Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Some book recommendations

I have read a couple of really good books lately that I thought I would pass on.

** The 13th Tale by Diane Setterfield
This book is so good I had a really hard time putting it down. Although it was written this year, it has the feel of an 1800's gothic novel. It reminded me a lot of "Wuthering Heights" and "Jane Eyre," which are both referred to in the book. The story is about a famous author who is dying. She has given interviews to many people, but has never been honest about the story of her life--no one knows who she really is. Now that she is ill, she has decided to finally have her biography written. The book is about her life and how she reveals her secrets to her biographer. I am not at all doing it justice. All I can say, is it is a great read, especially on a really gloomy afternoon when you can curl up on the couch with some hot chocolate.

**The Painted Veil by William Somerset Maugham
I know I already wrote a blog about this movie, but here is a recommendation for the book. I actually think I prefer the movie to the book, as far as plot goes, but the book is a very good read. The language is beautiful and the characters are developed in ways different from the book. If you read it, let me know what you think about the line, "The dog it was who died." I have my ideas, but would love to hear yours.

**Mozart and the Whale by Mary and Jerry Newport
This is a memoir of two people who have Asperger's syndrome, which is a high functioning version of autism. If you have ever wondered about the way the brain works, especially in those who suffer from neurological disorders, this book might interest you. Jerry and Mary write very sincerely, succintly and are very upfront about their difficulties, gifts and talents. My favorite part about the book is how both Mary and Jerry (who are husband and wife) finally learn to love themselves and embrace their differences.

Let me know if you read any of these. I would love to know what you think of them.


Amy Jane said...


I'm so ashamed! Here you are, reading really legitimate, "real" books, and all I ever read is chick lit. How embarrassing! I don't know why I never reach for anything meatier. Maybe I'm just mentally lazy. :) I'm so impressed with you!

To answer your question about my diet, I've been adhering quite well to a 1400-calorie diet, and trying to eat balanced meals and watch my sugar, sodium, etc. I also try to avoid hydrogenated oils and high-fructose corn syrup like the plague. I try to get lots of fiber and protein. Some days are more exemplary than others, but I guess you know all about that! :) Of course, it's all going to go to pot this weekend when we're in Springfield celebrating our anniversary. I'll jump right back in on Tuesday, though.


Amy Jane said...


I think it's kind of cool the way we communicate via comments on each other's blogs. :)

As for chick lit recommendations, I'll have to think about it. I haven't really read any new stuff in a while. I've been reading lots of magazines and re-reading stuff in my bookcase. A friend of mine recommends The Pact by Jodi Picoult. Oh, anything by Jane Green is good. And Elizabeth Berg, but I think we've talked about her before, haven't we?

High fructose corn syrup - I can't explain exactly why it's so bad, either. I think it just clogs up your veins. Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is on Oprah a lot and cowrote that book You: The Owner's Manual, basically holds that that and hydrogenated oils are the two most evil ingredients in the world, and says to avoid them at all costs. So, I do. Now, some things are impossible to find without them, so in those cases, you gotta make exceptions. In fact, that Jell-O sugar free vanilla pudding has HFCS, but just a little. I still believe that I've almost entirely eradicated those things from my diet. I'm a huge label reader - I just try to buy the things with the shortest, simplest ingredient lists. The only bad thing is that buying healthier stuff is definitely more expensive. I've just decided that it's worth it, and not to feel guilty about it anymore. Thanks for complimenting my diet - I would say it's pretty healthy. My big downfall is still vegetables, but I do drink V8, and I've been eating more salad and tomatoes lately. I don't seem to get as many crazy cravings, and am more easily satisfied with smaller portions (like 1/2 cup of ice cream!), and healthier stuff in general. Now, if the weight would just start melting off...