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June 30, 2012

Book 33 of My 2012 Goals

Eat for JoyEat for Joy by Srinivas Reddy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Eat for Joy by Srinivas Reddy is not a cookbook, it is a book written so you understand eating or better put by the author, "have a relationship with food". I know it sounds weird but it isn't once you understand what the author is saying about Americans and their relationship with food. The author explains the difference between the American way of eating and those of other countries, why we are having problems managing our weight, and eating problems. But don't get me wrong, this isn't just a diet book, it is packed with information which some are even the results of studies done and/or reported by the medical community. Even if you don't have a weight problem you still eat and it doesn't matter if you are Vegan or not, I bet you will find something in this book interesting, I know I did.

When someone tells me forget about what the Dr. says regarding my weight, it gets my attention. Then I read on and realize that it makes total sense. Why is it that someone at this height should weigh this much? There are so many different things effecting each person including their own genetic makeup that it is impossible to throw everyone in one category and say that they should weigh this and if you are overweight then it is because you are over eating. I personally know for a fact that not all "fat" people over eat nor do they eat chocolate all day long, yet they don't lose weight no matter what they do. Then there are people like me who changed to a "healthy diet" instead of my processed foods and Lean Cuisines yet I gained weight. No matter how much fruit, salad, and healthy food I ate a week, I still gained or stayed the same. This really blew my mind! I mean I don't over eat. In fact, I only eat one meal a day....dinner at about 6 P.M. Yep, that was my problem. I was on the "Sumo Wrestler Diet". Well, not really their diet but that is how they 'bulk up', they starve their body all day and in the evening they eat. Since they ate at night they never burn off the calories they ate so their bodies store this excess as fat.

I also never really thought of my son as having a eating problem since he is skinny as a rail but this book opened my eyes to see that he too has a problem with food. He eats way too much food (even though it doesn't put weight on him). I never hear a Dr. saying a thing to him about his eating habits (as unhealthy as they are) or so much as to even ask him about his eating habits yet that is one of the first things they say to someone who weighs more than that chart on wall says they should. As the author points out, BMI Charts should be thrown out and the 'relationship' with food should be what is examined.

Do you know what food is? Do you know what healthy food is? I thought I did but learned I was wrong on several occasions. I am not saying I agree with everything in this book. For example, the author said that margarine is one molecule away from plastic, if you put it in your garage bugs wouldn't bother it, and it is not a food. The problem I have is with the "one molecule away from plastic". I remember an old email going around years ago with some of these same claims and the issue of it being almost plastic was addressed then. They said this wasn't true. In fact, I remember they said the molecules were arranged in long strains and that margarine and butter had a similar molecules so if margarine was just one molecule away, so was butter. However I do agree that margarine is not as good as I thought it was. I switched from butter to margarine years ago when we all heard about how 'bad' butter is for your health. Come to find out margarine is even worse. So even though I don't agree with everything said in the book, the information is there for each reader to make their own choice, do their own research, and make their own decisions.

Did I mention that this is not a boring book? The author makes it interesting and uses examples. Not only is food covered with the help from Katie, a fictional character used to make points, but everything from sex to Feng Shui. Food disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, and hoarding are covered. Oh yeah, can't forget the "Grandma Test" and feeding your child. All the environmental influences, how your house reflects your eating and so much more is covered. There is just so much information in this book and it doesn't matter if you have a weight problem or not, this book is about eating and it is something we all do. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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June 29, 2012

Book 32 of My 2012 Goal

My Self Serving Book of Facebook Statuses and NotesMy Self Serving Book of Facebook Statuses and Notes by Vinnie Rinaudo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Just as the name implies, "My Self Serving Book of Facebook Statuses and Notes" is a short book of different Facebook notes and statuses Vinnie Rinaudo used over the years. What it lacked in length it had made up in humor. I found myself reading many of them again but not because I didn't understand it but because I was reading it to others when they walked in the house and asked me what I was reading. Some of these were just too funny.

On the other hand, some were insulting and degrading so this book is not for everyone and the language would put it on an "adults only" list. Religion, politics, celebrities, no subject was 'safe' and no groups of people were safe, gays, straight, whites, he covered them all. I think only his imagination was the limit.

I found there were some statements I just didn't quite 'get' maybe it is because I am not familiar with the person made reference to such as "Tim Tebow is proof that there is a God ........and he hates football". I had to ask a sports fan who he was and he just told me he was a football player (thank you for the obvious) and asked why I wanted to know so I told him that line and he burst out laughing for five minutes but I just didn't get it and I still don't but apparently anyone out there that is a football fan would enjoy this...or not. So like I said some just 'went over my head' but for the most part I did enjoy this book.

I think this is one of those kinds of books either you will like it or hate it but I think everyone would find something funny in it if you had a sense of humor. I would only recommend it to an adult who isn't insulted or offended easily and would like to kill a few hours with some humor.

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June 11, 2012

Book 31 of my 2012 Goal

World of Ryyah: Birth of the Half ElvesWorld of Ryyah: Birth of the Half Elves by H.L. Watson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

World of Ryyah: Birth of the Half Elve by H.L. Watson is an action packed love story starting off with attack, murder, and capture of human children who are to be sold as slaves and workers. To get to where boys can be sold on the market they are forced to go into the forest which is home of the Wood Elves who have an elite team of 'Rangers' that are responsible for protecting the forest from trespassers. After the children's captors are killed the children are spared and raised by one of the wood elves, Alayna, who not only becomes their surrogate mother, she teaches them to become Rangers.

When the elves are attacked by Barbarians, Brandela, the youngest princess of the wood elves is kidnapped and Alayna, the surrogate mother of the children is killed. Donovan, one of the human children, now grown to a young man, vows revenge against those that killed her and sets off after them. His plan is to rescue the princess since he knew that by doing so would mean the Barbarian's mission would be a failure and this would in turn cause the suppliers to take revenge on the Barbarians. This would serve as Donovan's revenge for Alayna's death and he didn't even have to confront the Barbarians himself.

Not everything goes as planned and I was treated to some ambushes, fights, and attacks. I also learned of a love that was thought as impossible along with a death I thought improbable. The action was good but to me the story didn't flow well. It was a bit choppy and this caused a slow time which was fine but the 'slow time' was rushed to get back into the action. There were some format issues which I could easily over look and they really didn't take away much from the story of this forbidden love of creatures from two different races, myths, and magic. I thought the story line was good and the author even included a shock to the readers toward the end. I look forward to reading the next book.

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June 9, 2012

My 2012 Goal Met with Book 30, Time to double my goal to 60

Mogadishu Diaries- BloodlinesMogadishu Diaries- Bloodlines by Eddie Clay III
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mogadishu Diaries 1992 - 1993: Bloodlines by Eddie Clay III is a fictional account based on real experiences during Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. The U.S. led mission was two-fold; to secure major supply routes for safe delivery of relief supplies, and help create a secure environment. As we know by history what started as a peace-keeping mission to supply relief aid ended with a battle. Mogadishu Diaries covers the author's account of what happened and how it happened through his service as a U.S. Marine supporting Operation Restore Hope.

The book starts with Gunnery Sergeant Thompson at the airport trying to get a flight out for annual leave and he runs into Staff Sergeant Barnes who is now a Warrant Officer. WO Barnes wants to know where his Combat Action Ribbon ( CAR) was and the last time they met. It turns out that GS Thompson didn't get the ribbon and was told he wasn't eligible for one even though we find out that everyone else there that day got one. In fact, the same Captain that put others in for the ribbon including WO Barnes is the same person who told GS Tompson that this was a humanitarian relief operation so no CARs were considered. As for the last time they met, GS Thompson answered Jan. 7th, 1993 at 7 A.M. which means it was in Somalia and he remembers it like it was yesterday. With this and with the magic pen of the author's, we are transported to seven years earlier with the unique perspective to see what he sees and hear what he hears. We even have moments of being inside his head seeing his thoughts and we even experience along with him the 'feelings' of the circumstances he finds himself in.

Not only do we learn of the fighting between the clans and others in Somalia, we learn about the 'non physical' fighting between the ranks in the Marine Corps itself. Even though the mission is clear it seems the 'ranks' can't see eye to eye on the best way to achieve their goal or who should be recommended for ribbons or promotions. It also becomes clear that you do not want to be the person who 'shows up' a higher rank in any way because it doesn't matter if you are right or wrong, you will pay the price and if hell is to pay, you will be the one paying it.

Hats off to this unique insight of personal history. For once a book that doesn't try to sugar coat things nor glamorize the military but instead it tells it like it is (or at least to the best of the author's recollections). Not only was I drawn in at the very beginning, it never got boring. I also loved how personal it was and the connection felt with the author as well as the photos which really brought another degree to this personal experience not forgetting to mention the Dedication. Although I found this book disturbing in parts, I do recommend it.

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June 3, 2012

Book Twenty Nine of My 2012 Goal

The Dawkins Deficiency: Why Evolution Is Not the Greatest Show on EarthThe Dawkins Deficiency: Why Evolution Is Not the Greatest Show on Earth by Wayne Talbot
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Dawkins Deficiency: Why Evolution Is Not The Greatest Show On Earth by Wayne Talbot is the author's opinion/conclusion why Richard Dawkins' book, The Greatest Show On Earth is inaccurate. The book is not trying to sway the reader toward evolution or any other belief. The purpose of the book is to explain the lack of scientific proof (or faulty proof) behind the claims made by Dawkins. Actually the author said it best, "My goal is not to disprove evolution theory, my goal is to evaluate the truth of the claim that the evidence for it is incontrovertible, that evolution theory has been scientifically proven, and that the book under review provides that evidence."

Even though I never read The Greatest Show On Earth, Talbot takes it apart and examines it by clearly stating what Dawkins claims and then presenting his argument as to what is wrong with the claim so the reader is not 'lost' as to what he is talking about. And I would like to add that the amount of research Talbot did is mind boggling. Within the subject of evolution he also touches on genes, DNA and mutations just to mention a few.

I am not a complete stranger to the subject of evolution as we touched on it in school and I may have even read a thing or two here and there but I am by no means an expert or scientist. I never did the amount of research on the subject as Talbot did either but I was still able to follow his train of thought, arguments and conclusions. As Talbot explains things he rephrases it into a situation most people will understand and have no problem visualizing by using things like Lego's, M&Ms and sandcastles.

I found the book educational and interesting and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the subject of evolution.

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