This book uses a lot of scientific data to back its main point that we should be getting our calories from nutrient-dense food, which Furhman explains...moreThis book uses a lot of scientific data to back its main point that we should be getting our calories from nutrient-dense food, which Furhman explains is mostly a plant-based diet. He has good explanations about possible connections of animal products to disease and recommends lots of raw vegetable and fruits, lots of steamed veggies (esp. green ones), some beans and nuts. No meat, dairy, or olive oil. No salt, refined sugar, or artificial sweeteners. If you are ready to try something different, it's an interesting read. I don't know that I agree with all of his points, but it is clearly a healthier way to eat. I have been following his plan for a little over a week, and definitely losing weight faster than before.(less)
This book was interesting from a historical perspective as the plot is intertwined with the Borgia family and I didn't know too much about them. It is...moreThis book was interesting from a historical perspective as the plot is intertwined with the Borgia family and I didn't know too much about them. It is fast-paced with plenty of plot twists. The writing is not bad, but it's no masterpiece. The main character, a female official "poisoner" for Cardinal Borgia also intrigued me and it was fun learning about that aspect of this historical period. At times, though, she behaves and thinks too much like a modern woman, a little hard to believe. Bottom line: a fun, quick read, but nothing memorable.(less)
This book has an interesting plot and premise-- rich prep school girls break every rule in an effort to be treated normally--but the writing is uneven...moreThis book has an interesting plot and premise-- rich prep school girls break every rule in an effort to be treated normally--but the writing is uneven and the point of view shifts are distracting and ineffective. Some of the writing is well done, but the point of view problem is serious. de gramont has Catherine, the main character, narrating but writes a number of passages from other characters' POVs, told as Catherine recounting them as memories. Multiple points of view with an omniscient narrator would have worked much better. The shifts in point of view aren't believable, and I found myself skimming through those scenes in annoyance.
The characters are described convincingly as spoiled rich kids, but I didn't really care about them. As the books draws to a close and the inevitable tragedy unfolds, I was not emotionally moved at all.
Nina de Gramont also seems to be in over her head a bit as a writer. Too many misplaced modifiers and clunky sentences, and some outright errors. She mistakenly uses the word "keened" several time to mean "longed for" or "yearned". On page 317, when she writes "Even this most grave incident would be a conflagrated version of ones that had come before," surely she means "conflated," not "conflagrated."
At times the writing is pretentious and overwrought; for example, this passage from page 313: "the dark freckles across her face fluttered and shimmered. One of them grew wings and flew away. It crossed the short stretch of air between us and landed just above my right eyebrow, planting itself there where it's remained--I swear--until this very day."
if this type of writing appeals to you, read this book. But if, like me, it nauseates you, don't waste your time. I bought this book because it was only $1.99 on iBooks, but I'm not sure it was worth even that.(less)
McDermott is a superb writer. This story is told by an omniscient narrator, but it's from the children's point of view, and the events aren't chronolo...moreMcDermott is a superb writer. This story is told by an omniscient narrator, but it's from the children's point of view, and the events aren't chronological. McDermott does a great job of telling the story in pieces, much like our fragmented memories from childhood. We find out major events in an offhand way; then the story backs up and takes us to the scene. Knowing what's going to happen doesn't spoil the book; it makes it more poignant, as if we are thininking back on our own lives. I am reading another book right now that involves the same nonlinear narrative technique, but it doesn't do it nearly as well. It makes me appreciate McDermott's skill all the more.(less)
This is the second book I've read by Hillary Mantel. Her writing is evocative and lyrical. This book is set in the 1700s in London and Mantel brings t...moreThis is the second book I've read by Hillary Mantel. Her writing is evocative and lyrical. This book is set in the 1700s in London and Mantel brings the time period and the characters to life vividly. Definitely worth reading, just to savor her writing style, if nothing else.(less)