Friday, February 27, 2009

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

image Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser


Having just watched The Future of Food while reading this book, they each brought a deeper impact to each other's stories.


This was a book for my Reading Dangerously challenge, chosen because I thought it would be a difficult read and an extremely scary one about our diets and what it's doing to us.


I'm not an American, but while Schlosser's book is mostly directed to Americans and about the American way of life, I think concerns about fast food should apply to everyone regardless of where you're from.


Let's face it, fast food has invaded almost every country in the world now, and the effects of welcoming fast food into our diets and our world have much more significant impact than we recognize.


Initially, I thought Schlosser's book was about health and nutrition, and how fast food diets are negatively effecting our health, but the things he covers in this book is much more terrifying than I imagined.


The greed, the indifference, the ignorance, the reaction of some people involved in the fast food industry, is just unbelievable.


Schlosser talks about how the fast food way of life started, and how terrible some employees at fast food restaurants are being treated, and then about the horrible conditions at slaughterhouses, the danger the employees there constantly face, the unsanitary handling of the meat that we will eventually eat, and the many people who have been killed and injured while working at these places, and the many other people who have died because of bacteria in our meat.


It is terrifying, it is sobering, and we really should do something about it. It's our lives, after all.


I think everyone who eats need to read this book. I believe that we should educate ourselves, especially when it comes to our food and our health. Schlosser's done a great job in his research and in bringing this information to the public's attention. Now it's up to us to educate ourselves and decide what we want to happen next.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins : 1st Edition

This is my first Friday Fill-In! It looked fun and I thought I'd join in! =D

ffi we go!

1. I'm happy, I'm healthy, I feel so blessed.

2. Why do I have so many books and not enough time to read them!

3. How does this Friday Fill-In thing work, anyway?

4. Every morning, I put a big wet kiss on my husband's face.

5. I consider myself lucky because I've got the best husband in the world.

6. One day we’ll see all the wonders of the world.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing my project, tomorrow my plans include handing my work in and writing some letters and Sunday, I want to read a book the whole day long!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

TT #13 : My 13 TT Posts!



Well, since this is my 13th TT, I thought I should do a TT about my TTs! Just, you know, because it's appropriate.


And also because I'm lazy... *g*


So.... 13 TT posts!


1. 13 Things about Honesty in Reviewing Books - My first TT was a combined post with Booking Through Thursday's meme question, and was about honesty and reviewing books. It was my first time participating, and I had so much fun visiting everyone's TTs!


2. 13 Books I bought from Amazon in 2008 - It was interesting seeing what how varied my book buying was, although I didn't buy them all for myself.


3. 13 Thoughts on Georgette Heyer's Cotillion - A review of the book, in 13 points. Truth was I was too lazy to write an actual review, and reviewing in point form is always so much easier. LOL!


4. 13 Fun Facts about Fairy Tales - I'm a big fan of fairy tales, and I had such fun finding out about these!


5. 13 Things to be Grateful for in 2008 - I do this every year. Instead of making new year resolutions on New Year's, I like to review the past year and look at what I've achieved. I think it's always wonderful to be grateful for the things you have. =)


6. 13 Reasons for Reading - I sometimes wonder what kind of person I would be if I didn't read. Reading's such a big part of who I am, and the books I've read have shaped me so. This TT was just a reminder of the reasons I read.


7. 13 Authors whose Books I Buy Indiscriminately - This is a list of authors whose books I buy just because they wrote them. It doesn't matter that I don't know what the book is about, because I know that they'll be great, just because these authors wrote them.


8. 13 Things Googled about my Name - I stole this idea from Bumbles, and I did it just because it looked fun! =)


9. 13 things about the Chinese New Year 2009 - CNY had just started and I was busy, busy, busy, and very involved in many family gatherings and social events. I just thought I'd share a little bit about the culture. =)


10. 13 Fun Facts about the Rock Bottom Remainders - For those who don't already know, the RBR is a band consisting of very famous authors. This has got to be one of my favorite TT posts! I had such fun finding out about them and I just wanted to share.


11. 13 Romantic Quotes - It was near Valentine's day, I was feeling romantic. What can I say. *g*


12. 13 Books about Books - I was looking through my bookshelves and I realized that I actually had a lot of these. Not 13, but close to it, and I enjoyed the ones I had so much, I thought I'd TT about them.


13. 13 of my TT posts! - This post! This one, about my TT posts! =) Here! Done! Yay!

The Antioxidant Miracle by Lester Packer, PH.D. & Carol Colman


The Antioxidant Miracle by Lester Packer, PH.D. and Carol Colman


This is one of the textbooks for my Holistic Nutrition course. Normally, I wouldn't count textbooks as books read, except that I read this one cover to cover, so I think it counts, doesn't it?


Anyway, I'm always interested in finding out more about health and diet and how food and nutrients affect our bodies.


I've always known about the importance of antioxidants, of course - having grown up with a health-conscious and very knowledgeable father who had also studied health - but I've never known why they were important, and where to get them, and what their exact role in our health was.


Lester Packer's research and the information presented in this book is very interesting and eye-opening, and as someone who really worries about our generation's health and eating habits, I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who's interested in living and eating healthier.


Of course, one of the most important books, IMHO, about health and diet, is The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II. Do read this book, and then every book you can get on these subjects. There are a lot of contradictory information out there, true, but the more you read and the more perspectives you see, the better it is for you to make your own decision about your own health.


I don't believe in leaving the responsibility of your own health to others, especially medical doctors, who make a living off your illnesses. I believe in prevention rather than cure. Educate yourself, and be responsible for your own health.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays : February 24 2009

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My Teaser:


"Right up to the end, the Witch had kept trying to teach the winged monkeys to speak, as if to be able to testify might save lives someday. So much bound up in language...." ~p. 42, Gregory Maguire's Son of a Witch


PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 Teasers in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wicked by Gregory Maguire


Wicked by Gregory Maguire


I've had this book on my shelf for quite a while. I bought the sequel Son of a Witch in a book sale earlier, and I didn't want to read that because I hadn't read this, so I ordered it from Amazon.


It still took me some time to get to this, but I'm so glad I finally did. This didn't look like a chunky book, but it is: 519 pages, and I enjoyed all of it.


There is a lot of depth and background to Maguire's Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West. You find out more about her, what made her a Wicked Witch, what's going on in Oz, and why things happened the way they did.


I've never actually read Frank L. Baum's The Wizard of Oz, but I've watched the movies and I've always felt that the character of the Witch was very one-dimensional.


Besides, I love retellings of classic stories and seeing them from a whole other perspective. The Wicked Witch of the West came really alive for me in Maguire's Wicked.


We already know that the Witch inevitably gets killed in the end by Dorothy, so I should've been able to accept it, but I found myself grieving for her, and feeling so sorry for all the things she went through her whole life.


The only thing that gave me hope was that there was a sequel. Perhaps her life wasn't in vain after all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

13 Books about Books : TT #12



This week I'm listing 13 books about books, 10 of these are on my bookshelves, but I didn't have enough for 13, so the last three are from my wishlist. =)






<----------------------- 1. The Shadow of the Wind

                                                by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I read this and I really enjoyed it, although I felt the ending seemed a little bit rushed and confusing.







The Bookwoman's Last Fling ------------------>

by John Dunning

I bought this book last month but I haven't read it yet. Has anyone read this?









<--------------------------- 3. The Thirteenth Tale 

                                                by Diane Setterfield

I absolutely LOVED this book! One of the best books ever!








4. Reading Lolita in Tehran ---------------------->

by Azar Afisi

I've heard a lot about this book, but I haven't read it. I'm reading Lolita now though, so maybe I'll read this after that.





<-------------------------------------- 5. Mister Pip

                                                         by Lloyd Jones

This is an amazing book. It's slow and quiet but it screams at you and stays with you for a long time.









6. The Reader  ------------------------------------>

by Bernhard Schlink

I had to read this after Kate Winslet won the Globes. Beautiful book that makes you think.










<------------------------------- 7. The Poe Shadow

                                                    by Matthew Pearl

I'm in the middle of reading this book, but it's slow starting and I've put it aside for now.










8. The Eyre Affair -------------------------------->

by Jasper Fforde

My DH bought me this book for my birthday a couple of years ago. I loved it, and I read Jane Eyre after that and loved it too!








<------------------ 9. Why We Read What We Read

                              by Lisa Adams and John Heath

This is one of the funniest and most entertaining books I've ever read about books!









10. So Many Books, So Little Time --------------->

by Sara Nelson

Bought this ages ago, but haven't read it. Afraid to coz it'll probably add lots more books to my wishlist!









<------------------------------- 11. The Book Thief

                                                    by Markus Zusak

This book is on my wishlist! I've heard so many good things about it!










12. Inkheart -------------------------------------->

by Cornelia Funke

All the press about the movie has got me really wanting to read this! And watch the movie too, of course!









<------------------------ 13. Reading Like A Writer

                                                   by Francine Prose

I saw this book in a bargain bin and was intrigued, but didn't buy it because I could only choose a few books. I've regretted not buying it ever since! =(

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov


Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov


I chose this book for my Reading Dangerously Challenge 2009 because it was a controversial book, but I had no idea just what a challenge it would be to read it.


It wasn't the subject matter that made it hard for me, since I kind of already knew what to expect. I've heard so many references to Nabokov's Lolita to the point that I almost didn't appreciate that the book was about pedophilia, in fact.


What made the reading of this book hard for me, was the writing style. Nabokov tends to write in long sentences and paragraphs, and more often than not, I found my eyes struggling to stay open.


The truth is, although the book was amusing at times, mostly I just didn't like it at all. I didn't like Humbert Humbert, and neither could I like Lolita. I probably would've given up completely on this book if it wasn't because it was meant to be a challenging read. But again, I didn't realize that it would be challenging in this sense.


The last part of the book is even worse, because it just went on and on without much happening at all, and me just thinking, get on with it already! Even the ending was anti-climatic.


The best thing I can say about having read this book, is that at least I'll be able to have 'intellectual literary discussions' about it. Honestly speaking, I think the only reason this book is popular at all is because of the subject matter, if Nabokov had written about anything else, we probably wouldn't even know his name now.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Poison That Fascinates by Jennifer Clement


The Poison That Fascinates by Jennifer Clement


First of all, the title by itself is fascinating already!


Secondly, I got this book from a Bookcrosser; they were having a readalong on the BC forums (Spoiler alert! Please do not read the discussion until you've read the book!) and I had a lot of fun reading the discussions

chapter by chapter while reading the book.


The story is about Emily who loves to collect facts and information about women criminals. She was abandoned by her mother when she was a baby, and was brought up by her father and a nun at the local Catholic orphanage.


Life is simple until one day, when her cousin Santiago comes back to live with her and her father. He brings mysteries and family secrets with him and turns their simple life completely upside down.


I quite enjoyed the book and Clements' staccato style of writing in short, sharp sentences. The facts about women criminals and Mexican saints are very interesting too.


Although the book is filled with sadness, obsession, and mystery, it is an easy book to read because of the short, poetic sentences, and the interesting facts sprinkled throughout the book helps to hold our attention as well.


I thought it was a very well-written book, and very cleverly woven by Clement, because there were a lot of references in the story that some readers may or may not realize when reading the book. I probably wouldn't have realized myself, if I didn't read the readalong thread in the BC forums. Wonderful book!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Quotable Romance : TT #11


Since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, I thought I'd do a romance themed TT this week. Presenting 13 quotes about love and romance:



1. “Romance is the fiction that owes no allegiance to the God of things as they are. In the novel the writer's thought is tethered to probability, but in romance it ranges at will over the entire region of the imagination.” Ambrose Bierce


2. “A historical romance is the only kind of book where chastity really counts.” Barbara Cartland


3. “Love stories are probably all I've ever been able to write or want to write.” Wally Lamb


4. “Perhaps they were right in putting love into books, . . . Perhaps it could not live anywhere else.” William Faulkner


5. “Love is more pleasant than marriage for the same reason that novels are more amusing than history.” Chamfort


6. “Romance and novel paint beauty in colors more charming than nature, and describe a happiness that humans never taste. How deceptive and destructive are those pictures of consummate bliss!” Oliver Goldsmith


7. “There is no happiness in love, except at the end of an English novel.” Anthony Trollope


8. “Women want love to be a novel, men a short story.” Daphne Du Maurier


9. “I really don't like when things are all polished and perfect - the perfect love story and the hair is perfect.” Marisa Tomei


10. “Then there's the story of ill-fated love. It's universal.” Rita Moreno


11. “We always felt we have male readers who say they don't read our romance novels — but they do.” Marleah Stout


12. “I don't write romance novels, any more than Tom Clancy writes legal thrillers. Yes, I write about love and relationships and Tom Clancy writes a thriller, but what I do would not be accepted by romance publishers, since the romance genre has numerous requirements and I don't satisfy any of them. I write love stories, a completely different genre.” Nicholas Sparks

13. “Somebody would say, `Can you write us an article about big, bodice-ripping, blockbusting romance novels?' And I'd say, `Yes, of course,' because I was a hungry young journalist.” Neil Gaiman

What's your Thursday Thirteen this week?


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays : February 10 2009

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My Teaser:


"I was careful to make sure Hugh never smelled alcohol on my breath. He rarely came close to me anyway and I developed a trick of having my head bent over some task - mending or washing up - when he came home, so he just used to kiss the top of my head." ~p. 155, Linda Gillard's A Lifetime Burning

I finished this book a few days ago, but it's stayed on my mind until now because it was such an emotionally intense book.


It's about the hopeless life of a woman, Flora, who has only ever wanted to find happiness but suffers so much trying to achieve it. In childhood, her musically talented twin brother outshines her, so she decides to go to drama school. Then she tries to find love and at age 21, marries a man twice her age. Later when she's older, she has a scandalous affair with her brother's son, her own nephew.


At the beginning of the book, Flora isn't portrayed as very likable at all, and later you realize that she'd been misunderstood. While you may not agree with the things she does and the way she feels, you understand why she's the way she is, and you can't help but feel sorry for her.


This book is extremely controversial and some people may hate it, but if you can keep an open mind and allow yourself to look through Flora's perspective, you may gain something valuable from it.


It's emotionally difficult to read, and can be quite depressing too, but that's how I feel about Wally Lamb's books, and I think his books are worthy reads.


PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 Teasers in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Thank you for the Awards!


Alice from Alice's Restaurant awarded me this Lemonade Award last week. Yayyy!


This is the "When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade" Award, for bloggers who make the best out of everything they have.


I'm honored! Thank you so much, Alice!



So how it works is:


1) You must link back to the person you received the award from.
2) You have to nominate 10 bloggers who are deserving of this award!





I've also received another award, from Natasha at Ulat Buku in the City.


The Premio Dardos Award is given in recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.


I am doubly honored! Thank you, Natasha!





The rules are as follows:

  1. Accept the award; post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted you this award and his or her blog link.
  2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know that have been chosen for this award.

Here's what I'm going to do though, instead of me awarding these to particular bloggers, I'd like to instead ask for nominations of bloggers *you* think deserve these awards, and I'll award these to them.


It would be a great way for me to discover new, great bloggers too! =)


You can nominate a blogger for either one of the awards, or you can nominate them for both. Let me know which in your comments! And remember to leave the links to their blogs!


Thanks in advance! =)

The Rock Bottom Remainders: Thursday 13 #10

Today's topic is going to be fun! 13 fun facts about The Rock Bottom Remainders:



1.  The Rock Bottom Remainders is a band made up of 11 famous authors!


2. They are:

a. Mitch Albom

b. Dave Barry

c. Roy Blount Jr.

d. Greg Iles

e. Kathi Kamen Goldmark

f. Stephen King

g. Matt Groening

h. James McBride

i. Amy Tan

j. Ridley Pearson

k. Scott Turow


3. Amy Tan, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, and Scott Turow are on vocals. Both Dave Barry and Greg Iles play the lead guitar. Stephen King is on rhythm guitar. Ridley Pearson plays the bass. Mitch Albom plays keyboard. James McBride's on saxaphone. Matt Groening plays the....uh, cowbell. And Roy Blount Jr. plays the crowd.


4. The Rock Bottom Remainders were founded by Kathi Kamen Goldmark.


5. Some of the original members of RBR include Barbara Kingsolver, Dave Marsh, Josh Kelly, and Joel Selvin.


6. Some famous stars who have played with RBR include Gloria Gaynor and Bruce Springsteen!


7. They have the funniest website! Check out their FAQs!


8. Watch Mitch Albom sing a Billy Joel song:



9. You can check out more videos of them in Youtube; Stephen King sings! And Dave Barry too. There's also a video of them on The Late Late Show!


10. Their latest tour was in June, 2007 in NYC, with special guests Frank McCourt, Roger Mcguinn, and Andy Borowitz!


11. The RBR have also formed a charity organization, The Remainders Foundation, to support various literacy efforts.


12. I was absolutely tickled when I found out about RBR!! I think they're great!


13. I'm probably gonna join their groupies made up of librarians in their 50s and 60s with passion for cats! =D

Template by:

Free Blog Templates