“Plum Lovin’!” by Janet Evanovich

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.

“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.

“Strong Enough To Die” by Jon Land

Strong enough to Die

“Strong Enough To Die” by Jon Land. (Forge $24.95, 352 pages. Hard cover.) www.tor-forge.com

Land’s books are so good, his last book “The Seven Sins: The Tyrant Ascending” is on its way to being a blockbuster. Movie guys from “Terminator” snapped up the rights.
Now don’t get all mad when you discover that technically “Strong Enough” is not a tough guy book. That’s only because on special occasions, Land’s hero can look mighty good in a dress. His new star, Caitlin Strong, is the first female Texas Ranger. So, she’s tough. Plenty tough.
“You ever shot anybody before today?” he asked her.
“Yup.”
“Kill anybody?”
“Yup. Not that I’m proud of it.”
“You proud of what you did today?”
“Nope.”
“Figured.” Dylan sighed, leaning back with arms crossed. “Why?”
“’Cause I was too late to save your mom.”

“Strong Enough” is a wonderful complex story that touches on several real life issues: torture recovery centers, border control, high tech computer weapons … In “Strong Enough To Die” Land has create a complex and wildly enjoyable thriller.


Jon Land, Lee Child, Andrew Grant Wonderful Heroes — Tough Guys and a Tough Gal

Looks like I won’t be going to work for at least the next 2 months. Just discovered that one of Grit-Lit’s all time favorite authors, Jon “The Legend” Land, has written 28 novels. TWENTY-EIGHT! And I’ve only read 9 of ‘em.

That’s 19 books I’ve gotta read RIGHT NOW! And no, you can’t have my copies when I’m done. They are going to their place of honor on my bookshelf next to the other superlative tough guy novels by John D. MacDonald, Randy Wayne White, Robert Parker, James W. Hall, Andrew Vachss, Stephen Hunter, Ian Fleming, David Morrell …
Sleep was all ready pretty much back burnered anyway.

What with the NBA play-offs–40 Games In 40 Nights–which of our country’s enemies came up with that? Forty days of nonstop basketball could bring the American economy to its knees faster than a whole new round of sub-prime loans.
But wait, there’s more good news–more up-all-night books including an outstanding new Jack Reacher by Lee Child and a great new tough guy novel by Andrew Grant. Plus the 19 new-to-me-books by Jon Land.

Strong enough to Die

“Strong Enough To Die” by Jon Land. (Forge $24.95, 352 pages. Hard cover.) www.tor-forge.com

Land’s books are so good, his last book “The Seven Sins: The Tyrant Ascending” is on its way to being a blockbuster. Movie guys from “Terminator” snapped up the rights.
Now don’t get all mad when you discover that technically “Strong Enough” is not a tough guy book. That’s only because on special occasions, Land’s hero can look mighty good in a dress. His new star, Caitlin Strong, is the first female Texas Ranger. So, she’s tough. Plenty tough. Continue reading

“Strong Justice” by Jon Land

<a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0765323362?ie=UTF8&tag=gritlit-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0765323362″><img border=”0″ src=”51-lOZvyfiL._SL160_.jpg”></a><img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=gritlit-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0765323362″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

Strong Justice

Coming June 22nd, “Strong Justice” by Jon Land. (Macmillan Books, $24.99, 352 pages. Hard cover.) http://us.macmillan.com/author/jonland.

The latest in Land’s saga about super-tough, fifth generation female Texas Ranger, Caitlin Strong. On a 1-10 scale, Grit-Lit rates “Strong Justice” an 11.

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

Tough Heroes From Land, Childs, Liss And Dietrich

First, a word about the economy which is *&^%$s. But it seems to be getting better. I think… I hope … Maybe…

Readers write me asking, “Given the cost of books, which ones should I buy?” Another person said “With books so expensive, I’m thinking about giving up reading.”

YIKES!

Unless you are a page-a-second-speed-reader, books are the best entertainment value out there. A $9 paperback cost about $2.50 an hour. Even less if you share it with friends. And a shared hard back cost less per person than a movie with popcorn and soda.

Grit-Lit is here to help you get maximum value for your hard earned buck. As always, the books in this column represent the best of the best thriller-lone-tough-guy/gal or tough-person-with-team genre. You’ll never read a review about the stinkers I’ve read. Why put down bad books when there are lots of great books out there?

Today, Grit-Lit announces our first text message inspired award. The IURSUPTPFT (If U R Saving Ur Pennies Then Plan For This) award. This is where we briefly cover outstanding books that are coming out pretty darn soon.

61 Hours

Here are the IURSUPPFT books for this month.

In bookstores this May, “61 Hours” by Lee Child. (Delacorte, $28, 383 pages. Hard cover.) www.leechild.com.

Jack Reacher is back, better … much better than ever.

And even more good news, Child’s has committed to two brand new Reacher novels this year.

 

Rejoice Reacher fans. Rejoice.

Coming June 22nd, “Strong Justice” by Jon Land. (Macmillan Books, $24.99, 352 pages. Hard cover.) http://us.macmillan.com/author/jonland.

Strong Justice

The latest in Land’s saga about super-tough, fifth generation female Texas Ranger, Caitlin Strong.

On a 1-10 scale, Grit-Lit rates “Strong Justice” an 11.

The Barbary Pirates

The Barbary Pirates

Now, some stuff you can buy today.

“The Barbary Pirates: An Ethan Gage Adventure” by William Dietrich. (Harper Collins, $25.99, 328 pages. Hard cover.) www.williamdietrich.com

The hero of this wonderful historical thriller, Ethan Gage, is a well meaning scoundrel, a rake (which in this case, is not a gardening tool), a gambler and an adventurer.

A well meaning swashbuckler, coerced into working for Napoleon. Napoleon wants Gage to find a lost super weapon,ancient the Mirror of Archimedes.

From the salons and brothels of Paris to the canals of Venice, on to the caves of Santorini and ultimately ending with piracy on the high seas, “Pirates” never disappoints.

The devils company

Another excellent historical thriller just released in trade paperback is, “The Devil’s Company” by David Liss. (Ballantine Books, $15, 392 pages. Soft cover.) www.davidliss.com

Strongly recommended when it came out in hard cover, the paperback is a great deal. This book intrigues from the very first page.

“In my youth I suffered from too close a proximity to gaming tables of all descriptions, and I watched in horror as Lady Fortune delivered money, sometimes not precisely my own, into another’s hands.”

Who wouldn’t want to know more about Benjamin Weaver, ruffian and scoundrel for hire? It’s 1722. Weaver becomes enmeshed in a blackmail and corruption scheme.

Hooked by the first sentence, I was totally lost to the world after the first unexpected plot twist.

“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.

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<a href=”https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51-lOZvyfiL._SL160_.jpg”><img title=”Strong Justice” src=”https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51-lOZvyfiL._SL160_.jpg” alt=”" width=”105″ height=”160″ /></a>

Strong Justice

Lee Child and Reacher – Back and Better Than Ever!

Lee Child

Today, Grit-Lit announces our first text message inspired award. The IURSUPTPFT (If U R Saving Ur Pennies Then Plan For This) award.

This is where we briefly cover outstanding books that are coming out pretty darn soon.

Here are the IURSUPPFT books for this month.

In bookstores this May, “61 Hours” by Lee Child. (Delacorte, $28, 383 pages. Hard cover.) www.leechild.com. Continue reading

Jon Land, Thriller Writer Extraodinaire’s Caitlin Strong Blockbuster

Jon Land

Looks like I won’t be going to work for at least the next 2 months. Just discovered that one of Grit-Lit’s all time favorite authors, Jon “The Legend” Land, has written 28 novels. TWENTY-EIGHT! And I’ve only read 9 of ‘em. That’s 19 books I’ve gotta read RIGHT NOW! And no, you can’t have my copies when I’m done. They are going to their place of honor on my bookshelf next to the other superlative tough guy novels by John D. MacDonald, Randy Wayne White, Robert Parker, James W. Hall, Andrew Vachss, Stephen Hunter, Ian Fleming, David Morrell …

Strong Enough To Die

“Strong Enough To Die” by Jon Land. (Forge $24.95, 352 pages. Hard cover.)

Land’s books are so good, his last book “The Seven Sins: The Tyrant Ascending” is on its way to being a major film. The movie guys from “Terminator” snapped up the rights.

Now don’t get all mad when you discover that technically “Strong Enough” is not a tough guy book. That’s only because on special occasions, Land’s hero can look mighty good in a dress. His new star, Caitlin Strong, is the first female Texas Ranger. So, she’s tough. Plenty tough.

Here’s a brief quote to give you Continue reading

Excellent Thrillers By Jon Land, Lee Child & Andrew Grant

John Land

Strong Enough to Die

Looks like I won’t be going to work for at least the next 2 months.Just discovered that one of Grit-Lit’s all time favorite authors, Jon “The Legend” Land, has written 28 novels. TWENTY-EIGHT! And I’ve only read 9 of ‘em. That’s 19 books I’ve gotta read RIGHT NOW! And no, you can’t have my copies when I’m done. They are going to their place of honor on my bookshelf next to the other superlative tough guy novels by John D. MacDonald, Randy Wayne White, Robert Parker, James W. Hall, Andrew Vachss, Stephen Hunter, Ian Fleming, David Morrell …

Sleep was all ready pretty much back burnered anyway. What with the NBA play-offs–40 Games In 40 Nights–which of our country’s enemies came up with that? Forty days of nonstop basketball could bring the American economy to its knees faster than a whole new round of sub-prime loans.

But wait, there’s more good news–more up-all-night books including an outstanding new Jack Reacher by Lee Child and a great new tough guy novel by Andrew Grant. Plus the 19 new-to-me-books by Jon Land. Continue reading