Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Body With Soul (uhh..)

Oh Randy Jackson, look at you writing books.

Let me tell you a little something about this man, he had weight loss surgery to loose weight. That is not exactly the best solution for everyone. So he decided to write a book to help ‘real people’ take control of their weight. Um, Randy Jackson you are not a real person, you had surgery. But whatever, I know real people do undergo gastric bypass and I’m not here to judge.

I recommend this book for people with diabetes and who have gone through gastric bypass surgery; this book is really designed for you folks. Do your thing.

Second Time Around.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but sometimes I get in these really corny moods where I want to read a book about family and friendship, like a really bonding - blood brothers kind of friendship. People who inspire each other and lives change for the better after meeting. I was in that mood the other day, and found the perfect book for my corny fix. “Second Time Around” by Marcia Willett hit the spot.

Due to the splintering her family years ago, never married eighty-four years old Mathilda Rainbird has no obvious heir to bequest her large South Devon estate to once she dies, which the octogenarian knows is soon. As such with the help of barrister James Barrington she leaves her property including her seaside cottage three cousins she never met and she believes never met each other.

Can this family come back together again? DUM DUM DUMMMMM….read it and find out silly.

Sarah's Key - By Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah Starzynski, a ten-year-old Parisian girl born to Jewish parents, is captured in June 16, 1942, and imprisoned with almost 10,000 others in an indoor cycling arena, the Vélodrome d'Hiver, awaiting transportation to Auschwitz. When the police arrive, she has just time to hide her younger brother in a concealed closet in their apartment, locking him in and promising to return.

Sixty years later, Julia Jarmond, an American journalist married to a Frenchman, researching for a story on the "Vél d'Hiv," stumbles on the trail of Sarah's family, and becomes obsessed with trying to discover her fate. She is struck by the fact that the round-up and subsequent disposal was carried out, not by the Gestapo, but by ordinary French policemen, enabled by a citizenry that for the most part looked the other way. A coincidental discovery leads her to question the involvement of her husband's family at the time and to re-examine her own marriage.

I have read a number of books dealing with the Holocaust, either it interests you or it doesn’t. If you enjoy this type of book normally, then you will for sure like Sarah’s Key.


Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes by Daniel L. Everett was SUCH a good book. I could not put it down. It was filled with strange languages and exotic adventures, which Everett experienced first hand. It was crazy.

In an intense and deeply absorbing account, Everett opens up completely and lays his encounters with these mystifying people out for all to see. Taking on the Pirahãn "The past is the past and does not matter. Only now matters." attitude, he includes all of the most gruesome, embarrassing, and enlightening details of his journey with no regard to how any of it may be perceived. What results is a genuine and engrossing book that is both sharp and intuitive.

I love, love, LOVED it.

Teeny Bopper Book.

Beth Kanell's “The Darkness Under the Water” is the coming of age story of Molly Ballou, an Abenaki teenager living in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont in the 1920's, just as the dams were being put in to provide hydroelectric power.

Okay, that intro may sound kind of boring, but it’s actually a really good book. I’d say this book is good for middle school aged kids through adults. It is a perfect read for kids because it doesn’t talk down to them. They can tell when a book is written under their level, they’re not stupid (well most of them) and want to read books that talk to them like adults. This one will do it for sure. It deals with adult issues, and throws some moral lessons in the mix.

So read this, and then give it to a 13-year-old.

13th Century Crazy Ass Books...

I cannot get enough of “back in the day” books. Catherine Jinks book Babylonne was set in the 13th Century, I love shit like that. Jinks has researched the Middle Ages extensively, so she is the perfect escort back to the 13th century, in all its glory and horrors. Some real fucked up stuff goes on.

Jinks has an adventurous and spirited writing style that shines brightly right into her feisty and determined heroine. She writes with such animation and energy that her audience will experience Babylonne's tragic and heartfelt adventures almost as if looking through the teens own eyes. Readers may be familiar with this author from her numerous other novels, and they won't be disappointed in her newest exciting journey.

Abraham Lincoln is my cousin...

Tried By War – Abraham Lincoln as Commander- In- Chief by James M. McPherson appealed to me because Abraham Lincoln is in my family tree. Oh yes, that’s right, he’s wayyyyy back there, but never the less I traced that kick ass guy back and there he was.

That’s the reason why I picked this book up, but the reason you should is because it is really interesting. Writers, musicians, film directors and TV documentaries have chronicled Abraham Lincoln's greatness far more than four score and seven times. McPherson's Tried By War is a concise, well-written plow that cuts into a narrow stretch of previously harvested themes, ideas and anecdotes.

This book is not crazy long, and wont bore the hell out of your mind. It obviously is not meant to be comprehensive or exhaustive. Yes, there are some curious errors of omission, (Example: McPherson notes the importance of Mobile, Alabama, as a supply port for Confederate blockade runners, but he fails to close that subplot and note even briefly Mobile Bay's shut down by the Union in the politically critical summer of '64.) but whether this book serves as an introduction to or a reminder of Lincoln's contributions as a military and political leader, it should not be faulted so much on what it fails to mention. It is intended to be an illustrative, modestly analytical case summary of Lincoln as Commander-in-Chief, and within those limited parameters, it succeeds.

Money, Money, Money.

As young adults, we are going through college, paying back our loans, looking for big kid jobs, STRUGGLING financially for sure. Read The Ascent of Money – A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson.

Ferguson's book will help you better understand the possibilities for disaster inherent in the loose credit and securitization of bad debt from which so much money was made before the crisis unfolded. His grasp of history vindicates his profession and brings an understated beauty to money.