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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Book Review: American Shaolin

I picked this book up three times at the library before committing to checking it out. Honestly, if it hadn't been on the "Kansas Notables" display, I likely wouldn't have looked at it at all.

I'm not a martial arts enthusiast. The closest I've ever come was probably a crush on Ralph Macchio in junior high school. None-the-less, I always have a soft spot for Kansas authors (Matthew Polly is from Topeka) and was further drawn by the first lines of chapter 1:

Some people have an inner voice. I have an inner to-do list. And since I'm a glass-half empty type of guy, my list is entitled "Things That Are Wrong With Matt." Whenever I am in danger of feeling too good about myself, that list starts flashing in my head.

1. Ignorant
2. Cowardly
3. Still a boy/not a man
4. Unattractive to the opposite sex
5. Spiritually confused

I was touched, but I brought the book home thinking the hubby might enjoy it. He hasn't gotten the chance, however, because I began reading it first. I almost couldn't put it down.

It's rare for me to find a book that reads so easily, teaches me something about a topic I thought I had little interest in, and makes me laugh out loud. Matthew Polly has written that book, and I have now passed it on to the hubby for his enjoyment.

He does manage to cross all his items off his list by the book's end, but like the rest of us, he manages to add a few new ones along the way.

Polly sold movie rights to the story, as well. I'm looking forward to seeing the results.


Matthew Polly said...

Thank you so much for your very kind review of my book. It is the most insightful blog I've read about my book, because you intuited the three goals I had while writing it: an easy to read tale that was amusing, informative, and would appeal to people who have no particular interest in the subject.

Matthew Polly

Tracy said...

My pleasure, Matthew. Thanks for writing such an entertaining book.