Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bronx Masquerade & Eat Right for your Type

This book was recommended as a book that our whole school could read next year.  So, I figured I'd better check it out.  And I'm so glad I did.  This book tells the story of an English class that is studying the Harlem Renaissance and they decide to write their own poems and present them to the rest of the class on Open Mike Fridays.

I like the way the book is arranged.  Each student speaks in prose, first, and that is followed by a poem reflecting his or her emotions.  The poems are approachable but still contain lots of nice poetic devices.  

And the stoies these kids have to tell are heartbreaking and joyous at the same time.  I'm not sure it would work in our school setting just because many of our teachers and kids are not fans of poetry and might not buy into this idea.  As far as I'm concerned, though, it's right up my alley.

I've seen Eat Right 4 Your Type around for years and even glanced through it a couple times but just recently heard good things about it from several different sources so decided to download it. 

The author describes the four different blood types in a very easy-to-understand way and even I understood it, science being not my best subject!  I actually found it fascinating.  I've been plagued with excess phlegm in my throat and heard that dairy might be causing it so several months ago I cut out milk but continued with other dairy products like cheese and sour cream.  My phlegm issues did get a bit better so I am convinced that diet can solve it.

I have type O blood and sure enough, dairy is not recommended nor is wheat.  Now, I wasn't very happy reading that since I love homemade whole wheat bread.  Can I live wheat-free?

The author explains how all men and women were type O originally.  They were hunter/gatherers so their digestive system was designed to efficiently process meats and vegetables and fruits.  O's have very acidic stomachs for this purpose.  There was no bread.

Over time, as men moved and started living in communities, they began farming and wheat was one of the products.  Eventually, a new blood type started to show up in these people and that was type A.  Over thousands of years and the industrial revolution, etc. two more blood types emerged: B and AB. 

Each blood type has its own unique digestive system and it's important to eat foods that agree with it.  Since I'm part of the Cro Magnon clan, I've got to eat like a wild hunter/gatherer.   Maybe!  I'm going to try for a couple weeks to see if I can see a difference.  One thing I've noticed so far, and I've only been doing this for a few days, is that I don't feel bloated and my scale says I've lost a couple pounds.  Anyway, we'll see.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Going Bovine

It's very foggy here along the southern Maine coast this morning.  I managed to ride my bike to the beach yesterday for about an hour and a half.  There was quite a cool breeze, though, coming off the water.  It was beautiful, anyway.  When I got back to the campground, my friend, Regina, came for a visit and brought me two books of poetry by Annie Finch.  Later our son and his girlfriend arrived and we enjoyed a pleasant evening by the fire.

This book is a riot!  It centers around a sixteen-year-old weed-smoking underachiever.  Cameron is just floating through his days like a helium balloon doing poorly in school, acting like an outcast, and generally being miserable.  Then he begins to experience tingling in his arms and legs and ends up at the doctor's being diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease.  He has only a short time to live and embarks on a journey with his reluctant friend, Gonzo.

Now you are probably wondering how a book with such a serious topic could be funny but it really is.  They get themselves into such ridiclous situations and seeing everything through Cameron's jaded eyes puts a unique spin on the world.

And I like the message: sometimes it takes dying to learn how to live.

Well, the fog is starting to lift a bit and the company will be stirring soon so I guess I'd better read for a bit now.  Have a productive week!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Robin and Ruby

We're at camp and the sun is shining through the oak and pine trees.  I rode my bike to the beach yesterday afternoon and read for an hour or so and it was wonderfully peaceful.  I hope to do the same today.

This was a free download from Amazon and I was a bit apprehensive about what kind of book it'd be but it turned out okay.  Different, though!  Robin and Ruby are siblings.  Robin is gay and Ruby is defiant.  It follows them during a weekend at the Jersey shore.  Ruby has disappeared and Robin and his friend George are trying to find her. 
This book contains quite explicit sex scenes.  In fact I was reading it at school during Silent Reading and was embarrassed even though the kids didn't know what I was reading.

The plot was a little slow but the writing was surprisingly good with lots of nice similes and metaphors, etc.

We're going to have breakfast outside on the picnic table in the sun.  Have a good week!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Happy Mother's Day!

It's 36 degrees (F) here on this cloudy morning.  A good day to stay in my PJs and read!

This book was something else!  It's told through the eyes of a naive 9-year-old boy who is the son of a Nazi concentration camp commandant.  Bruno has no idea who the people are behind the barbed wire but he's lonely and likes to explore so, one day, while he's out walking, he meets a Jewish boy.  They talk to each other with the barbed wire fence between them almost every day and a friendship is formed.

Bruno's innocence makes the story that much more horrible.  He calls Hitler The Fury and the concentration camp he's at Out With.  It took me a page or two to figure that one out and then I was like, Oh, Oh!

I could feel the terror and horror building page by page, one simple step at a time.

I needed something totally different after that and found it in Robin and Ruby.  This was a free download for my Kindle.  I'm never quite sure what kind of a book I'm going to get.  The last free one turned out to be very religious but this one is the opposite! 

We're meeting my MIL, daughter and granddaughter later this afternoon for supper and I can't wait to see my Kylie girl!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Girl Who Played with Fire

Well, here it is the first of May already and we're back at camp in Maine for the weekend.  It's a lot of work to open up but worth it.  I rode my bike to the beach yeaterday and read for about an hour.  It was chilly, though!  I'm glad I had a jacket with me.

This is the second book in a trilogy.  The third one will be available at the end of the month.  I've already pre-ordered it for my Kindle.  Sadly, there won't be any more "Girl" novels because the author, Stieg Larsson, died.

This one follows Lisbeth Salander as she hunts for the elusive Zala.  She's accused of murdering three people and the whole of Sweden is looking for her.  How she manages to elude the police and find Zala makes for non-stop action. 

I'm really enjoying these books.  The only problem I have is trying to figure out how to pronounce all the names!  For example, one of the other main characters is Mikael Blomkvist.  In my mind I pronounced it Michael Bloomquist.  I don't know if that's right or not but I had to do this with most of the characters and places and sometimes found that distracting.  Other than that, though, they are great and I'm looking forward to the last one, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

I've got to head back home later this afternoon but I think I'll take a ride to the beach, first, for a little reading.