“Real Men Do Yoga” by John Capouya

It’s March. Our New Year’s resolutions lie, littered around our recliner like Corona’s on Cinco de Mayo.

And as real guys, we are ashamed. Of course, no one will ever know this because, WE ARE MEN! And no one should ever know what we are thinking. And even fewer people should have any idea at all what we are feeling.

“Real Men Do Yoga” by John Capouya

But Grit-Lit knows what REAL MEN do.

“Real Men Do Yoga” by John Capouya (Health Communications, Inc. $12.95, 195 pages, www.hcibooks.com).

And every real man with eyes wants to look like the guy on the cover of this book. Heck, Superman wishes he was as muscular, cut and flexible as the dude on the front cover. That guy would be Eddie George, NFL running back and Heisman trophy winner. To quote George, “Yoga’s helped me to avoid injuries and made me stronger, particularly in the upper body. It gives me a competitive edge.”

Not good enough for you Oh Great Manly Man?

Kevin Garnett, NBA Superstar: “I practice my breathing and focusing before every game.” More. “Yoga helps me calm down and helps me center my energy so I’m balanced instead of going out there and just spreading my energy all over the court. I’m zeroed in on the game and have my mind set on what I need to do.”

But wait, there’s more!

“Real Men” features more than twenty pro athletes, all of whom are enthusiastic yoga practitioners: Shannon Sharpe, Dan Marino, Barry Zito, hockey goalie Sean Burke and plus pro golfers and tennis players.

“Real Men Do Yoga” is one of the few yoga books specifically directed at men. There’s little if any “OOOHHMMING”. It’s a non-new-agey book that will convince you that there is a lot more to yoga than just a bunch of folks all tied up in pretzel poses.

Yoga can make you a better athlete and a healthier person: conquer back pain, build muscle, and increase flexibility. It can even improve your sexual performance. And I’ve been told it has fewer side effects than Viagra.

Whether real men do yoga because of all the great benefits or because yoga classes are full of really flexible, friendly women is something between you and your yogi.

You know what else REAL MEN DO? Real men who made resolutions to lose weight and get fit? First they sign up for Yoga. Then they swear off McDuck’s calorie bombs and learn to GASP – here comes the dirty 4 letter word – COOK! For themselves!

“Real Men Do Yoga” by John Capouya, “Plum Lovin’!” by Janet Evanovich, “Hell’s Bay” by James W. Hall

It’s March. Our New Year’s resolutions lie, littered around our recliner like Corona’s on Cinco de Mayo.

And as real guys, we are ashamed. Of course, no one will ever know this because, WE ARE MEN! And no one should ever know what we are thinking. And even fewer people should have any idea at all what we are feeling.

“Real Men Do Yoga” by John Capouya

But Grit-Lit knows what REAL MEN do.

“Real Men Do Yoga” by John Capouya (Health Communications, Inc. $12.95, 195 pages, www.hcibooks.com).

And every real man with eyes wants to look like the guy on the cover of this book. Heck, Superman wishes he was as muscular, cut and flexible as the dude on the front cover. That guy would be Eddie George, NFL running back and Heisman trophy winner. To quote George, “Yoga’s helped me to avoid injuries and made me stronger, particularly in the upper body. It gives me a competitive edge.”

Not good enough for you Oh Great Manly Man?

Kevin Garnett, NBA Superstar: “I practice my breathing and focusing before every game.” More. “Yoga helps me calm down and helps me center my energy so I’m balanced instead of going out there and just spreading my energy all over the court. I’m zeroed in on the game and have my mind set on what I need to do.”

But wait, there’s more!

“Real Men” features more than twenty pro athletes, all of whom are enthusiastic yoga practitioners: Shannon Sharpe, Dan Marino, Barry Zito, hockey goalie Sean Burke and plus pro golfers and tennis players.

“Real Men Do Yoga” is one of the few yoga books specifically directed at men. There’s little if any “OOOHHMMING”. It’s a non-new-agey book that will convince you that there is a lot more to yoga than just a bunch of folks all tied up in pretzel poses.

Yoga can make you a better athlete and a healthier person: conquer back pain, build muscle, and increase flexibility. It can even improve your sexual performance. And I’ve been told it has fewer side effects than Viagra.

Whether real men do yoga because of all the great benefits or because yoga classes are full of really flexible, friendly women is something between you and your yogi.

You know what else REAL MEN DO? Real men who made resolutions to lose weight and get fit? First they sign up for Yoga. Then they swear off McDuck’s calorie bombs and learn to GASP – here comes the dirty 4 letter word – COOK! For themselves!

“Fast & Fit” by Ellen Haas

“Fast & Fit” by Ellen Haas (Hatherleigh, $16.95, 240 pages, www.hatherleighpress.com)

Here’s what the cover says: “150 Recipes by famous chefs like: Alice Waters, Charlie Trotter and Eric Ripert. Each ready in 30 minutes or less. And most with less than 5 ingredients.”

Sounded too good to be true. Heck it takes almost an hour to drive to your favorite pizza place, order a pie, quaff a couple beers, rabbit down a salad and slam a pizza. Plus it costs about 30 bucks plus gas at 500 or so dollars a gallon.

If you can fix good, tasty, healthy food in less than a ½ an hour that leaves almost enough time for a yoga class.

Recipes focus on fresh, in-season ingredients. Many can be made in less than 15 minutes. All reflect the government’s 2005 Dietary Guidelines and the new Food Pyramid.

In a dedicated effort to assure my reader’s that this is a quality publication I forwent my usual Saturday night repast and cooked from the book: “Garlicky Kale” (what’s a kale anyway – I heard it tastes like chicken), “Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin” and a very addicting snack: “Happy Trail Mix.”

In under an hour I made all the above, plus breakfast Muesli. All were delicious. All had 5 ingredients or less. My only disappointment was that quite a few of the recipes weren’t by famous chefs and several had more than 5 ingredients.

But the proof is in the tasting. If your New Year’s resolutions are out rusting next to your barbells, splurge on “Fit & Fast.” Your mouth, your wallet and your waist will all feel better.

Besides yoga and healthy cooking, what else do real men do? Why they buy frivolous books for their wives and then read them themselves.

Plum Lovin' (A Between-the-Numbers Novel)

“Plum Lovin’!” by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, $6.99, 275 pages, www.evanovich.com)

Heroine, Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter. She has a para-normal bounty hunter type friend, Diesel, and a steady boy friend who’s a cop. Plus a dysfunctional family that is funnier than this column. And believe me it hurts me to say that!

Here’s an example:

“Men are like shoes. Some fit better than others. And sometimes you go out shopping and there’s nothing you like. And then as luck would have it, the next week you find two that are perfect, but you don’t have the money to buy both. I was currently in just such a position… not with shoes, but with men. And this morning it got worse.”

And a little more:

“My name is Stephanie Plum. I’m average height and average weight and have an average vocabulary for someone living in Jersey. I have shoulder-length brown hair that is curly or wavy, depending on the humidity. My eyes are blue. My heritage is Hungarian and Italian. My family is dysfunctional in a normal sort of way. There are a bunch of things I’d like to do with my life, but right now I’m happy to put one foot in front of the other and button my jeans without having a roll of fat hang over the waistband.”

You get the idea. “Plum” is classic chick-lit. Perfect for a woman but men like it, too.

And finally, real men love to read about tuff guys.

Hell's Bay

“Hell’s Bay” by James W. Hall (St. Martin’s Minotaur, $24.95, 3068 pages, www.minotaurbooks.com)

Hall’s lead character, Thorn, is one of the better of the lone guy, tuff guy series characters Thorn lives the simple life. A virtual monastic bachelor, Thorn avoids people like you would if you knew they were trying to sell you a lifetime supply of Tupperware. He spends most of his time tying and selling fly fishing flies.

Then about 15 pages into every book Thorn decides, against his better judgment, to have an actual conversation with a living breathing human being. These conversations often start out well with the promise of love, sex, romance or at least catching a REALLY BIG FISH.

But never fear within moments things go astray and Thorn ends up battling for all that is right and good.

A real men’s book for real yoga doin’, FIT food cookin’, chick-lit readin’ MEN.

8 Steps to a PAIN-FREE BACK!” by Esther Gokhale,

But wait, you say, “I’m like a lot of American’s my back hurts too much to exercise!”

8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back

“8 Steps to a PAIN-FREE BACK!” by Esther Gokhale, L. Ac. (Pendo Press, $24.95, 244 pages, www.pendopress.com)

According to “8 Steps” Americans are ten times more likely to have back pain than people from traditional societies around the world. 85% of the population will suffer from back pain” This is a great, picture filled book, extremely well written and full of proven ways to eliminate back pain without surgery, time-consuming exercises or purchasing anything “as seen on TV.”

Once you’ve conquered your back pain you can ride your bike down to your local polling place and vote for a leader who understands priorities.

8 Steps to a PAIN-FREE BACK!” by Esther Gokhale, The Calorie King: Calorie Fat & Carbohydrate Counter

Today’s column is about PRIORITIES and LEADERSHIP. That you and I don’t need to wait for the pigs at the trough, those “Diet Club Failures” in Washington to help us.  How we can take charge of our own lives and pull ourselves out of the tsunami of doom and gloom that is dominating our airwaves.

What you (quite rightly) ask do PRIORITIES and LEADERHIP have to do with books!? Trust me. Please.

Every time I hear a presidential candidate speak I want to scream, “Don’t you guys get it? It’s not about who has the craziest pastor. It’s not about who is too old. It’s not about whose husband was president a long time ago. It’s about PRIORITIES & LEADERSHIP. Continue reading

“The Miracle Seven” by John E. Peterson & Wendie Pett

The Miracle Seven - Buy Now !

“The Miracle Seven” by John E. Peterson & Wendie Pett. (Bronze Bow Publishing. $14.99, 320-pages. Soft cover.)

www.bronzebowpublishing.com
Ever wonder how Grit-Lit tough guys—and gals—build those great big muscles? Sure Spenser and Hawk belong to a boxing gym. And Lee Child’s Reacher occasionally digs a swimming pool—with a shovel!
But just like you and me, they don’t have the time to hit the gym every day. These dudes are busy being shot, knifed, beat and abused. Then there’s all the time taken up by drinking and getting the girl. Pretty soon a twenty-four day is more worn out than a lie detector tied to a philandering politician.
The secret? Steroids? Nope. Viagra. NO! Not the Grit-Lit men!

Continue reading

Some Tough Guys and A Real Life Stud

Today’s theme is, “Desperation is the mother of contempt.” I know there is a tired, old, worn out quote—“necessity is the mother of invention.” But my versions better, especially when it comes to describing the tough guy heroes who bring bad guys to justice.

And no one demonstrates that better than Joe R. Lansdale.

Vannilla Ride

“Vanilla Ride” by Joe R. Lansdale.  (Knopf $24.95, 243-pages. Hard cover.) www.joerlansdale.com
Lansdale has long been a Grit-Lit favorite. A deserving writer who has not yet reached the Lee Child, David Morrell, James Lee Burke stratosphere.

Might be because his quirky, violent characters swear like politicians behind closed doors.
Could also be because one of them is gay. Hap, the big straight white tough guy and Leonard, the big gay black tough guy won’t have a Disneyland ride named after them any time soon. But, Lansdale’s writing is the slam-you-in-the-stomach-then-rip-out-your-spleen stuff that Quentin Tarantino wishes he could write.
Some examples:
“I hadn’t been shot at in a while, and no one had hit me in the head for a whole month or two, and I was starting to feel special.”
Or
“Brett (Hap’s girlfriend) sat up and fluffed her pillow behind her back and pushed her long bloodred hair to the side, shoved her chest forward in a way that made me feel mighty lucky, and said ‘I haven’t had that much fun since I pistol-whipped a redheaded midget.’”
And one more. One of the very few “Vanilla Ride” paragraphs that that can be printed in its entirety in this fine family publication.
“I bit the guy I was fighting so hard I took part of his nose away. He let out a bellow and I leaped forward and poked a finger in one of his eyes. As he staggered back, I kicked and caught the inside of his kneecap and it made a pleasant sound like a drover cracking a whip. He fell with one hand on his face, the other clutching at his knee. I picked up my gun and walked over to him and shot him in the head.”

The Night Monster

“The Night Monster” by James Swain. (Ballantine Books $26, 320-pages. Hard cover.) www.jimswain.com
In the third Jack Carpenter, Swain puts Carpenter in the usual dire straits. A former Broward County detective turned child abduction specialist Carpenter does whatever is necessary to bring missing children home.
Carpenter lives the ex-cop/private detective life. Broke. Estranged from his wife. Other than the barkeeper at the bar he lives above, his life centers around his daughter, Jessie, and his closest friend, Buster—a mean ol’ Australian Shepherd. To clarify, Buster’s a dog, not a big blond guy sunburned guy with a hooked stick and an accent.
Swain has a knack for creating heroic characters that you care about. And Carpenter is one of Swain’s best.

The Miracle Seven

“The Miracle Seven” by John E. Peterson & Wendie Pett. (Bronze Bow Publishing. $14.99, 320-pages. Soft cover.) ww.bronzebowpublishing.com
Ever wonder how Grit-Lit tough guys—and gals—build those great big muscles? Sure Spenser and Hawk belong to a boxing gym. And Lee Child’s Reacher occasionally digs a swimming pool—with a shovel!
But just like you and me, they don’t have the time to hit the gym every day. These dudes are busy being shot, knifed, beat and abused. Then there’s all the time taken up by drinking and getting the girl. Pretty soon a twenty-four day is more worn out than a lie detector tied to a philandering politician.
The secret? Steroids? Nope. Viagra. NO! Not the Grit-Lit men!
Their secret is “The Miracle Seven.” Seven exercises you can do any time and any place. In the car on a stake out. Or a motel room while you’re waiting for the bombshell to slip into something more comfortable. Seven slow motion isometric movements, plus another 20+ versions to stave off boredom. The basic program takes about 20 minutes a day. Add some cardio, stretch a little and you’ll be ready to take on Rocky on his best day.

“Die Fat or Get Tough” by Steven Siebold

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Die Fat or Get Tough

And now author Steven Siebold, the ultimate tough guy, brings us, “Die Fat or Get Tough.” (London House, $24.97, 231 pages. Soft cover.) www.diefatbook.com

The Grit-Lit promise is to bring you all kinds of gritty tough messages from gritty tough guys. Siebold is tougher than a Marine Drill Sergeant who has OD’d on the double SS combo – Steroids and Speed.

Some Chapter Quotes.

“Fat people are delusional about being fat … Fit people operate from objective reality.”  “Fat people believe obesity won’t kill you… Fit people believe obesity won’t kill tomorrow.” And the one that hurts the most, “Fat people make choices that keep them fat … Fit people make choices that keep them fit.”

Sub-titled “101 Differences in Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People” Siebold’s message is discipline, discipline, discipline…” His message, however unwelcome makes sense, darn it. “Get Tough” is a tough message from a tough guy.

To see the rest of the column and all our award winners, click here.