I’ve got a bit of a mix for you this week! Here’s what I’ve been reading lately…
by Aziz Ansari (non-fiction, audiobook) – worth a listen
I do really enjoy listening to comedian authors read their own books on audio. Ansari is no exception. Though this book is more sociological than comedic. He does throw in some fun lines in here and there; but he truly did do the research for this book, along with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenburg. Much of their findings are not surprising, but a few things are… and are good to know if you are single out there! I also think Ansari used this knowledge to create his sitcom Master of None, a series which my husband and I had watched prior to listening this book. I liked both. The book made me feel pretty lucky that I didn’t have to marry someone within a 5-mile radius of where I grew up. 😉
Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers
by Debby Maugans (cookbook) – DNF
I was so excited to leaf through this cookbook! I am not much of a baker, if only because I can’t have baked goods in the house without them being the only thing that I eat until it is ALL. GONE. I loved the idea of making just a little bit here or there or for a couple of friends coming over. I mean, how cute are those cakes on the cover?! I liked the tip to use a regular (cleaned) 14.5 ounce vegetable can. After I read the intro and the important bits, I started to thumb through the recipes to discover what I would flag and attempt to bake. I set the book aside for a while. When I returned to it, I found I was no longer interested. The recipes made me feel overwhelmed. In the end, I didn’t finish this book before returning it to the library. I should have just taken one really-good-looking, totally-doable recipe from the book and attempted it. At least I’d either have a great recipe I’d make all the time and perhaps return to the library to check out this book again; or I’d know that baking still really isn’t for me.
by Deeanne Gist & J. Mark Bertrand (fiction) – worth a read
My husband I will be visiting Charleston, South Carolina at the end of the month. I wanted to read a book or two set in the city to get a feel for it. This one definitely does the trick for the historic district! I loved the descriptions and looking up some of the streets and learning the areas. The main character is also a dog walker, so that fun little tidbit tied in with a little bit of romance, suspense and mystery made it an enjoyable read.
The House on Tradd Street
by Karen White (fiction) – worth a read
Did you know Charleston is also known for its hauntings? When we’ve told people about this upcoming trip, many recommended a haunted ghost tour! It is on our list of things to do. Before picking up this book about an old house in the historic district, I didn’t realize the main character has the ability to sense and see ghosts. This is not usually my type of book; nor one I would pick up, but I loved that I got another glimpse of Charleston in more ways than one.
The Happiness Diet:
A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood and Lean, Energized Body
by Tyler Graham & Drew Ramsey (non-fiction) – worth a read
If you’ve read my blog from the beginning, you’ll know that I hate the term “diet” because today it’s used as a term for a new fad or for a new fix to lose weight. Saying you are “on a diet” is a little silly because your diet is what you eat, whether you are on one or not.
I picked up this book because I wanted to learn the connections between food and mood. Are there any foods can truly improve how we feel emotionally? The answer is entirely yes. I loved that this book went into the science of why certain foods are good for us and make us feel better. However, most of the explanations are pretty complicated. The only way I’d ever be able to reiterate them is if I took a course on this type of nutrition and had to study it for an exam. Instead, let’s just say a lot of it is what we know: real food is what makes us feel good. But not only that… It’s the processed crap that harms us and makes us feel sluggish and down in the dumps.
I did like learning the importance of eating meat and dairy from pastured, grass-fed animals. I also found that some of the produce that’s best eaten organic surprised me, too. Oranges = yes. A dye is often injected to give the perfect appearance when sold. Onions = no. They’ve a natural resistance to pests. Another thing that was interesting to learn, but makes sense when explained is that regular sugar is no better for us than high fructose corn syrup. There is no nutritional value in either. On the contrary, natural sweeteners like honey, real maple syrup and blackstrap molasses have abundances of vitamins in minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc.
There are so many easy, healthy recipes in this book and very few that I wouldn’t make!
Which of these books would you read?