Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I love that some of my friends are fellow readers so that we can exchange book recommendations. It is extra special when one of my relatives is a reader, and so I appreciate my sister-in-law lending me her copy of Cinder. It's a book I wouldn't have chosen for myself.

Cinder is a cyborg living in New Beijing in a time of disease and political upheaval. Her stepmother hates her. But does Cinder hold the secret for healing? An interesting twist on Cinderella and science fiction.

There are three other books in the series and while I liked Cinder enough, I'm noticing that I'm not rushing to find the next one. I might borrow the next one if I happen to come across it though.

Thanks, Lizzie, for this recommendation!

Monday, August 29, 2016

How to Be Here by Rob Bell

The subtitle is: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living. How enticing is that!
This short, concise book packs a big punch. Bell writes about how to figure out why you're here and how to find your purpose. Sounds big and daunting, but Bell breaks it down into easily digestible and practical chunks.

Amy G., if you're reading this, I think you would really appreciate this book!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Jessie moves to a new school in Los Angeles and receives an anonymous email from "Somebody/Nobody" asking if she'd like some pointers and tips about the school and the social scene. Of course, she would. She's moved from Chicago to Los Angeles, has a new stepmother, and is still adjusting to life without her mom who died two years ago.

Oh my gosh, I could have used some guidance from an anonymous friend in junior high and high school.

A solid read, but not enough for me to rave about.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe

I wouldn't describe myself as a Rob Lowe fan, but after reading his autobiography, I definitely have some respect for him. As he writes about his teen star years and his wild 20s, I can tell that he has done some psychological work (and he has done this in rehab and also in weekly group therapy) about what has shaped him and his decisions. It's this thoughtfulness and reflection that I appreciated most about his story.

Also, near the end of the book, Lowe tells the sweetest story about his son, Johnowen, giving his beloved frog stuffed animal to President Clinton. Super sweet.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

In Memory of Bread: A Memoir by Paul Graham

At age thirty-six, Graham is diagnosed with celiac disease. He loves beer and bread and this makes eating gluten-free even more challenging. His wife voluntarily chooses to eat gluten-free as well (wow!) so they work together to find substitutes for bread and baked goods. His friends start keeping gluten-free products at their houses too so that they can feed him when he visits. That is true friendship. :)

Graham's writing was very easy to read. I appreciated that he wrote about how eating gluten-free affected his physical health, social experience, identity, and his mental health as well.

After reading the more science based books that I wrote about earlier this week, it was a nice break to read a memoir about the practical realities of eating gluten free. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Why We Get Fat and What to Do About it by Gary Taubes

In the Introduction, Taubes is upfront. He basically writes that if you want to lose weight, don't eat carbs. If you don't want to read the book, that pretty much sums up the rest of the book.

I tried reading this book awhile ago but it didn't take, but it wasn't until I was seriously trying to figure out how to change my diet that I was drawn into this book. Surprisingly accessible, practical, and readable.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was doing some research and making some changes to address a medical issue. This week, I will write about the books that I've read so far.

In Wheat Belly Diet, Davis discusses the history of wheat and how the wheat we eat today is significantly different from the wheat of thousands and thousands of years ago. He writes extensively about how our body processes the modern day wheat and how eliminating wheat can affect health. The last chapters include his Wheat Belly Diet Plan (basically eliminating carbs and sugar) and some recipes.

This book would have been much easier to read if it didn't have a picture of a bagel stack on it. I LOVE bagels, so every time I picked up this book, I was reminded that if I tried this diet, I would no longer be able to eat bagels. Suggestion to the publisher for the next edition? Try a new cover without bagels on it!! Thanks!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Meternity by Meghann Foye

Okay, this is the last of the fun summer reads for awhile.

Liz Buckley is sick and tired of being given extra work and being expected to stay late just because she's the single, non-mother employee. So she decides to fake a pregnancy so that she can take maternity leave and then leave her job.

Again, another chic-lit looking book that has some depth to it as it examines expectations of mothers and child-free women, and how we all need to intentionally choose what we want for ourselves.

Very fun and thoughtful at the same time. 

Next up for next week: I'm moving away from these fun summer books to post about some of the lifestyle/health/diet books that I've been reading.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger

By the same author as The Devil Wears Prada, The Singles Game takes place in the world of professional women's tennis.

I read The Singles Game in a single day. It was quick and smart. However, it was also a repeat of The Devil Wears Prada just played out on the tennis court.

Monday, August 8, 2016

First Comes Love by Emily Giffen

Last week, I wrote about a couple of fun summer reads. Wait up, because I have several more!

If you're looking for another fun summer read, I present First Comes Loves as an option.

It looks like a lighthearted chic-lit book based on the cover, but it actually has some deeper themes as it follows a family and the grief of each of its members after the teenage son dies in a car accident. We pick up with the Garland family fifteen years after their son/brother dies and we see how they have grieved and how their grief has influenced their life choices.

Fun, smart, but also with some meat.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Here's To Us by Elin Hilderbrand

Three women arrive on Nantucket to spread the ashes of the man they were all married to at one point. Kind of a weird situation, eh?

There are a bunch of characters so it can get a bit confusing. There's ex-wives, half-siblings, co-workers, etc. so I had to pause sometimes and figure out who was who. Plus there were some parts that were unnecessary.

This isn't literature by any means, but it's light and fun and qualifies very much as summertime reading.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

Have you read any fun summer books yet? There is still more summer left, so let me share a couple of fun beach reads with you this week!

First up is The Weekenders, the first Mary Kay Andrews book that I've read. The story takes place on Belle Isle off the coast of North Carolina. Riley Griggs arrives for the summer only to be served divorce papers on the ferry over.

Fun characters, some twists, and just good beach reading. Or bedtime reading.