Great book on why diets don't work, exercise is the best thing for your health and why everyone should strive to stay at their "leanest livable weightGreat book on why diets don't work, exercise is the best thing for your health and why everyone should strive to stay at their "leanest livable weight". The first section analyzes various diet studies and the second borrows heavily from Brian Wansink and Charles Duhamel. ...more
This book is a collection of essays Mark (we are on a first name basis) has written for the New York Times. The book was divided into various topics rThis book is a collection of essays Mark (we are on a first name basis) has written for the New York Times. The book was divided into various topics related to food. I'm not particularly interested in all of the aspects of food and nutrition, but I did read all of the diet ones.
Newsflash: we should eat less sugar and processed grains and a lot more fruits, vegetables and legumes....more
Saroo Brierely got lost in India on a train when he was just 5 years old. After a few weeks living on the streets and then a few months in an orphanagSaroo Brierely got lost in India on a train when he was just 5 years old. After a few weeks living on the streets and then a few months in an orphanage, he is adopted by a couple in Australia. 25 years later, he hasn't forgotten his neighborhood or his village, but he has never been able to provide enough information to figure out exactly where in the huge country of India where he might be.
Enter Google earth which helps him search for his village in a painstakingly difficult way and eventually he finds his village and his home. It's an amazing story but it wasn't told in a particularly compelling way. Obviously, a very satisfying ending which is given away on the cover....more
Laura Vanderkam wrote about a research project she undertook to figure out how busy women were spending their time. Listening to it for seven hours miLaura Vanderkam wrote about a research project she undertook to figure out how busy women were spending their time. Listening to it for seven hours might have been a bit much, but I found there to be quite a few interesting insights in her study.
She obtained time logs, kept in real time, from about 150 women earning over $100K/year and who had kids. The study generally showed that most women worked about 44 hours, slept about 50 hours and, according to the author, still had over 60 hours left in the week for exercise, family time, personal time, etc. I think she underestimated the time people spend on things like showering, eating and other fairly routine obligations.
She cites a study showing that women typically have over 30 hours of "leisure time", and then laughed at women who complained on Facebook and the Dr. Phil show b/c really there is nothing more symbolic of leisure time than watching Dr. Phil and being on Facebook.
She encourages women to stop buying into the "I'm so busy" line of thinking and the "I don't sleep enough" and "I work too much" narratives that are dominant. While not overlooking the stress of modern life, she encourages women to look for small moments of brilliance and sweetness in the day to day life, to plan family time and to ignore the chores (b/c they will always be there) in lieu of seizing personal time.
I thought this book, though somewhat repetitive, had value and I do want to look through the hard copy b/c she had some tips and techniques that I'm sure I will want to implement. ...more
I am fairly confident I can never go to a hospital again after reading about Matt's year as an intern who is supervised by a barely-more-experienced rI am fairly confident I can never go to a hospital again after reading about Matt's year as an intern who is supervised by a barely-more-experienced resident. HOW CAN THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING??? Well, they don't. And they are in charge of patients. The only thing that made me feel a little better was the fact that at least Matt knew how inexperienced he was and sought help frequently, but NOT FREQUENTLY ENOUGH.
Alexandra Robbins, author of The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, Pledged and a few other well-received non fiction investigatory type books, writes ofAlexandra Robbins, author of The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, Pledged and a few other well-received non fiction investigatory type books, writes of three or four nurses over the course of a year. I enjoyed the stories about the nurses: Molly is dealing with infertility and trying to find a good job without the hospital politics and drama and affects many of the hospitals near her; Sam, a younger nurse trying to find her confidence; and Lara, a nurse who has struggled with painkiller addiction and marital troubles.
I also liked the hospital stories, but less enjoyable were the stacks of research and statistics interspersed between the nurses' stories. I got the impression that most nurses really care a lot, try really hard and are incredibly overburdened by the diminishing resources of hospitals....more
This is an excellent book on habit formation and how it applies to different personalities types. It's a great component to the Charles Duhamel book oThis is an excellent book on habit formation and how it applies to different personalities types. It's a great component to the Charles Duhamel book on the science of habits, but with new insights. If you are into this type of self help book, it will be a good read.
Note that my kids are v sick of me saying "Well.....Gretchen Rubin says...." One asked "Is it okay with Gretchen Rubin if we go out to dinner tonight?"
This book is written by a parent (and journalist) as he waded through the money conversations he decided he needed to have with his now nine year oldThis book is written by a parent (and journalist) as he waded through the money conversations he decided he needed to have with his now nine year old daughter to help her become financially literate. Certainly this book advocates teaching kids about a money, but many of the ideas are scattered without any real plan of action to help your kids.
There are, frankly, crazy ideas (even ideas that the participants agree are crazy). To wit: one wealthy family is persuaded by their daughter to sell their house, take half the equity and give it away to people who need it.
I just didn't find a lot of ideas I thought I would use in this book. Good sections on charitable giving and there is (of course) the ubiquitous discussions about whether allowance should be tied to chores, but overall, I expected more....more
Classified as a "memoir" b/c he talks about his own family, but most definitely not a memoir in the traditional sense. I do not love this author's lonClassified as a "memoir" b/c he talks about his own family, but most definitely not a memoir in the traditional sense. I do not love this author's long form pieces and I think this type of work is more suited magazine or newspaper articles, but I'm give him 4 stars for at least getting me to think about what works in our family and what might help us be more cohesive.
As he correctly points out, not everything will work for every family. For instance, I have no interest in taking my kids on a nighttime military-style workout mission in a park, However, I do need to be better about certain things including continuing the sex talks that have been part of our general conversation since the kids were in elementary school - I need to incorporate more age-appropriate information now that they are teenagers. Rob and I decided to give an allowance, not tied to chores, to increase financial independence (b/c as he points out, better to make a mistake with a hundred bucks than with a thousand or ten thousand). Nate is not the best conversationalist and does not seem very curious, and our dinner table conversation floats over his head (and Reed's) b/c Walker wants to talk about current events and politics non-stop. (Seriously, there is nothing you cannot say that he cannot relate to politics. Case in point - this am, when I mentioned someone's age, he said "he's older than Hilary Clinton!). I need to incorporate him into our conversation in some regard to make him feel more part of the five of us, instead of the four of us and him. I decided that, as much as possible, we will play a game every night, even for 10-15 minutes, after dinner and Nate will participate.
I am also interested in a family reunion, although the book makes them sound so daunting with t-shirts and schedules and so. many. activities. I'm thinking of a few of Rob's cousins and their kids at a beach house in one of the Carolinas. I doubt it will ever really pan out, but I'd like to at least talk about it with the cousins when we see them in June....more
This book took me months to read, but I did really like it. The authors look at global and national charities and convince you of the impact small amoThis book took me months to read, but I did really like it. The authors look at global and national charities and convince you of the impact small amounts of money can have and what huge steps people are taking to help those in need. Much of the focus is on poverty--especially overseas--education and reducing violence. I was very impressed with what people are doing and it will make me think twice about donating money to things I think are not worth their money.
For instance: if I have $250, I can give to a local Firefighter's group that will take kids to the circus, which is certainly noble; on the other hand, I can provide vision surgery to someone overseas--a surgery to restore a person's vision which will prevent that person from being a beggar and living a life on the streets. For me, that choice is a no-brainer.
I will really be thinking about the money I donate and what the money is being used for and, specifically, how it is impacting others' lives.
The book is told in alternating chapters with long chapters devoted to various projects and very short chapters that discuss what one person did or how one life was changed. It was nice to mix it up. ...more
The title says it all about this book. Short (about three pages each) essays from writers about their favorite book stores. All are, of course, indepeThe title says it all about this book. Short (about three pages each) essays from writers about their favorite book stores. All are, of course, independent. I marked a few down and will definitely plan on stopping by the one store listed in Florida (in Deland, about 90 minutes away) and will try to hit some other ones in cities we are visiting this year (Austin, Boston and maybe NYC, although I have my own favorite in NYC).
I really only read the authors I knew and the places I have either been or plan to visit soon, but I may copy/scan the first few pages which list each author, the bookstore and the city.
I think I've only been to three of the bookstores listed; The Strand in NYC (which is not my favorite; I lean towards a children's bookstore across from a phenomenal bakery); Tattered Cover in Denver and Elliott Bay in Seattle....more