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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Books read

Here's a picture collage of the books I read and reviewed for the month of June and July 2010.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Blog Hop

Yeay, it's Friday and time to support and get to know each other!  Made possible by Follow Friday.  Thank you Parajunkee (go here for details)!  Anyway, welcome and thank you for hoppin' by.  Feel free to take a look around and let me know what you think.  Should you decide to follow, then I consider you a friend and will hop on by your site and follow you as well.

Happy reading!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud"

by Ben Sherwood, 2004, 273p, rating=4.5

Pay attention to the title of this book ... the order and emphasis of words and even the name of it's leading character.  I suppose I could stop there because I've told you too much.  But, let me babble a little bit.  Well, this book was captivating from the very beginning and quite heart wrenching.  Much was explored like, the depth of sacrifice for a loved one, real miracles in life, the world of in-between, belief in having a calling in life, and learning about what living means.  A powerful ending that celebrates love and life.  Well done Mr. Sherwood.  I heart a good cry! 

Book's synopsis
The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud tells the haunting story of a young man who narrowly survives a terrible car wreck that kills his little brother.  Years later, the brothers' bond remains so strong that it transcends the normal boundaries separating life and death. 

Charlie St. Cloud lives in a snug New England fishing village.  By day he tends the lawns and monuments of the ancient cemetery where his younger brother, Sam is buried.  Graced with an extraordinary gift after surviving the accident, he can still see, talk, and even play catch with Sam's spirit.  But townsfolk whisper that Charlie has never recovered from his loss. 

Into his carefully ordered life come Tess Carroll, a captivating, adventuresome woman training for a solo sailing trip around the globe.  Fate steers her boat into a treacherous storm that blows her back and to a surprise more overwhelming than the violent sea itself.

Charlie and Tess discover a beautiful and uncommon connection that leads to a race against time between the past and the future, between holding on and letting go.
My quote-ables:
*"Every pound of granite, every begonia blossom, Charlie thought, was proof of the enduring human need to be remembered." pg49
*"Rule of Three... In desperate situations, people could live for three minutes without oxygen, three hours without warmth, three days without water, three weeks without food." pg 240
*"That is the inescapable math of tragedy and the multiplication of grief.  Too many good people die a little when they lose someone they love.  One death begets two or twenty or one hundred.  It's the same all over the world." pg267

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Twenties Girl"

by Sophie Kinsella, 2009, 669p (large print), rating=4

This had a little bit of drama and romance like the movie Titanic and some adventures and a whole lot of funny antics like the movie Ghost.  A surprisingly fun read.  I found myself chuckling often.  Also, just when you can guess what's up ahead, Ms Kinsella will do a switcharoo and go somewhere else before getting you to that correct guess, so the read wasn't boring.  It was fun to go back to the 1920s in London, England for a bit of dancing and fun.  It was heartwarmingly fun to read a beautiful love story.  It was especially enjoyable to arrive to a lesson that getting to know your family (particularly your elders) can bring enrichment in ones life.  This was a wonderful chick-kind of book.  Makes me want to check out a vintage store to get a flapper dress and feathered headpiece then go take a ballroom class and shake my bootie!!  Whoohoo!!

Book's synopsis:  Normal twenty-something women don't get visited by ghosts, do they?  When the spirit of Lara Lington's great-aunt Sadie appears at her own funeral, she insists that Lara find her missing necklace.  Lara, however, has a number of ongoing distractions.  Her start-up company is foundering and she's been dumped by the "perfect" man.  Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common.  But as the mission to find Sadie's necklace leads to intrigue and romance for Lara, these "twenties" girls learn some surprising truths from each other.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tag you're it!

Ariel did this on her blog and I thought it would be fun to take the challege.  Anyway, consider yourself tagged!!  --Okay, here's the challenge: 
Fill this in using ONLY the titles of books you have read so far this year. Or, if that's too tricky, pick from last year's reads.

Yeay, I was able to answer these using books I read this year! --Here we go!!

*Describe yourself: Standing for Something

*How do you feel: Mission Success

*Describe where you currently live: In the Hold

*If you could go anywhere, where would you go: The Quilter’s Kitchen

*Your favorite form of transportation: The Road

*Your best friend is: Precious

*You and your friends are: Short Girls

*What’s the weather like: Nights in Rodanthe

*You fear: Something maybe

*What is the best advice you have to give: Have a Little Faith

*Thought for the day: Hush

*How I would like to die: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

*My soul’s present condition: Forty: Age and the Symbol

This was fun! If you take the challenge leave me a comment below to let me know where I may read your response.  --Sure looking forward to what you end up with and perhaps some of your books will end up on my books to-be-read list. =] 

**Let's network, please give me a shout out (link me) on your post.  --Thank you!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Water for Elephants"

Okay, I'm back from a very Pinkalicious birthday party that my daughter got invited to, then a gut-busting Chinese food for lunch, and now I'm ready to blog about Water for Elephants that I finally finished last night!  Though, a nap sounds about good right now too!!  :D
by Sara Gruen, 335p, 2006, rating=4

Initially I was going to rate this book a little less than a four because I was disappointed that I couldn't fly after reading it.  I heard quite a bit of wonderful raves and so my expectations were high... too high.  But the writing was too good to forget.  It was crisp, lively, and fun.  The characters were engaging and colorful.  The storyline was interesting, informative, and passionate.  You will definitely know more about circus life after reading this book!  An overall excellent read.

I'm curious to see how the film version turns out.  I can't seem to picture Robert Pattinson as young Jacob so if he pulls this off, he is definitely versatile!

Synopsis:  Jacob Jankowski is currently ninety-one or ninety-three, he couldn't remember which, was narrating his life story, present and past.  Presently at a nursing home and in his past during his adventures with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth circus.  He recalls at age twenty-three loosing his parents.  Devastated, he was unable to finish vet school from Cornell University and found himself jumping into a traveling train.  There his circus life begins. He lands a job as their veterinarian, ranks in the upper-middle of the food chain, and hopelessly falls in love with Marlena, the star equestrian gal, and Rosie, a seemingly dumb elephant.  His new life leads him:  to befriend a dwarf; to hide an old man dying from drinking a Jamaican ginger extract from being redlighted (thrown off a moving train in the middle of the night as punishment or to avoid paying them); to hate his paranoid schizophrenic boss; to survive a stampede; and to find a way to end up with his loves.  Now in his current old age, he reminisces and then stumbles again into a circus adventure.

My quote-ables:
"Keeping up the appearance of having all your marbles is hard work but important." pg. 65
"Bathing is even more embarrassing, because I have to strip down to my birthday suit in front of a nurse.  Now, there are some things that never die, so even though I'm in my nineties my sap sometimes rises.  I can't help it." pg 107

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blog Hop

Welcome!  Thank you for stopping by.  I'm finally getting this whole Blog Hop thing, so here I go!

Book Blogger Hop
Well, Crazy-For-Books asked the question:  "Tell us about the book you are currently reading."  Well, I'm currently half way into Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and I'm liking it so far.  Good writing, intriguing characters, and interesting story line.  I'll be sure to let you know more once I'm done.

I'm also participating in Parajunkee's Follow My Blog Friday so be sure to check out her website as well.


"Zomo The Rabbit: A Trickster Tale from West Africa"


by Gerald McDermott, 1992, 32p 

I read this to my children last night and got a kick out of it!  Didn't realize there was such a thing as trickster tales.  See, my horizon is broadening!  What a thrill!!

Zomo, the rabbit, was very clever indeed.  But he wanted wisdom, so he went to Sky God and asked for it.  Sky God said that he had to earn it by doing three impossible things.  Zomo had to bring Sky God: 
  1. The scales of Big Fish in the sea
  2. The milk of Wild Cow
  3. The tooth of Leopard
Using his cleverness, Zomo was able to trick his way to accomplishing the impossible!  So, Sky God grants Zomo wisdom along with a word of advice:
"Three things in this world are worth having: courage, good sense, and caution... Little rabbit, you have lots of courage, a bit of sense but no caution.  So next time you see Big Fish, or Wild Cow, or Leopard ... better run fast!"
Awesome children's book.  Find it at your local library and read it to your child/children, if you haven't done so already.

Ch. 15: The Lord's Covenant People

from Gospel Principles:

When people make covenants (promises) with the Lord, they know what He expects of them and what blessings they may expect from Him.  The people who covenant with the Lord and with whom the Lord makes covenants are known as the Lord's covenant people. 

Within the gospel, a covenant means a sacred agreement or mutual promise between god and a person or group of people.  In making a covenant, God promises a blessing for obedience to particular commandments.  He sets the terms of His covenants, and He reveals these terms to His prophets.  If we choose to obey the terms of the covenant, we receive promised blessings.  If we choose not to obey, He withholds the blessings, and in some instances a penalty also is given.

Abraham (pictured above), an Old Testament prophet, was a very righteous man and kept all of the Lord's commandments.  Because of his righteousness, the Lord made a covenant with him and his descendants (see Galatians 3:26-29).  Abraham's blood descendants and those adopted into his lineage by accepting and living the gospel of Jesus Christ are included in this covenant.

The fulness of the gospel is called the new and everlasting covenant.  The Lord calls it everlasting because it is ordained by an everlasting God and because the covenant will never be changed.  He gave this same covenant to Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and other prophets, so in this sense it is not new.  But the Lord calls it new because each time the gospel is restored after being taken from the earth, it is new to the people who receive it.  As we keep our covenants, our Heavenly Father promises us that we will receive exaltation in the celestial kingdom (we'll discuss this more in chapter 47).

The greatness of that promise is hard for mortals to understand.  The commandments He gives are for our benefit, and as we are faithful we may forever share the blessings and beauties of heaven and earth.  We may live in His presence and partake of His love, compassion, power, greatness, knowledge, wisdom, glory, and dominions.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I accept the new and everlasting covenant.  I am one of the Lord's covenant people and for example, how I dress, act, and keep the commandments of God show my commitment to living this gospel.  It can get difficult to follow but certainly doable.  Let's remember that we are children of God and so we are already great.  May we honor our heritage and live worthy to receive the abundant blessings in store for us.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Twinkle Twinkle"

by Kaori Ekuni, translated by Emi Shimokawa, 2003, 170p, rating=2

Call me simple minded (though I'd prefer naive) but I didn't get this book!  It's the wackiest book I've read yet!  There must be something Japanese that I missed ... in their culture, literature, or a comedy show... that would make this an Oh, I get it moment.  I don't know.  It wasn't poorly written, just down right wacky! 

Oddly enough, I did have a take out on this, so that calls for an extra point in rating.  Well, marriage calls for a union between two people that have their own set of personalities, quirks, and such.  These two would now have to figure a way to blend these differences to live in some sort of harmony.  Compromises, sacrifices, patience, acceptance, etc. then come to play.  That's what happened for Mutsuki and Shoko, just in a seemingly hilarious turn of events.  Strange, I tell ya, strange... 

Book's synopsis:
"As it turned out, the only way to make their parents get off their backs about trying to 'find someone' was actually finding someone--with whom to put on a marriage for show.  Mutsuki is strictly gay and has a boyfriend, while Shako is a clinical case of emotional instability who's in no shape for a relationship.  They've each found in the other a perfect partner for a sham marriage.  Since the conspirators' parents know of their own child's undesirability, but not the spouse's, the union manages to please them.  And while the newlyweds hope, in their own way, to live happily ever after, they inevitably come face to face with the fact that no marriage, real or staged, is a fairy tale."

Monday, July 19, 2010

"The Lovely Bones"

by Alice Sebold, 2002, 328p, rating=4.5   **SPOILER ALERT**

Wow, the beginning was hard to stomach!  I've got a daughter (and sons) and ... nightmare, nightmare, nightmare!!!  Rape, murder, ... I had to put the book down for a moment.  Then it was a careful read from there on.  I wanted to see how this awful man would be put to justice.  I expected it, heck, if I could I'd jump into the book and k--- him myself!! ... Give me a moment, I think I'm going to throw up!

I'm glad the author took the book to a higher level than just making sure the assailant die a horrible death (brilliant, btw!).  Ms Sebold instead concentrated on the effects of loss.  The cruelty of having to live un-whole.  A strain so overwhelming that something had to give.  Also, Ms Sebold told a tale of what one's heaven might be like.  Overall, a lot of pain and suffering but also some growing up in fun and happiness.  An incredible book after getting through the beginning (though that too was brilliant ... get to it from the start and move on).

Here, Susie Salmon, 14yo, was brutally raped and murdered.  In the heaven she is now in, she is able to hover over her family, friends, and assailant's life on earth.  She witnesses the fall and rise of her family's affairs.  She follows her clairvoyant friend and re-connects with a boy.  She discovers her murderer's past.  In the end, she was happy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thank you Followers!

Thank you Sharon and Rachel for following my blog!  I don't see a link to you and since I'm not all together computer savvy this would be my way of contacting you. 

I appreciate your support and I'm determined not to disappoint your decision ... and that goes for all my other followers as well.

I might add a little disclaimer that I've got 3 young kids under the age of eight, so they come first.  Plus, I'm fairly new at book blogging so please bear with me.

Yeay!  I love to read!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Follow Friday

I'm a fan of TinasBookReviews and saw this on her blog.  What a great way to link your blog and find wonderful blogger friends to follow.  Feel free to check it out!   

(click on the picture for details)

P.S. If you've taken the time to follow me then I consider you a friend and I will follow you as well!  Just leave me a comment. :)

"The Old Man and the Sea"

by Ernest Hemingway, 1952, 140p, rating=4.5

A classic novella that contains many symbolism that can be and I'm sure have been scrutinized, however, I'm no literary scholar so my take will be simple.  Anyway, I found this old man, Santiago, quite an extraordinary man.  After all, he fought off five sharks and managed to catch an eighteen foot marlin all by his lonesome self on a small inshore boat somewhere in the Gulf Stream.  That's no ordinary grandpa!!  I can't believe he did it, but sure love the idea that endurance, experience, and respectful attitude are ingredients for a hero.  Certainly, this was so in the eyes of the old man's apprentice Manolin, the boy (actually an adult). 

What an awesome message.  Although we don't have literal sharks circling us, we do have difficult obstacles that are equally tasking.  Our attitude, our resourcefulness, and our fortitude make for elements that would sustain us in such hard times.  There is just something to stories that end with I fought a good fight theme that encourages one to believe that one can overcome a seemingly hopeless case.  Great job, Mr. Hemingway!

My quote-ables:
"I will show him what a man can do and what a man endures." pg 73
"But man is not made for defeat.  A man can be destroyed but not defeated." pg 114
"Now is no time to think of what you do not have.  Think of what you can do with what there is."  pg 122

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Forty: The Age and the Symbol"

by Stanley Brandes, 1985, 126p, rating=2.5

The thing about non-fiction is that it often contains a whole slew of factual information.  This essay is no different and so the read can be tedious ... and boring.  Well, having just passed the age forty mark, I was interested in what Mr. Brandes had to say.  Basically, he ventured to discuss the significance of the number and age of forty by referencing from literature, religion, and cultures.  I found his four facets of forty interesting:  (1) as representing many (eg. forty-faced liar, forty to the dozen); (2) as a self-contained unit of time and space (eg. Flood lasted forty days and forty nights, Lent is approx. forty days); (3) as symbolizing birth or renewal (eg. Arab legend says God made Adam out of clay and let him dry for forty days, Western view of 6wks postpartum recovery--roughly forty days); and (4) as signaling a period of transition (eg. notion of mid-life crisis at age forty).

I like the book's summation so I will share it now:
"His conclusion?  The mid-life crisis, like that of adolescence, is a cultural invention.  It becomes more evident and real as people increasingly believe in its existence.  Yet there may be change ahead.  For centuries, Brandes notes, forty was considered the beginning of old age.  Recently it has come to signify the middle years.  Soon people may regard forty as an advanced stage of youth."
This book is 25 years old, so the above statement of recently is now also 25 years old so do you think we're at the point as to regard forty as an advanced stage of youth?  Perhaps so as many are saying now ... forty is the new thirty ... forty is the new twenty.  Plus I might add the development of "cougars", older women going after much younger men. 

I can't say that I had a mid-life crisis when I turned forty years old.  I did feel the anxiety of turning forty and felt the want to accomplish something in this decade.  I don't want to be in the cougar attitude of wanting to feel that kind of young but rather bask in the mature progress of middle age.  So I can honestly say, I like the age I am in now and look forward to seriously building a legacy that is honorable and true. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


by Jervey Tervalon, 2003, 211p, rating=2.5

I'm not sure how to describe this book.  It's a simple read and technically flowed but for some reason I found it fragmented... storyline-wise.  In general it was wacky!  According to the book's front flap, this is the eagerly awaited sequel to Dead Above Ground ... perhaps I should have read that first but I sincerely think it wouldn't have helped.  I think this sequel just didn't cut it! 

Book's synopsis:
"Ten years after Lita, her twin sisters, her husband Winston, and their two children, packed up and moved to Los Angeles, issues left behind in New Orleans come back to haunt her.  Lita is already at loose ends, trying to hold house and home together.  One younger sister rebels and both conspire to free themselves from her protective grip.  Lita herself can't decide whether to stay in a marriage that is dangerously weak at the seams.  Then, she receives an unwelcomed phone call from a trouble-making aunt, telling Lita that her father --with whom she has a strained relationship--is on his deathbed.  The aunt also says that she has seen Lita's beloved mother--never mind that the woman has been dead for a decade.  As Lita finds herself overwhelmed by a flood of long-suppressed memories, she grudgingly realizes that she must return to New Orleans and take the opportunity to make amends and come to terms with her family and her past.  As she makes the journey back, a growing sense of dread takes root in her soul.  She has the sense that her life will change again and there will be no simple turning back to the life she led in Los Angeles."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"In the Hold"

by Vladimir Arsenijevic, 1996, 128p, rating=2.5

Mr. Arsenijevic writes well.  A literary style that is poetic and so you know how I do with poetry ... I get lost!  It's sad but my brain isn't wired to decipher it just yet.  I should take a poetry class... hmmmm.

Well, what I did get I liked.  The main character, unnamed, narrated his life story.  His awakening as it came was honest.  He described his feelings such as anxiety to avoid getting drafted, his awe and insecurities being married to a bold woman, the joy of the pending arrival of his first child --a son, the perplexity of his lapse of judgment, and newly found and strengthened love for his dad and a veteran friend.  Also, I did get the feel of a sense of harshness that loomed in the air as would be during war years.  A few funny moments but also disturbing ones too.  Anyway, if you can get a hold of this book, go ahead and read it.  It's a quick read and then perhaps you can explain the foggy parts to me!  :D  ... Duh!  I own a copy of this book, so if you're local come over and borrow it.

Book's synopsis:
It is the autumn of 1991, the beginning of war in the former Yugoslavia.  As a mass exodus empties Belgrade of those trying to evade the conflict just beyond the border, a young couple await the birth of their first child.  This is the story of their family and those close to it--people desperately trying to carry on with their modern lives in a world increasingly ruled by primitive passions.  The expectant father--ironic and bemused, anxiously enervated but determined to keep peace at home--is scarcely a fair match for his fiery wife, Angela, particularly in her third trimester.  Once an enterprising black-market capitalist, she has put business aside for motherhood, "to become what she had in fact always wanted to be--a housewife."  But when her younger brother, a maddeningly enlightened though awkward Hare Krishna, unexpectedly answers the draft call--succumbing to the seductions of an even more incomprehensible dogma--the delicate fabric of their comforting routine begins to unravel.  Against the "Tehranesque panoramas...of the deceived capital, " everyday life soon takes the turbulent form of a soap opera--but one without the reassuring promise of conventional resolutions.  Arsenijevic's novel is a brutal story, by turns nightmarish and comical.  Like Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being, it give us a generation caught in circumstances not of their making, but refusing nevertheless to share the visions of their country's rulers.  It is a haunting tale of family life in surreal disarray.  A singular literary debut.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ch. 14: Priesthood Organization

I know, you may have noticed that I haven't been reading a chapter a week as planned.  You know how that goes, things don't necessarily work out as planned.  At least I haven't given it all up all together!

from Gospel Principles:

There are two types of priesthood, Melchizedek and Aaronic.  The Aaronic Priesthood is an appendage to the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Those holding the Melchizedek Priesthood have the power and authority to lead the Church and direct the preaching of the gospel in all parts of the world.

Offices and duties of the Aaronic Priesthood:
  • Deacon:  ordained to a 12yo worthy young man.  Usually assigned to pass the sacrament, keep Church buildings and grounds in good order, act as messengers for priesthood leaders, and fulfill special assignments such as collecting fast offerings.
  • Teacher:  ordained to a 14yo worthy young man.  Duties, rights, and powers of deacon plus additional ones.  They are to help Church members live the commandments ... they are assigned to serve as home teachers.  They also prepare the bread and water for the sacrament service.
  • Priest:  ordained to a 16yo worthy young man.  Same as deacon and teacher plus additional.  They may baptize, administer the sacrament, ordain other priests, teachers, and deacons, may take charge of meetings when there is no Melchizedek Priesthood holder present.  He is to preach the gospel to those around him.
  • Bishop:  is ordained and set apart to preside over the Aaronic Priesthood in a ward.  He is the president of the priests quorum.  Under Aaronic Priesthood, he deals primarily with temporal matters such as administering finances and records and directing care for the poor and needy.  He is also ordained a high priest so he can preside over all members in the ward.  He is a judge in Israel and interviews members for temple recommends, priesthood ordinations, and other needs.  It is his right to have the gift of discernment.
The offices and duties of the Melchizedek Priesthood:
  • Elder quorum:  is instituted for standing ministers, but may travel.  Do most of their work near their homes.  Consist of up to 96 elders, presided over by a quorum presidency.
  • High Priests quorum:  includes all high priests residing within the boundaries of a stake, including patriarchs and bishops.  The stake president and his counselors are the presidency of this quorum.  The high priests in each ward are organized into a group with a group leader.
Please see the Gospel Principles link at sidebar to read this chapter in full ... soooo much information.  Anyway, I am certainly at awe at the organization of the Church.  All priesthood, right up to the president of the Church, does not get paid to serve.  If one studies how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is organized, one could conclude that it is under the reign of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"The Season of Second Chances"

by Diane Meier, 2010, 285p, rating=3.75

I thought I was going to continue to struggle to read this book.  It's summer break for my kids, just had a holiday, and lately I've been moody so whenever I get a chance to pick up the book I'd only get a couple of pages or so in and then life demands my time.  Anyway, this book is due tomorrow so I had to finish it (library says, "This book cannot be renewed") today and fortunately my kids played to themselves at home and I just read and read.  It's actually how I'd like to read a book ... somewhat all at once because as a forgetful person, reading choppily ... well you can imagine ... I might forget something important!  Ha ha!! 

Moving on, I liked this book.  It's charming, funny, and well written.  It was fascinating to see Joy's mid-life unfold.  In her late 40s, she made an offhand decision to take a job in a small college town in Massachussetts.  Quite a move from New York City.  Quite a fixer-upper of a house she purchased as well.  No worries, Ted to the rescue!  A well liked handyman.  And before she knows it, Joy befriends colleagues and people around her becomes important in her life and in turn she finally gets the second chance, or third, or fourth ... to make a meaningful life. 

Wonderful group of supporting/extra characters as well.  The bonding was moving and a nice reminder that friends are blessings in our lives.  The ending was not quite what I hoped but it was acceptable.  A solid good first novel for this author.

Now I leave you with just one my quoteable:  "My point is that others can open the door for you, others can even push you over the threshold, but only you can take up the challenge and commit yourself to doing something with all your heart." pg 167.

Friday, July 2, 2010

"Women Food and God"

by Geneen Roth, 2010, 211p, rating=3.5

In the last few months I've gained more weight than I care to say so when I came across this book I was eager to see what Ms Roth had to say and hoping that it would enlighten me.  OK, honestly I was hoping to lose weight just by reading it!  No luck!  Funny thing, I was thinking about digging into that double chocolate brownie ice cream in the freezer while I was reading the book!  Also the adobo and rice and basically all the food at home was eye candy!  Tells you how engrossing the book was.  But really, Ms Roth did have some very interesting and compelling things to say.  I was just waiting to finish the book before I started to diet ... quite similar to the I'll start my diet tomorrow excuse I tend to tell myself.  Well, I finished the book so what did I learn?  Would I apply them? 

The first thing that came to mind after finishing the book was that going to her retreats would be necessary to fully grasp her theories (personally, I'm having a hard time with what she calls "Inquiry").  I'm sure she summed it all the best she could but I would imagine being there in her twice a year retreats which some of her students seem to take for years goes to show that this would need continued work?  Yet, I'm not saying one wouldn't be able to be successful by reading the book alone.  I think it would depend on whether the reader believes her theories enough to give it a shot.  Or perhaps desperate enough (me!) to try anything, even this one, to lose the perpetual excess pounds!

There's really so much information and wonderful insights that it's too overwhelming for me to sum it up.  But will go directly to what I was hoping to get when I started this book... guidelines!  This of course needs to be in conjunction with "Inquiry" which basically (meditation) tells you to sense your body, ask certain questions, find associations with the sensation to a feeling, disengage from and dispel The Voice (negative thoughts), pay attention to censored thoughts or feelings, and don't try to direct the inquiry with your mind.  So without further ado, here's The Eating Guidelines:
  • Eat when you are hungry.
  • Eat sitting down in a calm environment.
  • Eat without distractions.  Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music.
  • Eat what your body wants.
  • Eat until you are satisfied.
  • Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
  • Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.
So what does this mean for me?  I'd like to go back to that I'll start tomorrow excuse but why not eat when you're hungry and feel what you're feeling when you're not (can't find her actual phrase at the moment) give it a try now!  Here goes something!!

The following "my quotables" (word I made up, apparently) might give you a sense of some of the things in the book.

**My quotables:
"Yes something is wrong, but it will not be fixed through losing weight." pg 33
"Compulsive eating is a way we distance ourselves from the way things are when they are not how we want them to be.  I tell them that ending the obsession with food is all about the capacity to stay in the present moment." pg 37
"Change happens not by hatred but by love." pg 121
"It's an axiom in both love and food that getting what you want is worlds apart from wanting what you can't get." pg 162
"When a diabetic tells me that she can't eat what she wants because what she wants will kill her (and therefore she feels deprived), my response is that what will kill her is wanting another life than the one she has, another condition than the one that is hers." pg 184

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