I picked this up on a whim at the library the last time I visited because it looked cute. And it was! It was nothing really special, and some of the dI picked this up on a whim at the library the last time I visited because it looked cute. And it was! It was nothing really special, and some of the dialogue felt stilted or forced. But overall it was cute, and I learned a fair bit about Cambodian culture and a little about its history. I was able to zoom through it in 2 days / 3 reading sessions. (view spoiler)[I was annoyed by all the happy endings all over the place... not realistic. And definitely not realistic how quickly the older women changed their beliefs... (hide spoiler)]...more
This was a pretty solid book. It was a fast read, kept me pulled in. The first chapter was pretty awful, I thought I was really going to dislike the bThis was a pretty solid book. It was a fast read, kept me pulled in. The first chapter was pretty awful, I thought I was really going to dislike the book based on that alone. Thankfully, it improved quickly... so if you start reading and hate the first chapter, keep going! In the end, though, nothing really pushed me into loving the book. I didn't mark a single passage as I went along. I ended up liking the characters, but none of them was really anything special... just ... the kind of people I wouldn't mind being friends with.
One thing that bothered me is the sense of time in this book is all screwed up. The author often makes it seem like many years have gone by, but it turns out to be maybe a few days or weeks. At the beginning of the book, she keeps saying things "always" happen, and it turns out that means "twice". Similarly regarding the number of postcards delivered. And at the end of the book it feels like many more years have gone by than really have. Shelby also changes too quickly for my suspension of disbelief to work properly.
(view spoiler)[ I do love Shelby's relationship with Ben. And also how she interacts with Damien, or whatever that one kid's name is. And how she steals the animals. I only wish we could have learned more about the homeless people. (hide spoiler)]...more
1/17/17 - Giving this another try on the kindle edition.
1/29/17 - Well, the Kindle edition allowed me to finish this book. I was afraid that the audio1/17/17 - Giving this another try on the kindle edition.
1/29/17 - Well, the Kindle edition allowed me to finish this book. I was afraid that the audio narration was so bad that it would have ruined it for me, that I'd hear the narration as I was reading. But thankfully that wasn't the case.
This book wasn't amazing, but it wasn't awful either. A solid 3 stars, I guess. I enjoyed the first half of the book a lot more than the second half, although throughout the book there is a lot of interesting historical perspectives. It really made me realize how lucky I am to have been born with all of these modern conveniences! Giving birth in your home, doctor may take hours (or days!) to get to you if needed, and even they are not all educated about things like scarlet fever... raising children with a woodstove and rattlesnakes and people trying to shoot you... wow.
(view spoiler)[The beginning of the book, so many tragedies one on top of the other on top of the other. She loses her father, brother, friends and traveling companions... watches her friend get raped, kills a man... all within the first 10% of the book. What a life! And we're all rooting for her to get with Captain Elliot, and know that it will happen eventually, just not how. I didn't see the depth of Jimmy's betrayal coming, or his gory death, but knew something would happen. But after she married him the book kind of got boring. There were large skips in time, sometimes years between journal entries. And not much happened, really. There were a few interesting episodes... and of course, she started writing again magically 2-3 days before each one! Sometimes the beliefs that she and Captain Elliot held, I think they were too good to be true for this time period. (hide spoiler)]
It's hard to believe there can be a sequel to this!...more
ETA: Ahh yes, after reading some of the other reviews about this, I should add... something I did not like about the book. But I'd forgotten about itETA: Ahh yes, after reading some of the other reviews about this, I should add... something I did not like about the book. But I'd forgotten about it until I read the reviews, because I like the workout plans and advice. I do remember being turned off by a bunch of stuff as I was reading it though. Most of those things were that it is written by a man, about women, and he doesn't let you forget that. He makes comments about it, most of which aren't really offensive (to me), but it's annoying and ... right, obviously, this book would be better coming from a woman rather than a man. The only comment that made me go "UGH" is when he apologized for "thinking like a man" and commented on how low a woman might be expected to go during a push-up, basically because her breasts might get in the way.
This book was recommended to me by a friend at the New Year's event we attended, who was (is) making her way through the recommended workouts. I had already decided it would be worth my while to do some strength training this time around during my training season, so I decided to check it out as well. I originally borrowed the book from the library, but in the end decided it was worth shelling out the cash for.
Of course, I got the book expecting it to be a bunch of workout recommendations. I started reading, and 50-60 pages in, hadn't gotten to any such thing! But I was really ok with this -- the first third of this book was fascinating. The authors did not spend it telling me what exercises to do, but why I should listen to them. And by that, I don't mean "here is a list with our credentials" (although there was a small bit of that), but "here are the scientific reasons why the things we suggest should work and the things you are usually told to do aren't the best". I like scientific reasons. And I especially like them when there are sources provided that I can check up on, and when I use Google I find more information, that points to this being real science instead of pretend science. Yay!
The most interesting parts to me were not the evidence that says women's muscles work much the same way as men (I figured that was the case, actually), but the reasons why endurance exercises (my exercise of choice) may not be the best for weightloss after an initial period, and how you can use interval training to make endurance exercise better for that purpose.
As well, when it came to the nutrition chapters, he railed against the idea that women should be eating 1200-1500 calories per day, which is without fail the advice given by pretty much every weightloss website in the world (myfitnesspal, for example, insisists I need a 1200 calorie diet to lose a pound a week, and 1500 calorie diet to maintain my current weight). He gave lots of good reasons why I should be eating more like 2000 (the number one reason being that sure, you'll lose weight, but you are doing a lot of that by losing muscles and getting weaker), caveated on the idea that we need to increase our metabolism, not eat less food. I think it will take a while for me to really trust this advice, but I'm not opposed to trying it out. (Eat more food and still lose weight? Who wouldn't?!)
The middle portion of the book is all about the meal plans. I'll admit, while some of the suggested meals do sound delicious... I won't be following them, with few exceptions. Yes, the authors say that my results may not be as good if I don't do so... but I have both a toddler and a husband who eats like one, and I don't want to make separate meals (honestly, I don't want to make meals at ALL). However, I am trying to follow the spirit of the meal plans. I'm using the tracking in MFP to both slowly increase my calorie count and (more importantly according to this book) adjust my proportions of fat/carbs/protein to be more equal. But one thing that I am doing is drinking a protein shake as soon as possible after each workout. They are not as bad as I expected (although the fruity concoction recipe was just gross) although I need to try different protein powders because the one I'm using doesn't dissolve very well.
Finally, the last third of the book addresses the workout plans. I already had a lot of workout equipment in our basement that I purchased with good intentions a few years ago and have used 3 or 4 times. However, I did go to Dick's and purchase a standard bar and some plates, because this book does focus a lot on barbell exercises (although it does provide alternates using dumbells for most exercises if you really don't want to spend the money).
Things I like about these workouts: - they take less than 30 minutes, including the warmup! - for the most part, I can do them in my basement (but you do have to buy some equipment). - I feel like I'm making progress quickly
And honestly, I can't think of anything I don't like. My body parts feel like jelly the next day?
It hasn't been long enough for me to speak of results yet, I'm only about halfway through phase 1. I do see that already I can do these exercises with more weight than I could on day 1, so there's progress. But in terms of weightloss... not much. Plus I'm laid up from any of my regular endurance training with an injury. I'll keep you updated!...more
This was so close to a five star book to me! Had I given it a rating at the 75% mark, it definitely would have been. And the last quarter wasn't BAD,This was so close to a five star book to me! Had I given it a rating at the 75% mark, it definitely would have been. And the last quarter wasn't BAD, it was just slow. There were some long narrative parts where nothing much seemed to happen, and I thought it was ending 3 times before it really did (that's one disadvantage of the audio version - had I been reading a paper or kindle version, I'd have known there was still a lot left to go). But the real ending was worth it.
Once again, here is a book I can't believe I waited so long to read. It's very dark, but beautifully written.
I liked Hopper and usually liked Scott. Didn't care for Nora, and honestly I do think the book wouldn't have lost much without her, at times she felt like a token female. This is one of those books where I can't write anything at all about the plot, or it will completely ruin the book for you.
The audible version was good. The narrator did a great job with the characters. Although I'm a little sad I missed out on some of the mixed media things. He read the case notes and newspaper articles and etc, but would have had a different feel seeing them in the book....more