I Read: Brave Girl Eating

A couple of days after I wrote “My Offensive (?) Obesity Post” I came across a book called Brave Girl Eating by Harriet Brown.  It was returned to the library along with a lot of other materials on Anorexia and Bulimia.  Obviously, someone was doing research on eating disorders.  When I see such a huge number of materials on one particular health topic, I often wonder if they’re researching for school or if it’s for a more personal reason.  It’s none of my business and I would never ask, but still I wonder.

Seeing this book (and all of the others like it) in the sorting bin reminded me of my earlier post about the stigma that probably should be associated with obesity, the difficulties associated with leading a healthier lifestyle and how we learn to be obese by mirroring our families.  I admit that I don’t know much about eating disorders, so I picked up Brave Girl Eating because it was the story of a regular girl, with a healthy family life and no history of abuse or mental illness who “fell down the rabbit hole of anorexia.”

I really liked that this book wasn’t just about the struggles of Kitty, the adolescent girl who developed anorexia.  It was about the family’s struggle to bring her back through Family Based Therapy (FBT) instead of the typical institutional therapy that is prescribed for most anorexics. I also appreciated that Kitty’s story was used as the common thread as Ms. Brown discussed the research she performed on her daughter’s illness.  Her research included clinical trials, studies, articles, books and websites – many of which painted a terrible picture of Kitty’s future.

Those of us who have never had an eating disorder find it unfathomable that someone would refuse to eat, or would purge in some way just because the image they carry of themselves is so skewed that they cannot see the skin and bones everyone else does.  We cannot imagine how difficult, trying, and painful such an illness is for the families who feel powerless in the face of this disease.  It’s all just sick and sad, and not researched nearly enough.

So, while I do still think we need to do everything possible to not be obese, I think we also do need to make sure that we’re not taking it to the other extreme: starvation.

1001 Books: Metamorphoses; Chaireas and Kallirhoe; The Princess of Cleves

In this post you get 3 for the price of 1!

As part of my 1001 books personal challenge I read:

  • Metamorphoses by Ovid: Ancient Greek tales of metamorphosis told in beautiful language
  • Chaireas and Kallirhoe by Chariton: painful.  Utterly painful
  • The Princess of Cleves by the Comtesse de La Fayette: Easy language, but a really boring read.

Sadly, I don’t remember much of the actual stories.  It’s like once I finished reading them I blocked the bad memories.  Well, to be fair Metamorphoses was actually pretty good.  It was nice to re-learn the Greek myths that explain how things came to be (why mulberries are red, why certain flowers grow together, etc.).  The language used was beautiful and simple to read.  It was one that I could see myself referencing again in the future.

1001 Books Challenge: Gargantua and Pantagruel

Some of the stuff discussed in this book were hilarious.  One character was advised not to marry because his wife would end up cheating on him with a priest.  There were pages and pages of insults.  That’s it, literally, pages of insults.  Then at the end another character describes a magic grain/herb/plant thingie that does just about everything – it cures a bunch of diseases, provides shelter, repairs weapons… and even gives gods the ability to travel among the stars!  If I were one to buy into snake oil sales, I’d totally buy some Pantagruelion!

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Gargantua and Pantagruel
by Francois Rabelais

1001 Books Challenge: Aesop’s Fables

For more information about my Personal 1001 Books Challenge click here.

This rhyming read brought back memories of childhood.  I remembered each of the fables and, with the distance of age, saw just how many of them had been made into children’s movies.

This is a book I’ll definitely be reading to my nieces and nephews in the future.  Remember: morals never go out of style.

The version I read had been scanned from a really old copy, but there are others available at Amazon.

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Aesop’s Fables
by Aesopus

Book Review: Lover Mine

I actually had a second to read something that’s not part of the 1001 Books Challenge!  Yay!  It didn’t take too long and was a welcome relief from all that thinking I had to do.  I know… sounds terrible.  But it’s nice to take a break  from such challenging reads.

Lover Mine is part of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  It’s got vampires (the good guys), lessers (the bad guys who smell like baby powder), flash backs, long lost family,and ghost hunters.  For being 512 pages, it moves fast and was super easy to read.

There were three or four stories going on at the same time for me to keep track of.  It might be a bit much for some people, but it worked well in this book.  I didn’t mind much at all.

Make sure you read the other books in the series first, or you might be a bit confused about what’s going on with all the different stories.  But if you’re a super smart monkey and you don’t mind being confused, go ahead and read this one.

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Lover Mine
by JR Ward

1001 Books Challenge: Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit

This book was read as part of my personal 1001 Books Challenge.  You can read about it and see the list here.

Have you ever read something that made you feel dumb?  Really?  Me either until now.

This is not to say that I understood none of this particular book.  There were random parts that made a bunch of sense and the rest… well…  It went way over my head.  Maybe it was the style of the writing that was the problem.  I could understand it if I concentrated really hard and analyzed each sentence.  But who really wants to do that?  I just wasn’t in the concentrating mood today.

The parts that I did understand made sense.   Some of it was even funny.  Some of it was common sense – just worded differently.

I’d have to read it again to “get” the rest of it, but I don’t think I’m willing to do that right now.  Maybe in a few months or so, once this has had a chance to marinate in my brain for a bit.

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Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit
by John Lyly

1001 Books Challenge: Oroonoko

To see the list of 1001 Books click here.

Oroonoko by Aphra Behn
ISBN 0-140-43988-9

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I’m not normally one to read introductions to books before I read the book itself.  It used to make me crazy that my teachers would force us to read the intros first when they would often contain interpretations of the work that I didn’t agree with… oh yeah, and spoilers too.  So, I didn’t read the intro for this story until I was about halfway through.

I only read the intro because the work itself struck me as being something of a fairy tale.  A beautiful (by Anglo standards), noble (by those same standards), naive, trusting warrior prince becomes a slave through trickery.  It’s a story of an idealized version of a person’s life, with love, rebellion and murder mixed in.  I came to find out that Behn wrote this story as a social/political commentary for her own time.  Although it wasn’t completely obvious to me initially, I could see it as I thought about it a bit more.

The language used was beautiful. I read parts of it aloud for the sheer pleasure of hearing the words that were written.  And, at only 73 pages long it was a quick read that was easy to follow.

 

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