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Books, Movies, and TV: Books you hate (and others love) #2

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pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 5, 2008
12:53 AM

Post #5859671

We started here:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/582102/

and had to start a new thread because the old one was taking too long to load. Enjoy!
MeemsDream
Plymouth, MI
(Zone 6a)

December 5, 2008
4:38 AM

Post #5860405

I just picked up the book, The Shack, written by, Wm. Paul Young. I was just wondering if anyone has read it yet.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 5, 2008
4:45 AM

Post #5860429

I haven't, but would love to know what you think of it -- after you read it.
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

December 7, 2008
12:08 AM

Post #5865934

I just read the first three books (beginning with Twilight) at my daughters request. Young adults fare. Easy read and actually not bad if you want a mindless read. Doesn't sound flattering ---but it isn't what I intend. It was like watching You Got Mail... light and not demanding.

Off the thread for a sec. I bought a P2 BlueWave light. (for SADD or difficulty sleeping, restless leg, etc) Only unit OK'd by the FDA I think. NO harmful ultraviolet and safe for the retina. Those who are interested - I got it from Sylvane.com - althought Costco on line has it sometimes and I am sure other sites. It is very small (maybe 6 x 6) and you don't have to sit on top of it either like some of the others.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 7, 2008
12:21 AM

Post #5865965

Thanks for letting us know about the book and the light. Some books are a light read -- nothing wrong with that unless they pretend to be something else. Good that you read what your daughter recommended. Kids need that kind of reinforcement for their reading -- the ex-English teacher speaks.

The light sounds good, too. Many of us are thinking about controlling SADD this time of the year. Sometimes I have problems with it. Lately it has been warm and sunny and I have been able to work in the garden, so I didn't need the light. It is supposed to snow on Monday so, I may want it then.
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

December 7, 2008
1:37 AM

Post #5866192

Well, I had heart palps when I saw it was going to cost 200 dollars (but free shipping...HA) anyway,... I wanted something that was tested for efficacy and safe for the harmful ray/skin/eye damage issues. --intent not for depression --although for years I have believed my DH suffers from SADD but also for midlife sleep issues.

Yes, if the kids recommend I try to read. Also wanted to find a book to give as a christmas gift to a friend's daughter who is just 13 years. I wanted to be sure it would be an enjoyable and exciting read with nothing beyond age sensibility since it was a romance (even if with a young vampire!) Also the characters --- are readers and often refer back to the classics in the dialogue. I bet any young person that reads will reach for Bronte and Shakesphere soon after!
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

December 9, 2008
11:12 AM

Post #5873649

Classic book I was required to read in school: Lord Jim. Couldn't read it past the first 100 pages. Threw it down in disgust, asked my Spanish teacher about it. He gave me enough of a synopsis that I was able to pass the test on it. Actually did better on the test than some who read the whole thing. Never have read it, don't intend to.

Many other classics I was required to read and really enjoyed include Mutiny on the Bounty, Silas Marner, Our Hearts Were Young and Gay, Jane Eyre (love it, love it).

Current authors whose books I cannot read include Sandra Brown, James Patterson, Toni Hillerman, LIllian Braun.

Authors I seek out: Phillipa Gregory, Tami Hoag, David Baldacci, Mary Kay Andrews, J.K. Robb, Philip Margolin, Ann Rule, James Alexander Thom.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 9, 2008
3:21 PM

Post #5874121

I had trouble with Lord Jim, too, but loved also loved Jane Eyre -- but I was not required to read it. I have read one Sandra Brown book and wasn't impressed. I love Tony Hillerman, however, but maybe you have to be steeped in culture of the Southwest to enjoy his stuff. I have never read any of the others you mentioned. Sounds like we don't like the same stuff.
kniphofia
Morpeth
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

December 9, 2008
5:10 PM

Post #5874606

Oh I just love Joseph Conrad! I read a lot of his books in school but should really re-visit them.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 9, 2008
5:50 PM

Post #5874771

I loved the Secret Sharer by Conrad which may be a long short story. He is really outstanding when you realize that he was not a native speaker of English, though he chose English to write in.
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

December 9, 2008
6:20 PM

Post #5874879

Okay. Y'all can have your Conrad. I also loved Daphne DuMaurier, Taylor Caldwell, Norah Lofts, Mary Stewart. Oh, I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 9, 2008
6:46 PM

Post #5874974

I liked Daphne DuMaurier. I don't think I read the others. I used to read historical novels by Anya Seton. Are any of those familiar to you? Very romantic.
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

December 9, 2008
6:58 PM

Post #5875043

Para: Oh, yes, Anya Seton. How could I forget her? She was great. Also Shirley Jackson. Oh, I must go back to my bookshelves and start re-reading some of these great old books. All of the Brontes, Jane Austen, of course, Madam Bovary. Oh my goodness, the juices are really flowing now. Booth Tarkington, he's a fav, especially the Penrod books. Well, now you know why I was considered a bookworm growing up! My nose was always in a book.

This message was edited Dec 27, 2008 6:39 AM

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 12, 2008
1:42 PM

Post #5884211

There was a Madame Bovary on public TV about 25+ years ago- so I meant to try it in French- my brother or sister must have had it for school and I had at least four years of French under my belt- but didn't finish.
Anyhoo- just finished Glass Castle. I'd give it an OK+. I think A Girl Named Zippy and She got up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel, are somewhat similar and a bit more happy- without saying too much.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 12, 2008
3:26 PM

Post #5884502

Oh yes, Madame Bovary. I both liked and hated it. I wanted to shake her for being so stupid, but I was a thorough condemnation of the way women were treated in her day. Flaubert certainly understood a woman's situation in his day. It has been a long time since I read it, but I remember not being able to put it down.
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

December 12, 2008
9:41 PM

Post #5885564

I agree with paja about MB. It was like watching a train wreck. You just couldn't stop reading! Much like watching the PBS special on Grey Gardens some time back. I couldn't believe people of means could live in such squalor and not do something about it! And the gardens were nothing but kudzu or the LI equivalent of same. It was both fascinating and horrifying.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 12, 2008
9:42 PM

Post #5885567

Another public TV show I really liked was Daniel Dafoe's Moll Flanders. More recent, maybe 5-7 years ago. The lead actress was great. I've been meaning to read that book.

Hmm, maybe I'll get Madame Bovary first- but "en Anglais"

This message was edited Dec 12, 2008 4:43 PM
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

December 12, 2008
9:44 PM

Post #5885573

Oh, and PBS's The Choir, adapted from Joanna Trollope's book, was wonderful beyond description. I've enjoyed several of her books, too.
kays_camelot
Port Sanilac, MI

December 13, 2008
2:50 PM

Post #5887550

I have enjoyed reading anything I can get my hands on for 65+ years. However, in high school we were required to read Silas Marner and I COULD NOT get through it! I am always surprised when I hear anyone say they like it because, to me, it is the poster boy for unreadable books. I can't help but wonder what I would think about it reading it now, but I am so convinced in my subconscious that I am afraid it wouldn't work.

My GD is a bookworm and we often compare books. Some I have reread from my youth and they definitely do come across differently. I still loved 1984 but had different issues with it than I did in 1960. I raved about Grapes of Wrath but I think she is too polite to tell me what she thought. She is insisting that I read East of Eden though. (I would love to but SHE borrowed it before I read it and can't seem to get it back to me). I put a large list of books on my Christmas list to her and am eagerly looking forward to Christmas.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 13, 2008
3:54 PM

Post #5887724

How wonderful that you and your daughter can share your love of reading. I share mine with my MIL but I don't read anywhere near as much as she does. Nevertheless, I occasionally am able to come up with a book that she hasn't tried that I like, too.
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

December 13, 2008
9:22 PM

Post #5888447

I am probably going to incur lots of comments on this, but Thomas Wolfe is a famous NC author from Asheville and I've toured his mother's boarding house (the original one that burned a few years ago). The restoration was a stone's throw from the Buncombe County Courthouse when I worked there, so I am quite familiar with him and his home town. BUT I have tried several times to read his books and just can't get into them. It must be something about me, because everyone raves about him and his genius. I do admire him and I understand his background, but I admit to not having finished any of his books.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 14, 2008
6:52 AM

Post #5889891

Well, I have to agree with you Hemophobic. I have heard about how wonderful Wolfe was, but I have never been able to get through Look Homeward, Angel. But I did like You Can't Go Home Again, fairly well --- well enough that I could finish it. Wolfe was much loved by my high school classmates, but not by me. So don't feel alone.
planolinda
Plano, TX

December 27, 2008
2:30 AM

Post #5931407

someone mentioned THE SHACK earlier in the thread and no one had responded
i just finished it and i would love to hear what others thought
MeemsDream
Plymouth, MI
(Zone 6a)

December 27, 2008
5:09 AM

Post #5931816

I just finished The Shack too. It was pretty far out there! I really can't say that it was one of my favorites. I would put it somewhere in the middle. I think I am going to read it over again, maybe I missed something. Meem
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

December 27, 2008
2:59 PM

Post #5932506

Going back for a second to an earlier post (maybe the first thread?) - I got "The China Study" for my DH for Christmas - he has already finished it and I expect to eat rice and cabbage for the rest of my life, lol...

Seriously, though - I think I'm going to have to read it, as well. The implications were pretty impressive, from the sounds of it.
planolinda
Plano, TX

December 27, 2008
3:08 PM

Post #5932527

meem my thoughts are very much the same as yours
i knew it was said to be a life changing book and so maybe i expected too much-i don't know that anything so new was revealed to me or that i felt i knew god any better
at the end there was a lot of self promotion and what to do to get more people to read it and how to "spread the word" by this book --it felt a little opportunistic
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

December 27, 2008
3:39 PM

Post #5932631

Hi Everyone
Need some help. There is a book - written by a color consultant (female) ... about house colors (I think just exteriors) (not much help am I) Anyway, a friend is searching... I think maybe it said bungalows on the front but maybe not... It is always sold out ..best seller...etc etc.. . Anyone out there know what the heck I am asking about. She gave me almost no clues!
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 27, 2008
5:15 PM

Post #5932879

On The China Study, I have switched to the vegan diet because of it. That was about 6 months ago. I immediately lost 20 pounds and you can eat a lot more than cabbage and rice.
I do go off of it for special occasions -- birthdays, Christmas, some parties, but the rest of the time I stay on it. My cholesterol and blood sugar are now down. As a breast cancer survivor, I wanted to lower my cholesterol to reduce the chance of a recurrence.
An unexpected result, though, was that my triglyceride level went up. I am pre-diabetic and adding all those grains to my diet has raised my triglycerides. As a result I have started an exercise program -- the best way to lower triglycerides.
Anyhow, I am glad you and your DH liked the book. I think there is much enlightening information in the book. BTW, my doctor is supervising all this -- she didn't tell me what to do, but she did tell me to lose weight and get the blood sugar and cholesterol down.
Oh, and I have found lots of good vegan recipes and even pre-packaged food products. If there is a Trader Joe's or a Whole Foods in your area, that will help a lot. They both carry tons of whole grains and vegan entrees that are quick to fix. But I do find myself having to read packages a lot more than I used to.
planolinda
Plano, TX

December 27, 2008
8:34 PM

Post #5933460

please tell me about the china study
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 27, 2008
9:55 PM

Post #5933743

The China Study is a remarkable book about nutrition by Colin Campbell and his son. They are Phd researchers from Cornell and not sure where else but they were given the opportunity to get health statistics -- diet, disease, life style from every county in China thanks to Jo En Li ( I am sure that is not spelled correctly, sorry) who was then the head guy of China and who was dying of liver cancer and he wanted to know why. Campbell had already been working on diet vs. disease for a long time but he and the head Chinese nutrition researcher, whose name I am ashamed to have forgotten, studied these numbers compared to the numbers in the US and many other countries and discovered that the things we suffer from most in the west are unheard of in China, though they are becoming more and more prevalent among Chinese who move to the US and Chinese where western food is becoming common.
The basic thesis supported by tons of research is that our diet is killing us. It is a wonderfully well documented book, told in an easy to understand way. My vet says she has bought and given to relatives at least a dozen copies.
It is fascinating and helpful. I recommend it to all Americans, in fact all westerners and well-- to the Chinese as well.
If anyone wants to talk about it, I still have my copy and would be happy to discuss it if they are interested -- in a different thread if people prefer it that way.
It is available on Amazon and most big book stores. My diet has completely changed since I read it.
planolinda
Plano, TX

December 28, 2008
12:50 AM

Post #5934354

what are some of the changes you made in your diet and how did it change you?
and thanks for the nice explanation--it sounds very interesting
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 28, 2008
1:41 AM

Post #5934511

Well, what Mr. Campbell and his son recommend is a plant based diet -- that is vegan -- no meat, fish milk or cheese. Lots of whole grains, legumes and fresh fruits and vegetables. I read the book because my blood sugar and cholesterol had been creeping up for a long time and my doctor felt I needed to lose some weight in order to lower both. It turns out they are very much connected. And it turns out that high cholesterol is not only and indicator for heart disease but also for cancer. Since I have already had a mild case of breast cancer I realized I needed to do something. So I decided to go on a vegan diet.
I might add that Mr. Campbell grew up on a dairy farm and started his career believing that adding protein to their diet was the way to save the lives of poor children. His early work was done in Haiti and Indonesia and it showed the opposite.
He and his family have now been vegans for 15 years or more and his studies are cited by many other books on nutrition that I have read recently.
Once I began my vegan diet, I wouldn't be surprised if my calorie intake didn't increase, but 20 pounds fell off almost instantly it seemed. It was a little scary and I stopped my exercise program because I was afraid I would lose too fast. Six months or so later I have lowered my cholesterol and my blood sugar and am now working on my triglycerides which needed my exercise program. I am back at the exercise program and my weight loss has stopped, but may come back now that I am exercising. I should still lose more weight.
Well, all I can say is that I feel better than ever and plan to stay on the vegan diet for life -- though I certainly did have turkey at Thanksgiving and crab and meat on Christmas. I have had to learn how to cook without meat, cheese and milk. It turns out that one can still eat pretty well without those foods, but it has required some ingenuity on my part.
Anyhow, it sounds hard but it really isn't. Most vegans in the past have become so because of strong beliefs in animal rights. I support animal rights but would have continued to eat meat if I had thought it was good from me.
The evidence is overwhelming that a plant based whole foods diet make cancer and diabetes practically unheard of. And so far I am very happy to be doing what I am doing. But don't take my word for it. Read The China Study. It may change your life as well. What is amazing is that this information has been out there for generations and is rarely discussed.
Let me just say that Mr. Campbell is not a believer in the Atkins and South Beach diets. He all but calls Dr. Atkins a fraud. Well, I tried the South Beach diet and almost lost my mind -- it is so complicated.
planolinda
Plano, TX

December 28, 2008
4:14 AM

Post #5934925

i believe you are probably correct about vegan being the healthiest way to eat --i would never want to go with out meat, cheese, dairy products etc but i do think i am willing to continue to use less of all animal products in an attempt to be healthier--
i see how wonderful it must be for you to have lost so much weight and improved your health numbers--it has certainly worked well for you --i also admire the strength it must have taken to take the plunge!! thanks for the information--one last question--what does he say about white rice?
MeemsDream
Plymouth, MI
(Zone 6a)

December 28, 2008
4:40 AM

Post #5934992

The China Study was a real eye opener. I read it awhile back. I don't think I could follow the diet completely but I am trying to at least change alot of what I am eating. I am a South Beach diet gal. I lost 10 lbs. I really didn't find it complicated but sometimes hard to stick too. It all came down to not eating so many carbs and staying away from white food. After I was on it awhile it really did become easier and I didn't crave the bad carbs . It is worth a read, but so is the China Study. What ever works for you. Planolinda, you nailed it!!! I am passing The Shack along and will be anxious to hear what others think. Meem
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 28, 2008
3:58 PM

Post #5935851

I was surprised at how easy it was to go vegan -- not that it was effortless. For one thing, I had tried to switched to a lower fat diet by eating leaner meat, but once one removes the meat from fat, to me it no longer tastes good -- rubber chicken. Lean pork is tasty by tough and dry. Lean beef works best if you stew it for a long time, and here in the desert fish just doesn't have that wonderful taste it has fresh from the sea -- or river or lake.
I do love beans. Haven't been able to develop a taste for lentils without sausage in them though. And I truly love vegetables.
Campbell does not get into white vs. brown rice, though clearly he suggests brown. Yet I am sure the people in his studies ate white rice, not brown. Still, it is the fiber ( the hulls) in grains that lowers the cholesterol, so he suggests brown rice. Most of us will take a long time to lower our cholesterol to the levels of Asians on a traditional diet.
Actually the China Study is not a diet. It just shows the effect of diet on cancer, diabetes and heart disease. I found another excellent book on cholesterol reduction called Cholesterol Down by Janet Brill. She recommends 10 simple steps to lower your cholesterol. Things like eating oatmeal, eating 1 oz. of whole roasted, unsalted almonds per day, eating beans, taking Metamucil, which is a great cholesterol lowerer, eating apples, and other steps which she claims will lower cholesterol and which I have seen elsewhere. She, too, refers to the connection between breast cancer and high cholesterol.
I have learned to make bean soups, chile, really good oatmeal with flax seed and berries, vegetarian pasta, etc. etc. I have learned to cook with Quinoa which is truly delicious and to make barley salads. I switched to mostly cooking brown rice, but not solely. Apple slices spread with organic peanut butter are delicious. I cook pasta with vegan tomato sauce and sometimes include fake Italian sausage made from tofu.
This is not a gluten-free diet, but could be by omitting wheat.
For eating out, I go to Japanese, Chinese and Indian restaurants because all of those countries have a vegetarian tradition and serve traditional vegetarian dishes. Some American and European restaurants have a vegan item on the menu, but many think cheese is a good idea for vegetarians.
If diabetes is your worry, there is a book called Reversing Diabetes by Dr. Neal Barnard that is very good for the diet part of reversing diabetes. It has recipes and all.
I didn't think I could give up meat and dairy either, but it wasn't that hard because, I could eat as much as I wanted -- until I was full. And beans are very filling. So are pasta and barley and oatmeal. I didn't have to weigh, measure or count anything, which is the reason I gave up on the South Beach diet. As long as it didn't have meat or dairy I could have it. They do advise you not to eat fried foods, but I do like vegetable tempura once in a while.
I always worried about not getting enough protein but one of the things Campbell shows is that too much protein in the diet is actually a trigger for cancer and that just eating fruits, vegetables and grains, gives us plenty enough protein to be healthy. And you don't have to pair plant proteins like they used to tell us. Your body will take care of that for you.
These books also tell us about miracle foods like cinnamon and turmeric, a natural anti-inflamatory. It really is a whole new world but I am rather enjoying it. It is especially good if you like Asian food.

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

December 30, 2008
12:03 AM

Post #5941273

Hello: I guess you all think I disappeared off the face of the earth, but I only read one book lately, which I promised to report what I thought. But then I forgot the name of the book. It was about a young man who was in a wreck and had a lot of brain damage. A lot of his abilities recovered, but he still had odd ideas about things especially when his sister came to help and although she looked like his sister, he did not recognize her at all. She stuck around and finally he accepted her. I liked the story, which was partly about the winding down of a psychiatrist's career, but there was too much psycho-blabber.
Does anyone know which book I'm talking about?
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

December 30, 2008
2:56 AM

Post #5942049

Ummmm... gosh, no idea!~

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 30, 2008
8:41 AM

Post #5942765

Haven't heard of that one, but I have wanted to find The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, about brain problems.

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 1, 2009
1:30 PM

Post #5951065

I just picked up "The Unknown World" at the library. It is based on Civil War times including blacks who owned slaves. Such a weird concept to me and to them too. The beginning looks promising but I have recently red 3 books about that period and am not sure I want to read another one right now. It was, however, a National Book Award winner. So it has promise.
ceejaytown
The Woodlands, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 1, 2009
5:44 PM

Post #5952069

I just finished reading Peony in Love by Lisa See. I was surprised to see that it is a historical novel, obviously with lots of "novel" in it. But I enjoyed it very much, even more than Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. It gave lots of insight into old Chinese beliefs about the afterworld, some of which are still believed today. I couldn't put it down, and even now, I can't stop thinking about it. Now, that's a good book!

Next up: The Glass Castle
planolinda
Plano, TX

January 1, 2009
5:56 PM

Post #5952133

glass castle is on my list to read also--my daughter is reading it now and likes it-
i liked snow flower so will also like PEONY IN LOVE i am sure--i got and gave books for the holidays so am looking forward to them all--
RIVER OF DOUBT is a good book too--
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 1, 2009
11:06 PM

Post #5953418

I'm half way through reading "Peony in Love". I'm enjoying it a lot even though it does bring up the subject of foot binding once again, but in less detail than in "Snow Flower & the Secret Fan". With "Peony in Love", it goes into more of the Chinese marriage customs & rituals, plus the second half of the book deals with their after life. Once again, Lisa See proves to be a very skilled & learned author. She writes and tackles subjects which I find both fascinating & informative.

I've read and thoroughly enjoyed "The Glass Castle". It's the next selection that my book club will be discussing in January. What an incredible story, plus the odds that the author had to over come. It goes to show us that hard work & determination does win over adversity!
planolinda
Plano, TX

January 1, 2009
11:28 PM

Post #5953493

shirley i am in a book club too--i'd love to hear some of the books your group has read-
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 2, 2009
1:16 AM

Post #5954185

In 2008, my book club read the following:

"Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult
"The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak
"The Double Bind" by Chris Bohajalian
"Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen
"Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini
"The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls

"Thousand Splendid Suns" & "The Glass Castle" were my favorites in '08.

Linda: What did your book club read this past year?
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

January 2, 2009
1:35 AM

Post #5954266

Oh, thanks for this list. I will be dipping into it in 2009.
planolinda
Plano, TX

January 2, 2009
2:49 AM

Post #5954629

oh i hope i can remember a few! thise are from past years --i can't remember all now
water for elephants
the shack (this month)
snow mountain
name sake
reading lolita in ?
million pieces (a few years back and i hated it)
middlesex
girl with pearl earring
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

January 2, 2009
2:55 AM

Post #5954652

I read Reading Lolita in Tehran. It was good, but not good enough to get me through the whole book. It certainly was a graphic picture of what is happening to Iranian women who want an education. I found the book disturbing and consider it even more so considering it took place quite a few years ago, and as far as I know, things have only gotten worse there since then.
The others will go on my reading list of '09.
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

January 2, 2009
3:39 AM

Post #5954881

Girl with a Pearl Earring was excellent reading!

Plano, are you talking about George Eliot's Middlesex? Read it years ago and enjoyed it very much.



Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 2, 2009
3:46 AM

Post #5954923

Pajaritomt: Hope you enjoy reading these selections as much as I did. The only one I didn't like and my book club concurred was "The Double Bind". The vast majority of members felt that there are so many other well written books and didn't feel that this one was worth their time & effort. It got a thumbs down from us.

Linda: Thanks for your reading list. I definitely have "Middlesex" on my list of books I want to read. How did you feel about this book? Any particular likes or dislikes from the ones that you listed?
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 2, 2009
3:47 AM

Post #5954931

Thanks Hemophobic, I'm adding "Girl with a Pearl Earring" to my list.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

January 2, 2009
5:26 AM

Post #5955272

Okay, I haven't read The Girl With the Pearl Earring and my MIL loved it. She gave me her copy. But, someone else said she felt it was a case of sexual harassment of the worst kind because, I gather, it was a young woman with an older and more powerful man. Were any of you bothered by this? I had almost decided not to read it.
kniphofia
Morpeth
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

January 2, 2009
6:21 AM

Post #5955361

Hem I think you're thinking of George Eliot's Middlemarch. Middlesex is by Jeffrey Eugenides which I read a few years ago and enjoyed very much.
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

January 2, 2009
12:30 PM

Post #5955641

Kniphofia: You're absolutely right! What's Middlesex about?

Para: On the subject of "Girl w/Earring" you have to keep it in context of its time, but it's the age-old story of young girl/older man and indentured servant. I still enjoyed the read.

I love Phillipa Gregory, but I just read "The Wise Woman" and have mixed feelings about it. The book was excellent as all hers are, but it was like watching a train wreck. I kept wanting the heroine to wake up and smell the coffee!
kniphofia
Morpeth
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

January 2, 2009
5:51 PM

Post #5956808

Middlesex is rather hard to describe... Here's a blurb from Amazon.

"An adolescent coming of age, incest, race riots, transgender issues, intermarriage, the cultural isolation of immigrants and chapters called 'The Oracular Vulva', and 'Gender Dysphoria in San Francisco'... too much, surely, for one book? But pass over it at your peril: this is a beautifully written epic tale, spanning eight decades and three generations of a Greek family who migrate to America in the 1920s. The story is told by 41-year-old Cal Stephanides, who has inherited a rare genetic mutation that means that he is part woman and part man. But this is not a sensation to the reader, nor shocking - we are in on the secret from the start, and there are plenty of secrets in the Stephanides family. One of the particular joys of the book is the way we can look in microscopic detail at the intimate hopes and tragedies of individual characters as they are played against great sweeping social and political changes in 20th-century America. Eugenides writes with great compassion and humour of individuals' struggles to find a place within the world and to thrive within conventional boundaries. All the characters are vividly and memorably drawn and the reader really cares about each of them. A brilliant achievement. (Kirkus UK)"

I'd recommend it. In fact I must re-read it this year!
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

January 2, 2009
6:07 PM

Post #5956852

Kniphofia: Thanks for the review. I'll check it out from my library perhaps. Your description sort of reminds me of some of Taylor Caldwell's books I read years ago. Hers usually covered several generations and their rise and fall. Also, "The Forsyte Saga" books were mesmerizing for the very same reasons. Galsworthy was a keen observer of human nature.

pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

January 2, 2009
6:09 PM

Post #5956858

Hmm. Maybe I will have to read Middlesex! Thanks, kniphofia, for the strong recommendation. I will locate the book somewhere.
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 2, 2009
10:18 PM

Post #5957847

Thank you all for your commentary on these books! I find your feedback extremely helpful!

Speaking for myself, I like to reach beyond my comfort zone & read books that may be controversial, but most definitely thought provoking. They make for the most interesting discussions! Just my 2 cents worth!!
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

January 2, 2009
10:23 PM

Post #5957864

Yes, half the fun of reading is expanding one's horizons. My reading lately, though, has been mostly non-fiction -- books on nutrition and heart disease and diabetes. But I will get back to fiction. I like it, too.
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

January 2, 2009
10:48 PM

Post #5957991

I usually have several books going at one time in different parts of the house or office, depending on where I am. Once I find an author whose books I like, I tend to read everything he or she wrote or is publishing. Or if I get interested in a particular subject, I'll pretty well exhaust all the literature I can find on it. Also, what I read depends to some degree on my own mood at the time. There are some books I re-read from time to time.

Does anyone remember Jean Kerr and her books? They were tremendously enjoyable. And along the humorous line, Robert Benchley and PG Wodehouse can't be beat. Bailey White's books are usually a good read and Mary Kay Andrews is another current author whose books I look forward to. So many books, so little time!
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

January 2, 2009
11:29 PM

Post #5958159

"So many books, so little time!"

You can say that again. Always my plight.
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

January 3, 2009
2:37 AM

Post #5959028

Didn't mean to change this thread into a books you love and others hate thread!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 3, 2009
2:49 AM

Post #5959079

When this thread gets too long, maybe somebody should just start an Ongoing book chat thread.
I have just blasted through Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, nonfiction about a disastrous Everest expedition,; there was a documentary on it too. This is the same author as Into the Wild which got made into a movie. I really like Jon's writing style, and both delve into stories of going into survival situations, man against nature somewhat, I find compelling. The Everest story raises so many questions to me about why people did some things they did that led to disaster.
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

January 3, 2009
2:54 AM

Post #5959095

Sally: I read "Into Thin Air," too, and found it equally fascinating and puzzling. Climbing Mt. Everest is among those things, like bungee jumping, that I will never attempt!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 3, 2009
3:01 AM

Post #5959129

Me too-or me neither?
I also saw a movie a few years ago, maybe something the Void?? Two climbers go to Peru, one falls, the other has to cut the rope to save himself--or does he? becomes a question of how far can you go to help your partner versus saving your own life.

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 3, 2009
4:00 PM

Post #5960667

I just started "The Known World." It seems to be a black family who owns slaves. I have read several book about blacks lately, including, "Sula" so I'm not sure I'm ready for another one. But I will continue on this for awhile and see how it goes.
roybird
Santa Fe, NM

January 3, 2009
11:00 PM

Post #5962187

Hi. Mind if I join in? I read "Unaccustomed Earth", short stories, by Jhumpe Lakiri (sp?) recently and liked it . "The Namesake", I think is also by her. I saw the movie of it and that was good. Interesting to have the perspective of Indians living in other countries. I am often drawn to stories about immigrants. Something about that "out side looking in " kind of viewpoint. Of course, "Glass Castle" was kind of like that only it was about dysfunctional, economic outsiders born in this country. I read "Middlesex" some time ago. Another kind of outsider heard from! I'm sure it was well written but just didn't appeal to me. I didn't hate it, though.
planolinda
Plano, TX

January 4, 2009
12:24 AM

Post #5962539

i liked NAMESAKE--both the movie and the book--it was one of the few movies that was just about as good as the book--it was beautifully done--loved the scenes in india


i loved belcanto--i was so into that story! when i went to book club it wasn't that popular and my daughter (who usually has same book taste as i) didn't like it either--some time i want to read it again and see if it still gets me that drawn into the story--
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

January 4, 2009
1:24 AM

Post #5962768

Okay, back to the original intent of the thread... I could *not* get into Belcanto - I read half way through it and put it away, couldn't even make myself do it.

Sally, if you liked Jon Krakauer's writing style, you might enjoy "Under the Banner of Heaven" ... well ... you *might*. I was fascinated by it because it explored not only a strange murder of a young woman, but also give a lot of history of the Church of Latter Day Saints. When I read it I was going to college with a lot of LDS kids and it gave me some insight into their past, if not their present.

Middlesex sounds intriguing. I think I'm going to have to get that one.

"I love Phillipa Gregory, but I just read "The Wise Woman" and have mixed feelings about it. The book was excellent as all hers are, but it was like watching a train wreck. I kept wanting the heroine to wake up and smell the coffee!

Geez, Heme, I felt that way about all of her books (I read 3 - the ones about Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I)! The continuous court intrigue made me want to scream. I kept hoping someone would shout "OMG - this is all so STUPID!".

But I guess there's no bucking history, though, huh?
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

January 4, 2009
2:40 AM

Post #5963045

Pagan: Well, the historical novels I love and Gregory's are so well done, I get drawn into them, even though I already know how it's going to end. But Wise Woman was just a constant downward spiral that I lost interest and support for the heroine. She was certainly not wise!

Realizing that we live in such a totally different time where we know ourselves, our rights and what we will and will not tolerate makes it difficult, I guess, to understand the social and legal limits that women had in those times. Of course, my opinion of Henry VIII is one of total disdain for his womanizing and his idiotic obsession (I understand the reason well) for a son, not to mention the fact that it was he who determined the sex of the children, not the women! Oh, well, I could natter on about this, but 'nuff said.
planolinda
Plano, TX

January 4, 2009
2:58 AM

Post #5963110

sad how the desire for a male son even now can become an obsession while the arrival of a daughter is a disappointment and pressure is put on the wife to produce a male--not as common here but still is in some parts of the world and sometimes in more subtle ways even here---so sad--i guess i am lucky since my mother had 4 girls and no sons and my father couldn't have loved us more--NEVER once acted as tho he missed out by not having a son--

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 4, 2009
3:38 AM

Post #5963261

Thanks Pagancat
sigh, so many books so little time
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

January 4, 2009
4:03 AM

Post #5963340

*sigh*

yeah, buddy!

You're right, of course, Hemophobic - no one (male or female) could have denounced the court as I suggested (wished!) without fearing for their lives - you're right that Gregory was very descriptive and adept at drawing you into the story - which is why I read three books I didn't like, lol! It just got to be a endless game, the flattery, tricks and backstabbing. And I'm pretty certain that what she describes, while fictitious, are based in very real behaviour for the times.
planolinda
Plano, TX

January 4, 2009
5:44 PM

Post #5964959

just noticed i misread the title of the thread--was thinking it was books you hated or loved!
i seem to do that--oh well i have been telling books i like and here is one i am reading now and loving
SUITE FRANCAISE
""beginning in paris on the eve of the nazi occupation in 1940 suite francaise tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. -----when irene nemrovsky began working on suite francaise, she was already a hghly successful writer living in paris. But she was also a jew and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to auschwitz where she died. for sixty four years this novel remained hidden and unknown
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

January 4, 2009
6:38 PM

Post #5965178

That sounds very good, planolinda.
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

January 4, 2009
6:49 PM

Post #5965228

Plano: Suite Francaise sounds like an excellent read. I'll add it to my list.
kniphofia
Morpeth
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

January 4, 2009
7:07 PM

Post #5965310

I loved Suite Francaise, I highly recommend it!
planolinda
Plano, TX

January 4, 2009
7:29 PM

Post #5965414

i feel she is so talented and what a huge loss that she died in a concentration camp and all the wonderful writing the world has missed out on--which brings me to think of all the other arts that were also crushed in their prime during that time
speeking of that time --the potato peel pie society (i am missing a part of that title) is also set during world war 2 and sounds so good--from what i understand the potato peel pie is from the fact that a book club member wants refreshments at the meetings and due to lack of food items they make potato peel pie!
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 4, 2009
10:49 PM

Post #5966292

Yes, I agree! "Suite Francaise" was an excellent read!

"Suite Française is both a brilliant novel of wartime and an extraordinary historical document. An unmatched evocation of the exodus from Paris after the German invasion of 1940, and of life under the Nazi occupation, it was written by the esteemed French novelist Irène Némirovsky as events unfolded around her. This haunting masterpiece has been hailed by European critics as a War and Peace for the Second World War.

Though she conceived the book as a five-part work (based on the form of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony), Irène Némirovsky was able to write only the first two parts, Storm in June and Dolce, before she was arrested in July 1942. She died in Auschwitz the following month. The manuscript was saved by her young daughter Denise; it was only decades later that Denise learned that what she had imagined was her mother’s journal was in fact an invaluable work of art."

Quite apart from the astonishing story of its survival, Suite Française is a novel of genius and lasting artistic value. Subtle, often fiercely ironic, and deeply compassionate, it is both a piercing record of its time and a humane, profoundly moving novel."

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?r=1&ISBN=9781400096275&ourl=Suite-Francaise/Irene-Nemirovsky
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

January 4, 2009
11:14 PM

Post #5966393

Wow. Glad this came up. I had never heard of this book.
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

January 5, 2009
12:47 AM

Post #5966811

Sounds like a winner... as long as it's just not devastatingly sad.

Did anyone else read 'The Book Theif'?

Did I already ask that, lol?
planolinda
Plano, TX

January 5, 2009
1:51 AM

Post #5967113

no--not sad exactly---of course war is sad but it is more about the way people lived when the city/town/village is occupied by the enemy--both sides work at making some kind of a peace between them -- there is also the friction between the rich and poor---villagers and farmers---------a lot of the book is about the different classes of people-their thinking, feelings towards others, values----it was such an insight to read what each one thought about themselves and then the people around them--i just finished it and will miss it--you know that feeling when you end a really good book and think "now what am i going to do?"
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 5, 2009
1:57 AM

Post #5967131

No, "Suite Francais" is not devastatingly sad, but then again, she was only able to write 2 "suites" of her novel. It was suppose to have 5 completed "suites" when finished. That's why there is the reference to Beethoven 5th Symphony. Her first two "suites" are a build up (or in musical terms it is called a "crescendo") to what is happening in France during the Nazi occupation. Some parts are happy & light and some aren't. However, a well written novel will have you thinking about what you have read long after you have finished reading it.

I read "The Book Thief". Another excellent novel! It is narrated "by Death". It is full of symbolism, imagery, conflicts, friendship, love and courage. Another well written novel that will have you thinking long after you have put it down.
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Book-Thief/Markus-Zusak/e/9780375831003
http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides_B/book_thief1.asp

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

February 8, 2009
4:42 PM

Post #6109979

I was finally able to get "Three Cups of Tea." I was 14th in line so it took awhile. I think it is superb. In fact I did something a little outrageous. Richard Holbrook has just been appointed to head up policy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. I sent him an e-mail to read "Three Cups of Tea." Perhaps he will see to it that we are more careful about destroying villages that have nothing to do with the Taliban and in fact, hate them. It is very hard to carry on any diplomace with those countries if you are killing innocents.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 8, 2009
5:34 PM

Post #6110237

Sounds like a great book and a great idea woodspirit. I hope he takes your suggestion if he hasn't already read it.

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

February 8, 2009
10:27 PM

Post #6111370

me, too. What should I read next? All if have in the house is All the President's Men and a biography of Frederick Law Olmstead.
Anybody read an especially funny book?
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 9, 2009
3:47 AM

Post #6112959

Well, this is non-fiction but I am just starting a book highly recommended by a friend called Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers. It is about how stress affects our bodies. My friend says it is outstanding and easy reading. It is in its third edition. I have only read a few pages, but so far I like it.
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

February 9, 2009
4:37 PM

Post #6114981

Oh boy- Frederick Law Olmstead will *not* be funny, lol...

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

February 9, 2009
4:56 PM

Post #6115073

No, but he is my hero.
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 9, 2009
6:53 PM

Post #6115613

woodspirit: I'm so glad you enjoyed reading "Three Cups of Tea". I hope your e-mail to Richard Holbrook has some impact on him. Perhaps, if more people read this book, it would change many minds and effect some of our political leaders too.

If you're looking for another good read, I would suggest "The Glass Castle" by Jeanette Walls. Another excellent non-fiction book, however, it's not funny.

I read "Middlesex" and wasn't thrilled or "blown away" by this novel. I thought it rambled to much, went into too much depth regarding the 3 generations of family. I don't think it was a worth while read in my opinion.

I'm currently reading "Atonement" for my Book Club. Yes, I know the book was made into a movie, but 9 times out of 10, the novel is always much better. Has anyone else read it? What do you think?

This message was edited Feb 9, 2009 2:01 PM
planolinda
Plano, TX

February 10, 2009
12:34 AM

Post #6117082

i liked the book (atonement) and think the author is very skilled but i had a very hard time getting tru parts of it--he is very wordy about the plant life (yes -i know that since i am on a garden site that should be a plus!) and way too wordy in the parts about the war--i hardly ever do this but i had to flip past lots and lots of pages--
and yet i liked the book and think you will too--
steph_gem
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10b)

February 10, 2009
2:26 AM

Post #6117697

You know there is another book out there and they follow a simular diet, its called Skinny Bitches. Have any of you heard of it? It was actually a pretty funny read.

I love the book Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.
And the book Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. It was kinda like practical magic.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 10, 2009
2:31 AM

Post #6117725

steph_gem,.
Similar to what? Is atonement about a diet? I do know the book skinny bitches. It is about the vegan diet -- which I have been following for about 6 months. Haven't read the book though. Just some health food books. I wonder if I should read it?
steph_gem
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10b)

February 10, 2009
2:45 AM

Post #6117822

oh its simular to what you were describing the in the diet book. It is about to girls and being vegan. Not only being vegan but also organic as well.
steph_gem
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10b)

February 10, 2009
2:49 AM

Post #6117841

If I remember right they explain the different types of vegertians. They have different names but I dont remember what they are.
kniphofia
Morpeth
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

February 10, 2009
5:58 AM

Post #6118638

Atonement is brilliant, a modern classic. I absolutely loved it, although I'm a huge fan of Ian McEwan anyway. I liked the movie, but as always the novel is superior.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 10, 2009
6:06 AM

Post #6118644

I was not aware of the novel or the movie. Must seek them out.

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

February 10, 2009
9:51 PM

Post #6121153

I jumped into White Magnolia that a friend gave me and I forgot I had it because of reading 2 other books. But it's beginning to sound familiar and I think maybe I read it some time ago.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 10, 2009
10:43 PM

Post #6121300

Funny Bill Bryson !!!! I'll edit to post the title later but he's a total hoot. Funnier than David Sedaris, and straight.
planolinda
Plano, TX

February 11, 2009
12:03 AM

Post #6121631

oh i love reading david dedaris! so funny!
i will have to check out bill bryson!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 11, 2009
6:35 PM

Post #6124627

You'll love them
A Walk in the Woods
"I'm A Stranger Here Myself", I'm in now about his views of thing American after living in Britain for twenty years- so funny as is Sedaris


This message was edited Feb 11, 2009 11:13 PM
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 12, 2009
3:26 AM

Post #6126863

The China Study finally became available at my library, so I picked it up and started thumbing through it. It looks very interesting and most definitely thought provoking.

kniphofia: Unfortunately, I don't agree with you about Ian McEwan. I have a "100 page rule" which means, if the book/author doesn't grab my attention by page 100, I move onto another novel. This was the case with "Atonement". I found it to be very predictable and I didn't care for the author's rambling narratives. Just my 2 cents worth.
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

February 13, 2009
3:46 AM

Post #6131632

LOL - that's what this thread is about...
kniphofia
Morpeth
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

February 13, 2009
8:49 AM

Post #6132140

Hey if we all liked the same things... :)

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

February 13, 2009
10:12 AM

Post #6132179

Well, rats. I HAVE read White Oleander. I thought the prose was some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read.
I think I'll try out the two comedies mentioned above.
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 14, 2009
4:37 AM

Post #6136301

That's so true, life would be rather boring if we all liked the same things! ;~O
planolinda
Plano, TX

February 14, 2009
4:38 PM

Post #6137742

ok--worst book i read-------------million little pieces--couldn't even get thru it even tho it was our chosen book for book club and i always finish those even when i don't like them --just thought it was such nonsense and so full of lies--
turns out it was so full of lies that he got caught and had to confess!
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 15, 2009
8:32 PM

Post #6143070

Planolinda: I've never heard of "million little pieces". I had to Goggle it to find out what it's all about. The author did it all for the publicity & money. http://www.amazon.ca/Million-Little-Pieces-Oprahs-Book/dp/0307276902

I'm currently reading "The China Study". I will certainly try to adapt my eating style & eliminate meat, but I'm going to have a very difficult time not eating dairy. Unfortunately, I love to eat yogurt & cheese(s). I've switched to using "Egg Beaters", "King Sour", fat free this and fat free that, but changing 55+ years of eating habits doesn't happen over night. However, I would love to drop 20+ lbs, so I'm willing to try and change my bad habits. I'm also recommending that my cousin who is a doctor who specializes in Diabetes at the Joslin Clinic in Boston read this book. I want his 2 cents on how this diet would effect his patients and if it truly will have an impact on this terrible disease.

pajaritomt: Are you still adhering to the whole grain/veggie/fruit diet that "The China Study" advocates? How much have you lost since you've been on it?
ceejaytown
The Woodlands, TX
(Zone 9a)

February 16, 2009
4:17 AM

Post #6144894

I just learned that Wally Lamb came out with a new book in 2008 - The Hour I First Believed. I absolutely loved his I Know This Much is True. Has anybody read his new book? Did you like it?
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 16, 2009
6:48 AM

Post #6145294

Shirley1MD,
I have dropped 25 pounds in the 6 months since I became a vegan and I feel terrific, but the last time I had my blood checked, my blood sugar had gone down, my cholesterol was normal both LDL and HDL, and my blood pressure had gone down, but my triglycerides had gone up to a fairly high level(212 -- should be less than 150). My doctor tells me that while giving up animal products, I had increased my carbohydrates and that was driving up my triglycerides. So now I am lowering my carbs and making sure all of the carbs I eat are whole grain. Before a lot of the rice I was eating was white, now I am eating almost entirely brown rice. It requires more preparation time and many Asian restaurants which are good for vegan dishes don't have brown rice which is a bit of a problem, but not insurmountable.
The doctor also told me to cut down my wine drinking to no more than 1 glass per day. So now I plan to cut my wine drinking to the healthy range. I have to admit that I like wine and often had 2 or even 3 glasses in an evening. I will let you know how it is going when I have my next blood work which will be in mid-March.
I also have had a problem with abdominal fat -- the famous apple shape for years now. I have lost 25 pounds but still my waistline is about 10 inches larger than the maximum for good health -- and that is also a factor in high triglycerides. The fat literally prevents the internal organs from functioning properly.
Cutting my carbs should help me lose yet more of the weight around my waste line. In doing so, I will increase my vegetables to keep from being hungry. More winter squash and sweet potatoes. I have added 1 oz. of dry roasted almonds per day as well. I will still eat plenty of beans and tofu and miso, though. Beans have carbs but not as many as rice and other grains. As long as I cut back on alcohol and white rice -- I should be able to lower my triglycerides as well.
So, let's say that the vegan diet hasn't solved all of my problems but has helped with some and I asked my doctor if I needed to go back on animal products and she said no. From what I have read the physical problems has created for us over a life time don't go away immediately. But I am very pleased with my progress.
I have also increased my exercise level. One of the things Campbell points out in the China Study is that very few Americans, even fairly fit ones, get as much exercise as even the most sedentary Chinese people -- office workers -- because the Chinese in his study rode bicycles for transportation. (That is becoming less common in China, but in the 80's, when I visited there, car ownership was rare.
So I am doing more exercise than I was when the last blood tests were taken. I go to the gym and walk on a treadmill for at least 1/2 hour about 5 days each week. Exercise is one of the differences reported on in The China Study.
So, I won't say that all of my problems have been solved by this diet or that I have followed it perfectly so far, but I am on my way to better health and intend to stay on this path. Actually, I am just improving the way I follow it.
I will be eager to hear what your brother has to say about it and I will keep you posted after my next blood tests. My doctor approves of what I am doing and when my dog's vet saw that I was reading The China Study, told me that she had given at least 10 copies to friends and family members. Her comment, "This book says it all. "
So let me hear what your brother says.
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 16, 2009
9:25 PM

Post #6147873

pajaritomt: Congratulations on losing 25 lbs! That is awesome! I'm sure your doctor is very proud of you! I know you're going to work on bringing down your triglyceride level by switching over to eating only brown rice. It really is much better for you. I try not to eat white rice, but I know it is served in Asian restaurants, probably because it is cheaper than brown rice. Alcohol is really loaded with calories, but I know that drinking 1 class of red wine a night is suppose to have medicinal value. I rarely drink alcohol except for an occasional drink during social events. My problem is not exercising like I should. I'm much to sedentary and I know I have to get off my butt! Last night over my pecan crusted cranberry salad for dinner, I was discussing the China Study with my husband. He said that he would have a difficult time also strictly staying on this diet, but would try a modified form of it. He & I both gave up red meat 2 years ago after I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Thankfully, a hysterectomy saved my life. I don't miss red meat like I did the first 6 months, but now I'll only eat it once or twice a year. I was surprised to see the lack of eating fish on this diet, but maybe because many live in polluted waters.

It's my cousin by marriage, not my brother, who is the Diabetes Doctor. I'm going to give him a copy of The China Study because I want his honest opinion of it. I don't think the China Study stressed enough the impact that heredity & environmental factors have on all of our lives. Yes, they were mentioned a couple of times in the book, but I personally think they have a greater impact on our health than Dr. Campbell stressed.

Keep up the great work you're achieving with this diet!

This message was edited Feb 16, 2009 4:30 PM
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 16, 2009
9:44 PM

Post #6147975

I, too, am a cancer survivor. I had a very early incidence of DCIS -- non-invasive breast cancer. That isn't what started me on the diet though, but later I read that high cholesterol also predicts high cancer rates.
I do go off my diet for my birthday, Christmas, my DH's birthday and similar occasions. I really don't miss meat all that much and not most fish because we live inland. I do miss shrimp and other shellfish though. My one, non-vegan regular food is fish oil. That helps to lower triglycerides and is good in other ways as well, so you can say I am not 100% vegan.
It is true that Campbell doesn't think much of heredity and environmental factors as causes of cancer and heart disease, but in a way it doesn't matter because there is little we can do to control either. Besides Chinese cities are unbelievably polluted and so is their water. They only drink boiled water -- that's why tea is so popular. You don't dare drink the water unless it has been boiled. And the air -- well you probably heard about it at the Olympics and that was with all the factories in the area of the Olympics shut down.
I once invited a speaker to speak at our church and he said, "Well, let's see, I will be going to China in October for a month, and whenever you go to China you get a respiratory ailment, so I will allow a month for that. I can probably speak in December or January. " And he did.
When I returned from China I had homopholus influenza -- which is probably misspelled, but I had to have antibiotics and take another week off work to recover. So environment was a factor in Campbell's book, though he doesn't talk about it much. Most of China, even the country is full of thick smog because of industrial pollution and because most people cook on charcoal. Still they are remarkably healthy -- except for Hepatitis B which is caused by poor sanitation.
Well, I will be eager to hear what your cousin by marriage has to say about the book.
Pecan crusted cranberry salad sounds very healthy! You are on the right track.

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

February 20, 2009
7:58 PM

Post #6166048

sorry, folks. I've been tied up with research for a big museum project set to open in May. I finished White Oleander, at last, and finally decided to read All the Presiden't Men.
Have any of you read it? I'd like an opinion.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 21, 2009
12:10 AM

Post #6167140

I read it years ago and really liked it -- All the Presidents' Men. I think it is amazing to look back on now that Woodword and Bernstein have gone their separate ways and we know who Deep Throat really was. That is a fantastic piece of investigative reporting and a pretty amazing revelation by Deep Throat -- I have already forgotten his name -- Mark something.

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

February 21, 2009
1:47 PM

Post #6168912

Well, I'm looking forward to reading it.
By the way, about Thomas Wolfe, did you know that his Mom's boarding house had a lot of people living there that had TB? Once you got TB, you usually left home to stop from spreading it to family members.
Thomas Wolfe died of TB in his 30s.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 21, 2009
4:34 PM

Post #6169628

I knew that Thomas Wolfe died young and that his mother had a boarding house. Didn't know about the TB connection. How interesting!
planolinda
Plano, TX

February 21, 2009
4:35 PM

Post #6169658

was mixed up with the above posting--was thinking of tom wolf
not familiar with thomas wolfe---learned something new today
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 21, 2009
4:40 PM

Post #6169672

Thomas Wolfe wrote Look Homeward Angel and You Can't Go Home Again. Tom Wolf is still around and writing last I heard.

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

February 23, 2009
3:23 PM

Post #6177963

There was mention of changing this thread, but I like the give and take, even though it has evolved into books I like and books I don't like, not strictly abiding by the title.
This is the first successful thread about books. We tried 2 before but people didn't stick to it. Please let's preserve this one.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 23, 2009
4:44 PM

Post #6178360

This thread works for me.
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 23, 2009
10:38 PM

Post #6179984

Works for me too!
planolinda
Plano, TX

February 23, 2009
11:21 PM

Post #6180213

i love book talk!! someone mentioned a diet book and i was at half price books this weekend and ended up buying the -french women don't get fat-book (or some such title)--it was only a few dollars and i knew the idea behind it is that french women eat chocolate, drink wine and love good cheese--don't diet and are thin--i also think it is about enjoying smaller portions of better foods --thought it might be a motivater
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 23, 2009
11:37 PM

Post #6180289

I have been to France and I did see some fat French women even before the days when they had MacDonald's. The idea of the French diet is probably a good one. The fact is that there must be a fair number of French women not on that diet!
planolinda
Plano, TX

February 23, 2009
11:40 PM

Post #6180302

pretty funny! i guess the chinese are getting heavier now that they eat more western style foods-and the same for japanese--or at least when they settle here
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 24, 2009
3:53 AM

Post #6181370

Also in their home countries as they get McDonalds and other Amican fast foods like ice cream. To bad we are annihilating these perfect diets. I had a French baby sitter when I was a kid. She was very fat. I am not sure French women were ever all skinny. But Japanese women mostly were -- and Chinese and Thai, too. The Thai people think fat people are hysterically funny. They don't understand that this is hurtful ridicule. It is so rare to be fat in Thailand that fat people are the source of constant comment and hilarity.
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

February 24, 2009
9:45 PM

Post #6184908

Places not to visit:
1. Thailand
2. ...

Just kidding!

Okay, just picked up "Middlesex" last night, will see how it goes...
planolinda
Plano, TX

February 24, 2009
11:23 PM

Post #6185305

so i can't really eat chocolate, cheese, wine , french bread and be thin too?!! darn!!

should have known it was too good to be true! :)
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 24, 2009
11:28 PM

Post #6185339

Yes, you probably should have. We all know that somewhere in the darkest reaches of the brain. Sorry to burst your bubble. I bought the book Japanese Women Never Get Fat and read part of it. It was okay, but mostly it was obvious. If you live mostly on fish and vegetable and soba noodles, you won't get fat. But forget the tempura!
planolinda
Plano, TX

February 25, 2009
12:02 AM

Post #6185518

i do eat pretty healthy i think--i try to eat fish and veggies and whole grains and fiber too- and i know a good amount about nutrition and exercize but every so often i fall prey to a new theory and then it just ends up being "smaller portions, healthier food"
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

February 25, 2009
12:51 AM

Post #6185751

Absolutely you can eat chocolate, cheese and wine, etc. and not get fat. You just can't eat more than a bite a day - or you have to walk 17 miles daily. No problem!

I think you're right - I know for me, I just eat too darn much and don't move enough. Simple to say, not so simple to change.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 25, 2009
1:03 AM

Post #6185814

That is my problem well. Healthy food, but too much of it.
planolinda
Plano, TX

February 25, 2009
1:29 AM

Post #6185920

wouldn't heaven be eating anything-anytime with no problems?!
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 25, 2009
1:34 AM

Post #6185944

Yes! Absolutely!

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

February 25, 2009
12:49 PM

Post #6187594

I have a French neighbor. After a couple of years in America, she went for a visit and her father said she was getting so fat! So she went back to eating French. They do eat smaller amounts of food and a larger variety. I don't know how the long loaves of French bread work in; since it is made from white flour. The French are amazed at all the food we pile on our plates and all the ice we use.
Someone told me once that a trick she learned was to put a bit in your mouth and put your fork down. Don't pick up the fork again until you have completely chewed and swallowed your food. This is supposed to give your brain more time to realize that your stomach is full. I use it some of the time, but mostly I can't lose weight because of the anti-depressant I take.
Now that it's warming up a bit today, I will try to walk part way to work. There is a parking lot down below the library that is huge. It is partly used by the Child Development employees but a lot of the far end is empty most of the time. It's only a couple of blocks uphill but it is a little bit of help.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 1, 2009
5:29 AM

Post #6205121

There are a million different ways to lose weight just as there are a million different ways to quit smoking. The trick is to find the one that works for you.
One way our society pressures us to keep our weight down is by telling us we are getting fat -- as if we didn't know it and as if it is a bad thing. Americans pressure each other on the subject as well. There used to a guy at a gym I used who had a tee shirt that read "No Fat Chicks". I think there was a similar sign on a pylon holding up our chair lift.
I think we can all think of that pressure us to watch our weight. But I don't think this sort of think does a lot of good. The person has to decide for him/herself that he or she wants to lose weight for some reason.
One thing that might work to help people lose weight is the more recent research results showing that being overweight or obese shortens the person's life span. That speaks to me a whole lot more than unpleasant remarks from those around me.
In the past we felt bad about ourselves if we were overweight.Iam not conviced that humiliation is a good basis for losing weight,though, Somw people who feel badly about their weight, might just decide to drown their sorrows in a quart of chocolate ice cream!

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

March 1, 2009
2:06 PM

Post #6205801

I have turned to ice cream for comfort, before. Confimement, lack of self confidence, bad eatting habits passed down by parents, etc. can all lead to over eating. But they can also lead to drugs and even clinical depression.
I wonder how housewives who didn't drive back in the day where all families had only one car, stood it. They must have reached out more in their neighborhoods.
My sister took a leave of abscence from work and stayed home for awhile and found that neighbors she barely knew invited her to join a caffee clatch each morning. Then some of them took walks together while one other baby sat. Pretty cool. But I need a challenge. Like spending all day yesterday, off and on, finding the book I started, All the President's Men, lol.
Gwendalou
Langley, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 1, 2009
6:06 PM

Post #6206776

For me, the recent book I hated that everyone else seems to think is brilliant is Revolutionary Road. I thought it was a load of boring -- oh, wait, I can't say that word here. G If it hadn't been this highly acclaimed movie coming out, I wouldnt have finished reading it.

I felt the dialogue was beyond stilted. People do not talk that way - at least no one I've ever known.

I read a lot of different genres and sometimes I go through phases and I'll admit that I was on a little highlander time travel romance kick at the time I stuck RR in the tbr pile, but I don't think it made any difference. I don't think I would have liked that book no matter when I read it.

Who else read it and if you liked it, tell me why!

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

March 2, 2009
2:51 AM

Post #6208973

My spousal unit found my missing book, on my desk, with a piece of paper on top (it's a paperback). duh.
We are getting one edge of a big storm going diagonally through NC. I only have one pristine inch and the schools will be close. Can't do anything else so I will read.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 2, 2009
4:00 PM

Post #6210989

I started reading the Kite Runner while traveling to LA last week. It is very good so far. I have not seen the movie either. That is the way I am. Behind the times with many things.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 4, 2009
5:38 PM

Post #6220804

I was late getting to K R too, but once I got into it there was no putting down!!!!!!
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 4, 2009
6:03 PM

Post #6220914

I am deeply involved in KR and when I went to the Dr. yesterday he told me what a good book he thought it was. He worked in Afganistan and had some interesting comments on it and A Thousand Secret Suns. He had just seen Charlie Wilson's War -- have any of you? It is a funny and risque movie but has fascinating info on the Afgan Wars.( Sounds like an oxymoron, but isn't). The Dr. had just seen it and liked it too. If you haven't you should check it out. If nothing else it is a hilarious laugh.
I am loving the Kite Runner.
planolinda
Plano, TX

March 5, 2009
12:30 AM

Post #6222411

i did enjoy charlie wilson's war! forgot all about that ---
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

March 5, 2009
1:59 AM

Post #6222831

Okay, finally finished Middlesex. Who was the other person who read it? I found it very interesting - much more a book about gender and cultures than "sex"...
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 5, 2009
2:21 AM

Post #6222928

Thanks for that report Pagancat. I almost bought that last time I went to the book store but remembered negative report here on this thread. You liked it, I gather. Maybe I will give it a try.
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

March 5, 2009
3:04 AM

Post #6223127

Yeah... well - I'll give it a "B", plus or minus. The book is set up as an auto-biography about the narrator, a gentle and faintly humorous voice. Although the subject (hermaphroditism) could be very weird and meant to be titillating, it isn't treated that way at all; in fact the author spent a bit of time on the science behind the phenomena.

I might have enjoyed the historical aspect more because it was set in early 1900's Detroit, where I am from. It is about a Greek family, of which there were tons of in that area.

It is a little twisty... well, I look forward to seeing what you think of it, pajaritomt.
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 5, 2009
4:05 AM

Post #6223393

I heard from a person in my book club that "Charlie Wilson's War" was suppose to be a very good book. I have it on my list to read.

I read "Middlesex". Here is what I wrote on Feb. 9th, "I read "Middlesex" and wasn't thrilled or "blown away" by this novel. I thought it rambled to much, went into too much depth regarding the 3 generations of family. I don't think it was a worth while read in my opinion." I would give it a B-.

My cousin finally gave me his thoughts on "The China Study", but he first consulted with a nutrition expert at the Joslin Clinic in Boston. Here is what the nutrition expert said, "I never heard about this book. Vegetarian diet was always shown to improve lipid profile and kidney function, however its major problem is its major deficiency of ketogenic amino acids. These essential amino acids are very important, as you know, for hormonal integrity and for many enzymatic actions of our metabolism. If such diet is the best, why is the prevalence of diabetes in India nearly double the US (14.7% versus 8%), while 60% of the population are strict vegetarians and not overweight! Human being is a meat eater for a reason! The best diet, could be vegetarian supplement with some essential amino-acids from diary products, a lot of fish not a little, or poultry protein. "

My cousin wrote, "He also points out the genetic issues, and the India issue is a good one. The punch line, I think, is that there are many trade-off’s on this, and no one diet is necessarily perfect. One has to look at the pro’s and con’s of ones own situation – genetics, life-style, etc, and then try to aim for the best balance. Yet, for sure, no one is arguing that the typical American diet is anything other than unhealthy most of the time!!!"
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 5, 2009
5:53 AM

Post #6223682

Thanks for both the report on Middlesex and on the cousin's friend's opinion of The China Study's argument.
On Middlesex -- I am not sure I really want to read it now. I am not good at rambling books and am not particularly interested in hermaphroditism, if that is the word. I was hoping for a good generational sort of novel, this doesn't sound like it.
As for the China Study, it is clear the person hadn't read the book. Campbell addresses the amino acid issue at great length. And as for the diabetes in India, that didn't come up in the book, but the modern changes in diets of Asia are addressed. It is impossible to discuss this very well with a person so far removed who hasn't even read the book. Oh well.
I would love to know what someone who has read the book and who has nutrition or even heart disease or diabetes background thinks of it. I did notice that Mark Bittman, one of the New York times food writers and well known chef, has become "Vegan until 6:00 pm" each day on the advise of his doctor. He couldn't very well become totally vegan without losing his job. Also the times is now running a section called "Recipes for Health" in its health section and those recipes are about 1/2 vegan. Somebody seems to be listening to the vegan health message.
I do remember your report on Middlesex -- that was the reason I dismissed it in the first place. And rambling isn't good for me. I am too busy reading books on nutrition and health!
I am really enjoying The Kite Runner, though.
kniphofia
Morpeth
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

March 5, 2009
6:33 AM

Post #6223717

Here's my post about Middlesex from earlier.

Middlesex is rather hard to describe... Here's a blurb from Amazon.

"An adolescent coming of age, incest, race riots, transgender issues, intermarriage, the cultural isolation of immigrants and chapters called 'The Oracular Vulva', and 'Gender Dysphoria in San Francisco'... too much, surely, for one book? But pass over it at your peril: this is a beautifully written epic tale, spanning eight decades and three generations of a Greek family who migrate to America in the 1920s. The story is told by 41-year-old Cal Stephanides, who has inherited a rare genetic mutation that means that he is part woman and part man. But this is not a sensation to the reader, nor shocking - we are in on the secret from the start, and there are plenty of secrets in the Stephanides family. One of the particular joys of the book is the way we can look in microscopic detail at the intimate hopes and tragedies of individual characters as they are played against great sweeping social and political changes in 20th-century America. Eugenides writes with great compassion and humour of individuals' struggles to find a place within the world and to thrive within conventional boundaries. All the characters are vividly and memorably drawn and the reader really cares about each of them. A brilliant achievement. (Kirkus UK)"

I'd recommend it. In fact I must re-read it this year!

I did re-read it and enjoyed it just as much as the first time. Paj do give it a try..
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

March 5, 2009
3:09 PM

Post #6224547

Well... unless you have a big line of "must reads", I wouldn't pass it up - in a world of poorly written, unbelievable books, it is at the very least well written and immaculately researched. At no point did I think "oh, I can skip this part, it's not that meaningful" - I think the reason I was not completely satisfied is the slight detachment of the narrator; he's not dramatic in the least.

I began Kite Runner but couldn't go on past the rape of the one boy... probably mostly my own state of mind at the time. And I've found, too many times that that sort of scene is pretty gratuitous - does it redeem itself after that? I guess it must, if so many feel that it was worth reading after that scene, but it does make me hesitate to pick it up again.

On the Afghan/ Pakistani theme has anyone else read "Three Cups of Tea"? It's not a book I'd recommend for its story or for its excellent writing, but it was wonderful for inspiration and a look at the inner workings of Pakistan and some of the indigenous tribes that no one talks too much about. For those reasons I'd say it's worthwhile.


















pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 5, 2009
4:00 PM

Post #6224761

Thanks Pagancat and Kniphophia. Middlesex is back on my must read list. You all describe it so nicely. I haven't read much of Kite Runner yet. Only in Dr's offices and I haven't had to wait much. I will finish it and let you know. Violence is tough for me. I can endure it to a point. I loved the House of Spirits by Isabel Allende, but put it down for good when they started chopping off the fingers of pianists. It was just more disturbing than I could handle. Maybe, now older and more jaded, I could get through it, but I feel the pain too intensely. And I know House of the Spirits is brilliantly written.
Thanks guys for your reviews of Middlesex. And I will try Three Cups of Tea eventually. If this war turns out to last as long as they claim it will, I will have plenty of time to read all three books about Afganistan before it is over. I hope the war isn't as long as the predict and frankly, I can't imagine why we are getting involved. Maybe that statement is a bit political, so I won't go any farther, but I will be happy to see how I feel after reading these books.
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 5, 2009
6:19 PM

Post #6225366

Pagancat: I totally understand about the rape scene in "The Kite Runner." Try to read beyond that point because the character is redemed at the conclusion of the book. I'm pretty sure my memory serves me correctly because I read it quite some time ago.

Pajaritomt: I was just giving you feedback on how the impact of food and diet on people varies in different cultures. The input I received was from my cousin who is a Diabetes Specialist & also from a Nutritional Specialist at the Joslin Clinic. As long as you are happy with the China Study diet and can stick with it long term, that's wonderful.

pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 5, 2009
6:46 PM

Post #6225457

Yes, I appreciate their opinions, but I would take them more seriously if they had either read the book or had some familiarity with its premises. I realize this is new stuff, but Campbell is himself quite a scientist and is supported by other scientists in the field. If either your cousin or the nutritionist had actually read the book I would take their opinions much more seriously. I don't have diabetes but am pre-diabetic and am attempting to reverse the process which can be done by diet according to several leading writers who don't sell diet books or supplies. It is basically Dean Ornish's research applied to diabetes. Lots of people have trouble staying on the Ornish diet but few would argue with him medically.
Eventually, I will find a medical person who has read the book and who can talk to me about it. The closest I have come to it so far is my dog's vet who gives it to her friends and relatives. I wouldn't mind hearing considered arguments against it. In fact, I think I could make some my self, but I think this new way of thinking about cancer and heart disease is rather new.
Thanks for you careful answers. I truly appreciate your opinions and your cousin's and his friends, as well.

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

March 6, 2009
12:49 AM

Post #6226929

I read Three Cups of Tea. While the writer is not an author by profession, he sure did build a lot of schools in areas of Pakistan that had been promised schools for years but were never forth-coming. He had to learn 2 languages, was in danger several times, and had to run the non-profit that gave funding for these schools.
I loved his idea of no extreme religion and girls had to be admitted.
It was amazing to learn that most of the occupants of the villages along the Afganistan border hated the Al-Queda who constantly harrassed them.
The other day on the news, the area was seriously attacked with whole villages wiped out and what was left was bull-dozed down. Many, many schools were destroyed. Pakistan finally signed a peace agreement but it was more like a surrender. I am afraid many of those hard-come, hand-built schools were lost as they were a special target of Al Queda. What a shame!
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 6, 2009
2:00 AM

Post #6227236

I could not agree more. Now I really want to read Three Cups of Tea. I am very discouraged by the Afganistan/Pakistan mess, but I think those schools are part of the solution. No wonder Al Queda wants to get rid of them. Hopefully some NGO will go in and do some similar work soon.
I have a friend who is over there doing aid work and he says the US is pouring a lot of aid into Afganistan right now. I am not sure what the nature of these programs is, but I hope some are education that includes women. My friend mostly teaches sustainable farming -- to whoever farms in a given area. Sometimes it is men; sometimes women. He did a chicken program for women once.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 7, 2009
3:48 PM

Post #6233532

I have to echo--re the brutal scene in Kite Runner--go past it quick, it's not all that long, and doesn't reappear or anything else like it. Please don't abandon the book for it! Would be nice if you could have a little flap covering it and briefly summarizing for those who don't want to read it in full. I would have done that for my mom, but she had no patience with reading 'strange' names.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 7, 2009
4:40 PM

Post #6233718

Will do, but it will take a while for me to finish the book -- very busy these days.
planolinda
Plano, TX

March 7, 2009
9:52 PM

Post #6234801

the rape scene is very important in the story--changes the lives and relationship of the main characters--i liked the book and when the movie came out it took a long time to see it because of the scene--
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

March 8, 2009
1:30 AM

Post #6235719

Okay, thanks for the encouragement - I'll give it another try. It makes a difference, too, that it just wasn't thrown in to say "look how tough life was here" but was intrinsic to the story. Thanks.
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

April 4, 2009
1:00 AM

Post #6361323

You know, the longer it's been since I read Middlesex, the more I like it.

One of the gals on the Equine Forum says she was raised 3 blks away from Middlesex. Although I'm originally from the Detroit area, I had no idea that it was a real place!
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2009
1:09 AM

Post #6361355

That helps, Pagancat, but right now I am reading The Kite Runner. I don't read a lot of novels anymore -- right now I read a lot of news and other non-fiction. But I will now consider Middlesex.

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

April 4, 2009
1:26 AM

Post #6361421

Did I mention I finally finished "All the President's Men?" It was amazing to me that it was written well enough to keep track of all those people that were involved. There were similarities with other administrations, especially the wire-tapping. But it was a good read and a good history lesson.
So now I'm planning to start another book and I guess it will be "The Kite Runner."
But I would like to read the latest biography on Thomas Jefferson that came out a few years ago. I can't remember its name. Has anyone read it?
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2009
1:54 AM

Post #6361538

Not me, but it sounds good. Glad you liked "All the President's Men" and hope you enjoy "The Kite Runner". I still haven't finished it, but keep chipping away. I do a lot of cooking and gardening and I read the news on line a great deal whereas I used to read fiction more.
The news makes me realize how often the nasty business of "All the President's" men repeats itself. Yes the recent wire-tapping schemes do sound like Watergate on steroids. Scary.

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

April 4, 2009
8:18 AM

Post #6362441

Exactly. And the "bag of dirty tricks" was so vast and varying. I remember those days and the thing that made me the most angry was the idea that one candidate would send out letters on the letterhead of the opposition to the voters. If the voters believed the letter, they would probably change their vote. So we were robbed of the very tennants of the Constitution and the purpose of a democracy.
I, too, read the news on-line. But we also have a magazine addiction here. There are 3 science magazines plus National Geographic, The New Yorker, Garden Gate, Newsweek, and 1 local and 1 regional newspaper. I also write the local museum's newsletter. So you see, books are hard for me, too, but I decided I had not had exposure to good literature growing up and I embarked on a serious reading program of classics mixed with the best of the contemporary writing. Generally, I pick up books that have received the American Book Awards, the Pulitzer or the Nobel Prize for Literature. It's a good place to start anyway.
planolinda
Plano, TX

April 4, 2009
2:41 PM

Post #6363110

finished thousand suns -think that was the title-by same author as kite runner-and just loved it! a good story about the strength of women and what happens when we support one another--good picture of a totally different lifestyle set in a land so different than ours-it took me a long time to get myself to read it because i knew it would be sad but it has joy in it too
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2009
3:47 PM

Post #6363380

I am looking forward to reading A Thousand Secret Suns as well. I have heard it is excellent.

Good for you Woodspirit, for filling in the gaps in your education as an adult. These things are award winners because they are good! I would love to read more fiction -- I really love it, but I read lots of gardening stuff, cooking stuff, political stuff, and health stuff -- not to mention magazines and newspapers. We get 3 newspapers, local, nearby city, and state and the New Yorker and various magazines the I never have time to read! And I am retired!
planolinda
Plano, TX

April 4, 2009
5:00 PM

Post #6363607

i found out that i can't read the news as much anymore! i used to love getting and reading the newspaper but it seemed to get me down after a while---i'd end up thinking about the family of a murdered child or some other story durring the day and i decided to cancel the paper--i like cnn and other news shows and i feel i still keep up on the "big" stuff--
i do like reading political, health ---but i also found that we were throwing out papers that we didn't even read and i felt bad for the trees!!
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 4, 2009
5:47 PM

Post #6363773

Excerpts from "A Thousand Splendid Suns": http://www.amazon.com/THOUSAND-SPLENDID-SUNS-HOSSEINI/dp/B001194F5K/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238866941&sr=1-2

This book tells us the story of Afghanistan last three decades through the lives of two women.

Mariam, a "harami" who loved her father and was condemned to love him from afar since she was a disgrace to her father's three wives. She learns soon enough that to shed is nothing and is given to an older gentleman, Rasheed, a shoe store owner.

Unfortunately Mariam is barren and Rasheed unleashes all his frustrations toward her wife.

The second woman is Laila. She was the daughter of a university professor, very smart and in love with Tariq, who had lost a leg in a land mine incident. Unfortunately, a missile hits Laila's home and she is taken in by Mariam to recover. By treachery and force, Rasheed weds Laila, who only submits because she is pregnant already with Tariq's son. At first, as the Soviets are substituted for the warlords, there is war between the two women. But as the Soviets are expelled, a strange alliance is formed between the two women against their abusive husband.

Propelled by a poetic language and a great story, A Thousand Splendid Suns, is a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history, and a deeply moving account of family and friendship.

The novel puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate and human terms. Not a light read--proceed with caution."

Comments on this books by two readers:

"Truly a unique and accurate look into the lives of women in Afghanistan before and after the Taliban rule. An amazing depiction of the culture, country, and society but with an even more amazing story. The author has an absolute amazing talent for story-telling and thank GOD he decided to use it. I will never be the same after reading this book. My favorite quote from it is "Tell Aziza she is the noor of my eyes and sultan of my heart." I cried and cried after reading the last page. This story will stick with you for a lifetime, I promise."

"One of the most informative books regarding the Afghanistan people and the horrors of the Taliban Rule. It was beautiful, moving, and educational. It should be required reading for every high school social studies class and anyone entering the military with possiblity of going to Afghanistan. This will help them understand more about the Taliban, and respect the Afghanistan people."

This message was edited Apr 4, 2009 1:50 PM
planolinda
Plano, TX

April 4, 2009
6:12 PM

Post #6363846

those reviews sure put my little one to shame :) and i agree with everything in their reviews! thanks for posting it
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2009
8:30 PM

Post #6364334

Thanks for great synopsis and reviews of A Thousand Secret Suns. I will read it next. I don't read the local newspapers, all that much either, planolinda, but I do read enough to keep them coming. And DH reads them a lot more than I do so they are here to stay, but I do get tired of all the paper. It may help a littlebit that I have a small tree farm in Mississippi!
planolinda
Plano, TX

April 4, 2009
10:34 PM

Post #6364718

tell us more--about the tree farm--sounds interesting
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2009
11:00 PM

Post #6364833

It is a farm -- which has been farmed for all kinds of things over the years and also used as cattle pasture and has a pecan orchard which is still used for haymaking.
It has about 30 acres of lake and 40 acres of pine trees which yours truly caused to be planted because I couldn't find anyone to graze the cow pastures and pine trees do keep the weeds down.
I cut 20 acres of pine trees maybe 10 years ago and replanted 40. The best thing about pine trees in Mississippi is that they grow themselves and can be sold. That's a whole lot better than mowing a pasture.
But it makes me feel not quite so bad about having so much newspaper. Only the newspaper is still tough to recycle each week.

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

May 13, 2009
8:33 AM

Post #6542095

I finally got "The Kite Runner." I liked it a lot. Right now I worry about the Pakistanis trying to fight off the Taliban and keep them in Afghanistan. If the Taliban wins, they will set up schools and brainwash the children into becoming extremists too.
I always thought we should go after Ben Ladin but I never thought we should force a country to change its government because then they become militant.
I like "The Kite Runner" a lot and look forward to reading another book by the same author.
planolinda
Plano, TX

May 13, 2009
9:45 PM

Post #6544691

you will love his other book -thousand suns i think--

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

May 13, 2009
11:45 PM

Post #6545121

"Middlesex" is harder. Going back and forth over 3 generations with a whopping secret is hard to follow and cruel to the younger generation. I'm still reading it, but not with the enthusiasm of "The Kite Runner."
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

May 14, 2009
2:01 AM

Post #6545704

Mmm - I understand your feelings about Middlesex, but I still think it worth finishing.

I ordered A Thousand Suns - my mother picked it up to see what it was about and I haven't seen it since... grrr...

woodspirit1

woodspirit1
Lake Toxaway, NC
(Zone 7a)

May 14, 2009
8:52 AM

Post #6546562

That's what I'm hoping. I want to know what happens to that poor girl/boy.Being raised in a very strict home and with incredible shyness about herself without the anatomical problems sure made her situation hard to deal with. So I will stick with it, especially since it looks like we will have about 5 days of rain in a row.
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

May 15, 2009
1:27 PM

Post #6551613

Oh *man*... it sure has been a wet spring.

I have 3 new ones on my table right now - 'Blindness' - looks like one of those tough-but-good-if-you-don't-have-a-breakdown-somewhere-in-the-middle (Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature!). #2: 'Olive Kitteridge' - small town story (this one got a Pulitzer) and #3: 'Jayber Crow' by Wendell Berry - highly recommended by a good friend.

Anyone read any of these?

I'm guessing I should start a different thread for stuff like this - I'd do it, if everyone who participated in this one promised to hang in for that one - I guess other attempts haven't flown?

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

May 15, 2009
2:50 PM

Post #6551916

It really seems like we need a What are you reading these days thread, like thiskind of turned into
kniphofia
Morpeth
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

May 15, 2009
3:32 PM

Post #6552100

I think we need a new thread too..
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

May 16, 2009
12:16 PM

Post #6555538

Okey doke, hope to see everyone there.

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/989349/

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