Saturday, March 23, 2013

Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

I loved Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A.J. Jacobs!  It is a non-fiction book that follows Jacobs on his quest to become "the healthiest man alive" after he gets tropical pneumonia while on a family vacation.

Over a period of two years, Jacobs does a ton of research and tries to become healthier.  He tries different forms of exercise and diet.  He meets with leading health experts and everyday people who are committed to health.  He does all this with a sense of humor and personal stories that motivate you to make your own health changes as well.

I really enjoyed this book.  Jacobs is an excellent writer, who mixes facts, stats and expert interviews with humor, family anecdotes and stories of his own health triumphs and failures.  He breaks things down by focusing on one body part each chapter (heart, brain, stomach, etc) and giving the reader a monthly "checkup" with some stats on how he's doing. 

I feel like I learned a lot reading this book (he researches some things I'd never thought too much about) but he is so real it isn't at all textbooky.  The book is filled with stats and expert information delivered in a way that is really fun, entertaining and engrossing.  I highly recommend reading this book!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke is a quick, easy and fun murder mystery.  If I recall correctly, this book was recommended by a facebook friend of mine.  It looked like a nice light read, which I was looking forward to after my pretty involved other reads so far this year.

The story is about a woman named Hannah Swensen who lives in a small town in Minnesota.  She owns a cookie shop called The Cookie Jar and since it's a small town, knows anyone and everyone who stops into her shop.  One morning she goes outside her shop to discover a murder right outside her back door.  She teams up with her brother-in-law, who is a local cop, and sets out to catch a killer.

This book is the first in a series of many that have Hannah Swensen as the main character.  I enjoyed this book since it was a quick and easy read.  I used to read murder mysteries ALL the time (Patterson, Higgins Clark) so this was a nice return to that but on a much lighter, less violent side.  An added treat to these books is they come with cookie recipes!  I haven't made any of them, but they sure sounded delish.  I recommend giving this book a read.  It's a fun read with lots of quirky characters and it will keep you guessing until the last few pages.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail - Cheryl Strayed

This was a good book, I did enjoy it.  I think that it had a lot of different elements in it which each served a different purpose, but some days  I hated it, some days I loved it.  The first few chapters are just sad.  I know I'm a crier anyway, but I cried.  A lot.  Reading about how Cheryl's life was falling apart was difficult.  She lost her entire family over the course of 47 days and I couldn't help but to think about my life, my family, and my losses.

After her losses, she decides that she needs to take matters in to her own hands.  After losing her family, her life spiraled down hill for another few years, and she couldn't handle it any more.  She walked past a book at a hardware store about hiking the PCT.  And just like that, she made the decision.  She was going to hike the PCT.  She'd been camping, how much harder could this be?  Hiking over 1000 miles from mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington?  No big deal.  She spent the next several months selling belongings, buying backpacking gear, and saving every penny she had in order to prepare for this trip.  She did not train, she did not turn on her camp stove, she did not fully pack her backpack until she was on the trail.  Until it was too late to make any adjustments, or learn that camp stoves don't take regular gasoline.  She struggled over the first few weeks, but eventually caught on.  She made friends along the trail and learned that she was not alone in this world.  She learned how to use some of her gear, and learned what she could live without.

By the end of her hike, she had found her safe place.  She knew that she was strong enough to handle everything that the world threw at her.  She learned to not be afraid.  Overall; a good book.  It reads quickly and her dialogue is clear and easy to follow.  It's a good easy read and left me feeling a bit more inspired to get out of my comfort zone... and plan my next backpacking trip! Life is an adventure, lets make the most of it!

~ Kelly Lynn