Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bookworming around.

So in terms of the whole "living in Italy" thing, there's ALOT...and I mean ALOT to catch you lovely people up on. But for now I'm going to let my inner nerd shine through and tell you about some books I've been reading lately. Mostly beach reads, nothing too philosophical, but share-worthy nonetheless.

The first page turner....Michael Pllan's Food Rules:
While this book was a quick 25 minute-r , due to its spacing and cutesy illustrations, it provided a unique view on food and the way we eat it. While I don't think I could regurgitate all 64 of Pollan's food "rules" some of them are a great guide for which foods to choose and which to aviod. For example: if your grandmother or great grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food, don't buy it (Read: blue, green and pink yogurt in a tube). Or, don't purchase foods (or as Pollan puts it "edible food-like substances) with ingredients that a third grader can't pronounce. All and all, it provided a fresh and eye opening look on the foods that we eat in America, and pointed to the contrast that I have personally noticed between highly refined, highly processed foods that line our supermarket shelves at home and  the simpler, more bountiful diet the Italians and other Europeans have adopted. Something to think about kids.

Onto number two: Gold by Chris Cleave

"Kate and Zoe met at nineteen when they both made the cut for the national training program in track cycling, a sport that demands intense focus, blinding exertion, and unwavering commitment. They are built to exploit the barest physical and psychological edge over equally skilled rivals, all of whom are fighting for the last one tenth of a second that separates triumph from despair. Now at thirty-two, the women are facing their last and biggest race: the 2012 Olympics. Each wants desperately to win gold, and each has more than a medal to lose. Kate is the more naturally gifted, but the demands of her life have a tendency to slow her down. Her eight-year-old daughter Sophie dreams of the Death Star and of battling alongside the Rebels as evil white blood cells ravage her personal galaxy-she is fighting a recurrence of the leukemia that nearly killed her three years ago. Sophie doesn't want to stand in the way of her mum's Olympic dreams, but each day the dark forces of the universe seem to be massing against her. Devoted and self-sacrificing Kate knows her daughter is fragile, but at the height of her last frenzied months of training, might she be blind to the most terrible prognosis? Intense, aloof Zoe has always hovered on the periphery of real human companionship, and her compulsive need to win at any cost has more than once threatened her friendship with Kate-and her own sanity. Will she allow her obsession, and the advantage she has over a harried, anguished mother, to sever the bond they have shared for more than a decade?"

I really loved this book. I picked it up at a hotel in Positano, and after the first 50 or so pages I was hooked. Cleave writes in a way that leaves the reader guessing, straddling the line between being frustrating and causing a craving to hear about the next twist in the plot. I found myself yearning to hear what the update would be on Sophie's health, or Zoe's latest personal crisis. While I worried I wouldn't be able to relate...heck what do I know about biking.....but this is a book anyone can sink their teeth into. 

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