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Archive for the tag “Health”

Library Loot July 11-17

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the link on Marg’s page any time during the week.

I keep promising myself that, really, this week is it, next week, I won’t request quite so many books from the library- I’ll just work on completing my to-be-read pile from last week’s library visit, as well as the to-be-read books from my Summer Reading Challenge list. And then I request a few more…sigh. Clearly, I have a problem.This week, to add insult to injury, not only did I pick up my reserve items, but I also had the audacity to choose a book off of the seven day express shelf. What was I thinking?!

But without any further whining, or justification for my reading (and borrowing) habit, this week’s loot:

How to Love An American Man: A True Story by Kristine Gasbarre

I read a review of this book at some point in the last couple of weeks, and as it is a memoir, and just looked interesting, I couldn’t help reserving it. (In case you haven’t noticed, I kind of have a thing for memoirs and biographies. I love stories of any variety, but I am particularly drawn to real life stories.)

Closing Time by Joe Queenan

Joe Queenan’s autobiography on growing up in Philadelphia in the 1960’s.

Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo

This is the first book in a series set in Rural Ohio Amish farm country. Kate Burkeholder returns to Painters Mill, OH to become the Chief of Police in the town she grew up in. The opportunity to brings her to her home and proves somewhat dangerous as parts of her past are revealed, and secrets long kept are unhidden.

I saw a review of  the third in the series on and was intrigued enough to pick up the first in the series.

My final pick in this week’s loot is my impulse borrow- Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD. Last September I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and straight on its heels, discovered an intolerance to corn. For those unfamiliar Celiac is an autoimmune disorder whereby eating gluten, found in wheat, barley, and rye causes an immune system reaction in the small intestine. In me, it was also another factor that was aggravating my asthma.

Wheat Belly, however, is not about Celiac. It’s about the gluten-free diet that is fashionable these days in hip towns like mine, and big cities. Admittedly, the trend annoys me, even as it makes things more available for people like me who refrain from gluten for a good reason. I picked up the book not to make fun of the diet, but to see if I could find out why it is just so appealing. And hey, maybe there will be a fun recipe or two.

My plan tonight is to curl up with my loot for a few weeks ago- Death Comes to Pemberley, a nice cup of decaf earl grey, and some homemade leftover rice pudding. Enjoy this weeks reading, and be sure to check out the loot on other blogs!


Review: Drop Dead Healthy

I love A.J. Jacob’s work. I have read My Life as an Experiment and My Year of Living Biblically with great enthusiasm, and I was very much looking forward to Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection. For those unfamiliar with Jacobs, he tends to immerse himself in a particular project or lifestyle, for example in My Year of Living Biblically he committed himself to following all of the Bible’s moral codes for one year and then wrote about it. In case you can’t see where this is going, the premise of Drop Dead Healthy is that he spent two years committing himself to becoming as healthy as possible. Some call his approach “stunt journalism”, but I think of it more along the lines of experiential writing.

I think there’s a lot to like about the book. Jacobs is extremely quotable, and in places laugh out loud funny. (I am fairly certain I annoyed my roommates with the sheer number of times I insisted on reading passages out loud.) He tries things that seem crazy, and that I may never make time for, and then he’s candid about his experiences. It’s fun to follow his journey, this time to health. But it felt like it was missing something.

The last few books have at least had some kind of summary about the experience. You knew where he came down on things at the end of the book. But Drop Dead Healthy just kind of dropped off. The lengthy appendix lists some of his advice in some areas…but honestly, I don’t really care. I just want a synopsis of his experience. What things did he wish he hadn’t tried? Which things will stay a part of his life forever? Did he like the challenge, or regret it?

The writing is strong, the concept is good, it just needed a little tying up at the end. I think Drop Dead Healthy is worth reading if you’re looking for something that will make you laugh and provide you with information at the same time.

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