2.5 stars. I read this book because my husband and I are thinking of trying to conceive in the near future. I had very mixed feelings about it.
Because2.5 stars. I read this book because my husband and I are thinking of trying to conceive in the near future. I had very mixed feelings about it.
Because it was the first book I read, and because I do not have many close female friends who are mothers nor any siblings, even some of the basic information about what you should and should not do when trying to conceive was useful. (This includes such obvious advice as getting your weight under control, taking your vitamins, and a reminder about some things you might not be able to eat when pregnant.) I have read other reviews that have said an hour of Google research might provide the same information as this book, and perhaps that is true. Still, I find books to be comforting and realistically, part of reading this book was to deal with some of my own anxieties (precisely because I'm a "planner" and having children is nothing if not an exercise in the unexpected).
Because that was part of why I wished to read this book, however, it made large swathes of it really superfluous and perhaps they could have been even more anxiety-inducing had I not skipped them. A great portion of the book is about problems with fertility, which is of course something we have not yet been established to have. Additionally, the book is solely focused on the body, but does not discuss anything regarding mentally preparing for a baby, which I hoped it might have. Finally, the language used is eye-rolling at best; the author revels in bad puns and cutesy metaphors that are distracting.
Ultimately, if one truly needs a baseline primer on the bodily aspects of conception, the first few chapters of this are useful. If one wants some questions to help one mentally prepare, however, this book offers none of that. Overall, though, this book is perhaps more useful for those who have been trying for a while but have not yet conceived....more
This book is Commander Chris Hadfield's account of how he became a much-beloved and accomplished astronaut from his childhood. It serves two4.5 stars.
This book is Commander Chris Hadfield's account of how he became a much-beloved and accomplished astronaut from his childhood. It serves two functions. On one hand, it's a bit of an advice book, listing a few of the qualities he thinks make for an excellent astronaut and generally good human being. These include "striving to be a zero" (which is striving to simply not be a harm, rather than striving for excellence, which can cause one to be prideful), making an effort to live comfortably with those around you, and always making an effort to enjoy whatever it is that you are doing. On the other hand, the book is a more direct memoir of what it is like to go to space, and return, three times. I felt that this approach to a memoir was excellent, giving the book value even to those who may not be as interested in space.
Hadfield's style is direct without being simplistic, and he comes across as a warm but focused man. I found the book to be fairly inspiring and a good reminder that excellence has very little to do with crowning moments and everything to do with a proper attitude and little, day-to-day tasks....more
3.5 stars. I borrowed this book as a Kindle book from my local library.
The author, Gary Taubes, explains the scientific research behind low-carb high3.5 stars. I borrowed this book as a Kindle book from my local library.
The author, Gary Taubes, explains the scientific research behind low-carb high protein diets, and why they likely make more sense than any other diet out there for weight loss. He's not touting any particular diet plan (although it falls right in line with Atkins), but does genuinely seem to be trying to re-vamp our knowledge about nutrition which he claims fell by the wayside after World War II, when research on insulin and carbohydrates done before the war was lost as common knowledge and food sciences were left to start over again. He is particularly trying to combat the belief that weight loss is a simple "calories in must be less than calories out" model of weight loss, looking at what makes us hungry or inactive in the first place. He even goes so far as to challenge popular author Michael Pollan's "eat food and not too much" mantra, claiming that it is perhaps too simplistic.
I believe the author falls prey to some of the same types of arguments that he accuses poor nutritionists of doing; there are a few cases in the latter portion of the book where he dismisses evidence counter to his own in a very off-hand way, which is how he claims our fundamental misunderstandings about nutrition and how it works in the first place came to be. I'm sure he is relying on the evidence from the first portion of the book to make it obvious why these are wrong, but I wish he could have dealt with the cases a bit more closely. This book is a shortened version of a much longer text, however, so perhaps he does delve more in-depth in that book.
In terms of personal application, I've generally been following the author's plan even before reading this book, eating much more lean protein and salads and cutting back on breads, particularly white bread. It has worked wonders in terms of my own weight loss, working more rapidly than when I was simply counting calories, so I think there is likely something to the author's claims. With that said, I am still more pro-exercise than Taubes, and will never fully cut delicious fruit and chocolate from my diet.
Ultimately, I found this text to be much more compelling and interesting than a "diet" book that I could have read, and more motivating. One must be sold on the research, however, before it would necessarily have that effect....more