He has a chapter in the book titled "A Few Good Men" and in the chapter he explains how one day at church as a teenager he was listening to a pastor talking about how God wants 'a few good men' to "carry on his teachings and walk the walk with Christ." I can honestly say that Drew is certainly one of "A Few Good Men", not only in athletics but in the world today. The book is a must-have, whether you are a sports fan or not.

    Oh, and I got my copy autographed today at his book signing at Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana. :D

    Drew, you're the best! ... Read more

    7. The Dangerous Book for Boys
    by Conn Iggulden, Hal Iggulden
    list price: $26.95 -- our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0061243582
    Publisher: William Morrow
    Sales Rank: 244
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The bestselling book for every boy from eight to eighty, covering essential boyhood skills such as building tree houses, learning how to fish, finding true north, and even answering the age old question of what the big deal with girls is.

    In this digital age there is still a place for knots, skimming stones and stories of incredible courage. This book recaptures Sunday afternoons, stimulates curiosity, and makes for great father-son activities. The brothers Conn and Hal have put together a wonderful collection of all things that make being young or young at heart fun--building go-carts and electromagnets, identifying insects and spiders, and flying the world's best paper airplanes.

    The completely revised American Edition includes:

    The Greatest Paper Airplane in the World
    The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
    The Five Knots Every Boy Should Know
    Building a Treehouse
    Making a Bow and Arrow
    Fishing (revised with US Fish)
    Timers and Tripwires
    Baseball's "Most Valuable Players"
    Famous Battles-Including Lexington and Concord, The Alamo, and Gettysburg
    Spies-Codes and Ciphers
    Making a Go-Cart
    Navajo Code Talkers' Dictionary
    Cloud Formations
    The States of the U.S.
    Mountains of the U.S.
    The Declaration of Independence
    Skimming Stones
    Making a Periscope
    The Ten Commandments
    Common US Trees
    Timeline of American History

    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars My 6 year old went nuts for it., May 15, 2007
    I bought this book after seeing the author on the Colbert show (or was it the Daily Show?). I loved the idea of the book and ordered it from Amazon immediately.

    On arrival if found it exceeds my expectation. It reminds me a lot of the Popular Mechanics books from the 30's & 40's that I found in my grandmothers attic when I was a kid.

    The style is archaic, which is part of the charm. My 6 year old son, who really isn't into "chapter books", went nuts for this book. I think this mostly had to do with the title, but as we scanned each chapter together he seemed to get more and more excited.

    Before his bed time we read "coin tricks", "Girls" and he started planning how to get the badges found in the back of the book. He managed to learn the "French Drop" and proceeded to show everyone his new trick. Tomorrow he wants to hear about hunting and cooking rabbits.

    My wife was a bit nervous about the book, especially after seeing the section on hunting and cooking a rabbit. But I think she liked the section on "Girls" and she realizes that this book is targeted to boys, not Moms.

    It's definitely a hit. I will be reading chapters out of it to my son for some time to come. But I don't mind and will probably learn a thing or two myself.


    It's more than a year later. The book is dog-eared, dirty and worn but my (now) 7 year old still reads and loves this book. I doubt there is a better review you can get from a 7 year old.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Breath of Fresh Air, May 30, 2007
    I have been thoroughly enjoying the book, as has my son and thousands of boys (and dads!) in Great Britain and the US. What is it about this book that brings such excitement to so many?

    If I had to offer my opinion, I would say that the appeal of this book is that it does not ask any boy to apologize for being a boy. Our culture is infested with the demand that boys forgo their God given call to grow up to be men, largely because we have adopted an unhealthy view of just what a man is. Whether our example be found in Homer Simpson, Ray Romano or the dad on Family Guy, men are portrayed as selfish imbeciles in a large portion of the media. Women are shown to be compassionate and intelligent, and they are usually given the role of the one who fixes the problems created by men. I have no doubt that most women are compassionate and intelligent, but the common negative portrayal of men is presented far too often, and frankly I'm tired of it.

    This book has a different take on what it means to be a boy, which is important because boys grow up to be men. From a biblical standpoint, men are meant to lead their families and churches by serving them. Where can you find such a concept on the television? You can't. This is yet another reason to get this book in the hands of a boy and his dad and get them outside to explore the world, whether that be an excursion in the woods or even just in the back yard. But how does this book portray a boy? What ideals are encouraged?

    I'm glad you asked.

    I simply cannot take this book section by section. There are instructions meant to get a boy started in tying knots, making a bow and arrow, fishing and many other activities. These are expected out of a book about being a boy. But included with such topics are other mini-chapters about the wonders of the world, grammar, historical battles, understanding latitude and longitude (something I never grasped in a classroom), the Declaration of Independence, poetry, Latin phrases, literature the Ten Commandments and also how to talk to girls.

    I mention talking to girls last, not because it is the last topic, but because I would like to highlight it for a moment. The first piece of advice about girls is to listen to them. The second is to avoid a long string of nervous jokes by listening to them. I'm sure that my wife wishes I had this book as a child! After this, romance is mentioned. Buying flowers is often not a good idea if you are young, because the girl will know your parents purchased them. I wouldn't have thought of that. Anonymous valentines are a good idea, due to the suspense the girl will have trying to figure out who's eye she has caught. Vulgarity of all forms is to be avoided at all costs. Respect for girls is given the utmost priority.

    Is this what is so dangerous about this book? Is it the high value the authors place upon girls or is it the very fact that they say that girls and boys are not identical? Is it the suggestion that every boy should have band-aids available for the inevitable mishap, because our bodies do heal? Or is it the way this book portrays a healthy boy in a way that expresses both a boy's natural desire for adventure and the ideal of respectfulness for others? I really can't say for sure.

    If I had to pick one way that this book is considered dangerous and why it has met some opposition, I would say that it is because The Dangerous Book for Boys resonates so well with dads who can only wish such a book was available to them when they were growing up, and because their sons by and large are reveling in the contemplation of spending Sunday afternoons and long summer days with their dads, rediscovering what it means to be a boy with their father acting as the primary instructor.

    I give this book my highest praise and encourage every dad to buy it for their sons. If you have a boy, you really need to get this book. If you don't have any boys, I'm sure you know somebody who does.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pride of Ownership, May 10, 2007
    Some books you hang onto because they are useful, or well written, or happy memories are associated with them. And then there are the select books that are so handsome, you keep them because of pride of ownership. THE DANGEROUS BOOK FOR BOYS is a keeper in all these categories. It is so durable and well designed, it is an absolute pleasure to hold and read.

    As to its actual contents, it sits at the pinnacle of nonfiction for early teen and 'tween boys, alongside The Big Book of Boy Stuff by, er, yours truly. Anyway, the chapters in DANGEROUS BOOK are a glorious, encyclopedic hodge-podge. They range from the historical ("The Golden Age of Piracy") to the esoteric ("Grinding an Italic Nib"!) to the quite daring ("Understanding Grammar").

    My kudos to the Brothers Iggulden for this retro look celebrating the secrets of boyhood. And again, neither gender nor age should restrict its readership; this book looks great sitting on anyone's nightstand.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's too dangerous!, June 13, 2007
    And great for it!

    It's dangerous because it brings back values from a time when personal responsibility was assumed, not assumed to be absent. Hunting with airguns is dangerous, but teaches that meat doesn't arrive on Earth wrapped in clear plastic. Anything to do with spies is dangerous, but codes and invisible inks are fun, can be used responsibly, and are an important part of history (n.b. the role of espionage in the American Revolution). Doing things with electricity like making batteries, electromagnets, and pocket lights is dangerous, but teaches some of fundements of the technologies that drive the modern world. Soccer is dangerous, I've seen kids break bones playing it, but it is good healthy fun, and the kids who broke bones openly and loudly resented having to sit out games while they recovered. Girls are dangerous in so many ways, but when treated with respect can make life better. Grammar is dangerous, especially in the hands of an attorney, but creates quite an advantage for those who master it.

    All these things and more are discussed, and alternatives to XBox, Gameboy, PlayStation, etc are offered. This book is incredibly dangerous to proponents of a 'managed society' where everyone is protected from everything, and everyone is free and happy in exactly the proscribed fashion. And I'm OK with this. Because "the Dangerous Book for Boys" also encourages responsibility, manners, education, self-reliance, creativity, and a host of other values that receive lip-service but little actual support in mainstream America.

    Several reviewers have expressed their displeasure with the phrase "for Boys". Get over it. Get some perspective; if this is the most important thing you can take a stand about, go visit a third world country and watch children walk half a mile for water every day. Who cares what it says on the cover? I bought it with a blond, blue-eyed, [...] girl in mind, and she loves it. If it is such a heartache to you, quit whining and write "The Dangerous Book for Girls" while my daughter reads this one.

    For the rest of y'all, get this for any boy or girl of any age. This book is excellent and an investment in the future.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Dangerous Book for Boys, June 16, 2006
    I bought this book for my nine year old nephew. When the box arrived and I opened it, the appearance of this book literally took my breath away. It is a large, beautifully fabric bound book with gold leaf lettering. Very retro and charming. Looks like it could have been pulled off of a bookshelf in the 40's. As I watched my nephew thumb through the chapters I saw and felt his excitement as he found sections on fossils, baseball, knots, bows and arrows, pirates and so much more. He is very excited to try everything he found!! I'm a woman in my 40's but I want a copy for MYSELF!!! Buy this'll be glad you did. Oh, and go ahead and get that extra copy for yourself while you're at it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If only..., May 1, 2007
    My mom wouldn't let me go to summer camp because she thought I would drown in a lake. Consequently, I couldn't use a power tool until I was twenty-five years old. And I still can't tie a decent knot. If only I'd had this book! Especially the chapter about girls. Absolutely crucial information for any boy and it's written by witty and learned authors. I've already bought a copy for my three-year-old son. N. Smith author of Stolen from Gypsies.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for moms of boys, April 18, 2007
    As a mom of two boys (who happened to grow up in a household with three sisters and no brothers), I needed this book. Sometimes I am at a loss over what skills to teach my boys. How to tie knots, play chess, shoot marbles, skim rocks, build a's all in here. With diagrams and sketches, the book feels like a manual you'll return to time and time again. It even includes poems every boy should know, such as Whitman and Frost. Would make a wonderful Mother's Day or Father's Day gift for parents of boys.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great book for bonding!, May 20, 2007
    I got this book for myself [mom of a girl] because I used to be quite a tomboy as a child and my daughter seems to be heading that way too:) But, I am planning to get this for my dad for Father's Day so he can try some of the skills in this book with my younger brother. Its a great an age where most kids' idea of fun is staying indoors and either being glued to the TV or playing video games, this is a timely reminder that the greatest joy in life is to exercise the mind and hands in healthy, intelligent, adventurous pursuits, preferably outdoors! The skills covered in this book are diverse in levels of difficulty, but all of them are unique and though some may seem quite dated , it is also refreshing to come across a few from my childhood days:) Highly recommended for the young and young-at-heart!And the lovely red cover with illustrations is an added bonus!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not just for boys and their fathers!, May 16, 2007
    I bought the UK version of this amazing book two years ago--and amazing it is! History, sport, battles, nature, girls, grooming, science, knots, magic tricks. . .it may *look* a bit nostalgic, but it's very, very applicable to every boy's life. . .and his mom's and his sister's, too. I loved, loved, loved this book (60 year-old-mother of a daughter here) and would give it 10 stars if allowed! Delight your boy--or girl--young or old--with this thrilling book! On my shelf right next to the Harry Potters and the Enid Blytons! ... Read more

    8. Indian Fairy Tales
    by N/A
    Kindle Edition
    list price: $0.00
    Asin: B000JQUSBQ
    Publisher: Public Domain Books
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Long Tales!, January 21, 2010
    This was a book of many wonderful Indian fairy tales. It includes tales both of a 'classical' fairy tale style and ones that are moralistic folktales instead. All are wonderful.

    Stories included are:

    The Lion and the Crane
    How the Raja's Son Won the Princess Labam
    The Lambikin
    The Broken Pot
    The Magic Fiddle
    The Cruel Crane Outwitted
    Loving Laili
    The Tiger, the Brahman and the Jackel
    The Soothsayer's Son
    The Charmed Ring
    The Talkative Tortoise
    A Lac of Rupees for a Bit of Advice
    The Gold-Giving Serpent
    The Son of Seven Queens
    A Lesson for Kings
    Pride Goeth Before a Fall
    Raja Rasalu
    The Ass in the Lion's Skin
    The Farmer and the Money Lender
    The Boy Who had a Moon on his Forehead...
    The Prince and the Fakir
    Why the Fish Laughed
    The Demon with the Matted Hair
    The Ivory City and its Fairy Princess
    How Sun, Moon and Wind Went Out to Dinner
    How the Wicked Sons were Duped
    The Pigeon and the Crow

    4-0 out of 5 stars Delightful stories that are similar to European tales, October 15, 2010
    There are twenty-nine stories in this collection. These Indian tales resemble the stories that flourished in Europe, such as the tales by the Brothers Grimm and by Aesop, although they have an Indian flavor. The collector of these stories contends that they are very old, older than the legends and folk-tales that later flourished in Europe. He believes that India was the originator of this genre and the stories were possibly brought to Europe by the crusaders or other travelers that passed through India.

    For example, the tale The Lion and the Crane is well-known. A lion was eating an animal when a bone got stuck in its throat. A crane offered to help if the lion promises not to eat it. The lion agrees. The crane protects itself by placing a stick in the lion's mouth to keep it open while he is inside the lion's mouth removing the bone. As soon as the crane removes the bone, it pushes out the stick and flies off to a high tree. Later, the crane asks the lion what the lion will give it for saving the lion's life. The lion responds that it already gave the crane a gift by not eating it. The Indian version ends by speaking about the transmigration of souls, a belief of many Indians. The lion and the crane were people in another life.

    How the Raja's Son Won the Princess Labam is another example of a familiar tale, although known in the west under other names. A prince goes in search for a beautiful princess. While journeying, he takes out his food and finds an ant in it. He places it on the ground for other ants to come and finish it. The ant Raja arrives and tells him that since he fed the ants, if he needs help in the future all he need do is think of them and they will come to help him. He leaves and continues searching for the princess. He comes across a tiger with a thorn in its paw. He helps the tiger who tells the prince that if he needs help in the future, he should think of him, and he and his wife will come and help him. The prince continues his search and comes across four fakirs with four magic items: a bag that give food whenever it is requested to do so, a bowl that offers water, a bed that flies and can take the prince where he wants to go, and a stick that will beat any group that tries to harm him. He takes the four items from the fakirs. He uses the bed to go to the princess. He uses the bag and bowl for food and drink. He then uses the ants and tigers and the bed when the princess' father insists that he performs tasks before he will give up his daughter. The final fourth task that the father insists that he perform is one that none of his friends or magical items can help him with. But the princess tells him how to do the task. The story ends by stating that the two lived happily and never needed to use the magic stick.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Written, July 15, 2010
    I love Indian Tales and this one was great. No Spoilers in my reviews. A great read for free!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Collection of Fairy Tales, December 9, 2010
    Fairy tales are usually thought of as children's literature, and in terms of how much children in particular are fascinated with them this categorization is not without a merit. However, most good fairy tales tap into some social or personal tension, a fact of life, or a natural phenomenon. They often take rather ordinary situations and push them to the limit of what our imagination considers plausible. Fairy tales are thus a form of reductio ad absurdum of common sense, and they often help us see various life situations in terms of their most basic principles. This is why fairy tales have had, and continue to have, a lot of fascination with adults as well.

    Most of us have grown up with fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen or Brothers Grimm. There is a sort of cannon of western fairy tales that have become part of the common patrimony of the entire world - Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Rapunzel, and many others. However, these fairy tales are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the European fairy tales, and the World literature is even more filled with beautiful, unusual and imaginative stories.

    This collection of the Indian fairy tales is as great of a collection of fairy tales as they come. It is rather fascinating to see that even thought many fairy tales reflect certain Indian cultural norms, the basic structure and the motifs are surprisingly familiar. We have villains and heroes charged with an unusual and demanding task, monsters and talking animals are everywhere, there are damsels-in-distress aplenty, and most tales take place "long, long, time ago." All of the tales are very well written and the language is crisp and contemporary. This collection will be a great source of enjoyment for children and adults alike. ... Read more

    9. Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
    by Jon Krakauer
    Paperback (2010-07-27)
    list price: $15.95 -- our price: $7.55
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 030738604X
    Publisher: Anchor
    Sales Rank: 287
    Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    This edition has been updated to reflect new developments and includes new material obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

    Pat Tillman walked away from a multimillion-dollar NFL contract to join the Army and became an icon of post-9/11 patriotism. When he was killed in Afghanistan two years later, a legend was born. But the real Pat Tillman was much more remarkable, and considerably more complicated than the public knew...

    A stunning account of a remarkable young man's heroic life and death, from the bestselling author of Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, and Under the Banner of Heaven.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars A book that changed my perspective.
    I was originally not very impressed by Pat Tillman's sacrifice. I believe our culture it too quick to call someone a hero. Most people use the expression to counterbalance their own insecurity of not serving in the military. After serving 6 years in the army including tours in Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq, I can honestly say I did not meet one hero--including myself. I now believe Pat Tillman's life was heroic. I say this because he was truly cognizant of America and its misgivings and yet he still willingly served. I did not become aware until about halfway through my tour in Iraq. Once I became aware, rage consumed me. Rage is a normal reaction when one realizes halfway through an act that what they are doing is morally reprehensible. Tillman could have easily escaped combat duty if he wanted. He refused to be used by the Bush regime and the military industrial complex, but still performed the duties that he believed to be right. I cannot express how unique of a person he was. He was a rarity in our world. The narrative on how the military brass and the Bush regime tried to use him and then cover up how he died made the rage come back all over again. I had to walk away from the book several times. The politics behind the story is vital to the context of the story. It's what makes him a tragic hero. A story that only romanticizes his sacrifice so we Americans can thump our chests in pride would be a disservice to his life. Those who are truly aware will appreciate this book. Those who wish to be in the dark will not.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's not just about Pat Tillman
    I don't typically write reviews, but I think a few points raised by other reviewers need to be addressed...

    First, Krakauer isn't just writing about Pat Tillman. He's also writing about Afghanistan. To suggest that Tillman's story could be told in a simpler fashion is merely stating the obvious.

    Second, Afghanistan is a complex story. To tell it honestly requires exploring details that might not excite a reader looking for action and adventure. War isn't always what you see in the movies.

    Third, Tillman's story would not be complete without addressing the political fallout of his death. Does Krakauer express opinions on these topics? Absolutely. But that doesn't mean he approached the subject with a political agenda.

    If anything, Krakauer is attacking the political forces that would seek to use Tillman's life to advance their own agenda -- something that Tillman himself would have done if he were alive to do so. It's disingenuous to criticize somebody's writing simply because you disagree with the political truth that the author is exposing.

    This is a complex book handled deftly by a strong, even-handed storyteller. I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Krakauer's subjects defy convention
    Pat Tillman went from playing in the NFL to giving up a
    multi million dollar contract to become a "friendly fire" statistic
    in Afghanistan. Krakauer says thus far in the current Iraq War 41
    percent of U S casualties are by "friendly fire". The number was 39
    percent in Vietnam and 52 percent the first Iraq war. Tillman's
    widow Marie was the only family member to contribute "on the record"
    for Krakauer's book. Political alert: Since most of my conservative
    friends see anything that challenges their orthodoxy and world view
    as unworthy of attention I don't think they will like or appreciate
    this book. Why? Because we learn that Pat Tillman and his family do
    not reinforce the stereotype of a fallen American Military hero.
    Tillman questioned the Iraq war, opposed the Bush administrations
    conduct of the war, was an atheist who did not wish to have a
    religious or a military service if he died and all the same was a
    reluctant hero who gave up much to volunteer along with his brother
    to fight after 9/11. Why did Tillman join the Army and want to be an
    enlisted man? Tillman kept a very detailed and personal journal and
    Krakauer is an excellent writer who seems to find these unusual
    individuals that defy convention (such as in his books Into the Wild
    and Into Thin Air which is still his best work). Here Krakauer jumps
    back and forth between recent events to focus on Tillman's life,
    marriage, and friends concluding with how it was possible for him to
    be shot by an individual from his own platoon with three .223-caliber
    bullets tightly grouped together as they entered the right side of
    Tillman's forehead. His brain to be found days later in the dirt near
    where he died and it was later lost as a result of one of many
    strange Army snafus. How could this event happen? Why when it did
    happen did the Army cover it up? Did they cover it up? Why did the
    Army provide false testimonial evidence to support a silver star for
    Tillman? Why did they order members of Tillman's platoon not to
    provide accurate information on the events of the shooting,
    especially to Tillman's brother who was a member of that very same
    platoon? And why was manufacturing pro war propaganda so important to
    those in the Bush administration? And lastly, how many Americans
    today even know the truth about Tillman after all these years
    (Tillman was killed in 2004)? This is a sad and disturbing book that
    leads one to think about what it means to fight and die for one's
    country. This is also an important book, if only to insure we obtain
    a better understanding of what happened to someone who marched to his
    own personal beliefs no matter the risk. And how his government
    betrayed his memory. (Note: Krakauer's book reminded me, in part, of
    the excellent 1976 book about Vietnam by C.D.B. Bryan, titled
    "Friendly Fire". That book is about one of the individuals who became
    part of the 39 percent statistic that Krakauer quotes for that war.)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Hero Compared to His Bosses
    Everyone who has followed current events even slightly over the past five years knows that football hero and soldier Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan, and that the military had trouble telling the truth about his death from rifle fire by his own platoon. Tillman had a remarkable life for one who died at age 27, and in _Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman_ (Doubleday), Jon Krakauer has provided the biography that Tillman deserves, vivid and compelling. As good as the biography is, however, it isn't Krakauer's main story, which concentrates on the political and moral crimes committed by the Bush administration and the Army as they tried to convince Americans (and Tillman's family) that Tillman had heroically died shot by Taliban soldiers instead of sadly, futilely dying from friendly fire. Krakauer has drawn his title from Homer, and within the book uses also an epigram by Aeschylus; this is not exaggeration. For one thing, Tillman, in addition to countless other interests, was compelled to study the Greek classics. More importantly, this is a brilliantly-told story of a genuine dramatic tragedy, because readers know how it is going to turn out, and watch as Tillman, compelled by his own sense of duty and self-challenge, is doomed by the fates and the powers that be.

    Tillman was an extraordinary character, and liked doing things his own way. He drove a Jeep, a car that had no flash, and he kept cats, not dogs. He was an ardent advocate for the rights of homosexuals, and he always had a book handy so that no time was wasted. He had brains, something that football players are not celebrated for, but more importantly, he was introspective and self-critical, constantly writing in his journal about any defects he saw in himself and what he would do to overcome them. (One of the most attractive parts of Krakauer's book is its generous quoting from the journals.) He was a standout as safety for the Arizona Cardinals, earning a fine reputation for playing a smart and aggressive game even though the Cardinals weren't much of a team otherwise. He had a $3.6 million dollar contract coming up, but after 9/11, walked away from it to sign on for the Army for three years. He thought about joining the officer corps, but wanted to be in the immediate action. The Bush administration saw the propaganda value of this young man so devoted to serving his country, but Tillman would not cooperate. He refused interviews and media appearances; he had his job and he wanted just to do it, and he faded into Army obscurity. When he was assigned to Afghanistan, it was not long before he was in the mission that resulted in his death. The mistakes that happened, compounded errors and misjudgments, might be excused as mere manifestations of the fog of war. What is inexcusable is how, after Tillman was shot three times in the head by an American machine gunner, the Army quickly sprang into action to cover up the friendly fire incident. Krakauer writes, "When Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan his Ranger regiment responded with a chorus of prevarication and disavowal. A cynical cover-up sanctioned at the highest levels of the government, followed by a series of inept official investigations, cast a cloud of bewilderment and shame over the tragedy, compounding the tragedy of Tillman's death."

    The military realized that it was going to have a problem keeping up the falsified version of Tillman's death, because his brother was in the same firefight at a different locale, and their buddies in the platoon knew the truth, and eventually at some point they would, even against orders, spill it. Tillman's mother pushed the issue, and got one after another official investigation, each of which lied in different degrees. Krakauer shows that the White House was eager to peddle the story of the hero as a counter to the revolting revelations from Abu Ghraib and to the increasing evidence that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Krakauer's fine book is full of sadness; it is a shame this worthy man had to go to war, it is a shame that he had to die, it is a shame that his death was a terrible accident. Above all, it was a shame that his chain of command, top to bottom, lied to his country and to his family about his fate. Tillman insisted on pushing himself hard to do the right thing; the dishonest and craven actions of his Army chain of command and the Bush administration are in wretched contrast.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book will make you angry . . .
    This book will make you angry but you should not be angry with the author but rather with the actions of the military and our government. Many reviewers are upset with Krakauer, accusing him of putting forth a political agenda in this book. What I cannot understand is how these readers are not actually upset with the cover-up and exploitation of Pat Tillman's death. Everyone needs to suspend their political beliefs and just focus on the extraordinary story of Pat Tillman and what he did for his country. Yes, I can see how readers may have felt that Krakauer may have been inserting a political agenda in this book. I have to respectfully disagree with them though, because reporting the facts does not necessarily mean a secret agenda. Who exploited Pat Tillman? Who covered up the facts? Read this book to find out. You may not like what you find out, but the truth can be painful. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It truly was hard to put down. I hope one day that the Tillmans find the answers that they are looking for. ... Read more

    10. How to Beat Up Anybody: An Instructional and Inspirational Karate Book by the World Champion
    by Judah Friedlander
    list price: $17.99 -- our price: $12.22
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 006196977X
    Publisher: It Books
    Sales Rank: 526
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The most important book in karate history from the greatest martial artist: The World Champion Judah Friedlander.

    Finally a Karate book that prepares you for real-life dangerous situations! This book includes chapters on how to beat up Bigfoot, how to beat up someone with one arm, how to beat up someone with three arms, and how to beat up someone on a unicycle. Plus how to beat up street gangs, attackers with weapons, ninjas, dinosaurs, and gangs of street ninjas with weapons riding on dinosaurs!

    This book contains more than 500 photos! And lots of words! All guaranteeing that you'll learn how to beat up anybody!

    The World Champion is the greatest athlete in the world, has sex with lots of women, and is a role model to children. For the first time you can now witness his training techniques. Buy this book before he beats you up!

    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Makes all other books irrelevent regardless of genre, October 20, 2010
    Perhaps you think you could stand a chance in the Octagon. Maybe you think you could take out everyone in a biker bar given the right situation. Or perchance you'd like to go toe-to-toe with a drunk midget wrestler. Well, after you read this book there is no more "maybe." The fact of the matter is that after you read all 208 action-packed pages, you will be able to UTTERLY ANNIHILATE ANY OPPONENT regardless of size or strength.

    I am a serious student of the martial arts. I have studied a variety of deadly fighting styles on two continents. But after reading this book I realized my skills were akin to those of a drooling toddler attempting Tai Chi. Fortunately, Judah's instructions make everything crystal clear when it comes to using the magnificent gift that is the human body to maim and destroy people you don't like.

    Five out of five stars. Martial Arts has a new name, and its initials are Judah Friedlander.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Scrumdidliumcious., November 30, 2010
    I don't own any instructional books besides the Joy of Sex and the Joy of Cooking, but HOW TO BEAT UP ANYBODY is more useful than both of them combined.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book cures diarrhea!, November 30, 2010
    I was pissing out of my butt when I picked this book up in a friend's bathroom.
    Immediately after reading the first sentence, my diarrhea was cured.
    The rest of my movement was as firm as a day old baguette and as odorless as a bottle of water.

    THANK YOU JUDAH!!!!!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Grade School Bully? Not anymore!, November 30, 2010
    I read the title "How to Beat Up Anybody", and -- I have to admit -- I had my doubts. Anybody? ANYBODY?

    A title like that is only a dare, and I can never resist a dare.

    I bought the book, read it, or at least skimmed it and looked at the pictures, as I'm a pretty busy guy. That seemed like enough, as just lifting up this tome of hefty pummelling knowledge gave me the strength and confidence to defeat my enemies. I paid special attention to the chapter with the strippers, and after examining it closely, did a bit of googling, and found out where my grade school nemesis Sean McG. lived. It wasn't too far away, so I used my new mad hovering skilz to hover on over to his parents' basement, where he wouldn't be expecting me.

    Man oh man, he wasn't ready for me. I used the belly-expansion technique of Chapter Zero to bust down the door, where I found him cowering over the birthday cake of his four-year-old boy, all ready to celebrate and stuff. Perfect! I adapted the lessons of Chapter Fourteen, pulled hedge clippers out of my pants, and clipped him right in the nuts! He wasn't expecting that AT ALL. He was screaming "My junk! My junk!" like a silly girl, and his son was screaming "Daddy! Daddy!", which distracted ol' jerkface enough so I could punch him so fast his head caught fire. Ha ha! Who's the smelly-pants now, BIG BOY!

    Anyway, he was there comatose while the rest of his son's birthday party was freaking out, and I must have got caught up in the moment. I should have read this book more thoroughly, as I let myself be distracted. Eventually I found myself in jail, and couldn't remember how to break myself out. The guards weren't helpful, not letting me have the book to finish, or even have internet access to look the rest of it up. However long I sit here thinking about my glories past, I know that I owe the WORLD CHAMPION a TREMENDOUS DEBT, and as such am passing this review on to my Mom on scraps of used toilet paper, for her to type up here on my behalf.

    THANK YOU, WORLD CHAMPION, for finally letting me show my grade school bully WHO'S NUMBER ONE, NOW!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not Funny Once, December 22, 2010
    I really liked Adam Carolla's "In 50 Years We'll All Be Chicks" and laughed out loud on most every page. It felt so good to laugh so hard that I bought this book after seeing it down at the "other people who bought this book also bought" section. The reviews were great so I figured it was a can't miss. I got one-third of the way through and didn't laugh once. I didn't even smile. In fact, I felt embarrassed to be reading it. It's written for someone in the first-grade and is about the level of humor you'll find in an Easyriders motorcycle magazine joke section. It's so bad I deleted the thing from my Kindle because I was embarrassed to have it in there. I don't write book reviews but I'm doing this to help others not make the ten dollar mistake I made. Not to mention the portion of my life I'll never get back wasted on looking for anything funny. Trust me on this. The only thing funny is that the joke's on me for buying it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Sure it is funny but.., December 16, 2010
    The book is funny, but not as funny as the unanimous 5 star reviews would have you believe.
    The writing style in very much the same as Maddox' book for those familiar with him. The book definitely have some fun and unexpected parts but if you have read this type of book before you might get a little tired by it.

    Also, in many of the pictures it is really hard to see anything. I am sure there is some preprocessing that could have been done before converting it to the kindle to alleviate this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars God's gift to humanity., December 1, 2010
    Reading this book is like being dipped into a pool of sweet honey dipped in karate sunshine. It's just that good. Open this book and increase your dexterity by 10 million points instantaneously and gain the ability to ward off hundreds of millions of attackers by the time you are finished reading the first page. In this book you will learn how to turn your flimsy punch into an escalating domino effect of destruction. Learn the ancient technique of the Karate Fart. Learn the subtle technique of levitation. Learn to re-size yourself to infinite proportions to take on opponents of any size.

    In the first ten minutes of reading this book, I successfully confronted and beat up a pack of wild and rabid grizzly bears that had storm-troopers with machine guns attached to their backs.

    Ninjas will bow to you. World leaders will want to shake your hand.

    Buy this book, and you are a winner. The Alpha-dog. The Champion.

    6 out of 5 stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Probably the funniest book I've ever read., December 1, 2010
    I had never even heard of Mr. Friedlander until a few weeks ago when I saw him on Attack Of The Show! and then on Conan. I think those were the two, and then again on Jon Stewart. Anyway, he was hilarious on these shows so I took a chance with the Kindle version of his book. Many times I had tears of laughter pouring down my face. I know tears is not the Karate way, but there you go. Get this book now, the Kindle version even has all of the pictures, which is a must-have for this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Attention Parents: Mr. Friedlander is a role model for children, December 1, 2010
    Mr. Friedlander's book should be mandated into the school curriculums nationwide. As a parent, I am outraged that these secrets have been kept from our children all this time. Our youth have lost sight of the importance of personal values. No text in this generation has shed new light on these fundamental issues. Until now. Mr. Friedlander uses a step by step and easy to understand approach to implementing strategies designed to foster self esteem, essentially through self offense.

    Mr. Friedlander opens up his personal journey to the public so that we can all benefit from his wisdom. He begins by outlining the challenging childhood years that molded him into The World Champion he is today. But in addition to teaching that one can overcome adversity, Mr. Friedlander goes on to teach about diet, enjoying nature, navigating the subway system, and even giving back to the community through charity work. Never before has a book this comprehensive, this relevant, been made available to our children and I am strongly advocating for school policies to bring it to the forefront of every classroom.

    Mr. Friedlander is a role model for children. Parents, don't ignore this opportunity. Our children need us to give them the tools to beat up anybody today. ... Read more

    11. How Lucky You Can Be: The Story of Coach Don Meyer
    by Buster Olney
    Hardcover (2010-11-09)
    list price: $25.00 -- our price: $14.62
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 034552411X
    Publisher: ESPN
    Sales Rank: 511
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    In September 2008, Northern State University men’s basketball coach Don Meyer stood on the brink of immortality. He was about to surpass the legendary Bobby Knight to become the all-time NCAA wins leader in men’s basketball. Then, on a two-lane road in South Dakota, everything changed in an instant.

    In How Lucky You Can Be, acclaimed sports journalist Buster Olney tells the remarkable story of the successive tragedies that befell Coach Meyer but could not defeat him. Laid low by a horrific car accident that led to the amputation of his left leg below the knee, Coach Meyer had barely emerged from surgery when his doctors informed him that he also had terminal cancer. In the blink of an eye, this prototypical 24/7 workaholic coach—who arrived at the gym most mornings before 6 a.m.—found himself forced to reexamine his priorities at the age of sixty-three. A model of reserve, Coach Meyer had sacrificed much of his emotional life to his program. His wife, Carmen, felt disconnected because of his habitual reticence, while his three children—all now well into adulthood—had long had to compete with basketball for his attention.

    With sensitivity and skill, Olney shows how Coach Meyer mined his physical ordeal for the spiritual strength to transform his life. In the months that followed his accident and diagnosis, he reached out to family, friends, and former players in a way he had never been able to do before, making the most of this one last opportunity to tell those close to him how he felt about them—and in turn he received an outpouring of affirmation that confirmed how deeply he had affected others. Sustained throughout an often painful recovery by his love of basketball, he would return to the court once more—with a newfound appreciation for the game’s place in his life.

    The inspirational story of a life renewed by unimaginable hardship, How Lucky You Can Be proves that it’s never too late to start making changes—and reminds us that fortune can smile upon us even in our most trying hours.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Spot on!
    Knowing and having worked with Coach Meyer I thought this book was spot on! Coach Meyer is an amazing man and his is an amazing story, well worth the read. Buster Olney did a wonderful job portraying coach, I couldn't put the book down!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolute Must Read for Everyone - Not Just Sports Fans
    This book exceeded my expectations. I just bought a case and plan on handing them out at church this Sunday. This book has the potential to transform lives. I know it has caused me to think about what's truly important in life. Buster did a fantastic job telling Coach Meyer's story. He made it relevant to all of us - not just sports fans. My favorite part was when Coach talks about the "F" words getting him through - faith, family and friends. May God continue to bless and use Coach Meyer. Thank you Buster Olney for bringing this story to the people!

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Inspiration To All
    While we were in Minneapolis for our little girl's cancer treatments a couple yrs ago, we had the "chance" privelege of meeting Coach Meyer & his beautiful wife Carmen. Although it was a very brief encounter, Don leaves such a positive impression on people. We have kept in touch with him through letters & e-mails. Less than 2 wks ago, we received a wonderful care package from him. He is a remarkable man who gives true meaning to the terms "wounded healer" and "prayer warrior!" We have been blessed to have him come into our lives & rally behind us with our fight with childhood cancer! (Our little girl, Cedar, is kicking cancer's butt too!!!) Unlimited blessings to Coach Meyer & his family. This book is SOOOOOO WELL WRITTEN! Kudos to Mr. Olney on telling Don's miraculous story so well. It captures your attention from the first page & is hard to put down! I love this book and am gifting several copies this year for Christmas. Our love & prayers continue to be lifted up to Don, Carmen & their entire family ~ thank you for blessing us!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Coach - Great Read
    Buster Olney has a lot of insight into this humble,incredible man, Coach Meyer.One does not have to be a diehard basketball fan to love this book -- Meyer has had many triumphs, and one horrendous car accident -- his attitude and love of God pulled him through so he can now tell others to persevere. I loved the read, book just left we wanting to know even more about this wonderful human being.

    5-0 out of 5 stars How Lucky You Can Be
    America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 1: Feeling Lucky

    We all need inspiration from time to time, and this book give that and more. Good read. ... Read more

    12. Sports Illustrated The Hockey Book
    by Editors of Sports Illustrated
    Hardcover (2010-09-28)
    list price: $29.95 -- our price: $17.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1603201513
    Publisher: Sports Illustrated
    Sales Rank: 455
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    From its earliest days on frozen ponds, hockey has been a sport of speed and elegance, but also one demanding courage and physical will. The Hockey Book goes deep into the heart of the game, celebrating with astounding photographs and insightful words the great players and the inspiring teams, as well as an ethos-robust and selfless-that defines the sport as much in its dynamic present as it did in hockey's hardscrabble (and helmetless) past.

    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars This is a Must Book for Hockey Fans, October 6, 2010
    Sports Illustrated has put together the definitive book about the sport of ice hockey, drawing on its article archives and its photo library. This is a marvelous book, with huge, gorgeous color photographs. If you are a hockey fan, this tome is a valuable edition to your library. It also makes a great gift.

    The book is best when it draws on its vintage files of the hockey greats. The best of the book, in this fan's opinion, are the stories and photos that covered the golden age of the NHL, immediately after World War II, when the NHL consisted of only six teams.

    The minuscule number of teams (Montreal Canadians, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Black Hawks and the New York Rangers) meant that only the cream of the crop in hockey made the big leagues. All the big boys are here: Maurice (the Rocket) Richard, Jean Beliveau, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and the Esposito brothers; also the acrobatic goalies of that era, including Jacques Plante, Terry Sawchuk and Glen Hall.

    Those were the days when the goalies didn't wear facemasks. The book includes a spectacular photo of Jacques Plant that appeared on the SI cover of Feb. 17, 1958 (unlike the cover photo in the magazine, the photo in the book is uncropped). The photo shows Plante peering out of his goal with his chin almost on the ice as he prepares for an assault by the New York Rangers. The tense-ness of the moment not only shows on Plante's face, but also on the faces of the fans in the stands behind the Montreal goal.

    The book also includes the hilarious story written by George Plimpton when he played 15 minutes of an exhibition game in the Boston Bruins goal. Plimpton later published a book on that experience, but the original magazine article reprinted here will leave anyone squirming with laughter as the Big Bad Bruins set up the hapless writer - who played in the goal by while skating on his ankles.

    One of the highlights is the famous photograph of Bobby Orr, stretched out horizontally three feet off the ice after scoring the wining goal in the 1970 championship game that gave the Bruins their first NHL Stanley Cup in 29 years (disclosure: the writer covered that game for UPI and interviewed Orr in the locker room after the game. Earlier this year, I ran into Orr and he signed a copy of the photo with the inscription, "Thanks for covering this game"). The account of how the photographer shot that amazing photo is also included.

    Of course, the story of the 1980 Olympic Gold Medal won by the Americans is here, but for once the SI editors missed a chance to tell the complete story of American Olympic hockey: in the 50's, 60's 70's and 80's Olympic hockey was played by amateurs, no pros, and it was hockey at his finest. Dave Christian was on the 1980 team - and he was the son of Billy Christian and the nephew of Roger Christian who were two of the stars of the 1960 team that also won the gold medal in a fairy tale manner. And, of course, Herb Brooks the coach of the 1980 team was the last player cut from the 1960 team (further disclosure: the writer played on the 1965 U.S. National Team that included both Billy and Roger Christian, as well as Brooks).

    There is also the touching story of Travis Roy, the young hockey star from Maine, who was permanently paralyzed in the opening seconds of his first game for Boston University in 1995.

    If there is a weakness to the book it is the lack of documentation on the earliest days of hockey in Canada. Howie Morenz and the great goaltender Georges Vezina are mentioned, of course, but the focus of the SI book is on modern day hockey. This hockey fan wished there were more of those grainy photographs of the earliest players wearing their skimpy uniforms. There is too much lore from that era that is missing in this otherwise excellent book.

    The book also seems a bit disjointed. When we do get photos from the earliest days, they are interspersed with photos of modern-day hockey. It can be confusing.

    But overall, this is a fabulous book that documents the wonderful sport of ice hockey - the national sport of Canada, and a sport that has spread throughout the United States and Europe and more recently in Asia. If you love hockey, you're going to love this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Joyous trip down memory lane for this hockey fan, October 5, 2010
    What a wonderful addition to SI's library. Great stuff, as usual, in this series. Most of the pictures have never been widely circulated before. A terrific gift for any serious hockey fan!

    Highly recommended for any hockey fan.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buy immediately!, November 17, 2010
    I bought this book on the recommendation of a close friend, saying that it was an incredible read for any hockey fan - and he was spot on. I bought the huge, coffee table book and read the entire thing in less than 24 hours. With pictures from all eras of hockey (from the 1800s to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final) and old Sports Illustrated articles on subjects like Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky's last game, Gordie Howe, the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, you will literally feel yourself going through history as you make your way through the journey that is "The Hockey Book."

    4-0 out of 5 stars It's a great conversation piece, October 31, 2010
    because people who know me or thought they did, do a double take of this book that's found a home on my coffee table.
    "Hockey..?!"they say.
    Yeah, hockey.
    It opens up a new dialogue for my guest. Just flip through the pages and the history, record breakers,photos and personalities, giving the game another dimension for those who are often the ones at home,wondering what it's like to be in the stands, hearing the puck glide across the ice,feeling the cold atmosphere surround them or see the body slams in mid-air, leaving one speechless and in awe.
    The photos, of course,are lovely with the stories universal, dialogue simple, keeping my interest,often reminding me why I want to read it. The chronological set-up provides a good reference without confusing or distracting me from my attention, with bits of trivia sprinkled throughout, placing a face on the game. S.I. knows how to have a sense of humor in good taste. Makes a great gift for those who love and appreciate the game.

    P.S. Congradulations, Jordin Tootoo! You made S.I!

    5-0 out of 5 stars hockeynut, November 15, 2010
    This book is a wonderful history of the sport with material on the game, the players, and beautiful, incredable photos. A must have for all who love the game.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, November 4, 2010
    A great coffee table book for anyone who loves hockey and appreciates its rich history. Wonderful photographs and very well written articles that trace the game from its beginnings to the present day.

    5-0 out of 5 stars si hockey, October 25, 2010
    I think this book is terrific. It is full of fabulous stories and pictures. This series is super.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sports Illustrated The Hockey Book, October 22, 2010
    This was a gift for my 13 years old cousin that plays hockey, he is very happy with this book, and it makes a great gift for those that like sports. ... Read more

    13. SAS Survival Handbook, Revised Edition: For Any Climate, in Any Situation
    by John 'lofty' Wiseman
    list price: $19.99 -- our price: $13.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0061733199
    Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 422
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    For Any Climate, in Any Situation

    Newly updated to reflect the latest in survival knowledge and technology, the internationally bestselling SAS Survival Handbook is the definitive resource for all campers, hikers, and outdoor adventurers. From basic campcraft and navigation to fear management and strategies for coping with any type of disaster, this complete course includes:

    Being prepared: Understanding basic survival needs and preparing essentials, such as a pocket survival kit.

    Making camp: Finding the best location, constructing the appropriate shelter, organizing camp, and creating tools.

    Food: What to eat, what to avoid, where to find it, and how to prepare it.

    First aid: A comprehensive course in emergency/wilderness medicine, including how to maximize survival in any climate or when injured.

    Disaster survival: How to react in the face of increasingly frequent natural disasters and hostile situations—and how to survive at home if all services and supplies are cut off.

    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Survive- anywhere, June 18, 2009
    No need for a long review here. This book was written by a professional soldier who was in the SAS, or the Special Air Service. For those not in the know, that's an elite unit of the British Army trained to carry out operations in ALL parts of the world. Eventually, the author became a survival instructor to the SAS, so you can be sure that this guy knows his stuff.

    The book covers all you'd ever want to know about the essentials of surviving in climates such as: the polar region, mountains, seashores, islands, tropical regions, or even at sea. Here's few of the many topics the book covers:

    -food, what you can and can't eat
    -animal tracking with numerous pics
    -color pics of edible plants
    -pictures of traps and how to trap things
    -how to handle animals you've killed for food
    -how to make a camp and various shelters
    -knot tying pics
    -first aid
    -color pics of medicinal plants
    -picures of dangerous/poisonous critters
    -things to have in a survival kit

    A very handy resource for anybody who enjoys outdoor/wilderness activities, it's just a darn good thing to have around in case of emergencies- or even just to look at the pictures! Also recommend Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff if you have a shoulder problem that is interfering with your outdoor activities.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best survival guide, September 16, 2009
    I own and love this book. It is a super comprehensive guide to surviving all sorts of extreme emergencies in a variety of geographic zones and climates. Plane crashes, car crashes, getting lost in the wilderness, tsunamis, earthquakes, terrorist attacks - you name it, book covers it!

    The author is an authority on survival, being the former survival instructor or the British SAS special forces troops, which operate around the world, from arctic to desert zones, and from big cities to remote jungles. Tone is very down-to-earth, and straight to the point. The book is easy to read and understand and does not assume or need any prior knowledge of military and survival techniques (which is the author's background). I am a former search-and-rescue team member and trained wilderness first-aid responder, and I find the information in this book first rate.

    The content is very densely concentrated, so reading it once will not make you an expert. To make the best of this book, you need to practice some of the survival techniques. The best way is probably to go camping and backpacking, but you can try a lot of them in your own backyard.

    The book overemphasizes outdoors survival (what plants to eat, how to fish and catch animals), which is due to the author's background as a special forces soldier. For more on urban disaster preparedness, read Cody Lundin's book "When All Hell Breaks Loose". Unlike Cody Lundin and many American survival books, the SAS Guide is refreshingly free of political statements and sticks strictly to the topic of survival :) The SAS Guide is about surviving a relatively localized and temporary emergency (measured in days, not years), and assumes you will eventually be helped, rescued or return to civilization. If you are interested in long-term survival of a total global catastrophe (aka "survivalism"), this is not the best guide.

    It is such a great book that I am planning to buy more copies, to keep in my car, take when traveling, and give to friends. Highly recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the book to beat!!!, August 21, 2009
    First, someone left a 3 star review because of illustrations. That is SO reckless that I almost feel it's got to be someone who supports the competition. The illustrations are great with great written details.

    Now, I won't go into the obvious about the book because others have touched on the excellent details on survival within the book. You WILL enjoy reading this book and you WILL learn survival techniques and you WILL create yourself a survival kit as a result if you don't already have one.

    However, here is one thing I actually was VERY impressed with about this book. The QUALITY of the book. The book is SOLID. The spine of the book is VERY strong and the pages are not cheap recycled type of rough paper. They are quality semi gloss type of thick pages that will likely last a WHILE under normal use.

    I bought two, one for myself and one for my son. I think I'll make this a holiday/birthday gift for friends and family for a while. I want EVERYONE I care about to have this book in their life.

    I got mine... did you get yours? Run, don't walk.

    3-0 out of 5 stars In need of an editor, August 4, 2010
    The content of this book gets five stars for being neatly organized and helpful, however this edition is in serious need of a revision.

    My first indicator was the introduction to the book. It mentions the Berlin Wall coming down in 1999. An oversight like this is inexcusable and sent up warning flags right away as to how many eyes had actually read the book from cover to cover (as I'm in the process of doing).

    The text is written in a British style (SAS, of course), which will take some getting used to for US readers but isn't a big deal. That said, I've still had to re-read several passages due to poorly assembled sentences which lack proper punctuation. Has this guy ever heard of a comma? They can be a lifesaver to a reader. Again, not to be a grammar snob, but if you want to use this as a quick reference in a time of need, the last thing you want to tackle is a confusing run-on sentence. Those are my major gripes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best book of Survival, but..., October 27, 2009
    This book is really amazing, the best in his category, but I'm really disapointed with this revision edition. The book is the same than the older version. If you had the older one don't buy this one, it's the same. I can't find significative changes in this revision.

    5-0 out of 5 stars great starter book, July 20, 2009
    More than i expected, i havent seen the other books in this category to compare, but this one seems like a good buy imo. I've only read the first 4 chapters & have leared quite a few new things already. i've only camped a little when i was younger so im no expert. From skimming the pages it has decent pics on plants to avoid, eat, etc, definately not as good as a dedicated herb book, but decent enough to give u an idea what to look out for. I noticed it had a chapter on telling directions etc by the stars/moon, didnt read it yet, but random thngs like that made it a great buy for me personally.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Information, July 10, 2010
    As an Eagle Scout, I decided to purchase this book as a condensed means to information when I go out camping. Though I have done more then my fair share of camping and backpacking, its extremely difficult to keep this information memorized unless you are backpacking very regularly and using this information. Its got excellent information and detailed diagrams of everything from building a shelter to typical plants that are edible or not. If you are an avid outdoor backpacker, I highly recommend this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Can You Survive?, March 5, 2010

    This is the book to read if you want to know how to survive high-risk, difficult situations. Chances may be good you never have to use the information in here, but it certainly can't hurt, and in the current economy, the information may come in handy in a non-survival situation.

    I've read a lot of Survival Handbooks, and I like the variety of information in them, but this one is the one that I really had to have. The information goes a little deeper, and it all is laid out in a attention grabbing way. This one also hase the broadest range of subjects, attempting to cover more survival situations than most books. And it does a pretty decent job of covering them, too. However, John "Lofty" Wiseman hasn't been in the SAS for a very long time, so the modern methods they use aren't going to be in here. But it is a great reference to use on survival methods, and I intend to learn the skills they mention.

    Hope that helps all you potential customers, and happy reading!

    Luv ya,
    Tashi :)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Covers just about everything...., April 12, 2010
    This was a very good read, but not the kind of book you read and your an expert at surviving in the Artic Shelf. Excellent information, the only two areas I could see improvement on were, shelter building, and edibles. With only a few ideas on temporary shelters, I felt it kind of lacking as that situation could very well be in order if survival is threatened. Also the author's suggestion of eat and "pray" method leaves a little to be desired, but it seems to have worked for him, and he has very high credentials. Overall though, one of the most comprehensive survival books out there, but don't leave it all to one book. Supplement this guide, with shelter building, and a book solely on wilderness edibles to make yourself the most rounded survival instrument you can be. Also in regards to my opening sentence, you WILL NOT be an expert on any survival book, unless you try the techniques outlined, before you need them!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars great book., February 5, 2010
    ive read several pages. im using as a reference book and highlighting things important. i was shocked that he thought of the idea that even a condom was a good tool to carry/hold water. in an emergency situation, its good to know these little things. but the book shows pictures also of things like poisonous plants or weeds and what to avoid ingesting in the woods. just so much information in this book. im keeping it in my emergency bag(for the i need to store it inside a ziplock bag. well worth the price paid for this book!! enjoyable reading ... Read more

    14. The Games That Changed the Game: The Evolution of the NFL in Seven Sundays
    by Ron Jaworski, David Plaut, Greg Cosell
    list price: $26.00 -- our price: $16.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0345517954
    Publisher: ESPN
    Sales Rank: 676
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    From the advent of the vertical passing game to the development of ever-more-sophisticated blitzing schemes on defense, professional football in the last half century has been a sport marked by relentless innovation. For fans determined to keep up with the changes that have transformed the game, close examination of the coaching footage is a must. In the words of Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary, “The film does not lie.”

    In The Games That Changed the Game, Ron Jaworski, a one-time NFL MVP turned Monday Night Football analyst and pro football’s #1 game-tape guru, breaks down the film from seven of the most momentous contests of the last fifty years. With an eye toward the brilliant game plans and seminal strategic breakthroughs that revolutionized play on both sides of the ball, Jaworski offers readers a drive-by-drive, play-by-play guide to the evolutionary leaps that now define the modern NFL, as well as portraits of the seven men who exhibited both creativity and courage in bucking established strategies. From Sid Gillman’s development of the Vertical Stretch, which culminated in the San Diego Chargers’ victory in the 1963 AFL Championship Game and launched the era of wide-open passing offenses, to Bill Belichick’s daring defensive game plan in Super Bowl XXXVI, which enabled his outgunned squad to upset the heavily favored St. Louis Rams and usher in the New England Patriots dynasty, the most cutting-edge concepts come alive again through the recollections of nearly seventy coaches and players interviewed for this book.

    Writing with the same vivid, passionate, and accessible style that has made him television’s go-to X’s and O’s maven, Jaworski fills in the blanks for fans who aren’t satisfied with merely dropping the terms “West Coast offense” or “46 defense” into conversation, but want to understand them fully, in context, as they were experienced by the men who played the game. You’ll never watch the NFL the same way again.

    Foreword by Steve Sabol, president, NFL Films
    ... Read more


    4-0 out of 5 stars If you're no pigskin geek, wait for a reasonable price, November 10, 2010
    Being a huge fan of the game itself, I truly enjoyed this book. "Jaws" takes you through 7 historic NFL games that had a lasting impact on the way the professional game was/is played - because these games introduced new coaching schemes or even ideologies that can still be felt in today's game: the grandfathers of the modern passing game, Gillman, Coryell and Walsh; defensive contributions like the Cover-2 and Dick LeBeau's Zone Blitz. Each of these schemes or concepts is demonstrated by analysis of a specific game.

    The reader is taken through each game quarter by quarter describing in detail relevant plays, their impact on the game specifically and in general, including a few play diagrams. Now, if this sounds very geeky to you - then you're right. Don't get me wrong - the book is no play-by-play box score compilation. Jaworski and his co-authors focus exclusively on one team and the decisions made by that team's coach or coordinator and how each play figured into the overall scheme of that coach.

    The book is fun and easy to read, a huge ensemble cast of former and current players and coaches get to have their say, and depending on your age, you either get to gain some insights of the NFL before you were born (Sid Gillman's Chargers and the Steel Curtain were before my time), too young (I only knew about Don Coryell, Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow Sr. from highlight reels), or you get to re-experience great games that you may have seen but not thought about for some time.

    What I really like was the back and forth between offensive and defensive innovations - it demonstrates the arms race in the NFL very well. The offense starts to air it out - the defense catches up. The offense creates ever more complex formations and plays - the defense overloads and blitzes unexpectedly, and so on. The book also offers some refreshingly raw language that you'd expect from players and coaches in football, instead of the highly polished "speaking but not saying anything" in today's media-centric league.

    The reason that I'm giving it only 4 stars is that the chapter titles are somewhat confusing sometimes - Sid Gillman's Vertical Stretch, for example is showcased in a game where the Chargers won by relying on their running attack. Which they could do only because the defense expected them to air it out, but still. The Air Coryell chapter is is actually more about Winslow's breakout game, and the begin of the receiving tight ends of the modern era.

    But these minor inconsistencies didn't really bother me. The price did. Now, unless you're a die-hard NFL geek looking for something meaningful to do while ESPN is showing skateboarding or oval car races, wait until the price drops. Oherwise - read this book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Games That Changed The Game., November 26, 2010
    This is an excellent book for anyone interested in the evolution of professional football. I've been a big fan of Ron Jaworski since I started watching NFL Match Up and in this book he explains how individual coaching tactics changed the way the game is played. As "Jaws" always says football strategy is all about favorable match ups and after reading his book I have a greater appreciation for the seven coaches highlighted in the book. One negative note: the cover of the book upside down from the pages inside! ... Read more

    15. One Goal Achieved: The Inside Story of the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions
    by Blackhawks Publishing
    list price: $39.95 -- our price: $23.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 160078559X
    Publisher: Triumph Books
    Sales Rank: 424
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    On June 9, 2010 the Chicago Blackhawks made history, capping an extraordinary season with the storied franchise's fourth Stanley Cup championship. Led by dynamic stars including captain Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa, the resurgent Blackhawks made the 2009-10 season one for the ages, capturing the imagination, passion and excitement of the entire Windy City. Following Kane's overtime heroics to capture the title, more than 2 million fans lined the streets of Chicago to welcome home hockey's most coveted prize, celebrating the Blackhawks' realization of their "One Goal."

    In One Goal Achieved: The Inside Story of the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions, the Blackhawks relive every stunning moment of this unforgettable year, from the NHL Premiere in Helsinki, Finland, to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, all the way through the dramatic game 6 overtime win in Philadelphia and beyond! One Goal Achieved takes you to the ice level for an entire legendary campaign, featuring never-before-seen photographs and stories.

    With full color spreads showcasing the players front office personnel who returned championship hockey to Chicago, photos from crucial games, off-ice team-bonding activities and much more, One Goal Achieved is a must-have for any die-hard Blackhawks fan.
    ... Read more

    16. Death to the BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series
    by Dan Wetzel, Josh Peter, Jeff Passan
    list price: $20.00 -- our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1592405703
    Publisher: Gotham
    Sales Rank: 451
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    A team of award-winning sports reporters takes down the Great Satan of college sports: the Bowl Championship Series.

    Every college sport picks its champion by a postseason tournament, except for one: Division I-A football. Instead of a tournament, fans are subjected to the Bowl Championship Series, an arcane mix of polling and mathematical rankings that results in just two teams playing for the championship. It is, without a doubt, the most hated institution in all of sports. A recent Sports Illustrated poll found that more than 90 percent of sports fans oppose the BCS, yet this system has remained in place for more than a decade. Built upon top-notch investigative reporting, Death to the BCS at last reveals the truth about this monstrous entity and offers a simple solution for fixing it.

    Death to the BCS includes findings from interviews with power players, as well as research into federal tax records, Congressional testimony, and private contracts, revealing:

    •The truth behind the "Cartel"-the anonymous suits who run the BCS and who profit handsomely by protecting it

    •The flawed math and corruption that determine which teams participate in the national championship

    •How the system hurts competition by perpetuating "cupcake" schedules

    •How "mid-major" teams are systematically denied a chance to play for the championship

    •How a comprehensive sixteen-team playoff plan can solve the problem while enhancing profitability

    The first book to lay out the unseemly inner workings of the BCS in full detail, Death to the BCS is a rousing manifesto for bringing fairness back to one of our most beloved sports.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Now you have the information you need to make a REAL case against the BCS, October 14, 2010
    Awesome book! Well written and captivating! I've always known I didnt agree with the BCS, nor did I understand how it worked, nor did I believe that it was the best system for determining college football's champion. Unfortunately, I couldn't put together a persuasive argument that held much weight. After reading Death to the BCS, not only can I make a valid case, but I believe the time is very near that a playoff will be coming college football's way.

    This book lays out all the reasons I couldnt fully explain before, and also provides me the reasons I didnt even know existed, as well as providing the evidence behind them. The detail that the authors delve into is so overwhelmingly precise, and in many ways, sickening, in that we, as the fan base, have been so misled by college football's elite leaders. The authors take us step by step into how we've been lied to over and over again by those college football decision makers. Those same decision makers exploit our desires as fans by tricking us into believing that they've created the best scenario for us. They also told us that the coaches, athletic directors, boosters, and players believe the BCS is the best way. They told us that college football cant afford the financial downfall of a playoff. They told us everything we thought was necessary to make a football playoff happen would be the beginning of the end for college football.

    Read this book, and then make your own decision. If nothing else, you'll come away with a real understanding of the bowl system, and how it effects every team, and you'll be armed with the knowledge that those football decision makers dont want you to know. You'll be able to punch holes in their rationale, and offer critical evaluation of the current system. From the opening remarks to the last page (I even read the credits), my attention was held, and I cant wait to see the splash that this book will make in college football.

    Now is the beginning of the end for the BCS, and the beginning of a new dawn of enlightenment for college football fans.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lays Out the Case Against The BCS, November 2, 2010
    In almost every sport outside of gymnastics and figure skating, players and teams compete on the field. The winner is judged the best. And the sport continues to the next game or contest. Ultimately the top teams play each other and the winner is the champion. But college football is more like gymnastics and less like any other team sport. At the highest level, teams compete for recognition from mostly anonymous judges and various computers (with mostly hidden programs). The "winners" are then invited to immensely profitable bowl games with two dubbed the best in the country, while everyone else tends to lose money. It is a strange system, largely anti-competitive, and it promotes tremendous disagreement every year among fans. This book lays out precisely what is wrong with the BCS, and how it can be changed.

    The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) is not an NCAA sanctioned championship. It is in fact a collusion created by the most powerful conferences in college football to monopolize the revenue generated by giant bowl games. The premise of the BCS is that polls and computers decide which teams are the top teams in the nation and the championship game is played among the two selected. Other top teams are admitted to other high paying bowl games. But there is more to this process than meets the eye. Nearly all college football teams are affiliated with one of eleven conferences. Six of these eleven "automatically" qualify for a bid into the big money games. The other five conferences do not. This is an obvious instance of collusion and suggests a violation of anti-trust laws. It is all the more odious because the money for all the schools involved comes largely from the government itself. They are, for the most part, state sponsored institutions and even the private universities still receive government grants, student loans, etc to fund their business.

    This situation could be almost forgiven if indeed the teams that came out of these six power conferences were in fact the best teams. As the book reveals, however, they are not always the best and indeed, one of the major purposes of the BCS is to exclude teams who might pose a threat to them, most notably Boise State. A small university in a Pacific Northwest state, Boise State is not what many fans think of when they think, football powerhouse. But Boise has quietly built a program the old fashioned way (winning games) and does so with a budget that is but a fraction of what the schools in major conferences make. So the BCS tries every strategy under the sun to keep Boise out. As early as 2001 Boise was already highly ranked in the computer programs that make up 1/3 of the polls. So the BCS ordered the computer ranking services to discount margin of victory in order to weaken Boise's standing. When the venerable Associated Press (AP) poll refused to play along with the BCS games and withdrew rather than taint their poll for the benefit of big conferences, the BCS created its own poll, the Harris Interactive, made up of largely ignorant voters who simply read the news and pass on the opinions of sportscasters on ESPN. Finally, the BCS maintains the power of its favored conferences by using a coaches poll. The majority of the coaches in the poll are from the same favored conferences and have a financial interest in voting teams from these same conferences higher than those from the non-favored conferences. As a result, teams like Boise State are routinely eliminated from major post season bowl games. This is not for what they have done on the field, but because voters and neutered computer ratings keep them out. With 5 undefeated regular seasons, Boise has only played in two major bowl games.

    But the BCS does more than just monopolize revenue and handicap small but successful football programs. It harms the sport in a myriad of ways. The authors of this book note that the BCS encourages teams in the major conferences to play weak schedules out of conference. It increases the number of teams playing against lower division football opponents. It decreases the number of marquee games in a season. In short, the BCS hurts football as a competitive sport. And it does not have to be this way. The authors provide readers with an exciting alternative: a workable playoff system that can actually determine champions on the field, increase revenue for all colleges, and promote sportsmanship. Unfortunately, getting those with the power to give it up might ultimately (and literally) take an act of congress. Many are loath to bring politics into college football, but given that state institutions of higher learning are the ones behaving in such an anti-competitive way as to make the typical robber-baron blush, perhaps that is what is needed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for any fan of college football, October 18, 2010
    As an avid football fan of both BCS & non BCS affiliation, I found this book to be both enlightening and shocking. It goes deep into the problems with the bowl system selection process. Yet, with those problems, the book is not all "doom and gloom". It offers a playoff scenario that gets the reader excited for the possibilities that college football could become. Death to the BCS gives every college football fan a voice, one that gives every fan with a playoff plan something to turn to and say, "this is how it should and could be if these power players change their minds, or get removed from their position."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must read for ALL college football fans!!!, October 18, 2010
    The writers do an absolutely brilliant job of researching and exposing every flaw and injustice in our current college football postseason, exposing the greed, corruption, and lies that have perpetually plagued the sport. Any college football fan should fully educate themselves by reading this book. By logically showing that the current bowl system is not a financially sustainable enterprise for college athletics, the writers offer great hope that the BCS will soon implode. The writers' solution to how a playoff should be conducted is the perfect plan that completely maintains (and actually improves) the current regular season. All who care passionately about college football should do all they can to support this plan. I think it would be the best sports postseason in the world if implemented, a far cry from the current system, which in my opinion is the worst.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely terrific, October 14, 2010
    I loved this book. Whether you're a fan of the BCS or a proponent of a playoff, Death to the BCS is a must read for all college football fans. It is even a great read for non-football fans as a story about power and corruption. Based on a stunning amount of research and statistics, the underbelly of the BCS and current bowl system is exposed and the case for a 16-team playoff is deftly laid out. Each chapter rolls into the next as the incredible evidence against the BCS as a fair system for determining a national champion mounts with each turn of the page. You will be shocked at the financial numbers uncovered by the authors that expose the BCS and bowl system as an archaic sham. Wetzel, Passan and Peter break the walls down and override the BCS with such a well-reasoned solution, it's a crime that it is not already in place. I can't imagine there's a better laid out argument against the BCS anywhere else. This is the new authority on a college football playoff system. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, October 15, 2010
    Death to the BCS is a must read for anyone that purports to love (or even like) college football. Anyone on the fence about the BCS, and even people who accept it at face value and like that it creates a "true" national champion, will be convinced that the BCS is actually a huge scam. A scam that is taking advantage of a great sport and its traditions for the sake of money and power.

    The book reads well and seems to lay out all the facts against the BCS system. Each argument in favor of the BCS is addressed and eviscerated. Do yourself a favor and read this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great investigative reporting, compelling arguments, October 22, 2010
    This is a great read for the college football enthusiast who's tired of the BCS, but maybe isn't aware all of the distinct politics behind the most-loathed championship format we have in American sports. Each chapter seeks to drive home a specific angle about why we continue to collectively bemoan an inferior structure and have uncomfortably avoided a tournament-style championship for so long, in lieu of a polling system that in a growing number of documented cases, has failed followers of the sport.

    The supporting evidence is well-gathered and organized logically, and likewise presented as such. It's a great, quick, undiluted analysis of the money behind the athletics.

    The only knock I might have about the book is that the authors might be too slanted in their arguments. A strong case is made against the BCS and the "Cartel" controlling it, without much consideration from the other side. But then, this might be the point - stating once and for all how non-socialist the state of college football, the grandest game in the land, is and continues to be.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Builds a great case!, October 21, 2010
    This book builds a great case against the BCS. It will be interesting to see if any of the chancellors look into this issue and take action.

    Fast, easy read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Must for College Football Fans, December 6, 2010
    Is there really much I can add to this subject talked to death by sports junkies? Probably not but let me admit that I am one of the few NOT in favor of a playoff and the impact this book had on this opinion.

    First, I must comment that I don't like books to persuade your opinion which start with blatant statements of how stupid the other side is. A good debate requires some level of understanding how and why the other side could be right rather than a political debate that has total disdain for the other side. However, once the authors begin the theory I have to admit that my thoughts were changed somewhat. Why do I not think a playoff is a panacea? Well, being on the athletic board of a Conference USA team with a mediocre football team, how could we ever compete for athletes when BCS schools with massive football factories can sell the ability to play for the big prize? You really can't. But you also can't compete with the money that the bad BCS schools have. And that's somewhat what the book attacks. Its main strength is the logic that bad bowls provide graft for local bowl directors (think $600,000 salaries of once a year games) and an avenue to help the lower tier BCS teams. The book spends substantial time showing the absurdity of these games and builds a compelling case that the few profitable bowls pay for these unprofitable bowls. I remember Stanford going to the Rose Bowl and the President saying they would lose money on that trip. Is that possible? Well, evidently so.

    So we are governed by a system not controlled by the NCAA which feeds local bowl committees well and doesn't maximize revenue by 200%? Well, maybe they're right and the system should be changed. His most compelling arguments show the BCS commissioners hiring a public relations firm after every statement they make. Unfortunately the correctness of the current system being the best in these statements is always being shot down. The BCS arguments really do begin to look ludicrous like they are hiding something. They're not. They just control the money and want to continue to control the money.

    This is not typically the type books I like as sports is discussed entirely too much. But their arguments here are strong and have managed to sway my opinion. I recommend this short, fast read to provide good information for which you may not be aware.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very Readable....Very Informative....Some Flaws, November 15, 2010
    The authors make a fast reading, thought provoking and seemingly well-researched case for replacing the badly flawed BCS system with a sixteen team championship playoff ending up at the Rose Bowl. They make a convincing case that their proposed system would produce a true national champion, preserve at least most of the present bowls and generate far more money for college football than does the current system.

    Everyone knows the current system is a bad joke. Year after year, college football's fans are treated to a debatable "national champion" with one or two legitimate contenders consistently excluded. This year, it is entirely possible that one of two extremely legitimate and undefeated candidates (TCU or Boise State) may not even be invited to a BCS bowl. Absurd!!!

    One by one, the authors blow up the myths perpetuated by the BCS to explain why a playoff is not it a plus one, a sixteen team playoff or something in between. Most enlightening was the extensive discussion of the current bowl system including its minimal impact on most local economies, its embarrassingly low level of charitable giving and the often high costs to participating schools. The absurdities of the human and computer rankings are also well explored.

    The book does have some flaws. First, I was disappointed that the authors did not spend more time explaining exactly how the BCS is structured and why it has such traction. Similarly, I would have liked to have seen a discussion of the relationship between the BCS and the NCAA and why, if the money in a playoff system is so much greater, we don't already have one. We all know that both the NCAA and the BCS are really about the money.

    Another shortfall to me was that I felt like the authors were shouting at me throughout the book. I also had the feeling that, while they are generally right, they play a little loose with some of their financial calculations. I am not sure that even Big Ten fans will sell out their stadiums at $150 per ticket when their teams play the Sun Belt champ in the freezing rain.... Finally, I fail to see the magic of the Rose Bowl and why the authors feel it should become the Omaha of college football. I would vote for the Superdome (or Jerry World), but that is just me.

    In the end, this is a very informative book that every college fan and every college president should read. It provides a real framework for a solution to a crazy system that seems to serve primarily the Big Ten.

    ... Read more

    17. Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything
    by Kevin Cook
    Kindle Edition (2010-10-06)
    list price: $24.95
    Asin: B0045Y241U
    Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    Sales Rank: 215
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Born in a log cabin in the Ozarks, Alvin "Titanic" Thompson (1892-1974) traveled with his golf clubs, a .45 revolver, and a suitcase full of cash. He won and lost millions playing cards, dice, golf, pool, and dangerous games of his own invention. He killed five men and married five women, each one a teenager on her wedding day. He ruled New York's underground craps games in the 1920s and was Damon Runyon's model for slick-talking Sky Masterson. Dominating the links in the pre-PGA Tour years, Thompson may have been the greatest golfer of his time, teeing up with Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Lee Trevino, and Ray Floyd. He also traded card tricks with Houdini, conned Al Capone, lost a million to Minnesota Fats and then teamed up with Fats and won it all back. A terrific read for anyone who has ever laid a bet, Titanic Thompson recaptures the colorful times of a singular figure: America's original road gambler. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars This Titanic stays afloat! A great Christmas Present
    Having just finished Kevin Cook's, Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything, it's my pleasure to highly recommend this thoroughly enjoyable book. Unlike some reviewers, I had no previous knowledge of the subject and I thank Mr Cook for introducing me to a man who was without question one of the most colorful real life characters of the 20th century. From humble origins in Arkansas to Al Capone's Chicago, Damon Runyon's New York and Howard Hughes' Hollywood, the man was like "Zelig" with a bankroll: traveling through America's cultural landscape in pursuit of his own version of the American Dream. If you've ever swung a golf club, bowled a bowling ball, pitched a horseshoe, played poker or have done any of the myriad things Titanic excelled at and bet on, this book is for you. Titanic Thompson was the king of road gamblers and Kevin Cook has written a sure thing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The definitive biography of this legendary gambler
    Having just finished this book, my first thought is that there will probably never be another biography of Titanic. I say this because no one would want their effort to be compared to this one. I knew Titanic back in the 1960s, but I understand him better now after reading the book than I did when I was around him on a daily basis. Rich in detail, literate, and always with a "ring of truth," the book was one of the best reading experiences I've had in quite a while.

    More than just a re-telling of the many stories about Titanic and the bets he won, Cook's book brings in a variety of other interesting and colorful characters and gives us a look at what was going in America during the first half of the last century.

    By the way, I can remember running into Titanic's son Tommy about 45 years ago when he and a top pool player (Richie Ambrose) came into a pool hall in Dallas, Texas (Time Square Cue Club). As I recall, Richie ran over me playing 9-ball and the two of them drove off in Tommy's fancy car. As Tommy said in his review, there was no one else who came close to accomplishing Titanic's gambling feats and he did it for over 50 years.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My dad's story brought to life.
    This review is from: Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything (Hardcover)
    My wife, Latrice Thomas, and I both think this is the best book ever written about my dad, Titanic Thompson, [Alvin Clarance Thomas]....True insight into the life of a professional gambler. The interviews bring to life the amazing feats of my dad that in the natural would seem impossible. I was with him when he made three hole in ones on par three golf courses while in his early seventies. Being a professional gambler and card shark for 32 years I can tell you that in the world of gambling there has never been anyone like him. When you read about his life and the amazing things he did you will escape into a time in America that was made to order for the life of Titanic Thompson.

    Tommy Thomas

    5-0 out of 5 stars Titanic Thompson
    Titanic Thompson by Kevin Cook is a fascinating, extremely well-written, true account of an awe-inspiring scoundrel. This is one of those books that you will be sorry when you have finished it because you want to hear even more of the Titanic stories. The scams and cons that Titanic created are almost too outrageous to believe, but, as truth is always stranger than fiction, this larger-than-life athlete/grifter really existed and actually conceived and executed these feats and tricks. Not to be overlooked in the book is how the reader gains a better grasp and understanding of the times and era as the author deftly weaves historical highlights into the Titanic tales. This is a well-researched, invitingly-written book that should be read by anyone who ever bet or thought of betting on anything. This would make a great movie.
    ---Dr. Nancy E. O'Dell--

    5-0 out of 5 stars Titanic Thompson
    America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 1: Feeling Lucky

    You want to know about a real gambler, read this book. Good read. ... Read more

    18. The Daring Book for Girls
    by Andrea J. Buchanan, Miriam Peskowitz
    list price: $26.95 -- our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0061472573
    Publisher: William Morrow
    Sales Rank: 547
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    The Daring Book for Girls is the manual for everything that girls need to know—and that doesn't mean sewing buttonholes! Whether it's female heroes in history, secret note-passing skills, science projects, friendship bracelets, double dutch, cats cradle, the perfect cartwheel or the eternal mystery of what boys are thinking, this book has it all. But it's not just a guide to giggling at sleepovers—although that's included, of course! Whether readers consider themselves tomboys, girly-girls, or a little bit of both, this book is every girl's invitation to adventure.

    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book for young girls (or boys) - you'll love it as much as your kid!, November 9, 2007
    This is the perfect book to share with your daughter/ granddaughter/that special girl you know who is a tween or young teen. It has just the right mix of articles - informative, fun, and stimulating! When the "Dangerous Book for Boys" came out I wished for a version for girls and this book is as good as the one for boys if not better.

    When you first flip through its pages it will remind you of the time you were her age. You probably read a book almost like this but not quite. I say not quite as this book does a perfect balancing act between skills and general knowledge, between techniques we learned from our grandmothers and the ones that became popular later. It tells you "how to press flowers" but also "five karate moves". "Make your own quill pen" is preceded by "how to change a tire". I remember reading a book almost like this in my childhood. I dearly treasured that book till its pages were yellow and stiff into my college days. I spent many afternoons after school experimenting with the projects. I remember the bitter candy apples I made from a recipe in that book, or the quill pen with which I wrote my "secret language" notes for my friends and this book brought back those memories. With more words than illustrations, the Daring book for Girls will encourage the girl who reads it to use her imagination.

    This book will appeal to the "girly-girl" in every girl with the sections like "Palm reading", "Hopscotch", "Princesses today" or "Boys"; to her sense of adventure with articles like "Going to Africa" (short section on each country), "Hiking", "Reading tide charts"; and to the "builder" in her with sections like "Building a campfire", "Tree swings", "Every girl's toolbox". There is a ton of useful information and facts in this book too for those rainy or quiet days - "from French terms of endearment" to "Queens of Ancient world" to "Women Inventors". Sports are covered too - basketball, softball, netball, bowling, playing cards and more.

    My daughter was thrilled to get this book. I wasn't sure she'd like it as much as I liked my childhood book. But she began her next project "how to tie a sari" in minutes and over dinner started telling me about the women inventors in the book. We have now designated this book the "mother-daughter time" book. Each weekend, we pick up the book and try something new! What a great antidote to the "Mom, I'm bored" refrain!

    Some are activities she can attempt on her own and for others like building the ultimate scooter she will need help as it requires some sawing and drilling. It is a challenge for me too as I've not really attempted to build anything from scratch before. I'm ready with my saw and drill and as excited as her to begin that project!

    This book gives just the right kind of stimulation for a younger girl's (or boy's) curious mind and their thirst for new knowledge and skills. This book will also grow with the reader as it gives practical advice and even contains chapters like "Stocks and shares" and "Negotiating salaries." This book is therefore highly recommended and will make a great gift for a 7-14 year old.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sparking Imagination, November 12, 2007
    There are certain things that every girl should learn in her young life, like how to press flowers, what games to play at a slumber party, and how to put her hair up with a pencil. You know, girly things. But they also need to know things like salary negotiation, self defense with karate, and how to change a tire.

    She'll get that and more in The Daring Book For Girls, by authors Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz. This wonderful collection of projects, primers, and practical advice is so compelling and fun to read that I found myself browsing through it for hours after my daughter went to bed.

    The letters of Abigail Adams, the history of women in the Olympics, making a lemon-powered clock... The book is packed with stimulating knowledge and activities. It's sure to stir my daughter's imagination for years to come. The authors have wisely designed the book to appeal to a wide range of ages, from 8 to 18. I'm well beyond those years, and NOT a girl, and even I'm envious of the new worlds of information that will be introduced to my daughter through these pages.

    If you're the parent, or grandparent, of a girl, think twice before you spend your holiday money on some new toy or electronic gadget. The Daring Book For Girls will be the gift that gets the most attention this year.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you have a daughter, buy this book!, November 8, 2007
    I don't know what I like better -- The Daring Book for Girls or the fact that it's written by two women I greatly admire, Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz.

    Written as a sequel, of sorts, to last year's The Dangerous Book for Boys, The Daring Book for Girls is a compendium of activities and information to help today's girls rediscover that there are ways to have fun besides shopping at the mall, watching Hannah Montana or IM'ing their friends.

    As the mother of a seven-year-old daughter, I was thrilled when I learned that the founders of MotherTalk would be writing this book and couldn't wait to see what it would have in store.

    When it arrived, my daughter and I were both very excited because it's just got so much STUFF! Where to begin? There was so much to take in after I was done ooh-ing and aah-ing over the beautiful teal cover with the sparkly silver letters (yes, that did appeal to the "girl" in me!)

    How to make a lemon-powered clock (really!)? Reading the chapters on women who were pirates and spies? How to make a tree swing or check out the list of books "that will change your life?"

    Aimed at the "tween" girl market, it is perfect for that age group, billing itself as the book "for every girl with an independent spirit and a nose for trouble."

    If you're the parent of a daughter who could use a little nudging to take off the headphones and get a little fresh air, then this book is just what the doctor (or Santa) ordered. There are so many great craft ideas and topics to spark the imagination of a girl it's hard to know where to start.

    Since the book's release, some commenters have questioned whether this type of book can really have an impact on the way our daughters are socialized today -- can we really hope that a book that is an homage to our childhoods in the 1970s will be the tonic that will drag our girls out from behind the laptops and forsake the sassy outfits?

    Can it really get our girls away from the world of Libby Lu parties, Bratz Dolls, and questionable Halloween outfits?

    Is it too much to take the feminist optimism we had as girls of the MS. generation and help our daughters discover that they can do "boy" things, too? I think it's imperative. At seven, my daughter is already succumbing to the phenomenon of boys having too much sway on her budding self-esteem. If a few of the activities in this book can help boost her already waning self-confidence, then I'm going to go for it.

    Perhaps it is too much to expect that one book can start a new feminist wave for our daughters of the 21st Century. But if we don't start somewhere, who will?

    As a parent, I can't be responsible for reclaiming the girlhoods of all the "tweens" in America by making them turn off the Disney Channel and sit down to make a quill pen or learn about Queens of the Ancient World. But I can start with one excited second-grader and I'm planning on doing just that.

    What I can do is take one second-grade girl, who is chomping at the bit to dig into the activities in The Daring Book for Girls, and help her discover things she never thought she could do. And I can make sure other moms know about it, too.

    5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic book for all kinds of kids, November 13, 2007
    I am a fifth grade school teacher, so I see a lot of books meant for kids who are growing up. many of these books, especially the books geared for girls tend to be very dramatic, social survival guides that delve into the social ins and outs of growing up at younger and younger ages.

    This book rises above all of that in the same way that the Dangerous book for boys (also a staple in my classroom) did. It tells kids that it is OK to be kids, it is OK to have a lot of interests, from sports to science to history to literature, to enjoy life by doing.

    when I discovered this book on amazon I looked at the table of contents and was delighted at what I saw; the rules of basketball, how to tie a sari, campfire songs and many more topics. I called the girls in my class over, some who are jocks, some who are girly-girls, some who are science minded, and our social butterflies. accross the board each and every girl found something to love about this book, to the extent that there was a fight over it when it arrived in our classroom.

    I am convinced that if there were more books like these telling kids to be kids and live life rather than play video games or watch TV all day, the world would be a better place.

    2-0 out of 5 stars The Daring Book for Girls, January 2, 2008
    I picked up this book in the store and realized it is representative of what I learned as a girl scout brownie (friendship songs, how to make bracelets, etc.). Maybe this is what girls wanted to know in the fifties, but it seems terribly silly for girls of this era. The boy version, amusing and easy to read, included intelligent and interesting information: how things work, mechanics, astronomy, herbology, entomology, how to make a treehouse, etc. I bought the boy book instead.

    My recommendation: Scratch out "Boy" on the title, write "Girl" instead, and give the "Dangerous Book for Boys" to your little girl - she will get much more out it, actually learn something meaningful/useful, and enjoy herself in the process.

    I know I did.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book, November 5, 2007
    This is not a girly book. It's not sexist or anti-male. It's a book full of fun, wonderful, clean adventures and lots of useful information for girls of all ages. And don't girls need all the help they can get? I sure wish this had been around when I was a girl.

    The book begins with all the essential gear girls just have to have. Included are a swiss army knife described as a key tool for survival, a bandana to keep your head cool, rope and twine to help learn about knots, a journal (that's a big one), a hair band for girls with long hair-- duct tape, to fix almost everything, and patience--which is described in the book as a quality and not a thing.

    The book tells girls to not try and be perfect. (Good for all of us.) In the face of frustration, your best tools are a few deep breaths, and remembering that you can do anything once you've practiced it two hundred times. Isn't that wonderful advice? Girls especially are sort of perfectionists. As girls, we tend to think we have to be better and never make a mistake. This books helps girls to discover they don't need to be perfect BUT that if they keep trying, they'll be great!

    Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highest Compliments Department, October 28, 2007
    One of the highest compliments the author of a book for younger readers can get is from a parent who says, "I wish there had been a book like this when I was a kid."

    My guess is that authors Buchanan and Peskowitz will hear this a fair amount from older readers who fall prey to their daughters' nightstands. Despite its sidekick status as the companion volume for the extraordinarily successful The Dangerous Book for Boys, The Daring Book for Girls more than holds its own. Like the boys' volume, this one has a great, retro design, and handsome interior layout.

    But content is where the Daring Book really shines. It has terrific pacing, as the chapters alternate between activities and interesting information about history and culture. The underlying emphasis is on being active and (dare I write it?) daring. There's a can-do tone that informs Daring Book that I found really admirable... and my guess is that boys who voyage beyond its front cover will as well. Terrific work! See also The Big Book of Girl Stuff, the best book for this readership that I've ever written. :)

    4-0 out of 5 stars "Daring Girls" Lives Up To It's Title., December 1, 2007
    This book celebrates the fact that you can change a tire,be good at math,play softball & still be a girl,which I think is great.So I bought it out of both curosity & admiration,(although I figured there'd be one eventually)that there is now a female equivalant of "Dangerous Book For Boys" Also,the hand-clapping songs,daisy chains & the infamous "Bloody Mary" legend brought back many fond memories for me. I just wish the book had more art projects,but perhaps in the the next book(?),they're will be. Also,the book has a slightly slapdash feel to it,one topic follows another without rhyme or reason. For example: how to make a book cover follows an article on Cleopatra,follows an article about how to deal with boys(which btw,is both sensible & age-appropriate).I feel the book should have catergories,but that's an adult P.O.V., not one of a tween girl(whom this book is definately aimed at) Also,I spotted a few typos,though my spelling isn't the greatest at times (as you can see here) OK, but I'm nit-picking. The over-all spirit of the book wins you over & definately would make a cool gift for a "daring" girl(or mother/aunt/ big sister of one:-)!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Equal to or better than the Boys' book...., November 3, 2007
    ... depending on whether you prefer hunting and tanning (boys) or jump-rope and karate (girls). Much of the content in the Daring Book for Girls is very like the content in the Dangerous Book for Boys, with slight variations which are nice if you happen to have both. If you are a parent wondering whether to buy this for your daughter or go with the boys' book because you think it might be better, rest assured, this one is every bit as fun, adventuresome and fascinating as the boys' book. I have a young daughter and bought the boys' book before I knew there would be a girls' one; now I have them both and side-by-side I can say this one at the very least lives up to its predecessor, and in my opinion surpasses it, although both are excellent.

    There are things in this book I'd completely forgotten that I did as a girl. Remember four-square? Elastics? Daisy-chains? Friendship bracelets and hand-clap games? And there are some fascinating tidbits in here, too; did you know Julia Child was a spy before she became a famous TV chef? Who would have thought it? There's a neat section on "Vedic math" tricks, which are something I've always thought amazingly cool and useful. And another neat thing is the international flavor of the book; living in the U.S. but having grown up in New Zealand, it's a real treat to see netball included here among the ball/court games, right between basketball and korfball!!

    Really, moms and dads, do your girls a favor and buy this book, it's worth every penny (for the nostalgia factor alone, hehe).

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful treasury of fun knowledge and women's history., November 16, 2007
    I have a daughter who considers herself to be at least two things: an intellectual and a tomboy. This book satisfied both!

    Fun, useful 'how to' information such as how to build a lemon clock, how to play tetherball and how to press flowers, written in a concise, very readable way. Information about women in history is also in the book, along with the periodic table of elements and information on how to build the perfect scooter.

    I think this book would appeal to anyone; boy, girl, man, woman...of any age, who just likes to learn and do new things. It's a book you can read cover to cover as an adult and both become a bit nostalgic and enlightened at the same time.

    Wonderful! ... Read more

    19. The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently
    by Tony Dungy
    Hardcover (2010-08-03)
    list price: $24.99 -- our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 141433804X
    Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
    Sales Rank: 550
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    “Your only job is to help your players be better.” That single idea had a huge impact on Tony Dungy when he heard it from one of his earliest mentors, and it led him to develop the successful leadership style so admired by players and coaches throughout the NFL. Now, a storied career and a Super Bowl victory later, Tony Dungy is sharing his unique leadership philosophy with you. In The Mentor Leader, Tony reveals what propelled him to the top of his profession and shows how you can apply the same approach to virtually any area of your life. In the process, you’ll learn the seven keys of mentoring leadership—and why they’re so effective; why mentor leadership brings out the best in people; how a mentor leader recovers from mistakes and handles team discipline; and the secret to getting people to follow you and do their best for you without intimidation tactics. As a son, a football player, and a winning coach, Tony has always learned from others on his path to success. Now you can learn to succeed for your team, family, or organization while living out your values—by becoming a mentor leader. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book by and for the Mentor Leader
    The Mentor Leader is an excellent book that is both inspiring, challenging, and practical. Coach Dungy offers a truly unique perspective as a Super Bowl winning football coach, a devoted Christian, and a man who has benefited much mentoring and who has intentionally sought for years to have a positive influence on the lives of those he touches. The book is certainly not shy of principles and thoughtful teaching on the topics of mentoring in leadership, but it really shines as a practical and wise approach that has been borne in the laboratory of life rather than taught in a business school. Author of best-selling book Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life, he has seen firsthand "that the way to bring the best out of an individual or a team is to teach-by example and through one-on-one, step-by-step mentoring." The book is packed full of stories and anecdotes, but it is not just a random assortment of anecdotes. Dungy actually covers a lot of material, and arranges it thoughtfully.

    Table of contents
    Chapter 1. The Mandate of a Mentor Leader
    Chapter 2. The Mind-Set of a Mentor Leader
    Chapter 3. The Maturity of a Mentor Leader
    Chapter 4. The Marks of a Mentor Leader
    Chapter 5. The Moments of a Mentor Leader
    Chapter 6. The Model of a Mentor Leader
    Chapter 7. The Means of a Mentor Leader
    Chapter 8. The Methods of a Mentor Leader
    Chapter 9. The Measure of a Mentor Leader

    If you're a fan of leadership books, you'll recognize ideas and quotes by leadership experts such as Ken Blanchard, Steven Covey, John Maxwell and others. If not, that's ok too, as he weaves these in naturally along with stories and real-life illustrations. Dungy also does a great job at pointing out where ideas like mentoring and servant leadership are taught and modeled in the Bible, especially in the life of Jesus.

    Some of the topics or concepts that I thought were particularly interesting: focusing on strengths, the preeminence of character and integrity in the live of a leader, building a team whose strengths complement yours and each others, the importance of just hanging out and being present in the lives of those you hope to influence, the need to create a culture to effect change, and the idea of treating those you lead as volunteers. Now, there's nothing ground-breaking in any of this, but Dungy does a great job of modeling all of this, and of explaining it in a down-to-earth way.

    Towards the end he finishes by acknowledging that a lot has been covered, and the idea of being a mentor leader might be a daunting one, a lot to remember. So he encourages us with this advice: "Don't worry about remembering it. Think instead about beginning to live what we've talked about - each and every day, in every setting of your life. And let me encourage you to start right where you are, with the people right around you, doing something as simple as engaging with them and talking. Sometimes the smallest things we do have the biggest impact. Just start."

    Being a mentor leader is being about the journey, adding value in the lives of other people in every moment. The Mentor Leader should be of great interest for fans of leadership and football alike.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mentor Leaders Arise!
    We all know that mentoring is the best way to develop key character traits in others, particularly young people because it is based on the model of discipleship. You may recall Jesus and the twelve, and the impact they had on the world. Mentoring Works! Tony Dungy provides an excellent framework for leaders who may not have thought as themselves as potential mentors, and for mentors who would like to become better leaders. Mentor leadership takes servant leadership to a new level. As a board member for a non-profit organization that mentors at-risk youth, I gave each of my fellow board members and staff one at our recent board retreat. And now many of the principles in this book are showing up in our mission, vision, values, and goals statements, and are being implimented in the field. A must read for anyone who aspires to be a true leader or mentor.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
    America is in the midst of a leadership crisis. Politically, socially, spiritually and in the family, leadership is in high demand and short supply. Concepts of what effective leadership is, have come and gone in our society, but I think the concepts in this book are here to stay. In the Mentor Leader we learn the importance of not only creating teams, but leading those teams in a way that helps them be effective in their roles. The goal is not to make the leader "look good," the goal is to help each team member be their best. That means the leader must help each team member develop their personal selves as well as develop the group purposes or goals. Definately worth the price and more!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I have read them all and Dungy's take on this is Spot On!
    I was Looking for a book that was about LEADERSHIP from a SPIRITUAL persective. Tony Dungy nails that query with this book, Mentor Leader. Previously I avoided his books because I am not a big fan of football and assumed it was all related to touchdowns and tackling. I could not have been more wrong. This book is about mentoring and leading. Good title them huh?

    He takes his experiences and that of others and tells how he was mentored what he does to mentor and all in the line of being a leader. Far from an in the ivory tower manager Dungy shows us how to impact others as the main idea in leadership.

    Growing others to be leader even more Spiritual Mentors. He uses the Bible to explain his motivation to help others and shows his weakness and how he overcame them to become the Mentor leader he is today.

    This book was for someone looking to help others a goldmine. I found this book to be informative, entertaining and Spirit Led. Not only should every manager who wants to step beyond "manageing" to leadership read it, every pastor, teacher and mother and father should grab a copy.

    The message Tony wants us to get is that a leader cares little about personal gain and cares everything about doing what they do to help another find Gods direction in their lives. ... Read more

    20. Lost Balls: Great Holes, Tough Shots, and Bad Lies
    by Charles Lindsay
    list price: $29.99 -- our price: $19.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0821261851
    Publisher: Bulfinch
    Sales Rank: 609
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Charles Lindsay's photographs offer a humorous and inquisitive foray into the hazards where golf balls are lost--rough, woods, bunkers, and wetlands--as well as unexpected encounters with wildlife on and off the green. An avid golfer with plenty of experience losing balls, Lindsay photographs his way to the heart of the game with a light touch and an eye for telling details. In the process, he discovers balls ravaged by golfers, gators, and foxes--and lost for over a century.

    Lindsay even encounters what is believed to be the world's oldest golf ball--unearthed in a cellar in the Netherlands alongside a primitive club.

    The photographs were taken at celebrated courses in North America, England, Scotland, and Ireland: Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes, Bethpage, Fossil Trace, Troon, St. Andrews, Royal St. Georges, Ballybunion, Old Head, and many others.

    The foreword by John Updike is a celebration of golf and nature and where the two meet. A humorous story by golf giant Greg Norman rounds out the book. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Lost Balls and Other Bad Lies, October 1, 2005
    WONDERFUL book for golfers... or as a gift to golfers. Photos are crisp and lovely, lies are unimaginable and even inconceivable! Makes those of us who do NOT play golf wonder why others do, and should make golfers offer prayers of thanks that they have never, never had shots to play like these...

    Wonderfully fast shipment of pristine condition books!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than "How To Line Up Your 4th Putt", April 16, 2005
    Charlie Lindsay is an irreverant guy with an unfailing eye. He sees what others don't and makes you grin for the joy of discovery he has had with his camera out in nature searching for the bizarre and wonderful on and around the golf course.

    Be it a golf ball tucked neatly under a "meadow muffin" or a pair of golf shoes hanging from a tombstone, be prepared for a visual feast where golf and golf courses are the metaphor.

    What a treat. What a great gift!! I've sent a dozen already and it's early in the day.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lost Balls- a great photgraphic journey, May 2, 2005
    Charles Lindsay has captured the true soul of golf with this photographic journey through some of the most interesting places in the world. This book is perfect for the person who truely loves and understands the game of golf. His combination of humor and photographic genius make this a wonderfully entaining book for anyone who has ever played the game. I hope there is a sequel.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A book for every golfer, March 19, 2007
    I bought one for a friend and another for myself. If you play
    golf, you think that maybe the results of some of your own
    golf shots may not be so bad. Even if you don't play golf,
    the pictures are funny and interesting (as long as it is someone
    else's ball). Well worth the money.

    4-0 out of 5 stars great photos, January 14, 2006
    I purchased this as a gift for my dad, an avid golfer. When I got it, I was a little disappointed at the sparse text....but the photos are great. My dad LOVED the book....

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best coffee table book in the house, July 12, 2007
    This book's photographs are absolutely brilliant! I first saw the book walking through a store and picked it up only to open up to a page where a golf ball was stuck in a pile of poo. I was flipping pages before you knew it and every shot had me smiling, laughing, reminiscing and just really enjoying the photos. If you are a golfer or going to be buying this book for a golfer I am sure they will get as much enjoyment out of it as I have. Everyone comes into our home and I catch them flipping pages on the book and enjoying it. So don't pass this book up, buy it now!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great photos, January 9, 2007
    I bought this book as a gift for a friend, but ended up sharing it with various family before wrapping it up. It was also the hit of the party when it WAS opened. Very entertaining and a book easy to pick up and look at more than once. A hit for golfers or those who enjoy a photo with a message.

    5-0 out of 5 stars For every golfer, June 27, 2007
    I gave my husband Lost Balls for Father's Day and he absolutely loved it. My 16 year old son and I both enjoyed it as well. This book has beautiful pictures - the photography is excellent - that capture some incredible and impossible lies. The scenes are lovely and make one appreciate golf as a form of relaxation. The many precarious positions that are captured make one appreciate golf as an obsession. For those who love and hate this game, this book will be enjoyed.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected, February 5, 2009
    I thought this would cover sensational or interesting lies and shots involving famous tournaments or golfers. Instead, I found it to be a mundane collection of golf photography. It seemed to center around clever shots of old balls and feature "friends" of the author. I returned the book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great coffee table book for golfers, February 21, 2009
    I bought this book for a friend who loves to golf and he enjoyed it. It's got great photos for great conversation. ... Read more

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