07 November 2010

Book Review Sunday

Remember when I was going to do these all the time?  Yeah, me too...

Anyway I do have a few books that are worth mentioning:
  • All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew- Got me jazzed to garden again.  Loved the idea that you ignore all the basic tenets of traditional gardening and skip straight to to the easy/fun stuff.  Still found it a little fussy in that there was plenty of blathering on about staggering crops and mixing "special dirt" and other stuff that I am not stressing about, but the basic premise is good.  As a result, I made two raised beds, filled them with the glorious dirt produced by years of neglected leaves and I am all set to go for the spring.
  • Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs- Very humorous tale of man who reads the encyclopedia.  Imagine NPR does random trivia with amusing personal anecdotes tossed in.  Easy read, but pretty pleasing.
  • The Wrong Mother by Sophie Hannah- Probably the best book I read all year.  Exceptionally clever thriller that I think will resound with women/mothers across the board. It is a murder mystery that delves deeply into the rhetoric of being a woman, being a mother, being a wife and all that goes along with those things.  Very dark at times, but a truly great book.  I am excited to read Little Face by the same author.
  • Fit and Female by Geralyn B Coopersmith- I really liked this one because the book presents a realistic view of health, fitness and what you can, or more importantly can't, change through diet and exercise.  Once you figure out your body type, Coopersmith guides you through exercises and eating plans specific to that type all while being honest about what you can expect to achieve.  The book does fall into the classic "it is all about calories, but no it is all about when you eat, but no it is about what you eat, but no you should eat natural, but no only margarine and reprocessed lo-cal food product, etc." trap, but hey, that is more a cultural phenomenon than a testament to the valuable information this book does contain.
So these are the good ones so far.  You can see everything I read here and I am looking pretty good to finish the challenge this year!


Alicen said...

I highly suggest you add In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan to your list! As an almost epidemiologist you will probably find it highly interesting but there are many valuable points made and he takes a views of some things (like organics) differently and in a non-hysteria (OMG the chemicals!) kind of way. I personally though it was a great book and since you are on the road of self-improvement it seems fitting. Oh, and it's only 200 pages which you could easily read in a day since your a quick reader so why not?

I think I will certainly be adding Wrong Mother to my list, it sounds right up my alley!

Heidi Maxwell said...

Love Square Foot Gardening! I didn't spring for the book, but I did use their web page to get me going this year (and last fall). I DID, however, spring for the compost and peat moss and vermiculite to fill my boxes. We don't have great soil to begin with, and being a new subdivision, we don't have ages worth of dead leaves and detritus piling up to use as free compost. Next spring I will just add a bit more compost, mix with my trusty rake, and we are good to go!

I have a novel that I'd love to suggest for your list: The Wind Up Girl. Couldn't spell the author if I tried. It's a great piece of future 'reality' fiction. Kind of wish he had more books to follow on this story!