Friday, October 20, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review: Zero Sugar Diet: The 14-Day Plan to Flatten Your Belly, Crush Cravings, and Help Keep You Lean for Life

Zero Sugar Diet: The 14-Day Plan to Flatten Your Belly, Crush Cravings, and Help Keep You Lean for Life Zero Sugar Diet: The 14-Day Plan to Flatten Your Belly, Crush Cravings, and Help Keep You Lean for Life by David Zinczenko
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not very well written, but it makes a lot of sense. Thanks, ADM, (okay, he never mentioned that company in the book), for making sure that added sugar is in everything we eat. It is strange to think that 40 years ago most people wouldn't be overweight in America because the food was different then. I won't follow his diet exactly, but I liked learning about all the food that has added sugar. Basically, um, everything. I know I'll be looking at labels more carefully. Heck, even the A1 steak sauce I ate with the awesome tuna steak last night is something I shouldn't eat. So my rational brain will be reading labels more carefully and understanding why I crave certain foods. I've never been a chocolate craver--I'm more of a salty carb fan, but now I know why. All those added sugars make things delicious. As addictive as crack cocaine, which makes me cringe. I don't want to fall victim to that crap.

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Review: The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days

The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days by J.J. Virgin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I skimmed through this book on my Cloud Library app--I never take them seriously when they start pushing their products. However, I did appreciate pulling some of the information about food intolerance, since that seems to be a problem I'm having now.

I will never follow her diet--no way will I cut out all dairy, soy, eggs, bread, corn, sugar, and sugar substitutes, but I recognize that cutting those out and slowly re-introducing them can help people figure out what foods they can't handle. Luckily, I've already had the allergy testing so I know my body is allergic to yeast and brewer's yeast, and that I'm lactose-intolerant. But don't ever take away my cheese, thank you. But I'm reading these books to convince myself that I need to stay away from added sugars and processed foods--it takes awhile for knowledge to soak into my drowning-in-salty-carbs brain.

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Review: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really do recommend reading this book, and then reading Sherman Alexie's You Don't Have to Say You Love Me. Vance's memoir is justification of why hillbillies in the rust belt are the way they are--they are declining rapidly as the generations go by. I am a product of the Scotch Irish, too, although my mom's side settled in southeast Indiana for a few generations after leaving Pennsylvania. And there the similarities end, other than the fact that I was raised to believe in work ethic and that my choices dictate where I end up, just like Vance's grandparents believed.

I did work in high schools in southern and central Illinois for 14 years, and I know exactly what kids were raised in families like Vance. They are the screamers and complainers--the ones who believe that EVERYONE is out to get them. And they don't take responsibility for their choices--ever. These are the kids that made me say "I wish I could take them away from their family" so that they had a chance. But the cycle repeats, the teenage pregnancy and drug use happens again, and very few escape. It's depressing. And we are supporting these families through social welfare, and our schools are trying their best to save some of these kids.

All rural and small town educators need to read this book. It's a great discussion starter, even if it isn't the sociologist tome that I was hoping it would turn into. I want a solution for the problems in my area of Illinois, yet Vance notes that it needs to be a community effort--not something that progressive schools can solve.

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Review: You'll Never Know, Dear

You'll Never Know, Dear You'll Never Know, Dear by Hallie Ephron
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I kept debating on quitting this book, but I had to find out if I had guessed the criminal correctly. I did. Creepy dolls are mentioned throughout--two older women make and repair dolls for a living. Two children were snatched from their yards over the years in their small South Carolina town, and they had dolls in common. Now all the secrets come out when a missing girl may have been found 40 years later.

I never connected with any of the characters--this is one of those books with many short chapters like most popular fiction. But I did like Ephron's Never Tell a Lie so I kept hoping this would get better.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Review: You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Heartbreaking and oh, so good. Sherman Alexie has a way with words and his storytelling is what I want to read. Reading this memoir while listening to Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis was interesting--many parallels and similarities, but Alexie's grief and wordsmithing makes this a modern masterpiece. It is brave of him to publish this--I feel like I KNOW him and I want to hug him and thank his wife. I earmarked so many passages--crazy good poetry is interspersed throughout and his repeating of certain stories and passages that held meaning to him just made me more of an emotional wreck. This memoir gives you the feels.

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