Fat Wrongly Given Bad Rep.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

That is headline of the article I just read in the Fort Myers News-Press. I don't regularly get the newspaper in New Orleans so it is nice to be able to read a traditional paper everyday while visiting my family here in Florida.
The book that the headline refers to is Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes. The author, Jennifer MaLagan, makes a case that fat is not only essential to good cooking but also to good health. It is important to distinguish between man-made fats and those found naturally in food.
I have always been concerned by the way we try to cut fat from our diets. Fat is found in nearly every food there is and people have been eating fat since the beginning of people on this planet. I would venture a guess that even creatures not on this planet have fat in their diet because animals need fats to survive. This book has been added to my to-read list, I am very interested to read a logical view on tweeking my diet to make it healthier not a full overhaul that will never last anyway plus the information packing into this book will be a total learning experience.

Currently "Reading":
Book - Adventures of Snip in Oregon by Betty S. Moir
Audio - Touch and Go by Studs Terkel

What's on my Nightstand

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Before I really get into this post I want to apologize for it's unpolished look. I am writing this post on my iPhone because I am visiting my Mother in Florida and she still has dialup which for the most part makes me want to shoot myself so I avoid using her computer as much as I can to that end I am left with a scruffy looking blog post or two. All that being said, let's get on with it.
I really do love this blog carnival put together by www.5minutesforbooks.com I enjoy the opportunity to share everything I am currently reading and the things I have finished over the last month.

Finished this month:
Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox -
I enjoyed this one as much if not more than his first book.

My Story: A Photographic Essay of Life with Multiple Sclerosis by Amelia Davis -
Bottom line on this one is if you have MS or are close to someone who does, read it, if not, don't.

Dairy Queen by Carherine Murdock -
A great young adult novel nothing at all to do with the ice cream shop.

Alternadad by Neal Pollack -
I really liked this the writing is funny and honest. I am trying to get my husband to read it but so far no luck.

Everything Twitter by Monica Jones and Steve Soho -
Good info on how to amass followers but seems easily dated in regular book format.

Currently Reading:

Sorry I took these pictures with my iPhone. These are the two books I brought with me to Florida.

The Adventures of Snip in Oregon by Betty S. Moir -
So far this seems like a very well intentioed book but it much like this blog post it needs more polishing.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley -
This one is a page turner, I simply couldn't leave it in NOLA to finish later.

A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clark -
I am liking this one but it is more of a comedy set in Paris than an actually travelogue, so far.

Touch and Go by Studs Terkel -
This is the first book I have read by Terkel which I guess is strange since this is his memoir but I am glad I finally picked something up by him. News flash! This guy can write.

I can't even begin to tell you what I plan to read in the coming month. When I get back home on Monday I will peruse the bookshelf and see what looks good.

Don't you hate that

Saturday, June 20, 2009

So I was listening to NPR's story of the day the other day and the story was an interview with an author. I can't remember his name (God I used to hate that when people came into Barnes and Noble with this kind of crappy information), I can't remember the name of the book either and so I can't seem to find the book anywhere. This is where you might be able to help.
Here is what I do remember, the author is a Doctor. The book was about how in America we don't embrace death as a cycle of life but we do everything we can to keep it from happening. In actuality prolonging the death process instead of accepting it as a fact of life. In the interview the author talked about the situation he encountered with his own Mother and it reminded me a lot about what is currently happening with my Uncle and what is beginning to happen with my Grandmother.
My Uncle is 90 years old and a few months ago he had a fall that led to bleeding on the brain they relieved the pressure on his brain, then there was another surgery and another surgery then treatments and therapies in a nursing home and now they have sent him home though he barely walks or goes to the bathroom and he has to be force fed a liquid diet by my aunt. There were days and nights of not knowing what was going to happen, tears and countless dollars spent on the months and months of time in the hospital and other facilities. And the fact of the matter is with all of that they have just prolonged the inevitable because in the end he will go and they will go through some of those same steps all over again. I can't help but ask myself if it is worth it
And since I feel that way and we are getting so close to making the hard decisions with my own Grandma I wanted to read this book but I can't find it now even though I have searched all over the NPR website and even looked all over in a bookstore but couldn't find anything.
If anyone has any idea of the title of the book I am talking about please leave me a comment here. I really want to read this book but I can't find it.

Currently "Reading":

Article - NPR's Three Books
Book - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Audio - Touch and Go: A Memoir by Studs Terkel

Great Bumper Sticker

Friday, June 19, 2009

Back when I could actually browse at bookstores this bumper sticker would have fit my spending habits quite nicely. These days with the Little Guy I do not get the time to look through the aisles as I would like. Most of my browsing is done online right now. I usually still do my buying in the store but it's just a quick in and out to grab the next book on my list. I appreciate the importance of neighborhood stores even if they are chain stores. Though I do my best to grab things at our local bookstores when i can. I don't see the point in paying shipping if the price of shipping costs as much as the book which it often does when you only want one paperback. So as long as there isn't anything physical, like a broken leg keeping me from going to the store, that is where I want to do my purchasing.

I do my absolute best to enjoy all the little moments with my son but there are times, like when I stumbled across the picture of this bumper sticker on the Internet when I long for just one day of school or preschool to come my way so I can recapture a few of those things I used to find so much pleasure in.

Currently "Reading":
Magazine - Parents Magazine
Book - A Year in the Merde
Audio - NPR's Story of the Day Podcast.

Age Recommendations

Thursday, June 18, 2009

When looking at books for my son I find that the age suggestions listed on websites or sometimes on the back of the book itself does not have anything to do with what my son enjoys. For instance just a couple days ago I did a post called Kids Pick listing a few books that my 2 1/2 year old son has been enjoying recently. When I went to check the recommended age ranges for these books i find that they should be way over his head but in fact he understands each story, points out his favorite parts and if his picking them out night after night is any indication at all he likes them too.
According to the Houghton Mifflon Harcourt website Curious George Goes to a Costume Party is recommended for ages 5 - 8 years. I have looked all over the Internet for what this means and so far haven't found much. It certainly can not mean that children under age 5 would not enjoy a Curious George book. Could it be that children under age 5 should not read it due to content? It does talk about Halloween but it's not scary in any way. The only thing I can think of is that someone from the publisher is guessing that a child under 5 would not have the skills to read this book and a child over the age of 8 would no longer be interested in it. If that is the case is seems a little narrow minded to think that all children would fit into this reading range.
Turns out in the UK they have been going back and forth about the merits of adding ages to their children's books for a while now. Take a read here. As a former bookseller I have to tell you that adults do not use the age recommendations on books. They don't even look at them most of the time and when they do they usually ask a bookseller if they think that is accurate. Probably because the recommended age ranges don't make logical sense.
So what I wonder is if you look up the recommended ages for the books your children like, where do your children's actual ages fit in?

Currently "Reading":
Magazine - none right now i am waiting for next month's round of mags to come into the house
Book - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Audio - Touch and Go: A Memoir by Studs Terkel

Book Review - Always Looking Up

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I like the title to this book, Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist. It makes me smile, I think partially it is a wanting smile. I want to always be looking up even though i know it is only a title to a book and that there is no way Michael J. Fox is looking up all the time surely he must get down in the dumps at times, I want to always bounce back from my troubles with an optimistic attitude.
Which is sort of what this book is about, sure it is a memoir of the last decade of Michael's life living with Parkinson's Disease but at it's heart it is about rolling with the punches. Taking the life you are given, accepting it and making it your own. Being an optimist doesn't mean you never have doubt it just means you don't let the doubt win, you think about it regroup and decide how to deal with it, that is what Michael J Fox has been doing for the last 10 years. He has been dealing with life and as long as you know everything will be OK then you will truly be OK.
Michael has a witty down-to-Earth writing style that is uplifting and comfortable. His books make me happy and although Always Looking Up pretty much brought us up to the current time I really can't wait for the next one, whenever that may be.


The last ten years, which is really the stuff of this book, began with such a loss: my retirement from Spin City. I found myself struggling with a strange new dynamic: the shifting of public and private personas. I had been Mike the actor, then Mike the actor with PD. Now was I just Mike with PD? Parkinson's had consumed my career and, in a sense, had become my career. But where did all of this leave Me? I had to build a new life when I was already pretty happy with the old one..

Currently "Reading":
Magazine - Still Good Housekeeping
Book - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Audio - Touch and Go: A Memoir by Studs Terkel

Kids Pick

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This is the Tuesday every month over on the 5 minutes for books blog when they run a carnival called Kids Pick. This is the first time I have joined in for this carnival but I am happy to add my post, I love sharing books with my son and I am excited about sharing the books he loves with you.
My son is two and a half years old, I have been reading books to him since he was two days old and just this morning he brought in three books for me to read to him before I ever got out of bed plus one before nap time and probably two more before bedtime tonight. This is a list of books he has been loving recently.

Do Your ABC's, Little Brown Bear (Picture Puffin Books) Follow Papa Brown Bear and Little Brown Bear as they find items that begin with each letter of the Alphabet. I am actually not the biggest fan of this book because it is terribly long and not very poetic, it doesn't flow very well but the little guy loves it. He is learning his Alphabet and in this book he can pick out many of the letters and likes the little brown bear character.

The Sneetches and Other Stories an "unforgettable tale of the unfortunate Sneetches, bamboozled by one Sylvester McMonkey McBean ("the Fix-it-up Chappie"), who teaches them that pointless prejudice can be costly." (From Amazon.com review) I had never read the Sneetches before I had my son. My husband loved all things Dr. Seuss when he was little but for some reason I was never exposed to his works as a child. Now that I know them I love them and thankfully so does the Little Guy. Dr. Seuss books are so much fun to read, every story flows trippingly off the tongue.

Curious George Goes to a Costume Party The title of this book is all you need to know in regards to a synopsis. Before Halloween last year I tried to get my son to pick this book for bedtime night after night. Again and again he would say 'no' or would run and pick another book and hand it to me instead. Then a couple months after Halloween he found it on his book shelf and hasn't stopped picking it since. It is a very cute Curious George tale with room for some funny voice work by me which I greatly enjoy. I don't have to worry, this year he will be more than ready for Halloween.

Currently "Reading":
Magazine - Good Housekeeping - the one with the Jonahs Brothers on the cover
Book - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Audio - Touch and Go: A Memoir by Studs Terkel

Reading Personality - Eclectic Reader

Monday, June 15, 2009

According to :
My Reading Personality is Eclectic Reader!

They say that means: You read for entertainment but also to expand your mind. You're open to new ideas and new writers, and are not wedded to a particular genre or limited range of authors.

I find that to be true. I have my favorites but I really enjoy reading all different kinds of things. I look around for things that I like then read all I can by that person or on that particular topic and then I move on to something else. In between things that I really find interesting though I don't jsut sit around doing nothing, I read other things until I find that special something. That is part of the reason I am in the middle of multiple books at the same time. Like right now I have a book in the bathroom, one by my bed, one in my Iphone and an audio book for the car. Loving books is time consuming but it's a good time.

If you want to take the quiz just go here.

Currently "Reading":
Magazine - Good Housekeeping - the one with the Jonahs Brothers on the cover
Book - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Audio - Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist

Book Review - Everything Twitter from Novice to Expert

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fully titled Everything twitter - From Novice To Expert: The Unofficial Guide to Everything Twitter - THE BLUE BOOK. This book by Monica Jones and Steve Soho has a lot of great info for those who want to learn the ins and outs of Twitter. If you are new to Twitter and can't quite figure out how it all works then this is the book for you. If you have a Twitter account but can not figure out how to get people to follow you, then this is the book for you. If you want to read lots of informative and interesting tweets but can not figure out who to follow to find them, then this is the book for you.

I have been on twitter for a few months now and I use it quite often though I would hardly call myself an expert, I think I am securely in the middle which is probably where most people who already have a twitter account are right now. This book starts right at the beginning teaching you how to setup your Twitter account and moves on into how and why to keep your tweets public and the different apps to tweet from. At times it felt a little elementary my dear Watson. That being said I did get a few tips and pointers from Everything Twitter like who is most likely to follow me back and recommendations for cool Twitter tools that might be useful for me.

As I see it there is only one thing wrong with this book and that is the fact that it is a book. What do I mean? Well, those lists of people most likely to follow me back I mentioned earlier are already out of date. There are also lists of accounts with the most followers and other time sensitive lists. A resource like this is very helpful but I can't help wondering if in this age of fast paced micro-blogging especially when the topic of the book is the most used service for just those things that this information would be better served on a website of it's own. Where the information could be updated as it changed or certainly more often than a traditional paper book or even Kindle ebook would allow.

Currently "Reading":

Magazine - Good Housekeeping - the one with the Jonahs Brothers on the cover
Book - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Audio - Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist

National Get Outdoors Day Reading Recommendations

Saturday, June 13, 2009

National Get Outdoors Day is in it's second year and will hold events all over the country on June 13th.

"Participants from federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and the recreation industry are again teaming up to host the second annual National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day) to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun at sites across the nation. On Saturday, June 13, these diverse partners will offer opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities. Prime goals of the day are reaching currently under-served populations and first-time visitors to public lands, and reconnecting our youth to the great outdoors."

People are so disconnected from the natural world around them, even the nature around them everyday. The saying Take time to stop and smell the roses" couldn't be more important in today's world. Next time you are walking from your car to the entrance of the grocery store pay attention to how much nature you see around you. I bet if people took the time to do this more often they would be happier, calmer and more appreciative people. That is why I am so happy for an event like this.

You can find an event near you by checking out the
National Get Outdoors Day website but if you can't make it out today or if nothing is scheduled for your area here are a few reading recommendations for your enjoyment.

A Walk in the Woods:
Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson is by far the most fun I have had reading a book about being in the outdoors. It is hilarious and full of real life tips on how to survive hiking in the woods specifically the Appalachian Trail on the Eastern side of the country.

I Love Dirt: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature by Jennifer Ward is on my to buy list. Living in the city I really need help to get my son out of the house away from city life and in touch with nature. What I like to call the "Real World". I Love Dirt promises to provide me with all those sweet little releases and lots of fond memories.

The Worst Case Scenario Almanac: The Great Outdoors by David Borgenicht and Melissa Wagner is a must have for anyone planning to be outdoors for any length of time, let's say overnight or longer. I sincerely hope you never have to use any of the information you read in this book but if you encounter a problem you never thought would happen to you I sure hope you read this book. The scenarios are unlikely but the information provided is real, can prove highly useful and to top it all off it's insanely funny to read.

Currently "Reading":

Magazine - Good Housekeeping
Book - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Audio - was listening to NPR this morning, going to start my next audio book soon.

Book Review and Giveaway - My Story: A Photographic Essay on Life with Multiple Sclerosis

Friday, June 12, 2009

When researching My Story by Amelia Davis I found this quote:
"...[offers] encouragement and inspiration for anyone coming to terms with what it means to be a person with [MS]." -- Consumer Connections, Winter 2004

I think this is the perfect description of this book. My Story: A Photographic Essay on Life with Multiple Sclerosis uses photographs along with short essays giving us a glimpse into the lives of 32 people living with MS. Contributors share the story of their life and how Multiple Sclerosis has changed them as well as the things they discovered that stay the same no matter what life throws at you. Photographs by Amelia Davis accompany each essay showing us the faces behind MS.

For every essay written by a person with Multiple Sclerosis in this book there is a companion essay written by their caregiver. Behind every person with a chronic illness be it MS or something else there is always someone and often a lot of someones caring for those people. If not physically then mentally and emotionally. not for a second can the plight of the individuals with the illness be downplayed, but those surrounding and supporting those people must not be forgotten, My Story does a wonderful job of including these people while at the same time not taking away from the individuals they are caring for.

About the Author

Amelia Davis is a freelance photographer who has shown her work in fine art galleries, universities, and at medical symposia. Her photographs have been published in literary and art magazines and in textbooks. Her first book, The First Look, (U. of Illinois, 2000) received the Sixteenth Annual Susan Koppelman Award for editing, and was selected by the AAUP Book and Jacket Show as one of the best designed books of 2000. Amelia, who lives in San Francisco, was diagnosed with MS in 1998.


I was given a copy of My Story: A Photographic Essay on Life with Multiple Sclerosis by Amelia Davis to review and now I want to pass the opportunity to read this book full of heartwarming stories on to one lucky reader.

How do I enter? Good question. There are 4 ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post, yep that's it just tell me what you think about this post/giveaway and you will get one entry.
2. Twitter about this giveaway, here's an example (feel free to use it)

I just entered to win a great book on @momsnotall book blog. You can enter too!! http://tinyurl.com/mnmdg2

then leave another comment here with the url to each tweet. You can do this as many times as you like. That's right there is no limit on the number of entries you can earn this way. Just remember for each time you tweet it, return here and leave a comment with the url to the tweet so i can verify if you are the winner.

What are the Rules to this Giveaway?
1. An email address is required so leave it with your comment (or else how will you know you won)
2. A winner will be chosen using random.org
3. The winner will be contacted via email and will have 2 days to reply before a new winner is chosen.
4. Open to US address'
5. Ends on 6/18/09 @ 10PM CST. Good Luck!!!

The winner is theyyyguy [at] yahoo [dot] com


Currently "Reading":

Magazine -Good Housekeeping
Book - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Audio - Better Than Ezra Radio on Pandora

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