What we have been up to this week

I participated in a read-a-thon and finished 3 books… yay!

Daisy read “Summary of How Not To Die, by Concise Reading”…

Daisy’s Review: 



Concise Reading offers an in-depth and comprehensive encapsulation of “How Not To Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease” by Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of NutritionFacts.org. It provides the essence and wisdom of the book as well as contemplative discussions that will help you appreciate the book even more.

This companion book contains many tantalizing sections including:
• Book Summary
• Background Information About The Author
• Discussion Questions
And much more!

*Note: This is an unofficial companion book of Michael Greger’s “How Not To Die”.
-It is designed to enrich your reading experience and not the original book.

4 **** stars
This is a short summarization of the healthy living nonfiction book, How Not to Die. It contains the basic facts and need-to-know info from the book, without lengthy explanations or overwhelming scientific jargon, and it gets across the point of a 576 page book very nicely in only 40 pages. This was a quick read, and surprisingly it was quite informative, to the point of recommending different foods and herbs for different disorders and sometimes even giving the suggested dosage. It is a stand-alone book, and does not need to be read alongside Dr. Michael Greger’s How Not to Die, although for those interested in reading the complete book it contains a link to buy it.

The basis of both books is that by living a healthy lifestyle, eating a proper diet, exercising regularly, and staying away from doctors as much as possible, you can live a longer and more fulfilling life. Each chapter is dedicated to a different common “killer”, including heart disease, cancers, brain diseases, infections, High Blood Pressure, diabetes, suicidal depression, Parkinson’s, kidney disease, and many more. Each chapter discusses what causes the disease, how to avoid it, and how to prevent and possibly cure it.

I liked a lot of what I read in this book… however, I have two problems with it that knock my rating down a star. I disagreed with Dr. Greger’s pro-vaccination and anti-animal products views. As one respected nutrition writer once said of this book, “Greger cherry-picked scientific studies to support his main thesis, and thus understated the beneficial effects of moderate meat and seafood consumption.” However, because I learned useful information from this book and agree with the majority of it, I would still give this book four stars.

I read “A Snowflake’s Chance In Hell” by Amy Romine for Authors Needing Reviews! Goodreads group and as a buddy read with SassyBrit… you can see a post of her’s about the book here.



Two hearts drawn by hope, linked by love.

All Quinn Lawson wanted was to find her brother. Separated after their parents perished in a drunk-driving accident, Quinn has been searching for him since she became eighteen. She is closer now than ever, but it is her last lead.

Gunnery Sergeant Kevin McCaluson has a choice to make, stay in the military or step away and try life as a civilian. With no family and no prospect of one, Kevin wonders if he can leave the only family he has ever known for the life he’s always dreamed.

My Review:

3 *** stars

A Snowflake’s Chance in Hell was is a holiday themed romance. Quinn is looking for her long lost brother and has received a tip that he may have been or is in the military. She makes a trip to try to find some info on this and meets Gunnery Sergeant Kevin McCaluson. There seems to be some tension from the outset as Quinn is feeling vulnerable and on the defensive, and Kevin is going through some personal issues with contemplating a promotion or whether he wants to continue in the military… what did he want for the rest of his life. He volunteers to help her in her search, and they develop an affection for each other.
The story itself was ok, but it seemed a bit rushed. No details are really given at the end as to where her brother had been all these years and how he was ultimately found.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.



“There are times when I feel like a stranger in this country. I am not complaining and it’s not for lack of opportunity. But it is something of a disappointment. I never would have imagined that after having spent thirty five years in the United States I would still be a stranger to so many. But that’s how it is.”

Jorge Ramos, an Emmy award-winning journalist, Univision’s longtime anchorman and widely considered the “voice of the voiceless” within the Latino community, was forcefully removed from an Iowa press conference in 2015 by then-candidate Donald Trump after trying to ask about his plans on immigration.

In this personal manifesto, Ramos sets out to examine what it means to be a Latino immigrant, or just an immigrant, in present-day America. With current research and statistics, a journalist nose for a story, and his own personal experience, Ramos shows us the changing face of America while trying to find an explanation for why he, and millions of others, still feel like strangers in this country.

“It is precisely this pattern of confrontation… that has won Ramos the trust of so many Hispanics. They know that in many countries south of the United States, direct questions can provoke not simply a loss of access but also a loss of life.” –Marcela Valdes, The New York Times

My review:

3 *** stars

(You can see all my yellow bookmarks sticking out the top for the various pages I wanted to refer back to…lol)

Stranger is a book about the Latino immigrant experience in our current system and laws, as well as how the changes to both are effecting that particular group of people. To a large degree, I think a lot of what he describes as far as how it feels to be an immigrant, feeling like an outsider to the new country, never quite fitting in is an experience all immigrants have felt throughout history. I know this is true for some of my grandparents as well as millions of others. The experience of discrimination based solely upon one’s race or country of origin is not new or unique either. For generations, “new” Americans knew that feeling all too well. My grandfather had his back broke at 17 yrs. of age simply because he was Italian, and ended up having to change his surname because of the difficulty in finding decent employment– and before him, it was the Irish, and after, it was the Chinese. In no way does it ever justify inhumane treatment of others; but we have seen this before as a nation, and the world, for millennia. Some of the statements that Mr. Ramos said, though, could be seen as inflammatory by those looking to pick apart what someone says that they already have a prejudice against. Such as, when he said “This is our country, not theirs.”…. exactly the type of statement that the haters are looking for to fan flames, to pick apart and to read into what they want. Who, exactly, is the “theirs” and “ours” he is referring too? I think this is part of the problem with all of the extreme sides being taken– how so many seem to see everything in terms of “us against them”… how can any change for the better ever happen until all peoples come to the table and are willing to put aside their differences, start at what they can agree on, and try to look at things from another’s perspective? It seems too many people any more are more than willing to look at the actions of a fringe few, listen to the hate filled speech of a handful and claim that those few represent many. Too many are more than willing to jump to conclusions about what others think or what motivates them without truly wanting to begin a conversation and understand. This is a volatile situation and something must change. People seem to be too willing to be offended. This is a vast departure from what had been– it seemed years ago people were much more tolerant than what we see now. Even if they had private prejudices, at least they usually were polite and kept much of that to themselves. I don’t see all the hate throwing as progress or evolution– in fact just the opposite. I was raised to “not say that– it’s not nice” out of respect for others, but that common courtesy seems to have become an old-fashioned sentiment. But, I do think “Stranger” by Jorge Ramos could provide an important starting point for talking about a much bigger and deeper issue, that of immigration and laws. He examines many issues that are impacting them in our country the way it is now, and the perspective of issues from the immigrants’ point of view. I think it is important, when trying to understand others, to put oneself in their shoes. I think true understanding is impossible otherwise. So, I don’t totally agree with all he says in the book, but I think it is a good beginning. I love my country and am extremely patriotic, but just as with my family whom I love, I am not always happy with what it does. Unconditional love does not meet blind acceptance of all the behavior. I love my children, though sometimes not what they do. The same goes for America, not only presently but also parts of its history.
I received this book from the publisher for an honest review… my thanks to Random House.

This book reminded me of a song by my fave Indie rock band Liberty’n’Justice, called “Uncle Sam”. Recorded for L’n’J by Sheldon Tarsha  of “Tarsha/ Alder’s Appetite” and Jeff Pilson of “Dokken” and “Foreigner” fame. I had to share as I think it says it all.

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