Wednesday, June 24, 2015


1. Middlemarch by George Eliot

Middlemarch is one of those books that I hoped to get to someday but would probably never had have the time or energy to plow through properly....until the option of audiobooks. Since it's a classic, I can get it for free, and I've been listening to it over the past few weeks, marveling at the scope of the thing.  I'm enjoying it so far, but I feel like the sense of accomplishment at the end might equal my enjoyment of it.

2. The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin

I read this article called "Can Reading Make You Happy?" in the New Yorker a few weeks ago and I loved it immediately because it introduced me to the concept bibliotherapy - the practice of prescribing books as a remedy to ailments. The whole idea spoke to the bookworm and story-lover in me and I wanted to go somewhere right there and then to read. I mean with lines like: "Reading fiction makes me lose all sense of self, but at the same time makes me feel most uniquely myself", how could it not resonate?

The article describes the book, "The Novel Cure" that two bibliotherapists put together with book recommendations for all sorts of occasions. I got my hands on it because my mom (fellow book-lover) ordered it, but to our house (for when she visits in a few weeks), and I tore into it with glee. It reads more like a dictionary or encyclopedia with an alphabetized list of conditions and the book or books that are appropriate for that situation.

An excerpt from the introduction:

"Next time you're feeling in need of a pick-me-up or require assistance with an emotional tangle, reach for a novel...Sometimes it's the story that charms; other times, it's the rhythm of the prose that works on the psyche, stilling or stimulating. Sometimes it's an idea or an attitude suggested by a character in a similar quandary or jam. Either way, novels have the power to transport you to another existence and see the world from a different point of view. When you're engrossed in a novel, unable to tear yourself from the page, you are seeing what a character sees, touching what a character touches, learning what a character learns. You may think you're sitting on a sofa in your living room, but the important parts of you - your thoughts, your senses your spirit - are somewhere else entirely.  "to read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him and travel in his company," said Andre Gide. No one comes back from such a journey quiet the same."

3. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I've been wanting to read this book and my mom sent me a copy in the mail the other week! (Air mail! and a good book!) I haven't started it yet but I'm saving it like a delicious morsel waiting to be devoured.

4. The Performance Paleo Cookbook: Recipes for Training Harder, Getting Stronger, and Gaining the Competitive Edge by Stephanie Gaudreau

Yes, it's a cookbook, but I've been reading through it, so it counts. I actually got this book for Ken for father's day but I've been pouring over it for recipe ideas. I like it because it divides up the recipes according to pre-workout snacks, post-workout fuel, protein-baked meals to build strength, carb-dense sides to maximize recovery, nutrient-boosting veggie sides, tasty & nutritious treats, and scrumptious sauces and seasonings.  The recipes are clear and simple and I've already tried a few of them with success.

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