Books you hate (and others love) #2

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

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!

Plymouth, MI(Zone 6a)

I just picked up the book, The Shack, written by, Wm. Paul Young. I was just wondering if anyone has read it yet.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

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

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

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.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

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.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

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!

Kannapolis, NC

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.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

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.

Morpeth, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Oh I just love Joseph Conrad! I read a lot of his books in school but should really re-visit them.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

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.

Kannapolis, NC

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.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

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.

Kannapolis, NC

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

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

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.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

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.

Kannapolis, NC

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.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

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

Kannapolis, NC

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

Port Sanilac, MI

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.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

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.

Kannapolis, NC

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.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

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.

Plano, TX

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

Plymouth, MI(Zone 6a)

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

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

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.

Plano, TX

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

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

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!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

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.

Plano, TX

please tell me about the china study

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

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.

Plano, TX

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

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

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.

Plano, TX

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?

Plymouth, MI(Zone 6a)

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

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

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.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

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?

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Ummmm.... gosh, no idea!~

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

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

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

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.

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

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

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