Considering that I am the exact demographic for which this book is intended, my love of it might be a little bias. However, before I read about it inConsidering that I am the exact demographic for which this book is intended, my love of it might be a little bias. However, before I read about it in a fashion magazine, it didn't occur to me that anyone else had the same thoughts regarding this. Having someone confirm that you are not alone in your mentality is always appreciated. When it is done in a humorous way, that's even better....more
I had been meaning to read this book because I enjoy Barbara Kingsolver’s novels and I must have heard good things about it. However, it being nonfictI had been meaning to read this book because I enjoy Barbara Kingsolver’s novels and I must have heard good things about it. However, it being nonfiction, the priority was pretty low and I worried that I’d never actually read it. So I got it in audiobook format. I am so glad I did! I immensely enjoyed Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Maybe it was Kingsolver’s narration, maybe it was all the individual parts put together, or maybe I just like food. Thinking about food is enjoyable and I love to watch cooking shows, so reading a book about growing and eating food seemed to hit the spot!
Despite the family’s motives (the whole plot and purpose of the book), the book never feels preachy or negative about other people’s views. The Kingsolver-Hopp family explain why they decided to do things the way they do and understand that not everyone will have the same impulses. However, even though Kingsolver brings up some pretty big issues (genetically modified food, big business agenda, fossil fuel waste), she retains a positive attitude that a little life changing can make a big difference. For someone like me, who is fairly cynical, I found her common sense approach refreshing. Not everyone needs to change everything now—a little can go a long way. Once you implement a change, there’s no telling how far it’ll take you.
The audiobook comes with a PDF of the recipes and meal plans from the book, but I still wanted a hard copy. I won’t exactly read it again straight through, but I’m going to use it as a reference book. Not just for the recipes and tips about growing vegetables, but also for the information about groups who are involved in the slow food movement: farmers, restaurants, etc. ...more
In Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards, the author has been happily living alone on her farm for 10 years when she uncharacteristically decides to helIn Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards, the author has been happily living alone on her farm for 10 years when she uncharacteristically decides to help the SPCA foster an abused horse. Wanting a horse with a fantastic name, Richards is a little disappointed to find herself with Lay Me Down, whose passive prayer name does not indicate independence or spirit. However, Lay Me Down is no ordinary horse. Despite her ill treatment, she is friendly, gentle, and trusting, completely the opposite of what one might expect. Richards is surprised to find herself becoming quickly attached to the animal. She beings to think that if Lay Me Down can overcome her past and accept the love others have to give her, than maybe she could learn something from the horse. Perhaps even, the horse she saved is actually saving her....more
I read this book looking for another dog book comparable to Marley and Me. Despite the beginning with a few crazy dog antics, this book is even sadderI read this book looking for another dog book comparable to Marley and Me. Despite the beginning with a few crazy dog antics, this book is even sadder than Marley. Orson and Katz's bond is strong and the relationship changes both human and animal, but what I mostly got from the book is Katz's stand on our responsibilities as pet owners to our pets and also to other people. Unlike Marley where most people can agree to loving a crazy animal, some people may agree or disagree strongly to Katz's choices concerning Orson. Despite not exactly meeting my expectations, I don't regret reading it and would suggest reading his books for any dog lover....more
What makes we humans special? Is it out language? Our ability to cognitively think? Irene Pepperberg challengers these ideas in Alex and Me. The novelWhat makes we humans special? Is it out language? Our ability to cognitively think? Irene Pepperberg challengers these ideas in Alex and Me. The novel explores Pepperberg’s scientific and personal relationships with Alex, her African Grey Parrot. When Pepperberg initially got Alex, she has an idea of what language abilities she can teach him. Over the next three decades, her work with Alex and her other parrots continued to challenge scientific theory and amaze others. However, Pepperberg also realized that Alex’s impact was more than scientific—his life deeply touched the hearts of many. His liveliness, spirit, as well as intellect earned him a place in history....more
Move over Babe and Wilbur, Christopher Hogwood in The Good Good Pig is the new pig extraordinaire. Adopted by Sy Montgomery as a runt with little chanMove over Babe and Wilbur, Christopher Hogwood in The Good Good Pig is the new pig extraordinaire. Adopted by Sy Montgomery as a runt with little chance of survival, Christopher ends up as a 750 lb tub of love. Christopher Hogwood’s impact on Montgomery and the townspeople extended not just to his insatiable love of food, but his ability to bring out the best in people. This amazingly smart, affectionate, and adventurous pig gave the people who loved him a new outlook on the joys of life. He was truly a success....more
Marley and Me tells the story about how John Grogan and his wife, young newlyweds, decided to prepare themselves for a family by raising a puppy. TheyMarley and Me tells the story about how John Grogan and his wife, young newlyweds, decided to prepare themselves for a family by raising a puppy. They selected a Labrador Retriever puppy for its relaxed and family-friendly personality, only to discover that Marley had a bit more spunk than they had planned. Neurotic, hyper, hungry, and destructive, Marley was simultaneously endearing and frustrating for the couple. However, despite his flaws, he was fiercely loyal to his new family and regardless of his antics, he had a secure place. The story is humorous and heartwarming and poignant in the end as Grogan released how much of an impact on his life Marley made. Most readers will be touched by the story. However, if you are not exactly an avid dog lover, some of Marley’s gaffes will make you cringe more than laugh. Still, a nice, emotionally satisfying read....more
This book starts out as a nice read of things that you can do to be happy/calmer with life. As it progresses through the different techniques: visualiThis book starts out as a nice read of things that you can do to be happy/calmer with life. As it progresses through the different techniques: visualizing, getting involved, not personalizing every little thing that shakes you off balance, etc.; it starts getting more religious in nature. However, despite the overwhelming Christian aspect in later portions of the book, it isn't judgmental or as one-sided as it could be. For non-religious folks, if one ignores some of the chapters that involve spending more time with God, it is a gentle, uplifting book to read before going to sleep at night....more
In Julie and Julia, Julie Powell is turning 30 and all she has to show for her life is a lousy apartment in Queens, a temp job doing secretarial work,In Julie and Julia, Julie Powell is turning 30 and all she has to show for her life is a lousy apartment in Queens, a temp job doing secretarial work, and the occasional mental breakdown on subway platforms. Although her marriage is going strong, she can’t help but feel that her life is heading toward a big, fat zero. In an effort to inject some interest in her life, Powell decides to take on the ridiculous mission to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. 1 in 1 year. As she cooks and blogs about her cooking, she endures quests for obscure ingredients and culinary tantrums, but she also gains fan support and minor celebrity status. Although she doesn’t necessary feel different, she knows that by successfully making French Tarts and having guests over, she is in a different place than she was a year ago. Though the change is subtle and gradual, Powell starts to understand that her mission to take on the cookbook is a mission of hope, discovery, and new worlds of possibility....more
In Helping Me Help Myself, Beth Lisick wakes up on New Year's Day with a banged-up knee and a head full of nagging issues. At the age of 37, she’s doiIn Helping Me Help Myself, Beth Lisick wakes up on New Year's Day with a banged-up knee and a head full of nagging issues. At the age of 37, she’s doing pretty well for herself on the surface: she’s happily married, has an adorable son, and owns her own house. However, it is the little things that make her life not-so-perfect. She’s disorganized, out of shape, and still lives pay check to pay check. Lisick decides that over the next year she will seek out the advice of the top self-help gurus in their respective industries, read their best-selling novels, and even attend their seminars. What results is a 12 month long adventure of affirmations, visualizations, personal-pep talks, strange encounters with other self-help groupies, and an amazingly entertaining time on a Cruise to Loose with Richard Simmons. Though Lisick remains a skeptic throughout her contacts with the slick proponents of personal betterment, she can’t help shake the feeling that every time she turns around she’s reminded of her journey....more