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Sunday, June 9, 2013

What I've Been Reading - June 2013

Hi, I have several books to share that I've enjoyed over the last couple of months!

Here are the ones I've LovedLiked, and Thought Were Just OK.

Loved These Books
Dr. Fuhrman has really good books that I trust when it comes to nutrition and overall health.  David and I both trust his advice, and try to follow it (from time to time!).  I highly recommend all of his books, but this one to me is the best.
One sentence goodreads.com description - Dr. Fuhrman's scientifically proven system enables you to finally conquer your cravings and food addictions, while steering your taste buds toward healthier food choices.

I just finished this book while we were on vacation in Cincinnati.  It had been recommended to me so often, but I finally checked it out at the library and got started.  It is set partially in 1962 in a little Italian village, and in present day Hollywood and Idaho.  Dee is an actress who plays a role in Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.  Claire is a film studies graduate who is learning about the real Hollywood from a formerly great director.  Their stories intertwine in a very enjoyable beach read.

One sentence goodreads.com description - On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks on over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat.
This is an excellent book for all of us with teenagers a-coming.  A friend from my daytime book club sent me this book as Thomas turns 13 this month.  It's highly regarded and has been recommended by youth counselors and therapists for years.

The author gives a frank, and often funny, talk to parents about why adolescents go through what they do, and how to help me through it with minimal bloodshed.  It helped me tremendously, especially with two boys where I have little to draw from my own knowledge.  I highly recommend this book for any parent with teenagers.
One sentence goodreads.com description - This new edition gives bewildered parents a road map to the rocky and ever-changing terrain of contemporary adolescence.

Liked These Books
Our June read for both of my book clubs.  I'm looking forward to discussing this one next week!  The Paris Wife is historical fiction about Hemingway's first wife, whom he married young in Chicago, and moved to Paris with when he was a struggling author.  While I knew how it would end, and much of their story, it was still an engrossing book that I really enjoyed.  I listened to this one on my iPod, thinking I wouldn't enjoy it as well, but I really did.

One sentence goodreads.com description - A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Our As the Page Turns book club's August read that I am hosting.  This book has popped up several times over the last few months, and I'd heard good things.  This non-fiction tale of publisher Will Schwalbe and his Harvard-employed mother's last years together, forming a very loose "book club", spending her chemo and recuperation hours discussing important books they'd read, or chose to read together.  The back of the book has the entire list of those mentioned throughout the story.  While I enjoyed the story as much as anyone can given the subject matter, I found myself paging ahead.  Many (most?) of the books they mention are not ones I will pick up.  Their interests are rather high-brow/intellectual, and not ones that will stick in my memory.  Overall, though, a well-written memoir.
One sentence goodreads.com description - “What are you reading?”  That’s the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.


I really enjoy the "For Dummies" and "Complete Idiot" books.  Any subject I have an interest in, I find one of these series has a 101 class in book form on the subject.  I've recently read "Classical Music for Dummies"(5 stars) and "Pre-Algebra" and "Algebra" for Dummies (4 stars). 

I've read a lot of bits and pieces about Ancient Greece, and wanted to round out my understanding so picked up this Guide.  Very, very detailed.  More of a 201 book than 101.  But, holy cow, way too many place names, battles, peoples, regions, and references given without any time lines, maps, or other visual cues.  I would re-read paragraphs trying to picture the movement of a people and would often open up an Atlas online just to figure out what the author was demonstrating in super-long sentences, in paragraphs full of text.  Excellent if you know a little and desire to know a whole lot.  Not great if you are trying to piece together even the basics like me.
One sentence goodreads.com description - In The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ancient Greece, you are invited to meet the Ancient Greeks and to understand their legacy by entering their world.

As I've mentioned before, I read two YA authors and everything they publish - Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls and Heist Society Series) and Elizabeth Eulberg (a blog friend who really introduced me to the YA world). 

This novella, Double Crossed, brings characters from Ally Carter's two series together in a very brief story.  Her fans were so excited to have the characters from her two worlds finally meeting - she wrote this story entirely for the fans, and FOR FREE!  It's a free Kindle download, and only 60 pages.  The story is satisfying and would make a great continuation of the two series that she plans to finish this year. 
One sentence goodreads.com description - The worlds of Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls collide in Ally Carter’s fast-paced, high-stakes and tantalizing new story.

These Books Were OK 

I read this book because I was given bad information!  I was told that The History of Love was by the author of The Nanny Diaries - a book I enjoyed awhile back.  So I ordered this from bookmooch.com and have had it sitting by the bed for awhile.  I finally got started and found myself enjoying it right away.  TURNS OUT - that's Nicola Kraus - completely different author!  Lesson learned.  After five chapters, my interest in Leo's tale began to wane.  By half-way through, I had to encourage myself over and over just to finish it - something I don't always do, but I felt this was important.  The story of kids in love who left warn-torn Poland and found each other 60 years later is worth finishing.

One sentence goodreads.com description - With virtuosic skill and soaring imaginative power, Nicole Krauss gradually draws these stories together toward a climax of “extraordinary depth and beauty” .


As I mentioned above, I always read Elizabeth Eulberg's books, and have them all purchased.  Of the 4 this was my least favorite - mainly because I couldn't relate to the main character unlike her other books where I felt I could have been the main character!  The subject matter is tougher - feelings of neglect, despair, unhappiness from divorce - not the lightest YA reading, but still very well done by the author.  The description below says hilarious - I completely disagree.
One sentence goodreads.com description - A hilarious new novel from Elizabeth Eulberg about taking the wall out of the wallflower so she can bloom.

I don't recommend this book if you are interested in the nutritarian/vegetarian/vegan world and want to learn more.  This book has absolutely great information, but the rant-y style is quite a turn off.  While I'm not new to this world, I still hunted for grains of new information and avoided all of the lecturing screaming.  This was a gift, and I was happy to pass it on to someone who might enjoy the style a little more than me :)

One sentence goodreads.com description - In this, her most ambitious and passionate book to date, Pirello takes on the food establishment, big pharma, marketers, the government, and nongovernmental health agencies in a sweeping and well-argued indictment of the roles these organizations play in the demise of our collective health, our health care system, and our planet.

And what have you been reading?

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