Excited to share some new good books I just finished! Here you go:
1 – The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Sharon Bolton is an excellent writer and I like most of her books. This one is a stand alone book and it’s well crafted, engrossing and interesting. The only criticism I might have is that the book felt almost like 2 books. There was a supernatural aspect to it, which was fascinating and fun to read, but felt a little out of place with the rest of the story. Despite that, I loved the book.
2 – The F*ck it Diet: Eating Should Be Easy by Caroline Dooner
Excellent, I loved it. It spoke to me so much. I could relate to everything in this book, it was an easy fast read and often funny. Here are just a few quotes:
“I was petrified of carbs and sugar, and being full, and absolutely everything I did was for the purpose of trying to weigh less. Every day was good or bad based on the number on my scale and what I had eaten… But even the times when dieting “worked” and I was actually skinny, it was never, ever enough. I didn’t feel skinny, or worthy, or confident. And the moments that I did feel skinny?”
“Do me a favor and imagine that you are in a real-life famine and you have access to very little food. Just imagine what would happen. Immediately, everything in your life would become about food. Everything in your body would be telling you both to ration what you have and to eat a lot the first chance you find enough food.”
“1,600 is too low for anyone. In fact, even the new 2,000-calorie recommended daily intake “is only enough to sustain children,”2 according to Marion Nestle…So on only 1,600 calories, the participants’ strength and energy immediately began to decline, and they said they were constantly tired. Then apathy set in. But now they didn’t really care about any of the things they used to care about. Next, sex and romance lost its appeal. All their thoughts became about food. They became completely fixated on thinking, talking, and reading about food. (Sound familiar?) Some began to read and stare at cookbooks for hours, mealtimes became their favorite part..”
“The less you eat carbs, or try to replace carbs with zero-calorie fake-sugar products, the more likely you will become chronically hypoglycemic. Your body perceives low blood sugar as a stressor, which kicks adrenals into overdrive and pumps out stress hormones.“
3 – Girls Like Us by Christina Alger
What a great book! Well written, compelling, very well developed characters. The story takes place in an interesting place, feels remote which adds to the atmosphere. I liked the dynamic of the FBI agent, estranged from cop dad, returning home to solve a crime (or two). It was just really good and it made me want a sequel.
4- The Hiding Place by CJ Tudor
Wow! Not sure how to review this book. It was SO good though. The way the story was told was so unique and kept the anticipation and anxiety growing as the story would unfold. The atmosphere of growing dread never stopped.
Joe is a middle aged teacher, running from something, who returns to his hometown for a teaching job. But he has something else in mind: revenge. When he was a kid, his little sister Annie disappeared. She was missing for a few days and when she came back, something wasn’t right.
Current day: a teacher has done something horrible: a murder suicide of her and her young son, who had recently also gone missing. Before killing herself, she wrote “Not my son.” What has happened to these returned kids?
The book is creepy. There are a lot of good mystery elements. The ending was REALLY good.
5 – “The Inevitable: Dispatches on the Right to Die” by Katie Engelhart
I heard an interview about this topic with the author on “Fresh Air” and it sounded so compelling I had to read the book.
This is a tough read, and it will not be for everyone. However, I think it is a very important topic–especially as the baby boomer generation ages. I think the option for death with dignity will appeal to some people.
” “Which is the greater evil, death or pain?” Battin wrote. “It is the patient who must choose.” “
This is a topic I’ve been very interested in for a long time. Oregon passed the law in the 90s and I always wondered about it. Especially after watching two relatives die a very very slow, painful, undignified death. After watching that happen for years, I wondered if there was a better way. Even as a teen I thought about quality of life. Those were not “quality” years for my relatives with horrific degenerative diseases.
“The Oregon Death with Dignity Act became a historic and moral turning point for the country and the world: a tilt toward utopia, or dystopia, depending on your view of things…A year later, in 1998, an eighty-four-year-old Portland woman with metastatic breast cancer became the first person in the United States to legally die with her doctor’s help.”
“It wasn’t until 2008 that a second state, Washington, followed Oregon’s lead. Then came Montana (by judicial ruling, rather than legislation); Vermont; Colorado; California; Washington, DC; Hawaii; Maine; and New Jersey.”
The book is difficult to read, but thought-provoking.
“What surprised me most, looking through Oregon Health Authority data, was that most people who ask to die are reportedly not in terrible pain, or even afraid of future pain. The vast majority cite “losing autonomy” as their primary end-of-life concern. Others worry about “loss of dignity,” loss of the ability to engage in enjoyable activities, and “losing control of bodily functions…It is about the desire to avoid suffering. It is about autonomy. In the American legal tradition, it is also about the right to privacy and the negative right to not be interfered with. But for most of the people I met, choosing to die at a planned moment was principally about “dignity.” “
The stories are the most intimate: stories about people’s decisions for the end, how they planned it, how they did it, who helped, why they did it, etc. It’s an emotional but important read.