Friday, September 21, 2018

Food Rules

by Michael Pollan

Just had my annual check up and, of course, I need to eat better and exercise more. Regarding the former, my doctor actually recommended that I read a book! He obviously knew the best way to get me to follow directions. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this book, Food Rules, was not some tedious tome of nutritional dogma filled with pedantic prose punctuated by the occasional chart. Rather Mr. Pollan serves up a selection of simple proverbs regarding food and eating, supplemented with light and amusing explanations and engaging illustrations by Maira Kalman. His rationale is that science really doesn't know as much about nutrition as book advertisements would lead you to believe. The culinary traditions of many cultures around the world, however, obviously know something since the human race hasn't died off of malnutrition. Of course, the folk wisdom of the ages does tell me to do a lot of things I know I should but don't want to do. But as scoldings go, it was very pleasant. Do check it out.

LibraryThing link

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Three Musketeers

by Alexandre Dumas

Last read in August of 2003.

on my shelf
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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Old Man and The Sea

by Ernest Hemingway

This one's a short but powerful tale of an aging Cuban fisherman who's life is the daily grind of going out to sea and trying to catch enough to pay the bills. One day something unusual happens--hence the story. It's a conflict that takes it's time to play out and in the process I felt like I really got to share in the life of the old man. Definitely a tale worth checking out.

LibraryThing link

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Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Lost History of Christianity

by Philip Jenkins

In the book of John, Jesus says to his disciples, "In the world you face persecution." If you hear a sermon on that text in a modern American church, you'll probably hear about how Christians are becoming increasingly marginalized in Western society. This book, however, shows that we ain't seen nothing yet. The Lost History of Christianity looks at the story of "The Church of the East"--the Christian churches that once flourished in Asia and Northern Africa. When those churches are mentioned at all in a typical church history book, they're usually mentioned briefly as being swallowed up by Islam. But while it's true that most of the Christian communities in Islamic countries have vanished, it took them about a millenium to do so. Dr. Jenkins traces how these churches were established, conquered, oppressed and finally died. It's not a happy book, but it is interesting to catch a glimpse of the religious, social, and political forces that interacted throughout the years that these churches endured.

Check it out!
LibraryThing link

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Thursday, August 09, 2018

The High King

by Lloyd Alexander

First read in July of 2005

Back in the summer of 2005, I read through the five volume Prydain Chronicles. When I finished this, the fifth and final volume, I thought it was great and wanted to put it on my shelf. Now, in 2018, I reread the book out of the blue. I discovered this is not a book to read out of sequence. I remembered the main characters, but the story had so many references to characters and events I had forgotten from the previous volumes, that I felt I was missing half of the story. That said, it still was an enjoyable tale. Maybe only waiting room material this time around, but still enjoyable.

LibraryThing link

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Friday, August 03, 2018

Millenium

by John Varley

This one's a tale of time travelers from the distant, dystopian future. The human race is dying, poisoned by millennia of pollution and environmental damage. In an effort to save the race, some people have turned to the past, embarking on a program of snatching people from fatal disasters. (So as not to change history, of course.) But then a real disaster strikes--a piece of future technology left behind in a 1983 airplane crash threatens to create a paradox and unravel history as they know it. It's an entertaining little tale, with enough mystery and plot twists that kept me reading until the end

waiting room material
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Foxe's Book of Martyrs: Select Narratives

by John Foxe, edited by John N. King

I usually disdain reading abridged classics, but in this case I was grateful. The original work is a multi-volume work tracing the history of Christian martyrdom. Professor King has selected 29 of the accounts, pretty much covering the years of Queen Mary, 1553-1558. It's both gruesome and inspirational.

It's on my shelf
LibraryThing link

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