Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday - The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg




Linking up with Wishful Endings today :)

Every week, I skim through the "Coming Soon" list at Barnes and Noble for the following week.  
I love looking at the covers and selecting finalists for my upcoming favorites.
Yes, I'm a book nerd.

If I find a cover that interests me, then I open it up and read the blurb.
There are way too many books to read for me to waste one more second, so a book has to grab me...where I am...in that moment.
Most of the time, I can't even predict what that moment looks like.
It's up to the book really ;)

I force myself to stop at 1 choice.  Once I find it, I stop looking...until next week :)

Without further adieu, here's my Can't Wait choice among the "Coming Soon" selections on Barnes and Noble for the week of November 20, 2017:


The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg


Here's the synopsis from Barnes and Noble: 
(I've highlighted in red the parts that yell at me loud and clear that I must read this book!)


“I dare you to read this novel and not fall in love with Arthur Truluv. His story will make you laugh and cry, and will show you a love that never ends, and what it means to be truly human.”—Fannie Flagg

An emotionally powerful novel about three people who each lose the one they love most, only to find second chances where they least expect them

“Fans of Meg Wolitzer, Emma Straub, or [Elizabeth] Berg’s previous novels will appreciate the richly complex characters and clear prose. Redemptive without being maudlin, this story of two misfits lucky to have found one another will tug at readers’ heartstrings.”—Booklist



For the past six months, Arthur Moses’s days have looked the same: He tends to his rose garden and to Gordon, his cat, then rides the bus to the cemetery to visit his beloved late wife for lunch. The last thing Arthur would imagine is for one unlikely encounter to utterly transform his life
Eighteen-year-old Maddy Harris is an introspective girl who visits the cemetery to escape the other kids at school. One afternoon she joins Arthur—a gesture that begins a surprising friendship between two lonely souls. Moved by Arthur’s kindness and devotion, Maddy gives him the nickname “Truluv.” As Arthur’s neighbor Lucille moves into their orbit, the unlikely trio band together and, through heartache and hardships, help one another rediscover their own potential to start anew.
Wonderfully written and full of profound observations about life, The Story of Arthur Truluv is a beautiful and moving novel of compassion in the face of loss, of the small acts that turn friends into family, and of the possibilities to achieve happiness at any age.

Advance praise for The Story of Arthur Truluv
“I don't know if I’ve ever read a more affecting book about the natural affinity between the young and the elderly than Elizabeth Berg’s The Story of Arthur Truluv. It makes the rest of us—strivers and preeners and malcontents—seem almost irrelevant.”—Richard Russo, author of Everybody’s Fool



“Elizabeth Berg reminds us of both the richness of any human life and the heart’s needed resilience.”—Jane Hirshfield, author of The Beauty: Poems

I think I need stories like this one right now...stories that remind me of the human spirit...what do you think?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thankful Thursday - 30 minutes - writing - Starbucks






As a part of active recovery, a gratitude list is paramount for me.
What I want to do here weekly is not just be thankful for the easy stuff (although that does have a place)...but I want to take the negative and spin it positive.

So, no negatives here.  
Only positive.

1. writing - even if it's just these 30 minutes a day posts, even if nobody else reads it, writing soothes me...I can't tell you how many times I've been spinning out of control and at least burned off some steam by sitting myself down and writing. 

2.  options - my dad pushed me to get my terminal degree so that I would have options.  Even if I never needed them or wanted to pursue them, he believes a person should always have options.

3.  my Starbucks - ok, I know this is a tad shallow, but I love walking in the door to, "Good Morning, Mrs. Patti!" 

4.  podcasts - I'm unable to go to AA meetings right now because of so much other "stuff" in our schedule - podcasts are my AA meetings.  The online recovery world is such a saving grace.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before.

5.  honest discussion - don't balk here...the husband and I have been married 28 years, and a few nights ago we had one of the most honest discussions we've had in our entire marriage and/or time together.  Seriously.  It was difficult, but I swear I feel closer to him than I ever have. 

6.  choir - I've been singing in church choir since I was in middle school.  My parents always made sure I was there...we kids complained, fussed, Mrs. Jones was so mean, etc...and then the band...I was certainly not the most accomplished flautist, but I learned to read music and learned enough musical theory to enable me to hold my own in a choir full of "real music people."  Choir right now may truly be my therapy...I love the melodies, I love the cadence, I love our professional, humorous, faithful, musical director and his high expectations.  I love the other choir members who've welcomed me with open arms.  I love the music...oh the music...I hum it every day, and the emotions the music evokes are so deep.  Choir truly touches my soul and keeps me grounded.

7.  Thanksgiving prep - Thanksgiving is my jam.  This weekend I will start my prep and I'm just giddy about it!


Take a minute and find something to be thankful for...I promise...it's worth it.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday - Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich




Linking up with Wishful Endings today :)

Every week, I skim through the "Coming Soon" list at Barnes and Noble for the following week.  
I love looking at the covers and selecting finalists for my upcoming favorites.
Yes, I'm a book nerd.

If I find a cover that interests me, then I open it up and read the blurb.
There are way too many books to read for me to waste one more second, so a book has to grab me...where I am...in that moment.
Most of the time, I can't even predict what that moment looks like.
It's up to the book really ;)

I force myself to stop at 1 choice.  Once I find it, I stop looking...until next week :)

Without further adieu, here's my Can't Wait choice among the "Coming Soon" selections on Barnes and Noble for the week of November 13, 2017:


Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich





Here's the synopsis from Barnes and Noble: 
(I've highlighted in red the parts that yell at me loud and clear that I must read this book!)


Louise Erdrich, the New York Times bestselling, National Book Award-winning author of LaRose and The Round House, paints a startling portrait of a young woman fighting for her life and her unborn child against oppressive forces that manifest in the wake of a cataclysmic event.
The world as we know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Thirty-two-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of a pair of big-hearted, open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed and uncertain as the rest of America around her. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant.
Though she wants to tell the adoptive parents who raised her from infancy, Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby’s origins. As Cedar goes back to her own biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity.
There are rumors of martial law, of Congress confining pregnant women. Of a registry, and rewards for those who turn these wanted women in. Flickering through the chaos are signs of increasing repression: a shaken Cedar witnesses a family wrenched apart when police violently drag a mother from her husband and child in a parking lot. The streets of her neighborhood have been renamed with Bible verses. A stranger answers the phone when she calls her adoptive parents, who have vanished without a trace. It will take all Cedar has to avoid the prying eyes of potential informants and keep her baby safe.
A chilling dystopian novel both provocative and prescient, Future Home of the Living God is a startlingly original work from one of our most acclaimed writers: a moving meditation on female agency, self-determination, biology, and natural rights that speaks to the troubling changes of our time.


My first Louise Erdrich read was The Round House...sister can work a novel, y'all! 
I can't wait to see how she spins this!
What do you think?



Thursday, November 2, 2017

TLC Book Tours - The Psychobiotic Revolution







The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection 

by Scott C. AndersonJohn F. CryanTed Dinan

Format? hardback

Source? provided by the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Why?  the link between gut health and mental health isn't an idea that's new to me.  I've read a lot about, see the connections clearly, and want to learn as much as I can.  I was trained to be a researcher so I'm constantly looking for answers, explanations, or even just more questions.

Title?  not really much here that would have pulled me in...the sub title is helpful for sure.
  
Cover?  Meh...I kindof expected more from National Geographic.

What Now?  

I've already looked in the grocery store for yogurt without added sugar...guess what?  I haven't found much of it.
I think it's time we pay a lot more attention to what we are buying and blindly consuming.  I know I am.

Golden Lines

It takes a germ to fight a germ (14).

Properly established, a compatible biofilm can lead to a lifetime of gastronomic bliss, unburdened by inflammation and its frequent companions, depression and anxiety (22).

We have long comforted ourselves that breast milk is pure and antiseptic, but we now know it is a microbial balm for your vulnerable baby gut, full of bacteria (71).

In short, your body hobbles your immune system while it deals with stress (124).

The WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that depression and anxiety will be the top cause of disability for the coming decades.  That the rates are increasing even in the face of escalating usage of psych meds, indicates that we don't yet have a good solution in hand. 140-141

Many studies, both quantitative and anecdotal, confirm the age-old adage attributed to Hippocrates: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" (179).

Nothing is an instant fix (192).

The only exercise some people get is operating the remote control (222).

Modern processed foods were developed, for the most part, in the United States.  We have a tradition going back only hundreds of years and resulting in a mixed, poorly vetted, inconsistent cuisine (243).

Summary

We've long been told that what we eat is the foundation for everything.  We don't want to hear it; we want a pill or some other easier answer to getting our lives back on track, feeling better, and taking control of our brains.  The authors of The Psychobiotic Revolution present clear research that we are indeed what we eat and that our lives would be much more enjoyable if we could balance our gut health in order to balance the rest of us.


What I Liked

The charts and drawings similar to what we used to trace in middle school...I'm a visual person so charts, photos, graphs, drawings are a must for me...I do wish there had been more color.

the history of penicillin and other antibiotics - "mold juice" (32).

the boy in the bubble

medical history intertwined with the science...another successful way to keep the reader going!

the similarity between broad spectrum antibiotics and chemo. 
"...taking antibiotics is like dropping a bomb into your guts" (205)

adaptive immunity
how immunity works and what happens when it doesn't
the vagus nerve
sugar cravings as "microbial longings" 

the very specific discussion of "bad" bacteria and "good bacteria" and our propensity today to think of all bacteria as something to be rid of.

the birth to death discussion of our microbiota 

the humor...amidst the deep scientific discussion, a "boop" of humor would bop me on the head and make me chuckle...just enough to keep going.  I had to give myself permission on several occasions to not be worried about the fact that I really wasn't sure exactly what the authors were talking about.

"Our evolutionary history, which included very few pastries rolling across the savanna, didn't prime us for glazed doughnuts" (87).

the discussion of the Mediterranean type diet, fiber, and a Japanese diet...although I do with there was more of this kind of application information.

the discussion of the American diet of being exactly opposite of what our microbiota need...the authors don't just tell you this; they show you.  It makes perfect sense.  There were several places where I thought, "no wonder I feel bad when I eat that."

the discussion of the nervous system and its divisions...reminded me of high school biology...I remembered a lot of the info in these chapters from the "good ole days."  I guess I was paying attention after all.

the case studies used throughout the chapters to illustrate the theories

the very specific discussion of the types of psychobiotics and where they can be found...the mixtures of certain ones, and why or when you would want to be sure and eat them

Chapter 7 - My Favorite Chapter - very specific information on how to add more psychobiotics to your diet.

the brief information on intermittent fasting - I'll definitely be reading more about this.

Whether we want to heart it or not, many of the major ailments of the present are directly related or exacerbated by the food we eat or don't eat...including IBS, Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity, eating disorders, obesity, Diabetes, Parkinson's Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Heart disease, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

I'm a geek so I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Appendix, the Glossary, the Notes, the Further Reading page, and the Index.
I'm not even sorry for liking these things ;)


What I Didn't Like

animal research :( - transferring fecal matter and such...ew.

the phrase "highly associated with depression and anxiety" is repeated more than multiple times...I almost started counting.

The science is thick...not that I didn't like it...but I do think the average person won't want to wade through all of it. 

Overall Recommendation

This book is for you if you wonder if you'll ever feel ok, and you are ready for a serious discussion about the food we eat and why and how it affects our mental health via gut health.


The Authors 

About Scott C. Anderson

SCOTT C. ANDERSON is a veteran science journalist with specialization in medical topics and computer programming. He was one of the creators of Lego Island, a computer game, and his work has combined computer programming with medical research. He runs a laboratory called Freedom Health that studies bacterial health in racehorses and has developed prebiotics for animals and humans. He lives in Hudson, Ohio (between Cleveland and Akron), was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and recently lived in Sonoma, California.

About John F. Cryan, Ph.D.

JOHN F. CRYAN is professor and chair of the department of Anatomy & Neuroscience, University College Cork. A principal investigator in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, a leading-edge institute researching the role of microbiome in health and disease, he lives in Cork, Ireland.

About Ted Dinan, M.D., Ph.D.

TED DINAN is professor of psychiatry and a principal investigator in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at University College Cork. He was previously chair of clinical neurosciences and professor of psychological medicine at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. He lives in Cork, Ireland.


Other Stops on the Tour

Wednesday, November 1st: Sapphire Ng
Thursday, November 2nd: Peppermint PhD
Monday, November 6th: Based on a True Story
Thursday, November 9th: Jathan & Heather
Monday, November 13th: Instagram: @caitlyn_block
Tuesday, November 14th: Literary Quicksand
Thursday, November 16th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Friday, November 17th: Instagram: @leahbhealthy
Monday, November 20th: Instagram: @wellnesswithedie
Tuesday, November 21st: Dreams, Etc.



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday - l'appart by David Lebovitz






Linking up with Wishful Endings today :)

Every week, I skim through the "Coming Soon" list at Barnes and Noble for the following week.  
I love looking at the covers and selecting finalists for my upcoming favorites.
Yes, I'm a book nerd.

If I find a cover that interests me, then I open it up and read the blurb...there are way too many books to read for me to waste one more second, so a book has to grab me...where I am in that moment.
And most of the time, I can't even predict what that moment looks like.
It's up to the book really ;)

I force myself to stop at 1 choice.
1
That's it.

Without further adieu, here's my Can't Wait choice among the "Coming Soon" selections on Barnes and Noble for the week of Nov. 6, 2017:



l'appart by David Lebovitz



Here's the synopsis from Barnes and Noble: 

(I've highlighted in red the parts that yell at me loud and clear that I must read this book!)



L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home 
by David Lebovitz
Bestselling author and world-renowned chef David Lebovitz continues to mine the rich subject of his evolving ex-Pat life in Paris, using his perplexing experiences in apartment renovation as a launching point for stories about French culture, food, and what it means to revamp one's life. Includes dozens of new recipes. 
When David Lebovitz began the project of updating his apartment in his adopted home city, he never imagined he would encounter so much inexplicable red tape while contending with the famously inconsistent European work ethic and hours. Lebovitz maintains his distinctive sense of humor with the help of his partner Romain, peppering this renovation story with recipes from his Paris kitchen. In the midst of it all, he reveals the adventure that accompanies carving out a place for yourself in a foreign country—under baffling conditions—while never losing sight of the magic that inspired him to move to the City of Light many years ago, and to truly make his home there.
I'm a sucker for a book about "HOME." 
What do you think?