Tag Archives: Roxane Gay

Friday 5 – What I Read

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By the looks of this post, it’s been almost all cookbooks and audiobooks these days. I think there is a reason for this, but I won’t get into it now! 🙂 This was a really good selection, though. And these are books I read probably over a month ago. Let’s see what I retained…

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How Not to Die:
Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
by Michael Greger (nonfiction) – must read

For the past few years, I’ve heard it said numerous times from various sources that we should be eating “real food, mostly plants”. Dr. Greger explains why. This is a doozy of a book! With a section on the most common diseases that lead to death and in-depth explanation why food is the root cause and how the right food can heal us, too. He opens with his example of his grandmother’s diagnosis of a terminal disease and in changing her diet – lived 20 more years.

There is a lot of information to back up his claims, so much that I skimmed over most of it, taking greater note on certain diseases that afflict loved ones. I wholly admit that I didn’t read every word of this book, but that I find what Greger writes to be candid and enlightening. The second half of his book focuses on how to approach a healthy diet with a checklist of your daily necessities and a stop-light approach to foods (Green light – EAT! Yellow light – think twice, don’t eat often. Red light – don’t eat).

Why is this all not common knowledge? There is no such thing as Big Broccoli!

I followed up by reading his cookbook of the same name which was recently released. You can also find information about specific diseases, foods and studies on his website at www.NutritionFacts.org.

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The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas 
(fiction, audio) – must read

I absolutely adored this book on audio! I don’t know what constitues YA, but this one has a lot of not-necessarily-just-young-adult themes that are appropriate for these times. The book is being adapted for the screen and the trailer has just been released! I haven’t watched it yet, but I will say I think Amandla Stenberg will make a perfect Starr Carter.

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This is Me:
Loving the Person You Are Today

by Chrissy Metz (nonfiction, audio) – worth a read

This popped up as a suggestion on Hoopla Audio where I download books from my local library. I promptly snatched it up and listened to it while picking up around the house and doing dishes. I really liked learning about Chrissy’s journey to Hollywood and also her philosophies now. She really puts her personality out there in the writing and reading of this story as well! She offers little nuggets of truth, too, like “Hurt people hurt people.”

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My Kitchen Year
136 Recipes That Saved My Life

by Ruth Reichl (nonfiction, cookbook) – worth a read

I didn’t really know what this book was about, other than that it was a cookbook and that the recipes were possibly healthy: “136 Recipes that Saved My Life”. But what I came to learn is that these recipes came to save Reichl’s “life” after she became unemployed. They inspired her mentally and she illustrates how the methodical repetition in their creation could be meditative. The book is written like a story, which I love, as I read cookbooks like novels. The sections are divided by season and I found it quite lovely to read about such things while sitting out in the lounge chair on my patio on a spring afternoon. (Only a few of the recipes I could actually see myself making, but would probably eat quite a few if they were offered my way. 🙂 )

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Hunger:
A Memoir of (My) Body

by Roxane Gay (nonfiction, audio) – worth a read

 

Whoa. This is a heavy, but real book. I’ve only read one of Gay’s books and it was entirely fiction. I can see where draws her ideas and feelings from now. This is a very vulnerable topic of which to write and is not a feel-good story, but one of Truth. Want a really in depth review/reaction to this book? This is one of the best I’ve read.

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What do you like to read outside in the summer?

Cheers~
Carrie

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Friday 5: Books with Cool Covers & Strange Titles

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So it just works out this way… I have a few restos I’m sure my husband would like me to write-up, but I find books so much easier! No worries, I’ll get going back to those soon, hopefully… 😉

Here are 5 recent books I read… Some with cool covers, others with strange titles.

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
by Jenny Lawson 
(non-fiction; well, mostly) – worth a read/listen

furiously-happy

I think that this book helps shed a bit of the stigma of mental illness. Lawson is hilariously candid about things her life circumstances and experiences dealing with depression and anxiety; but also illustrates her difficulties and is serious about that. She shares her own personal coping mechanisms; but also reiterates that everyone is different and not every strategy will work for everyone nor all the time.

I like her over-the-top stories and sense of humor; but don’t be easily offended! She eloquently compares mental illness to other better-known diseases to create a better understanding and help break the stigma. At first, I found the author’s up-speak to be a bit difficult to listen to on the audiobook; but later realized that there would be no one better to narrate it! These are her words, thoughts and experiences… thus her excitement, candor and compassion shines through in just the right places.

I thought the cover of this book was just cute… but then you find out why it’s the cover of this book!

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The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion:
Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions
by Christopher K. Germer
 (non-fiction) – DNF

mindful-path

The author said that “This book will not be a lot of work.” I had to go back and look for the quote, because my memory thought he said, “This will not be hard. In fact, it’ll be easier than what you are doing now.” He did go on to state: “The hard work is actually behind you – fighting and resisting difficult feelings, blaming yourself for them and their causes.”

However, I did find this book to be difficult. Although I’m working on meditation a bit, I find quieting the mind very challenging. I had trouble with some of the exercises and felt overwhelmed… and I definitely wasn’t compassionate with myself about that! In any case, maybe it’s just not the right time for this book for me. This one might be better to purchase and work on little by little, rather than check it out from the library with the hopes of completing it when it’s due.

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The Fox From His Lair
by Elizabeth Cadell
 (fiction) – worth a read

the-fox-from-his-lair

Truth be told, I picked up this book because the story is set in Portugal. Rob and I are thinking of spending our international vacation there this year. I did a search for guidebooks on Portugal on my library’s website and this book was one of the results. I hadn’t even realized it was written in the 60s until I picked it up. It even had its old check-out card and pocket still fastened on the inside cover!fox-lairThis book is categorized as “romantic suspense fiction”. I didn’t choose it because of that descriptions and would have never considered it a romance novel until maybe the very end. There is just so much more to this story. I think it transcends time, too! I really enjoyed it, although I’m not sure where the title comes in to play. And although the setting is just background, I still enjoyed reading about a location I may soon visit. I also love the cover of this book!

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DIFFICULT WOMEN
by Roxane Gay (fiction, short stories) – worth a read

difficult-women

Although I am not a fan of the color pink, I just love this cover! Before I read the book, I read a review that the title was not quite fitting. I would have to agree. In this age of “nasty” women, I expected this book to be about women who may be considered difficult, in the sense that they are challenging the norm and making breakthroughs. I expected to be inspired, not having read anything really what this book was truly about.

Instead, it may be said that this is book is about women in difficult situations. It’s a collection of short stories about women. The writing is absolutely fantastic, though the stories are a bit disheartening and sad. I’d say it’s about women and abuse and twins and sex and baths and motherhood and Michigan. If there weren’t exactly parallels in the stories, there were certain elements that were similar.

I’m curious and looking forward to reading Gay’s other works.

 

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The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life
by Ann Patchett
 (non-fiction) – worth a read (especially if you are thinking about writing)

getaway-car

I don’t have a Kindle or any type of e-reader, but I do have the Kindle app downloaded on my phone. I don’t like reading on my phone very much at all, but I having a short or less-involved story available on that app at all times in case I end up in a line or waiting room somewhere and haven’t a book with me!

I thought this was a short story written by Patchett; but instead it’s a bit of a memoir. It’s kind of funny to read this having never read any of her books before. {I’m now reading Commonwealth.} While I don’t exactly understand the butterflies on her cover, the getaway car is in reference to her attempt as a novelist to escape a life of waitressing. It’s full of sensible advice to those aspiring to write; but also gives a look into the life of a novelist.

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Do you choose books by their covers or titles?

What book do you think has had the best title or cover?

Cheers~
Carrie