Monday, March 26, 2012

Breathing LessonsBreathing_Lessons
by Anne Tyler
My rating: of 5 stars

I saw this movie over 20 years ago but had never read the book and since Anne Tyler such a gifted writer and since this is a Pulitzer Prize winner, I decided to read it. A novel about marriage, the setting is late 1950's-60's so I really enjoyed it, but I suspect it would be an irritating novel for today's readers. Excellent character development.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

One Second AfterOne Second After by William R. Forstchen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Can you provide for yourself and family should the grid and food supply shut down? This is a highly plausible story of the members of a small No.Carolina community doing what they must to survive the horrors (which were glossed over) resulting from an EMP, one of the leading threats to America's security today, and probably the most underrated one. I finished this book 2 weeks ago, am still thinking about it, and am more motivated to prepare for such an event. In that sense I would give the book 5 stars, but despite the relative importance of the issue, I’m giving 4 stars because while subject matter is important, the quality of writing is almost amateurish. This is a quick read.



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Monday, March 12, 2012

Ladder of YearsLadder of Years by Anne Tyler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I read this book several years ago and was entranced by it. It was a satisfying read which helped me struggle through a difficult time of new beginnings in my life. While reading it I found myself wishing that I had read it 10 years earlier, before it was published, so that I might have earlier gleaned the wisdom of its pages, and I have often thought of Delia, the main character, by whom I was both puzzled and impressed. Tyler has a lyrical prose style and has just published her 9th book, The Beginner's Goodbye.



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Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight LossEat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss by Joel Fuhrman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


March 10 2012 Update: I've been eating this way for 2 years and it has changed my life. Not only did my LDL (Lousy bad) cholesterol drop 56 points but my HDL (happy good)cholesterol is elevated 15 points. But the primary reason my life is changed is no more aches & pains which means I no longer need round the clock medicating with Tramadol, Neurontin, & other pain killers. It has not been easy to discipline myself to eat this way & often I indulge in something that Dr. Fuhriman & his colleagues would frown at, but I'm 95%. Why would I go back to the Standard American Diet(SAD) with those results? Oh, and I am also 40# lighter than I was 2 years ago. A good companion book with even more compelling arguments for eating mostly vegan is The China Study by Caldwell and Esselstyn.



Written March 10, 2010: Awesome book for anyone interested in nutrition and healthy living. I wish it had been published 40 years ago when I was raising my family.

I've been on this diet (moderately high) for 4 weeks and have lost 14 lbs. but my primary reason for this change is cholesterol and arthritis pain. The pain is almost nil and I'll see how many LDL points I've dropped next week & report back.

To read more about this amazing diet go to Robin's nutrition blog: http://leantowardthesun.blogspot.com/





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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Immigrants (Lavette Family, #1)The Immigrants by Howard Fast

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A family saga that spans 4 generations of 4 families. You will want to make a geneology chart as you read in order to not get mired down with who's who in the plotlines. It was a little crude for my tastes, and overly long, however I enjoyed reading about the rise and fall of the well defined characters and it did hold my interest to the end; but I won't read the sequels.



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JulietJuliet by Anne Fortier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


An intriguing mystery and romance which takes place in both the late 16th century andmodern day Siena, Italy. When you finish this you will be convinced that Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" was not a fictional account. I couldn't put it down. The film rights to this have been sold already.



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Fire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon PoetsFire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poets
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A collection of some of the best current LDS poets, including "True Love," by Joe Plicka.



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The Beach TreesThe Beach Trees by Karen White

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I couldn't decide between 4 or 5 stars, but with no violence, gore, sex, or vulgarity chose 5. It is a 3 generation mystery which takes place in Biloxi and NewOrleans. If you read it (or audio) I suggest you begin by making a couple of 3 generation charts to keep the families & their stories straight. I thought it was a great read.



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The Whistling SeasonThe Whistling Season by Ivan Doig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is a thoughtful, extremely well written novel by an author who loves words and their etymology. A widowed father of three boys reads a woman's classified ad saying "can't cook, but doesn't bite" and hires her sight unseen as the family housekeeper. The setting is 1910 rural Montana, with a one room schoolhouse for grades 1-8.

Written in eloquent but sparse first person prose, I seemed to a nonfiction accounting of perhaps his grandfather, which it is not. This book was delightful! It made me laugh outloud, added some new words to my reading vocabulary and random facts to my store of knowledge. (Do you know what an orrery is? what the letters "chavivry" spell? what famous person was supposedly born in 1835 and died in 1910 with the coming and going of Haley's comet?) I enjoyed the audio version immensely and was sorry when it ended. I will read more of Ivan Doig.





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The Paris WifeThe Paris Wife by Paula McLain

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


If you are a Hemingway fan you will likely gobble this up. Flamboyantly handsome, egotistical, selfish, yet brilliant, he really was not a nice man and I did not care for him as a person; but he is considered one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century with good reason. This novel is about his first wife(he had four), Hadley Richardson, and their years together. It resonated with me because in so many ways it reminded me of my 34 year marriage to Dave. It is also about the "Lost Generation" of 1920's Paris.



H. was one of the authors I studied in H.S. honors English and I had just completed my college freshman year and was preparing for my wedding when I was shocked to learn he had committed suicide. Shortly before this he wrote a letter of apology to Hadley, telling her that he "would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but" her. That letter was included in The Moveable Feast, was removed from a 2nd publication by a son from his 2nd wife, but is once again included in a recent publication.



The book moved me, and I shed a few tears when it was over, then I spent a few hours googling everything I could think related to Hemingway and Hadley. Paula McLain did extensive research before writing this poignantly absorbing story. When a book stays with the reader at its conclusion and drives her/him to the internet the author deserves kudos.



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Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never SeenBorn to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I don't usually get excited about nonfiction, and only read this because so many friends and family recommended it. I loved it! I couldn't put it down. It is about the Tarahumara Indians whose long distance endurance running of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons is amazing.



Some things I learned from the book: 1. Smile when you are running and think of it as a fun game, not a task that must be completed in order to meet some outer validating goal. 2. Nike ruined most of our feet beginning in the 70's with their strategically supportive athletic shoes. The Tarahumara run barefoot or with light, thin-soled sandals. 3. Don't put shoes on your babies' feet until successful social interactions demand it. The Tarahumara are the fastest, strongest runners in the world and except for occasional sandals they live their lives barefoot. 4. Chia seeds are really good for you. Unlike other seeds, nuts, grains, they are a complete protein all by themselves. 5. Eat like a poor person: corn and beans. 6. How to pronounce Tarahumara ( listened to the audio book).



I highly recommend this fascinating book.





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A year with no rainbowA year with no rainbow by Frank M Keele

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The author has woven both ancient and modern prophecies of the Last Days to warn the reader to prepare for the second coming because 2012 *may* be the year with no rainbow. Especially for the LDS audience. Self published, it is available for free on the internet. google it. It's a short, and repetitive, read--132 pages.



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The Whistling SeasonThe Whistling Season by Ivan Doig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is a thoughtful, extremely well written novel by an author who loves words and their etymology. A widowed father of three boys reads a woman's classified ad saying "can't cook, but doesn't bite" and hires her sight unseen as the family housekeeper. The setting is 1910 rural Montana, with a one room schoolhouse for grades 1-8.

Written in eloquent but sparse first person prose, I felt that it was a nonfiction account of his grandfather, which it is not. This book was delightful, it made me laugh outloud, added some new words to my reading vocabulary and random facts to my store of knowledge. (Do you know what an orrery is? what the letters "chavivry" spell? what famous person was supposedly born in 1835 and died in 1910 with the coming and going of Haley's comet?) I enjoyed the audio version immensely and was sorry when it ended. I will read more of Ivan Doig.





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