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Reviews Written by
J. Richmond "MaxII" (Richmond, IN)

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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Submission Grappling Techniques
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Submission Grappling Techniques
by Royler Gracie
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 35.96
17 used & new from CDN$ 22.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, Jan. 14 2004
Royler, and crew have put together yet another excellent book on Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. This book is on par with JJ Machado's Black Belt techniques. Royler's book my well be the best of the series. No mean feat that. It deals more substantially with the stand up portion of a a grappling match than any of the other invisisble cities BJJ books and also discusses grips. This in itself is a huge plus. Most of the BJJ books on the market, even the much touted Brazilian Jiu-jitsu The Master Text, fails to deal adequately with stand-up material. Royler has put together some outstanding material. It has great techniques, great advice, and high production value. This is a book that will definately add to your submission grappling arsenal, while refining what you already know. Well worth the price.

Ghost Of Tom Joad
Ghost Of Tom Joad
14 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing sequel to Nebraska, Jan. 8 2004
This review is from: Ghost Of Tom Joad (Audio CD)
The Ghost of Tom Joad is one of the most haunting albums I have ever listened to. It was in fact listening to this album that I noticed the tremendous influence he has had on so many of our great singer/songwriters. The music on Ghost is tremendously affecting. It is Springsteen without his pop-enthusiasm. The songs are bare, and his tremendous talents as a songwriter really stand out for all to see. Ghost is a great album that showcases the considerable talents of one of our great songwriters.

Small-Circle Jujitsu
Small-Circle Jujitsu
by Wally Jay
Edition: Paperback
31 used & new from CDN$ 5.19

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a strange martial art, Nov. 25 2003
This review is from: Small-Circle Jujitsu (Paperback)
I would like to say that I admire any one who puts in the time and effort to learn a martial art and master it. That takes a lot of dedication and hard work. So I really have a great deal of respect for Wally Jay. Having said that though, I think small circle Jujitsu is really an ineffective grappling system. And I also think that it is no good in the street. Reading this book confirmed all of my worst suspicions about this art. Buy it only if you are looking for a good laugh and have money to burn. If not, and you actually want a good book about fighting try anything in Kid Peligro's Brazilian Jiu-jitsu series. Or go buy some Mario Sperry Vale Tudo tapes. Just don't get this book!

Best Judo
Best Judo
by Isao Inokuma
Edition: Paperback
11 used & new from CDN$ 61.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Great work on grappling with the Gi, Oct. 23 2003
This review is from: Best Judo (Paperback)
This is probably the best Judo book on the market. Full of dynamic technique and loaded with good descriptions. This book breaks down all of the major throws of judo while also exploring judo's mat work. Having "Newaza" Sato on board really made this subject matter stand out tremendously. This book also contains a great section on combinations, and physical training. Any person who grapples with a gi should own this book.
My only complaint is that the judoka demonstrating the techniques are both wearing white gis this can sometimes make it hard to distinguish what is going on unless you already have a practiced eye for the material. It is a small complaint to be sure.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Techniques
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Techniques
by Jean Jacques Machado
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 35.96
17 used & new from CDN$ 26.54

5.0 out of 5 stars Holy @#$!, Oct. 15 2003
Of the Invisible Cities Press Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu released to date (Royler and Renzo's book, Royce and Charles' book and Kid Peligro's book) this book by JJ Machado and Kid Peligro is by far, the best of the bunch. that is not to say that the other books that I mentioned are not good. They are extremely good. However, they lack a special something that this particular effort has in spades. Personality. One of the really great things about this manual is the insight it give the reader into the style and approach of a particular fighter. JJ Machado has been, it seems, remarkably forthright in this book. He reveals his very unique approach by showing us the way he does things. The oher Invisible Cities books have been useful, but they remain I think beginners manuals (not at all a bad thing!). This book is about seeing a larger picture. It is a guide post for paving your own road in this most wonderful art.
On the content side this book does not dwell on the basics, it is not that kind of book. Technically it is strategy manual, specifically it demonstrates the way you can play with the movements of BJJ in unpredicable ways. JJ Machado is known as a finisher and that is the other thing the book trys to demonstrate, how to finish from nearly everywhere in sound, BJJ fashion. This isn't exactly a beginners book, but I think the beginner could benefit from owning it.

How The Mind Works
How The Mind Works
by Steven Pinker
Edition: Paperback
57 used & new from CDN$ 2.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Pinker does it again, Aug. 25 2003
This review is from: How The Mind Works (Paperback)
WHy this book doesn't average more stars than it does is beyond me. I image it is because it occasionally ruffles ideological feathers. This is a wonderful book that goes a long way toward introducing lay readers and interested scholars to the rich and developing field of evolutionary psychology. Pinker is one of the great writers in the science popularization field. His books are well researched, his points are well argued, and the tone quite respectful. Well maybe he is a little rough on the postmodernists, and the hard cultural relativists, but they probably deserve a little harsh criticism.
Anyone interested in the state of cognitive research today ought read this book. Agree with him or not, Pinker will not dissappoint.

The Theory of Island Biogeography
The Theory of Island Biogeography
by Robert H. MacArthur
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 60.49
26 used & new from CDN$ 45.33

5.0 out of 5 stars dated, but excellent for seeing where the field began, Aug. 25 2003
This is a wonderful book that spawned a new sub-field in ecology as well as providing a major theoretical approach to conservation issues. Island biogeography provided us with a new way to view biodiversity as it related to space. A wonderful book.

Cloud of Sparrows
Cloud of Sparrows
by Takashi Matsuoka
Edition: Hardcover
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, Aug. 25 2003
This review is from: Cloud of Sparrows (Hardcover)
I can't really put my finger on why I liked this book so much. There are, of course the obvious things, great writing, fascinating setting, interesting story, plus and an interesting view of a countries unique history and culture. There is something sad and bitter about our hero, and his companions. One thing that is utterly refreshing about this book is that I never knew what to expect. In lesser hands this would have been a goofy exercise in boring fantasy/adventure themes and set pieces. Not Cloud of Sparrows though, not at all. There is geniune surprise in this novel.
I recomend this book wholeheartedly. It is a unique departure into fantasy, with action, intrigue, suspense and character. Also, let us not forget, really exemplary writing.

The Thousand Orcs: The Hunter's Blades Trilogy, Book I
The Thousand Orcs: The Hunter's Blades Trilogy, Book I
by R.A. Salvatore
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
112 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars An improvement over the last series., Aug. 25 2003
First off I must say that Salvatores masterpiece is the Icewind Dale Trilogy. That is hands down his finest work with Drizzt. The Dark Elf Trilogy is, in my humble opinion not worth the paper it is printed on. This, book, 'The Thousand Orcs' (which by the way is a bit of an underestimate and misleading) seems to be a return to his winning ways. The characters have grown, they have had trials and been changed by them. This sets up really mature interaction among our adventurers. Salvatore is at least a writer who keeps continuity at the forefront. He doesn't just introduce a new development in one novel only to forget about it in the next. So it is neat to see the conflicts that the characters new entanglements produce. What is also nice about this book and Salvatore in general, is the fact that he does like to surprise the reader. And that is a hard thing to do when the themes fantasy novels have been pretty much done to death. I probably need not say that Salvatore handles the action superbly. Or need I mention that the books are action packed and fun? No...good.
My only complaint really is the title. It is more than a thousand orcs, more by a lot. And it isn't just orcs. I don't quite understand that.

The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World
The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World
by Bjorn Lomborg
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.40
92 used & new from CDN$ 0.78

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The ideological masquerade goes on and on, Aug. 25 2003
I will briefly comment on only one aspect of Bjorn's book. It will serve as an example of the many problems of this book. In his work Lomberg claims that habitat loss has had no effect on birds, that is it has not caused extinctions. This is utterly irresponsible. Clearly, habitat loss lead to the loss of no less than four species of birds in North America alone. They are, the Carolina Parakeet, Passenger Pigeon, Ivory-billed Woodpecker and Dusky Seaside Sparrow. These extinctions offer a cautionary tale to those who would haphazardly slash and burn rain forests or even northern temperate forests. The important point made by our North American extinctions is that evolutionary specialization can mean disaster when the local environment is decimated. The kind of specialization exhibited by the species mentioned above is uncommon in temperate regions, however endemism and ecological specialization is extraordinarily high in the tropics. So thoughtless clearing of the kind engaged in here in North America would spell absolute disaster in the tropics. I am not saying that development and the conservation of biodiversity are incompatible, I hamppen to think they are. But the picture that Lomberg presents is not an honest one. Not in the slightest. There is geniune truth in the 'litany'. I think it is clear that pollution, bioaccumlation, ozone depletion (not so much a problem now as decisive action has been taken), acid rain are all serious problems that affect the quality of all life. Lomberg likes to gloss over this fact, or say that it is not really a problem, or that is not as serious a problem as the environmentalists think it is. This is a horribly irresponsible book.

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