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Grandmasters of Writing: Top Picks and Reviews Of Popular Fiction and Non-Fiction Books

Updated on November 2, 2012

Sports, Sci Fi, Education, Job Search and More

I have reviewed books and movies of all sorts for some time now.

Initially, I enjoyed reviewing educational text books and workforce development training materials for about 12 years while I taught GED courses and college prep classes, along with tutoring college students in sciences, higher mathematics and creative writing. In addition, I designed curricula for natural sciences, social sciences, language arts, Russian, and work readiness/career development.

While I am always interested in the latest books from the areas in which I have taught and written curricula, but I am also interested in the genres of science fiction, classic literature, Christian literature and nonfiction, global religions, mysteries, how-to books, general nonfiction, music, and arts.

In addition to all this, I am interested in sports-related books in the martial arts in which I hold the 9th dan (9th degree back belt Grandmaster) with my federations The New International Jidokwan Federation, Ji Do Kwan (TM) Christian Martial Arts International, and Nigeria Taekwondo Foundation75:

Jidokwan Taekwondo (WTF), Jujutsu, Yudo (Korean Judo), Hapkido, and Unarmed Combat Self Defense.

I also read and recommend material in other martial arts practiced by my federation members and affiliates, incuding Isshinryu, Shotokan, Aikido, boxing, and wrestling in USA and Africa. Among the top staff members are Olympic Silver Medalist Grandmaster Emmanuel Ikpeme and the Cameroon Women's Wrestling Coach Alberta Kekuna, as well as Taekwondo Olympic Gold Medalist Princess Dudu of West Africa.

I'd like to share a number of books that I have read and recommended in the last several months.

Sports Nonfiction

American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China. Matthew Polly. Gotham.

This is an eye-opening account of the effects of the Communist Party's management of the Shaolin Temple and its monks and students as a cash cow for the Party.It is also a effective rendition of the Chinese culture and the society around Shaolin and the Communists entrenched at the Temple. It is fascinating. Written by the first American student accepted into the Temple kung fu school in 1992, this true account permits the reader to get to know the individual monks Mr. Polly knew as real people. Complementing pictures round out the tale in a book that readers will want to keep.

Touchdown Alexander: My Story of Faith, Football, and Pursuing the Dream.Shaun Alexander, with Cecil Murphey.Harvest House Publishers

Little League Heaven: The Legend of Odie Sweeny. Richard C. Wagner. PublishAmerica, LLP


Hearst to Hughes: Memoir of a Forensic Psychiatrist. Donald T. Lunde, M.A., M.D. AuthorHOUSE,USA.

See Jane Hit: Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About It. James Garbarino, PhD. Penguin Press.

Relativity: The Special and the General Theory. Albert Einstein. Penguin Classics


Wabi-Sabi, for Artists, Designers , Poets and Philospophers. Leonard Koren. Stone Bridge Press.

Life on Purpose: Six Passages to An Inspired Life. Dr. W. Bradford Swift with a Foreword by Robert Allen. Elite Books.

The Shadow on the Wall of Your Mind: A look at the other side of teenage depression. by Kate Ringland and Ellie Ringland. Published © 2006 by Kate & Ellie Ringland.

Decoding the Universe: How the New Science of Information Is Explaining Everything in the Cosmos, From Our Brains to Black Holes. Charles Seife. Penguin Books.


God Doesn't Shoot Craps: A Divine Comedy. Richard Armstrong. Sourcebooks Landmark.

Carbs and Cadavers: A Supper Club Mystery. J.B. Stanley.Midnight Ink.

Double Dead. A Steve Harlan Mystery. Terry Hoover. Five Star TM, an imprint of Thomson Gale.

Lately. Sara Pritchard. Houghton Mifflin.

The Hobo Chronicles. An Acey Tapp Mystery. S.E. Schenkel.Wings.

Sticks and Stones. (mystery). Susan Meissner. Harvest House Publishers.

The 6th Target. James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. Little, Brown and Company

Saul Bellow: Novels 1956-1964: Seize the Day, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog (Library of America). Saul Bellow (1915-2005), James Woods, Ed.

The Space Trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Stength. (sci-fi) C.S.Lewis.

Lightning Days. Colin Harvey. Swimming Kangaroo Books.

Christian Literature and Non-Fiction

Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence. Jocelyn Anderson. One Way Café Press.

The Third Day Bible Code. Kermit Zarley. Synergy Books.

The Angelic Prophesy. Robert L Hecker.Mundania Press, LLC.

Finding Favor with the King.: Preparing for Your Moment in His Presence. Tommy Tenney. Bethany House.

If you saw the Movie One Night With the King , a story of the amazing Esther, read this book.

Is That All He Thinks About? How to Enjoy Great Sex with Your Husband. Marla Taviano.Harvest House Publishers.


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    • profile image

      Wudang 9 years ago

      Lots of great books . . . I actually checked on picking up one of them and may go ahead and order it . . .

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      wudangquan-com, the link you provides looks to hold a wide range of information on many levels. I will readit fully.

      JarrodHaze - I was intrigued by a particular Bruce Lee life story film -- Coming back from a severe spinal injury is the proof of the strength of a physical discipline and a determined spirit. My foarite role of his was Kato inthe Green Hornet. However, his life was snuffed out too young, too soon. There was supposedly a curse on the family line. Brandan Lee had immeasureable potential, but similarly to Heath Ledger in a dark role (the hideously dark Joker), Brandon's "Crow," I think, did him in, in a way. Perhaps we martial artists should stay away from the very deepest pits of the dark side - a little goes a long way. Brandon's sister has been making films in Hong Kong - have you seen any?

    • JarrodHaze profile image

      JarrodHaze 9 years ago

      I appreciate it, Patty! A beginner Hubber could use all the help he can get from someone such as yourself, thanks for reading! I just noticed (and subsequently corrected) a glaring error in my article, though!

      You can read a bit more about the Chinese influence on Asian martial arts. :) I mainly studied Japanese styles, and then moved into Kali, Krav Maga, and such before coming full circle back to Chinese arts. My next Hub is likely going to be dedicated to Jeet Kune Do, and Bruce Lee's "branching off" from Wing Chun, but in my opinion Bruce Lee epitomized the spirit of kung fu.

      Also, I really enjoy your Aboriginal posts... I lived in Sydney for a while and studied the urbanization of the Aborigines, amongst other things, and it's always great to hear respect for the culture and people rather than, well... no need to get into details here!


    • profile image

      wudangquan-com 9 years ago

      Great page, and pretty interesting articles, too. Always up for a good read.


    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Greetings, JarrodHaze! - thank you for your comments. I liked the book very much and received a good picture of what's what in China with wushu, kung fu, and actual training. I'll be reading your hub very soon. One of the Grandmasters in my styles in WWII served in Japan AND China with the military, so we have some Chinese influence int he style that I like.

      Let me say that my training has been a lot of hard work, with several years of survival skills training as well. Saved my life more than once! It just all worked out very well for me and gave me something on which I could thrive for the rest of my life

      Best regards.

    • JarrodHaze profile image

      JarrodHaze 9 years ago

      American Shaolin is a great book. There are a lot of historical debates and inaccuracies concerning kung fu, some of which are addressed in my latest hub (about northern and southern styles, brief Shaolin history, animal forms), but American Shaolin is a great narrative of modern Shaolin kung fu.

      Also, you have impressive martial arts credentials, indeed!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      haha, I sleep 6.5 hours a night. Most of the rest of the time I am doing something useful. :)

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

      Patty I am always impressed with your hubs, now one step further I am impressed with what you can pack into 24 hours.

      When do you sleep?

      Thank you for your very welcolmed hub

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      It's interesting and different fomr what I expected. Very good overall, I thought. I hope you like it.

    • adventure profile image

      adventure 9 years ago from U.S.A.

      I saw American Shaolin in the book store a few weeks ago and almost purchased it. Now I will. Thanks.