I thought about reading a diet book or two for this blog. I was sent a slew of them in relation to that article I wrote about self help books, and I piece I just wrapped up for Oxygen magazine. But I don’t have the patience, nor the time. Besides, Marilynn Marter of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote a great round up herself, which you can read here.
Like self help books, some diet books are good, but a lot are crap, especially those that promise a Jessica Biel body on six minutes a day. It’s just not possible — well, without major surgery.
Aside from books, I write a lot about health an fitness, and I got into it because Inside magazine assigned me to take a six week boot camp through Body Physics Fitness in Haddonfield, NJ and write about it. That was September 2005. I still use the outline of their meal plan, though I’ve had to add in more carbs since, as a distance runner, I’m working out much more than one hour for three mornings a week.
Even over 2+ down the healthy lifestyle track, I can say this about ‘dieting’: it’s […]
A sample from the newspaper review: “New York City is a town of revised dreams – at least that’s how it’s portrayed in Adam Langer’s Ellington Boulevard: A Novel in A-Flat. It’s where idealists come with dreams of fame and fortune and either become the hunched shoulders on which the Big Apple stands, or move on to other, revised lives, for better or for worse.”
Bonus feature: you can hear the songs from the musical built around Ellington Boulevard here. Fun!
Also…I wrote a commentary for today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, and even though it’s not book related, I’ll link to it here since I’m getting so many emails about it. It’s about the frustration of buying health insurance when you’re self employed.
“They’re touted as lifesavers, cure-alls and revolutions by their fans; derided as hooey, junk and even evil by their critics. They’re everywhere from your doctor’s office to Oprah, making buzzwords such as empowerment and togetherness part of our daily lexicon, whether we want to feel ’empowered’ or ‘together’ or not.
Welcome to the world of self-help, a once-niche publishing market that has turned into a nearly $10 billion industry, and has everyone asking what exactly is The Secret.”
This brings me to book 21 of 52, Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts. It’s also time for me to come out of the closet as a Nora Roberts fan. Do I think her books are great works of literature? Hell no. Do I think they’re fun to read every once and a while? Hell yeah.
My theory is this: Nora Roberts is brain candy. My job is to read and write, so it’s nice to take a break and settle into a novel where I already know the patterned story arc, conclusion and even character types. Sure, Nora changes the body type, the job, and the hair color (thank goodness she finally stopped thinking that a guy’s hair curling just over the collar was attractive) of her leading ladies and gents, but they’re essentially the same: slightly damaged yet ridiculous strong, smart and, of course, sexy.
I got my first dose of Nora in college. I borrowed one of her books from my grandmom, and I remember it was from my grandmom because I couldn’t believe that she read […]
It’s New Year’s Eve. Since December 23, I have done nothing but eat, and most of the food I’ve consumed does not have my ‘healthy meal plan’ stamp of approval. On top of all those calories, I turned my ankle over a week ago and haven’t been able to run since. For a four-times-a-week runner, this is disaster. Not only have I gone without my usual runner’s high, but I can feel those sugar, fat and cream calories packing around my mid-section. And tonight’s New Year’s Eve party, the theme of which is wine and fondue, does not promise to be a change in my eating habits.
So what do I read? A book about food.
In my defense, I’m working on an essay about food literature, so Ruth Reichl’s Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table is up my working alley. I read Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table, which you could argue is the prequel for Comfort Me with Apples years ago, and it made me want to cook. I feel that way every time I read a food-related book, or watch America’s Test Kitchen. These books […]
I read 95 percent of Marie Phillip’s Gods Behaving Badly in a day — not just because it was a quick read, but also because I’m sick (ever see that commercial where the person’s whole head turns into one big stuffy nose? That’s me).
And what a nice companion it made. It’s a silly book, really. Phillips puts the Greek gods and goddesses into today’s era and into a run down London house, where they fled after losing their hold on the beliefs of the Greeks. Apollo does a show on a psychic channel; Eros goes to church; Dionysus runs a club; and Aphrodite works as a phone sex girl. Their powers have been sliced down to almost nothing, either because they’re getting old, people don’t believe in them anymore, or a combination of the two — it takes a while for the gods to figure that out, and how to fix their predicament.
It’s a fun, quick read and completely ridiculous (much like Ian Sansom’s Mr. Dixon Disappears, which I named my second favorite novel of 2007). What else would you expect from a novel that brings the gods and goddesses […]
Who here likes musical theater? I like musical theater, but not in a “humming Rent while walking the dog” sort of way. Still, I have an appreciate for the silly songs, dance routines and simple plots that always end in a marriage knot.
If you are that “humming Rent while walking the dog” kind of person, you’ll probably appreciate Ellington Boulevard: A Novel in A-Flat by Adam Langer (to be published January 22). You’ll also get a kick out of it if you’re a dog lover, and/or if you’ve had to deal with real estate within the last five years — especially if you’ve had to deal with New York City real estate.
Maybe what I’m trying to say is that it’s a likable story that will appeal to a wide cross section of people. It’s a bit too simplistic for me to give it five out of five stars — the plot is very predictable, but this book is, after all, a novel set up around a musical theater structure, so it’s not surprising.
The story focuses on one New York City apartment in what had recently been deemed a section of the […]
For the last three years, I’ve put together my top 10 albums, songs and concerts of the year. But I was so wrapped up in writing my book that I didn’t pay as much attention as I usually do to the music world, and instead relied on old favorites like Guster and Pete Yorn to provide my writing soundtrack.
But I did read a lot of books this year, more so since I started this blog. So here’s my best for 2007. But before I begin: I obviously did not read every book published in 2007. I’m guessing I got to about 40 to 50 in 2007, so here’s what rung my bell.
If you’d like a fabulous top-music list for 2007, check out WXPN’s top 100 albums of 2007. I’m shocked that Wilco got the top spot, but, hey, to each their own. I am glad Stars made the list, even if it was at 100, and that Dr. Dog (which would have been on my top 10 concerts list if I’d made one) placed so high.
Alright, on with the show:
Best Non-Fiction: Backyard Giants: The Passionate, Heartbreaking, and […]
Book 17 of 52: Sneaker Wars: The Enemy Brothers Who Founded Adidas and Puma and the Family Feud that Forever Changed the Business of Sport
As someone who’s played soccer since she was four years old, how could I not pick up Sneaker Wars: The Enemy Brothers Who Founded Adidas and Puma and the Family Feud That Forever Changed the Business of Sport (available March 25, 2008)? And with a subhead like that, how could I not ready it (side note: one of my graduate school professors said to skip the title and pay attention to what came after the colon…in this case, he’s 100 percent right).
This isn’t just a story about a family feud. It’s about how that family feud laid the groundwork for sponsorships as we know it today. Yes, it might be McDonalds and Coke who we most associate with big ticket sponsorship deals, but it all started with the Dassler brothers trying to one up each other by convincing Olympic athletes to wear their shoes, first by giving away free shoes , then by leaving envelopes of cash in pre-determined places (since, before 1990, ‘professional’ athletes were banned from the Olympics).
I would hate to hate my siblings like this. Granted, we don’t always get along, but I’m looking forward to having my brothers and sister in one […]
About a year ago, I was chosen for a ‘makeover’ over at The Renegade Writer Blog. The original renegades are Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell, and they’ve printed two extremely helpful books about freelancing writing, The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success (The Renegade Writer’s Freelance Writing series) and The Renegade Writer’s Query Letters That Rock: The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Selling More Work Faster (The Renegade Writer’s Freelance Writing series)
The rest of the renegades, in case you’re curious, are those of us who freelance according to their advice, which does NOT involve self addressed stamped envelopes!
My goal was to be a book dork for life. I love reading, reviewing and writing about books, and that’s where I wanted my freelance life to go.
For a variety of reasons, that didn’t happen. I signed the contract for my book, which threw my business plan out of whack, and the economics of book writing didn’t match what I needed to make in order to pay the mortgage on my new house. Book reading and writing also became a job — not my intended goal.
In any case, you can […]