This is on my Kindle so I don't know what page I'm on but I'm almost 1/2 way through. She has broken this Novella down into chapters which deal with o...moreThis is on my Kindle so I don't know what page I'm on but I'm almost 1/2 way through. She has broken this Novella down into chapters which deal with one character at a time telling their side of the story. The young slave girl chapters are hard to follow, but the other chapters so far are not. I heard that Toni Morrison was a difficult author to read, but this book isn't nearly as difficult as Faulkner.(less)
I purchased this book after watching Dr. Sanjay Gupta's special on CNN entitled "The Last Heart Attack." Dr. Esselstyn, although not a cardiologist, h...moreI purchased this book after watching Dr. Sanjay Gupta's special on CNN entitled "The Last Heart Attack." Dr. Esselstyn, although not a cardiologist, has been doing research regarding plant based diets and the prevention, arrestment, and in some cases reversal of heart disease. He has stories of some of his patients who had had heart attacks, and either were not candidates for surgical intervention or chose to try his diet instead. All of his patients, after only a few weeks on his plant based diet, saw their symptoms of angina/chest pain stop usually with a week or two. They also went back for follow-up stress tests which came back normal, and most saw a shrinkage if not total reversal of the blockages in their arteries. In this book he quotes Dr. Dean Ornish who wrote "The China Syndrome" as saying: "I don't understand why asking pople to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open."
This book gives me a lot to think about. I've been flirting with the idea of veganism, but I'm not sure I can stick with it, but the results seen by Dr. Esselstyn are an extraordinary push in that direction.
If you have ever thought about the effects of diet on your health, if you have heart disease or any other ailment, I recommend you read this book and make you own decision about it.
This was an Oprah book club selection and like many of her book selections was a depressing exploration of human imperfection, frailty and the effects...moreThis was an Oprah book club selection and like many of her book selections was a depressing exploration of human imperfection, frailty and the effects that abuse plays on a family. The books main character is Harley, who, at 19, is supporting his sisters after his mother is sent to prison for killing their father. Harley is both likeable and dislikable at the same time. You hate some of the things he does yet you try to understand that they are coming from a place of deep hurt, immaturity and confusion. Although Tawni O’Dell wrote this book with a male protagonist, I found myself wondering if a guy, in particular a late teens early twenties guy would say things like "It wasn't that Misty was butch. She was slight & freckled and had a glossy ponytail the color of an acorn and long, thick eyelashes like tiny feathers from a baby bird's wing..." or "they weren't her usual scuffed black pumps that gapped at the sides when she walked...they didn't go at all with the coarse, putty-colored dress she was wearing." I don’t know any man who knows the difference between taupe, tan & brown, let alone would describe any color as “putty.” Harley at times was insightful, especially while thinking about the abuse he endured from his father. You see how a victim will often forgive their abuser and make excuses for them. Harley thinks that his father blew a perfect opportunity to clear things up with his father while his father was in the hospital dying. Harley thinks that if he had the chance to know his father was going to die he “…would’ve stopped first and cleared some things up. I would’ve asked him why he didn’t like me. I would’ve apologized for being a disappointment to him. And I would’ve told him I loved him – because I did – in some joyless, unsatisfying way that hurt instead of healed but I knew it was still love.” Harley spends much of this book trying to figure out how he and his family got to where they are. He can be a deeply introspective, intelligent guy and then turn around and do the most heinous, disgusting things. The violent thoughts that cross his mind are disturbing. Early in the story he thinks “I had never seen Dad smile sincerely the way Mom did. Happiness to him was just another violent emotion as far as I could tell, something he turned into backslapping and arm-punching and used for an excuse to get drunk and destructive. As a kid it seemed to me it was the same for all men, and I worried that maybe men could only feel anger and every other emotion had to grow out of it.” Harley later thought about the visitor's to men’s prisons versus women's prisons "I imagined the visitors at a man's prison to be mostly lawyers and whores. It would make sense. Prison was a reflection of real life, and it had always seemed to me that once a woman had a kid nothing else mattered about her. Being a dad might describe a man, but being a mom defined a woman." O’Dell’s writing is very good and she kept the story going at a nice pace. There are some twists and you are kept guessing about what actually happened to this family. Once you think you have it figured out, it turns out to be something else. (less)
I read this book because I loved the movie Simon Birch, which was based on this book. John Irving is a great writer, although he's one of those author...moreI read this book because I loved the movie Simon Birch, which was based on this book. John Irving is a great writer, although he's one of those authors who tends to get a little long in the story, so to speak. Some people really like that, but I prefer a story to move along quickly. The first part of the book was what the movie had adopted and there is more than half the book that was not included in the movie.
This book was written in 1987 and I was surprised by how much Irving said and his protagonist, John complained about the United States government, rings true today. (less)