Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I picked this up through and loved the narrators. They really made the book, although the book itself was pretty fantastic too.

We are set in 1986 and are following 2 high school students, Eleanor and Park, over the course of a school year. If there was anything to bring back the horror and misery of high school, this is the book.

Eleanor is new to the school, is a misfit with bright red hair and outlandish clothes. Park is a punk Asian kid who listens to Fugazi and knows martial arts. It seems very typical high school until we delve deeper into their lives as they begin to fall in love (over comic books and mixed tapes!).

Park's family is relatively normal, but he still has doubts and misgivings being Asian in a predominantly white neighborhood and school. Eleanor lives with her mother, stepdad, and 4 siblings in a tiny house, doing her best to stay out of the evil stepdad's way (and yes, he truly is evil and I hated this man).

Listening to the book, I remembered the reasons I hated high school. But I was happy for Eleanor and Park because I did not have the booming first love that they experienced.

I don't want to give anything away because you should experience this without knowing anything up front.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Deadline by John Sandford

It's another Fuckin' Flowers book!!!!!!

If he wasn't just a character in a book, I would marry that man.

So Virgil is on a dognapping case, which actually upset me more than the people who were getting killed. Poor pups. Flowers is with his friend, Johnson Johnson, and trying to find the dogs that have been stolen before they are sold off to bunchers for medical laboratories.

But then....

They stumble on to a meth lab operation that means getting the DEA involved and putting the dognapping case on the back burner.

But then....

A body of a local newspaper writer shows up dead in a ditch, shot 3 times in the back

And then more bodies pile up, the school board is unraveling as Flowers gets closer and closer to their embezzlement scheme and, seriously, they have no issues with killing people who get in the way. I hope real life school boards aren't this blood thirsty and money hungry.

Without giving away anything, the action with all 3 cases ramps up to high gear and made me take a longer lunch than usual because I just couldn't stop reading.

I love that Flowers.

Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson

This sounded intriguing. A book about how we have basically genetically altered our food into un-nutritious oblivion.

Not quite. True, this book does go through a lot of wild fruits and veggies vs the ones we have now to pick from the supermarket. It also gave some really good advice on how to pick the best fruits and veggies from markets and farmer's markets.

The chapters are broken up into fruit and vegetable families: wild greens and lettuce, alliums, corn, potatoes, root vegetables, tomatoes, crucifers, apples, berries, citrus, etc.

She includes quite a few charts that you could take with you when you go shopping so you know what are the most nutritious kinds of produce to buy. There are a lot of hints about storing produce and the best way and time to eat everything. I had no idea that if you cut garlic, you should let it rest for 10 minutes before you heat it so you can get the maximum amount of allicin ( a cancer fighting enzyme). If you heat garlic immediately after chopping/pressing for even 30 seconds, 90% of the cancer fighting enzyme is gone. Kind of disheartening when you think you've been doing something good for yourself!

I've made a few changes to my diet based on this book, including drinking purple carrot juice daily (it's amazing what this stuff has been shown to achieve in studies). Some of the advice, I will probably never do even if it does help me, just because of time, or lack thereof, on my part.

Well worth reading and keeping as a reference. I originally got this from the library but ended up buying the kindle version to keep.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I've been picking up books and putting them back down after a few pages A LOT lately. I wandered through my library's online ebook catalog and saw this one. Eh. Give it a try, I guess.

Pretty much from page one, I was sucked in.

Jacob is 16 and thinks his grandpa is the best adult ever, despite the strange stories and photographs he has from his childhood. That's all Jacob thinks they are: stories. One day, Jacob gets a frantic call from his grandpa while he is at work and rushes to his grandpa's house. He witnesses .... is it.... a monster.... near his grandpa's dying body. His grandpa whispers some cryptic words before he dies.

Jacob is left feeling crazy and disoriented because he knows what he saw, but no one else saw the monster and no one believes him.

From this point, he's determined to figure out his grandpa's last words and find the orphanage his grandpa ended up in during WWII. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Jacob and his dad travel to the fairly deserted island where the home was and Jacob, literally, tumbles down the hole that leads him on a peculiar and thrilling adventure.

This is the first in a series and it did end with a bit of a "What?? What happens next?!?".  I'm excited to read the next book, Hollow City.