As readers will notice, I have fallen behind in my posts. Returning to work in February and the subsequent COVID19 pandemic have kept me distracted but I continue to read. In an effort to catch up, I will do a few summary posts so that I am not clogging up emails with so many individual posts.
15. Instant Loss: Eat Real, Lose Weight (Williams, Brittany)
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a big fan of cooking. I like to throw things together quickly yet enjoy healthy meals. Although I was a bit hesitant to use the instant pot, initially, with encouragement from my mom. I did give it a chance and it is much different than the stove top version that I remember being a bit afraid of as a kid.
This great cookbook focuses on eating healthy, non-processed food. Like me, Williams prefers quick recipes, with limited ingredients that can be thrown into an instant pot.
16. How Full is Your Bucket? (Rath, Tom and Clifton, Donald)
How Full is Your Bucket is a quick reminder of how important it is to share positivity, focus on strengths and praise others for a job well done!
This author has also written Strengths Finder 2.0 which was a great way to realize your own strengths and how to work with others who have different strengths.
17. Scythe (Shusterman, Neal)
The Scythe is a YA book that my son’s class was reading. It is an interesting concept… people can be fixed and live on forever by healing and resetting their ages. The population can’t be too large so scythes are responsible for “gleaning” individuals based on statistics from mortal times.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to be apprentices to the scythes and learn more than gleaning as they come to understand the challenges and importance of the role of the scythe.
Although I might not have chosen this book, I did enjoy it and enjoyed discussing with my son catches up. It is a series so look for reviews of book 2 and 3 coming soon.
18. Before We Were Yours (Wingate, Lisa)
Before We Were Yours is a devastating story of adoption gone wrong, in the 1930s to 1950s, when children were removed (read stolen, kidnapped, unlawfully signed away) from their poor parents and adopted by rich families. The fictional story was based on historic situations stemming from the Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home and their wicked director, Georgia Tann, who profited from these adoptions. Children were not only kidnapped but were abused and even disappeared forever from these homes.
The topic was shocking and the fictional characters based on real situations. I struggled a bit with the “coincidences” in the story, particularly when elderly, May, stole the dragonfly bracelet starting Avery down the path of investigation. Despite that challenge, the story does stick in one’s mind and make the reader realize how poorly children were treated in years past (think also of The Orphan Train or Home for Unwanted girls).
19. The First Cell (Raza, Azra)
This book was a very interesting examination of the importance of proactive screening. It suggests that it would be advantageous to find cancer at an early stage rather than trying to cure cancer at later stages with such a great cost to healthy cells, finances and wellbeing. It examined individual cases (including the author’s spouse who sadly passed away from the same disease she studied and treated) and made me think of Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal.
As a health professional with palliative care experience, I still found it to be a lot of science yet it was eye opening. I did find it curious that the oncologist had such a close relationship with her patients, on one hand it was likely reassuring but on the other hand seemed to cross boundaries when they went out for meals or shows.