Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Health reading

I wrote these two paragraphs at separate times, obviously. I think I may be just about ready to move on from the diet books this year, although I am sure I will be dipping into all of them throughout the year to keep my motivation levels up at a high level.

19. You: On a Diet by Michael Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz

Are you seeing a trend here? This is my third book on food and diet this year. I think I have it down now. I have actually even lost a little bit of weight. I am doing this weird thing: eating less food. It sounds simple, but it sure has taken me a long time to figure it out. I'm also focusing on the healthy stuff and doing more cooking at home. This book helped to solidify my new habits from the previous two books this year (In Defense of Food and Does this Clutter Make my Butt Look Fat?).

20. Ultrametabolism by Mark Hyman

Obviously I was wrong last time when I said I had this diet thing down. This was yet more good reinforcement, with good information on specific issues that might keep someone from losing weight, and how to address those issues. Also, a lot of good information on why people aren't just fat because of a deficiency of willpower, but that there are things you can do to re-train your body. This was an expensive book for me, though, because I ended up buying a bunch of supplements at Whole Foods this week!

I am nearly halfway through War and Peace now. I really do enjoy the book; the main reason it is taking me so long to read it is that it is just so darn heavy. Lugging it around is some real work. I did bring it on the train with me this morning, though.

Number of books purchased in 2008: 32
For reference, number of books read in 2008: 20

This is not a good ratio. I must stay away from the bookstore! Must! Must! Must! Unfortunately, I cannot even pretend to blame my friend, it is all me this time. I just can't seem to stop myself. I suppose there are worse addictions I could have, but I need to buy new furniture, and I want to go on vacation, and I don't even have enough shelf space already. I am keeping an eye on this, but we'll see how long I can stay away this time.

Oh wait, I need a new book to study for my PMP certification. There is not much hope for me.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

A new picture go with my new living room furniture. I have to share it because not only did I come across completely by luck, when I was shopping for something else entirely, but I got a fantastic deal, too. I was at Bed Bath and Beyond getting some things for the house, and I had already paid when I spotted this picture near the door. It was marked at $49.99, and I decided to think about it for a bit. I am trying not to rush into so many expenditures. I decided it was so perfect, though that I had to go back and get it. When I did, it rang up at $12.49! What a deal! So, I had to share.
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Monday, March 03, 2008

Re-visiting an old friend

18. Thornyhold by Mary Stewart

I came across this book a long time ago, I don’t even remember when. It wasn’t great literature, and I would have to make a pretty long list of my favorites before this would occur to me, but it was a really nice book. I’d call it a comfortable read. It didn’t change my life, but I remembered it, and I read enough books that remembering large parts of the book 15 or 20 years later is actually quite a testament to the book.

I came across a copy of this at one of the periodic used book fairs different groups at work hold to support some charity. It seems like a great deal for the charities and the groups supporting them—they solicit donations through emails and bulletin board postings, then organize all the books and sell them in a conference room for a day or two. I am sure it is time-consuming, but all of the money goes to the charity, so it’s a nice deal. I love browsing through these fairs, seeing what people have donated, and finding books to try. Books are generally $1 or less, so it isn’t that risky to try something new. But occasionally, I come across an old friend, like this book.

I snapped the book right up, thrilled to have come across it by chance. I haven’t been looking for it, I just recognized it. I didn’t read it right away, though. As usual, I had several books that I was excited about in my TBR stack (mountain…), so I put it aside. It made me happy to have it, though. Last week, I was looking for something light and quick to read while the kids were at their dad’s for the evening, so I picked up Thornyhold.

It was just as good as I remembered it. Geillis is an amazingly strong character, glossing over her very difficult childhood with a no-use-crying-over-what-can’t-be-changed attitude. Even when describing highly emotional events, her common sense shines through. When she falls in love with her handsome neighbor, and he smiles at her, she makes a comment about the sun coming out and all the birds bursting into song in a way that pokes gentle fun at her own out of control emotions.

The witchcraft plot was a little silly, but nothing too outrageous. As a whole, the book was so charming, I am willing to overlook a few minor faults. And, I am inspired by Gilly’s can-do attitude to make her home her own—my own home is in better shape because of it! I hung a picture and some curtains (see post below) and cleared out some clutter this weekend. So, that’s a definite good effect of the book.

Highly recommended, but remember, don’t have high expectations of great literature. That’s not what this book is meant to be.

What I did while taking a break from War and Peace this weekend...

War and Peace really is good so far, but my arms needed a rest from holding it up, so I broke out the power tools (well, just the drill and the hammer and screwdriver) and started hanging stuff in my bedroom. I got the picture at World Market on Saturday, and the curtains from Target quite some time ago. I have been putting off hanging them for no good reason, but I am glad to have them up now. The whole room looks different! I don't have any tall furniture in there, so there was no color in the top half of the room. The ceilings look higher now that the color draws the eye up.

This picture looks so nice, I want to hang more and more pictures! I am going to get some nice frames and put up pictures of the kids, along with some of their artwork. I'm also keeping my eye out for artwork that I like. It is so much fun making my home look nice, but this is yet another thing pulling me away from reading. On the positive side, though, I enjoy being home and sitting around and reading more now. When my children are at their dad's house, I don't feel the need to leave all the time. So, maybe it isn't hurting my reading time as much as I fear.

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