Saturday, January 24, 2015

January 2015 List Update

This poor little list, this poor little blog... I had good intentions when I started but now it has been YEARS. Many of these books are still untouched. Many more have been opened, looked at, and put back on the shelf. So many books, so little time, so many small children who need my attention...
Well, here we go, 2015. This is going to be the YEAR THE LIST IS FINISHED. Hopefully.

As of now...

1. God is the Gospel
2. American Gods
3. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
4. Atlas Shrugged
5. Life of Pi
6. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
7. Confessions from an Honest Wife
8. Telegraph Days
9. The Courage to Start
10. Mirror Mirror
11. The Sirens of Titan
12. Gates of Fire
13. Something Happened
14. A Thousand Acres
15. Good Faith
16. Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel
17. No Need for Speed
18. Anna Karenina
19. Get Out of That Pit 20. Jesus, the One and Only
21. The Bluest Eye
22. Prodigal Summer

23. The Know-It-All
24. The Witches
25. Fantastic Mr. Fox
26. The Myth of a Christian Nation
27. For Whom the Bell Tolls
28. Out of the Silent Planet
29. The Four Loves
30. The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde
31. Unspoken
32. Unafraid
33. Finding Stefanie
34. Lies My Teacher Told Me
35. The Executioner's Song
36. Love Beyond Reason
37. Middlesex
38. The Shack
39. The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier and Clay
40. The Joy Luck Club
41. Hinds' Feet on High Places (re-read)
42. Mountains of Spices
43. A Walk in the Woods
44. Fast Food Nation
45. The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing
46. The Maltese Falcon
47. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth 48. The Poisonwood Bible (re-read)
49. Two Rivers
50. It's Not News, It's Fark
51. The Road
52. Persuasion (re-read)
53. The Silver Chair (re-read)
54. Lucky Man
55. Matilda
56. The Adventures of Augie March
57. Possession
58. Everything's Eventual
59. Written By Herself
60. Perelandra
61. That Hideous Strength
62. Memoirs of a Geisha
63. The Time Machine
64. Peculiar Treasures (re-read)
65. On a Whim (re-read)
66. Coming Attractions
67. Last Light
68. Night Light
69. True Light
70. Your Money or Your Life
71. The Perfect Thing
72. Moneyball
73. The Fifth Book of Peace
74. Early Bird
75. An Anthropologist on Mars
76. Exclusion & Embrace
77. A Short History of Nearly Everything
78. Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs
79. Predictably Irrational
80. Finding Battlestar Gallactica
81. Hopes and Impediments
82. The Love Dare
83. Redeeming Love
84. Sappho's Leap
85. High Fidelity
86. Pilgrim's Progress
87. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (re-read)
88. The Pillars of the Earth
89. The Confessions of Nat Turner
90. A Christmas Carol
91. Gulliver's Travels and Other Writings
92. The 158-Pound Marriage
93. The Winged Seed
94. Driving Mr. Albert
95. Notes to Myself (re-read)
96. The Emotions
97. Mel Gibson's Passion and Philosophy
98. How to Win Every Argument
99. The World As I See It
100. Twelve Steps for the Recovering Pharisee

51 Read (Over halfway there!)
4 Currently Reading
45 To Read

Sunday, December 15, 2013

List Updated



1. God is the Gospel
2. American Gods
3. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
4. Atlas Shrugged
5. Life of Pi
6. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
7. Confessions from an Honest Wife
8. Telegraph Days
9. The Courage to Start
10. Mirror Mirror
11. The Sirens of Titan
12. Gates of Fire
13. Something Happened
14. A Thousand Acres
15. Good Faith
16. Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel
17. No Need for Speed
18. Anna Karenina
19. Get Out of That Pit
20. Jesus, the One and Only
21. The Bluest Eye
22. Prodigal Summer
23. The Know-It-All
24. The Witches
25. Fantastic Mr. Fox
26. The Myth of a Christian Nation
27. For Whom the Bell Tolls
28. Out of the Silent Planet
29. The Four Loves
30. The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde
31. Unspoken
32. Unafraid
33. Finding Stefanie
34. Lies My Teacher Told Me
35. The Executioner's Song
36. Love Beyond Reason
37. Middlesex
38. The Shack
39. The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier and Clay
40. The Joy Luck Club
41. Hinds' Feet on High Places (re-read)
42. Mountains of Spices
43. A Walk in the Woods
44. Fast Food Nation
45. The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing
46. The Maltese Falcon
47. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth
48. The Poisonwood Bible (re-read)
49. Two Rivers
50. It's Not News, It's Fark
51. The Road
52. Persuasion (re-read)
53. The Silver Chair (re-read)
54. Lucky Man
55. Matilda
56. The Adventures of Augie March
57. Possession
58. Everything's Eventual
59. Written By Herself
60. Perelandra
61. That Hideous Strength
62. Memoirs of a Geisha
63. The Time Machine
64. Peculiar Treasures (re-read)
65. On a Whim (re-read)
66. Coming Attractions
67. Last Light
68. Night Light
69. True Light
70. Your Money or Your Life
71. The Perfect Thing
72. Moneyball
73. The Fifth Book of Peace
74. Early Bird
75. An Anthropologist on Mars
76. Exclusion & Embrace
77. A Short History of Nearly Everything
78. Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs
79. Predictably Irrational
80. Finding Battlestar Gallactica
81. Hopes and Impediments
82. The Love Dare
83. Redeeming Love
84. Sappho's Leap
85. High Fidelity
86. Pilgrim's Progress
87. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (re-read)
88. The Pillars of the Earth
89. The Confessions of Nat Turner
90. A Christmas Carol
91. Gulliver's Travels and Other Writings
92. The 158-Pound Marriage
93. The Winged Seed
94. Driving Mr. Albert
95. Notes to Myself (re-read)
96. The Emotions
97. Mel Gibson's Passion and Philosophy
98. How to Win Every Argument
99. The World As I See It
100. Twelve Steps for the Recovering Pharisee

46 Read (or re-read)
2 Currently Reading
52 To Go!

Monday, April 1, 2013

30 Books in 30 Days: Day 1

I finished reading "Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship and Life Together" by Mark and Grace Driscoll. I was nearly done with this book anyway, but I had one chapter to read and two chapters to re-read since I had merely skimmed them previously. I liked this book. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. It has been challenging for me in a good way to work on being what the Driscolls call a "Servant Lover" rather than a selfish one.

I also learned something really interesting about some birth control methods. Quite a few of the more recent and convenient ones for women don't inhibit fertilization but do stop implantation from happening. The Driscolls likened this to abortion, since a fertilized egg (zygote? embryo?) is knowingly stopped from implanting in the uterus and growing. How sad is that? I bet there are tons of women out there who have no idea about this and are just going off an OB's recommendation. So, look into what your birth control method is really doing!

Obviously this was not the main point of the book, at all. It is one of the main takeaways for me though.

And that not-being-so-selfish thing.

(This book isn't on my List, but I borrowed it from my brother last summer and I really wanted to finish it and get it back to him.)

New Challenge: 30 Books in 30 Days

The title says it all. Read 30 Books in 30 Days. Can it be done? So far, I'm on track. I have so many books that are half-read or almost finished right now that I don't think it will be too hard to complete this goal. (Finishing a book counts... as long as it can be placed in the "read" column, it counts.)

List Update

1. God is the Gospel
2. American Gods
3. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
4. Atlas Shrugged
5. Life of Pi
6. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
7. Confessions from an Honest Wife
8. Telegraph Days
9. The Courage to Start
10. Mirror Mirror
11. The Sirens of Titan
12. Gates of Fire
13. Something Happened
14. A Thousand Acres
15. Good Faith
16. Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel
17. No Need for Speed
18. Anna Karenina
19. Get Out of That Pit
20. Jesus, the one and only
21. The Bluest Eye
22. Prodigal Summer
23. The Know-It-All
24. The Witches
25. Fantastic Mr. Fox
26. The Myth of a Christian Nation
27. For Whom the Bell Tolls
28. Out of the Silent Planet
29. The Four Loves
30. The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde
31. Unspoken
32. Unafraid
33. Finding Stefanie
34. Lies My Teacher Told Me
35. The Executioner's Song
36. Love Beyond Reason
37. Middlesex
38. The Shack
39. The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier and Clay
40. The Joy Luck Club
41. Hinds' Feet on High Places (re-read)
42. Mountains of Spices
43. A Walk in the Woods
44. Fast Food Nation
45. The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing
46. The Maltese Falcon
47. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth
48. The Poisonwood Bible (re-read)
49. Two Rivers
50. It's Not News, It's Fark
51. The Road
52. Persuasion (re-read)
53. The Silver Chair (re-read)
54. Lucky Man
55. Matilda
56. The Adventures of Augie March
57. Possession
58. Everything's Eventual
59. Written By Herself
60. Perelandra
61. That Hideous Strength
62. Memoirs of a Geisha
63. The Time Machine
64. Peculiar Treasures (re-read)
65. On a Whim (re-read)
66. Coming Attractions
67. Last Light
68. Night Light
69. True Light
70. Your Money or Your Life
71. The Perfect Thing
72. Moneyball
73. The Fifth Book of Peace
74. Early Bird
75. An Anthropologist on Mars
76. Exclusion & Embrace
77. A Short History of Nearly Everything
78. Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs
79. Predictably Irrational
80. Finding Battlestar Gallactica
81. Hopes and Impediments
82. The Love Dare
83. Redeeming Love
84. Sappho's Leap
85. High Fidelity
86. Pilgrim's Progress
87. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (re-read)
88. The Pillars of the Earth
89. The Confessions of Nat Turner
90. A Christmas Carol
91. Gulliver's Travels and Other Writings
92. The 158-Pound Marriage
93. The Winged Seed
94. Driving Mr. Albert
95. Notes to Myself (re-read)
96. The Emotions
97. Mel Gibson's Passion and Philosophy
98. How to Win Every Argument
99. The World As I See It
100. Twelve Steps for the Recovering Pharisee

44 Read, 56 Unread (or not yet Re-read)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The List Today

1. God is the Gospel
2. American Gods
3. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
4. Atlas Shrugged
5. Life of Pi
6. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
7. Confessions from an Honest Wife
8. Telegraph Days
9. The Courage to Start
10. Mirror Mirror
11. The Sirens of Titan
12. Gates of Fire
13. Something Happened
14. A Thousand Acres
15. Good Faith
16. Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel
17. No Need for Speed
18. Anna Karenina
19. Get Out of That Pit
20. Jesus, the one and only
21. The Bluest Eye
22. Prodigal Summer
23. The Know-It-All
24. The Witches
25. Fantastic Mr. Fox
26. The Myth of a Christian Nation
27. For Whom the Bell Tolls
28. Out of the Silent Planet
29. The Four Loves
30. The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde
31. Unspoken
32. Unafraid
33. Finding Stefanie
34. Lies My Teacher Told Me
35. The Executioner's Song
36. Love Beyond Reason
37. Middlesex
38. The Shack
39. The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier & Clay
40. The Joy Luck Club
41. Hinds' Feet on High Places (re-read)
42. Mountains of Spices
43. A Walk in the Woods
44. Fast Food Nation
45. The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing
46. The Maltese Falcon
47. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth
48. The Poisonwood Bible (re-read)
49. Two Rivers
50. It's Not News, It's Fark
51. The Road
52. Persuasion (re-read)
53. The Silver Chair (re-read)
54. Lucky Man
55. Matilda
56. The Adventures of Augie March
57. Possession
58. Everything's Eventual
59. Written By Herself
60. Perelandra
61. That Hideous Strength
62. Memoirs of a Geisha
63. The Time Machine
64. Peculiar Treasures (re-read)
65. On a Whim (re-read)
66. Coming Attractions
67. Last Light
68. Night Light
69. True Light
70. Your Money or Your Life
71. The Perfect Thing
72. Moneyball
73. The Fifth Book of Peace
74. Early Bird
75. An Anthropologist on Mars
76. Exclusion & Embrace
77. A Short History of Nearly Everything
78. Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs
79. Predictably Irrational
80. Finding Battlestar Gallactica
81. Hopes and Impediments
82. The Love Dare
83. Redeeming Love
84. Sappho's Leap
85. High Fidelity
86. Pilgrim's Progress
87. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (re-read)
88. The Pillars of the Earth
89. The Confessions of Nat Turner
90. A Christmas Carol
91. Gulliver's Travels and Other Writings
92. The 158-Pound Marriage
93. The Winged Seed
94. Driving Mr. Albert
95. Notes to Myself (re-read)
96. The Emotions
97. Mel Gibson's Passion and Philosophy
98. How to Win Every Argument
99. The World As I See It
100. Twelve Steps for the Recovering Pharisee

39 Read, 61 Unread (or not yet Re-read)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Fast Food Nation

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American MealFast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book is an amazing read. It challenged me so much! Some of the information was mainly things I already knew (and despised) about fast food companies, meatpacking, and slaughterhouses. It sickens and saddens me the way workers in these professions are treated! It is essentially slave labor. I worked at McDonald's, by the way, when I was 15, and it really did kill my soul a little bit.

Although there were things I knew, there were surprises in this book, too. As a parent, I try to limit my kid's intake of sweets to the "most healthy" of them (if that is even possible). Reading this book made me realize that my best efforts at label-reading may be for naught!

Huge Insight #1: "Natural flavors" aren't natural at all! I'm just going to straight-up quote the book now, as Schlosser says it better than I could paraphrase it:

"You'll find 'natural flavor' or 'artificial flavor' in just about every list of ingredients. The similarities between these two broad categories of flavor are far more significant than their differences. Both are man-made additives that give most processed food most of its taste...
"For the past twenty years, food processors have tried hard to use only 'natural flavors' in their products. According to the FDA, these must be derived entirely from natural sources--from herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, beef, chicken, yeast, bark, roots, etc. Consumers prefer to see natural flavors on a label, out of a belief that they are healthier. The distinction between artificial and natural flavors can be somewhat arbitrary and absurd, based more on how the flavor has been made than on what it actually contains. 'A natural flavor,' says Terry Acree, a professor of food science at Cornell University, 'is a flavor that's been derived with an out-of-date technology.' Natural flavors and artificial flavors sometimes contain exactly the same chemicals, produced through different methods. Amyl acetate, for example, provides the dominant note of banana flavor. When you distill it from bananas with a solvent, amyl acetate is a natural flavor. When you produce it by mixing vinegar with amyl alcohol, adding sulfuric acid as a catalyst, amyl acetate is an artificial flavor. Either way it smells and tastes the same...
"A natural flavor is not necessarily healthier or purer than an artificial one...
"Natural and artificial flavors are now manufactured at the same chemical plants, places that few people would associate with Mother Nature. Calling any of these flavors 'natural' requires a flexible attitude toward the English language and a fair amount of irony." --pp. 120, 126-127, Fast Food Nation

Huge Insight #2: Tainted meat is everywhere, especially in public schools and home kitchens. The basic gist of the chapters on contaminated meat and food poisoning were that the largest meatpacking companies won't do anything to stop the distribution of tainted meat, and that school cafeterias and grocery stores are the places they sell it to. This means children are the most susceptible to sickness AND/OR DEATH from contaminated beef. Did you read that right? Our kids are in danger because people are greedy. I don't know that this was entirely a new concept to me, but the fact that this greed is so rampant in our culture (yes, the good old U.S. of A.) really makes me want to puke! I'm reassured by the fact that we don't eat much meat. I personally haven't eaten beef in about 8 years. But I know that my daughter will sometimes have ground beef in a meal at her grandmother's house or the babysitter's. As a general rule, though, we don't buy hamburgers.

"Anyone who brings raw ground beef into his or her kitchen today must regard it as a potential biohazard, one that may carry an extremely dangerous microbe, infectious at an extremely low dose...
"The war on foodborne pathogens deserves the sort of national attention and resources that has been devoted to the war on drugs. Far more Americans are severely harmed every year by food poisoning than by illegal drug use. And the harms caused by food poisoning are usually inadvertent and unanticipated. People who smoke crack know the potential dangers; most people who eat hamburgers don't. Eating in the United States should no longer be a form of high-risk behavior." --pp. 221, 264, Fast Food Nation

Huge Insight #3: It's really not that hard to do something about this.

"Nobody in the United States is forced to buy fast food. The first step toward meaningful change is by far the easiest: stop buying it. The executives who run the fast food industry are not bad men. They are businessmen. They will sell free-range, organic, grass-fed hamburgers if you demand it...
"A good boycott, a refusal to buy, can speak much louder than words. Sometimes the most irresistible force is the most mundane." --p. 269, Fast Food Nation

Thank you for the reminder, Schlosser!

I'm giving up Fast Gross Food until something changes in the industry.






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