The Food Therapist by Shira Lenchewski
I did really enjoy carrying a food therapist around with me for a few days. This book was perfect for some inspiration to eat better as well as providing some FOOD for thought in regards to why we make the cruddy food choices we tend to make.
My ultimate takeaways were her insights about how so many of us feel no closer to our future selves that we would feel to a stranger, and so we don’t make smart decisions to benefit that future self AND her theories about how we should treat ourselves to really good food and enjoy every bite of it but not make deals with ourselves about deserving a treat today because---- x y or z. (Which is a good point, as I think I deserve a treat multiple times a day. I got through that meeting. Treat!)
This book slowed me down and has, at least for now, caused me to think more carefully about what I’m going to eat. Time will tell on the scale but I’m definitely feeling better already.
The last couple of sections lost me a little bit, though, when she provided shopping lists and recipes. I’m just – NOT going to eat most of that stuff. I can get my subway sandwich with wheat bread and no cheese but I’m not going to make kelp noodles with sesame tahini sauce or have a snack of blueberries with cashew milk. Well guess what, the author is a whatever food writer for Gwenyth Paltrow’s goop.com, so that explained a LOT to me. Remember when Gwen did that “experiment” where she tried to live for a week on food stamps and her groceries were hilarious? I think she bought three limes, organic tomatoes and some rice noodles.
Someone should write a book about how to accomplish living your best healthy food life in Central Illinois. Keep the kelp noodles out of it.
Also, the author was mostly straightforward and great but sometimes she forgot what she was doing and thought maybe she was writing for Teen Vogue so she would talk about my “bod” and dumb it up a bit, which was distracting.
Still, I’d definitely recommend this book for someone like me, who had just ordered a big plate of fried chicken wings AND an egg roll and wondered if a book could help save her from herself. Possibly….it can. Let me know.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
I like a good family drama that spans the years and reveals secrets and forces the reader to feel incredibly close to the characters because, well, we saw them grow up!
The great ones often have some sort of meaningful backdrop to glue the whole story together. A house isn’t a unique choice necessarily, but it’s a cool house that caused a lot of drama within the family.
I feel like I read a good number of books like this and for what it was, it was terrific and very well done, although I felt like it was a little rushed in the end. Still, will I remember it this time next year? Maybe a little bit of it, or maybe none of it.
So I’d file this one under Solid, but not Wow.
Next up – I just started a book about a string quartet AND I just realized I haven’t read the Book Club book and we meet next week! Will I make it?
I'm making time in my day to read again and I've got a couple of recommendations for you that I'd LOVE to talk more about offline!
Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
Three Women is a nonfiction book with a really crappy title (inspiring a blog post I’m soon to write about good books with crappy titles) that tells three true stories of desire and bad behavior and desperation. One story is of a student/teacher relationship that had me googling all sorts of things and I finally had to make myself stop. Another is of a really strangely open marriage that sounded the most interest but was the story that was the least engaging. And finally, we read of a woman entangled in what was a nothing-new cheating situation but my God – the way this author illustrated this woman’s desperation was – it was genius. It was genius! It made me sick to my stomach almost. Haven’t we all been there in a relationship to some small degree and then we catch ourselves and retain some amount of dignity? But this story shows what happens when someone is unable to really catch herself.
There’s also an exploration of the theory that women are a little more at fault in illicit relationships because they should know better, they have some amount of control. I appreciated that it was an exploration rather than an explanation and it provided food for thought without turning into some sort of essay.
I’d love for you to read it so we could talk about it. But be warned – this book is extremely saucy. Don’t read it at your desk over your lunch hour. Don’t read it where someone could look over your shoulder.
I would have given it four stars, but I docked a star for two of the three stories feeling almost abandoned midway. THEN WHAT HAPPENED!?!?!?
Scarred by Sarah Edmondson
Despite having four kids and a husband and a full time job and probably some other life responsibilities, I dove into this book like you dive into bed and throw your covers over your head after a long day and I didn’t truly emerge until I was done.
Then I finished the last page and stumbled around aimlessly…. I did some research and followed the author on Twitter. Now I feel like enough time has passed that I can talk about it.
So – true story. Recent story. Story involving mildly famous people. SCARY story. VERY WELL TOLD STORY.
What starts out as a hippy dippy Multi Level Marketing self-help (obvious scam) for the author evolves into a huge career and way of life and is then clearly a cult and then evolves into what is clearly actually a sex cult. My God.
And if you’ve ever been involved in MLM anything, which I have so I’m not judging, you can understand how it could be a perfect cover for a cult.
Reading this book was like watching the whole train wreck take place. Fascinating and awful! There were a few times when I felt like she was rehashing and rehashing and then I realized that she was putting the reader right there with her – as concepts were drilled into her head, she in turn drilled them into the readers head so we were along for the ride. What a trip!
This was a perfect True Crime/Cult book for me because it didn’t involve anything horrible or gruesome (except for one passage in the beginning where the author was branded – yikes!) but it was still super interesting. It wasn’t always intense, because much of the book describes how members of the cult were slowly groomed. Still, it kept me in its grip the whole time.
Awesome book!! Read it and let me know your thoughts!
Next up: I switched gears and decided to start a book that will help me quit eating stupid stuff. And – it’s working!
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.