Alysa's Summer Reading

Hello! I did do some good reading this summer that I want to share with you. 

Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst 

My book club read this fantasy novel and it was enjoyed by all. A couple of us thought we were reading a YA fantasy book, but it turns out this one is marketed to adults. The main premise is that in Bekar, people live good lives hoping for rebirth as a human or auger. The worst thing to be reborn as is a kehok - a monster. The kehoks are dangerous, but that doesn't stop people from racing them! We follow a trainer, a rider, and the political turmoil in the country. 

Our group agreed that the worldbuilding and characters were excellent. It was so refreshing not to have a love triangle! And the abundance of strong female characters was awesome. There was a fair bit of violence in the book, but prrrrobably definitely less than The Hunger Games or something. No bedroom scenes. I was so into the book that I ended up telling my kids all the plot of it, just because my mind was so thoroughly engrossed. I definitely filtered out some of the violence in my retelling though, ha! Recommended. 

The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse

This was my pick for book club this summer. It met with mixed reviews in the club, partly because it came on the heels of Race the Sands, and Bertie Wooster is very down on Angela Basset throughout! Those who liked it really liked it, and those who didn't, didn't. I find that's pretty typical of humor books. 

The Code of the Woosters is a middle book in the Jeeves and Wooster series. It was the most accessible title at the local libraries, which is why I chose it over Right Ho, Jeeves, which is probably my favorite (Right Ho, Jeeves is especially good on audio). Anyway, the series follows young bachelor Bertie Wooster in London in the 1930's, who is constantly getting into tight spots and requiring the ingenious brain of his valet, Jeeves, to get him out of trouble. This installment details Bertie's misadventures with a collectible silver cow creamer, blackmail, rifts between lovers that could have dire consequences for him, and more. I noticed it was on a list of recommended classics for eighth graders, and I could get behind that. If you want to dip your toes into the Jeeves and Bertie world, you can always look up some of the old episodes of the BBC TV adaptation on YouTube for a taste. 

How Not to Die by Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM

This thick volume details the research on nutrition in health for a number of scenarios. There are two main sections in the book: the first section has chapters organized by disease, the second section has chapters organized by types of foods. Chapters in section one include How Not to Die from Suicidal Depression, How Not to Die from Breast Cancer, How Not to Die from Diabetes and many more. Chapters in section two include Spices, Cruciferous Vegetables, Berries and many more. 

I became interested in reading this book because I did an internet search for "how to lower your estrogen" and the search results I found referenced the book multiple times. Obviously, I thought, it would be a better source of complete information. And I was right, there really is so much info in the book. The author has made a living of studying medical research findings and publishing them in layman's terms. He runs the website nutritionfacts.org. His grandmother's life was saved when she changed her diet in her old age, and he shares that amazing story in the beginning of the book. 

I didn't read the book cover-to-cover, but I did read large swaths of it, and found it fascinating and motivating. I shared enough passages of it with Benjamin that he took it up himself and started sharing passages back with me. We've both been eating healthier since. I recommend it, if you're interested! 

Oh, I also checked out the How Not to Die Cookbook from my library. It was alright. I've learned how to make vegetable broth now. I took down a few of recipes before I returned it: the one for Veggie broth, one for a dish of beans, rice and broccoli, and the last for a dairy-free "macaroni and cheese" dish.  My favorite healthy eating cookbook is still The Smoothie Project by Catherine McCord.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

This was the August pick for book club, and I had read it for another book club in another state some years ago. I remembered liking it, and I remembered all of the worst and most violent parts. So, I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed the reread!

This is the first in a series of detective novels set in Botswana. The author helps us get to know our lady detective, Mma Ramotswe, explores her country and family history, and takes us on several of her cases. 

Some of the cases are lighthearted and some are heavier, and the book strikes a good balance. I definitely categorize it as "for grownups," but then again as a teen I read a lot of Agatha Christie. Anyway, since I had read the book before and many of the cases outcomes came back to mind as I was reading, I was able to really enjoy the superb writing in this book and appreciate some of the humor and foreshadowing that I couldn't enjoy last time, because I was on the edge of my seat, metaphorically. I might read more in the series . . .There are apparently 21 books in the series now, wow. 

This is another series (like Jeeves and Wooster, above) that has been made into a television show. After reading the book I did look up the first episode of the show on YouTube, just to satisfy myself that I was pronouncing Mma correctly (and to pass the time as I folded laundry). Unfortunately I can't recommend the series, because it makes the main characters into buffoons. I was offended, on behalf of Mma Ramotswe. (Incidentally, Bertie Wooster is also a buffoon, but he is meant to be a buffoon.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...