Archive for the Books Category

Pat Tillman,Hero

Posted in Books with tags , , , , on May 9, 2009 by mccoolio

Pat350I’ m a big fan of Pat Tillman. I have just finished the book:  Boots on the Ground By Dusk by  Mary Tillman and Narda Zacchino. Mary Tillman is Pat’s mom. I really wasn’t a fan and had never even really heard about him until I read in 1992 that he decided to give up his Pro Football career to enlist in the Army as a Ranger. Because of that I, along with a lot of others grew in admiration for him for his actions. Then, we were all shocked and saddened by his death in Afghanistan April 22, 2004. Then later, we were again shocked  to find out he was not killed by enemy fire as first reported but by friendly fire. Then, incredibly, it was uncovered that the Army big-whigs engineered the cover-up and giving of false information.

By all accounts Pat Tillman was a man who exemplified courage, loyalty, integrity, and love of country.  For instance, when his contract with the Arizona Cardinals was up, he turned down a $9 million per year to play for the Rams and took way less to stay with the Cardinals because he felt they had given him a shot to play where no one else had and he felt loyal to them.

Then, after 9-11,  since several of his relatives had served their country, he asked himself: what have I done? As a result he and his brother Kevin (pictured above with Pat) decided to enlist, Pat turning away from a 3 year, $3.6 million a year contract to make probably about $23,000 a year.

Mary Tillman’s book is a great read that I couldn’t put down. I  read  it all in one day. The book is primarily about Pat, about his life ,and his character. It’s brimming full of inside stories that only his mother would know. The bulk of the book describes the stories from several different memorial services. Stories that will make you weep,  that will make you proud to be an American, and that will make you feel good that integrity is still alive and well. These testimonies are told by  NFL and college coaches and players, Rangers, SEALS , Delta Force guys, and friends and family of Pat.

The book secondarily chronicles the Tillman families  search for the truth concerning his death,  the subsequent cover-up, and their push for accountability for what happened that day in the Middle East. I certainly don’t agree with Mrs. Tillman’s politics (for an alternative view read Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell). Her Bush bashing gets a little old.

The book really made me think because God is really not a  part of the Tillman family as far as I could tell. But can I as a Christian learn from Pat Tillman? Yes. His examples of integrity, loyalty, single-mindedness,hard work, thoughtfulness, and humility are amazing. Every Christian would do well to read the book just for lessons in the above. Google Pat Tillman and spend some time reading some of the hits.

Mrs Tillman is an educator and thus the book is extremely well written. I pray that through her relentlessness, the truth will be revealed, and justice will be meted out.


Josh Hamilton

Posted in Books with tags , , , , on December 29, 2008 by mccoolio

joshI got the new book: Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back  by Josh Hamilton and Tim Keown. I started reading it Friday night and finished it Saturday evening. OK, so I was land-locked because of the afore mentioned sinus surgery but even if I hadn’t , it’s that compelling.

Lately I’ve read three books centered around drug addiction and recovery : Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff ,   Save Me from Myself: How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs, and Lived to Tell My Story by Brian Welch and this one. Beautiful Boy needs to be read by anyone that has a loved one or friend that struggles with addictions but it is a tough read , especially for those who’ve been through or are going through addiction issues. In addition, for someone like myself with a Christian based outlook, reading a book about such struggles without God, is tough.David Sheff is a very good writer, and he paints a very realistic and informative picture of the nightmare of day to day life dealing with a loved one’s addictions. Brian Welch’s book has pretty rough subject matter, very raw, but his conversion seems very authentic to me, and rings true with my conversion. This book would probably not appeal to most because of it’s raw subject matter. Josh’s book however, is a great read for everyone, if  you know his story or not, sports lover or not. His story is widely known now but the book goes into much more detail about his life. The similarities between Josh’s conversion and Brian Welch’s are almost exactly the same, and as I mentioned, almost exactly the same as mine: the wonderment, the innocence, the power and love. Right there about page 162 in Josh’s book is the greatest part but you better read the rest.

For anyone who doesn’t know about what he did at the Home Run derby read this:


Here’s David’s site:

and here’s Brian’s:

My Top Books Ever

Posted in Books with tags , , , , on December 9, 2008 by mccoolio


I wanted to do a top 10 all-time favorite books, but after writing all the ones I could think of, going through my bookshelves, and perusing a few top 10 and top 100 book-lists, I discovered a that even though I read constantly,  I am woefully under read. Of a lot of top 100 lists, I have read one or two. That’s pretty bad.

In my lists I want to separate religious books from secular. I also want to list some of the really interesting books I discovered on some of those top 100 lists that look really good.  I’m sure I will leave off some good ones I’ve read that I’ve forgotten about. There’s also a few I can remember reading but I can’t come up with a title. I’ll list the book title first and then the author. I don’t think these will be in order of preference .

Ok. I hope everybody will take some time and check these out  and comment with your favorites.

This was a good  top 100 list I found (not a Maxim-type man site).  Check it out.

Top 7 Spiritual

1) The Bible  Holy Spirit    Read slowly, carefully, and don’t pay too much attention to what other people say that it says. Psalm 119: 72  The Law from Your mouth is more precious to me than  thousands of pieces of silver and gold. Amen

2) What Darwin Didn’t Know    Geoffery Simmons    Superb analysis of the human body by an MD in regard to intelligent design.  Another similar book entitled God Made that deals more with nature would be on my list but I can’t come up with the author’s name. I think it was Issac something.

3) Point Man  Steve Farrar

4) Donald Miller  Searching For God Knows What

5) God is There and He is Not Silent   Francis Schaeffer     Everything he writes is good.  Definitely not casual reading, but well worth the trouble

6)  CS Lewis   Pretty much everything.

7) Your God is too Small    JB Phillips Excellent. A must read for any Christian.

Top 10 Other

1) Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding   Arnold    THE  Bible of   pre 2000 bodybuilding. Period.

2) Biography of Herschel Walker  Author Unknown. Back in 1979, after reading of  Herschel’s daily regiment of 500 push ups, 500 sit ups  and wind sprints ,  this book and that regiment inspired me to a life-long love affair with working out.

3) Gates of Fire  Steven Pressfield  The novel behind the movie 300. As good as the movie is (it IS good C) the book is better.

4) The Science of Hitting  Ted Williams   In depth analysis of hitting a baseball by the greatest hitter to ever walk the earth.  Sorry Barry.

5 ) Lone Survivor  Marcus Luttrell   If you’re a patriot, you gotta read this. Nonfiction about Navy Seals in mountains of Afganastan who paid the price after deciding not to kill local goatherders that discovered their hiding spot.

6) Rainbow Six  Tom Clancy    Have read a couple more Clancy novels but this one is very good.Can’t believe they haven’t made a movie.

7) Point of Impact    Stephen Hunter  The novel behind  the  movie  Shooter. Great book.

8)  Count of Monte Cristo    Alexander Dumas   A favorite from my high school days.

9)  Wizard’s First Rule, Stone of Tears   Terry Goodkind   These are 1st two in the ten- book Sword of Truth series. After these two, the quality dips until about book 6 or 7 then gets better but nothing as good as these.

10) Brave Men, Dark Waters  Orr Kelly   Non-fiction  about Navy Seals. Excellent. Not  as good (but neither are they) but a good one about Delta Force is Inside Delta Force By  Eric Haney.  Also there’s another awesome true account of SEAL bravery and sacrifice:    Robert’s Ridge by Malcolm Mcpherson.

Bulk Series

1)  JRR Tolkien  Enough Said

2) Robert Jordan    Wheel of Time Series,  Conan Series

3) Terry Goodkind   Sword of Truth Series

4) All Far Side Books

5) All Onion Books

Books To Read

Google these for more info:

1) The Looming Tower Lawerence Wright  2) Mayflower  Nathaniel Philbrick 3) The Lost Painting  Jonathan Harr 4)  The Bounty, The True Story   Caroline Alexander  5) The Picture of Dorian Grey   Oscar Wilde  6)The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt   Edmund Morris  7) Blood Meridian  Carmac Macarthy  8)The Art of Warfare  Sun Fzu  9) Undaunted Courage  Stephen Ambrose  10) Paradise Lost   John Milton  11) A River Runs Through It   Norman Maclean  12)  Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans   Plutarch  13 )The Long Goodbye   Raymond Chandler  14) To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee   15)  The Dangerous Book of Boys   Conn Iggulden  16) Autobiography of Ben Franklin