Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book reviews: Newlyweds, Health and Gold

I love it when I get into some really good books after mediocre ones and can really bust through them!

Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs

Also the author of A Year of Living Biblically, Jacobs takes projects and makes them lifestyle changing experiments in the name of journalism. In this book he does lots of research on health fads and puts them to trial on his quest to become the healthiest man on the planet. Each month he focuses on a different body system, i.e. "stomach" or "skin" and tries various things. He does smell therapy and finds out he has a below-average nose (something I'm pretty sure I have too), he also tries accupuncture, excessive chewing, and safety proofing his house, among others. This book is humorous and well-written although its not quite as informative as I would have liked. Nevertheless I've added his other books to my reading list and am excited to check them out.

The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger

Basic premise: Amina is from Bangladesh, George is from Rochester, they meet on and through some emails and one visit decide to get married. Amina moves to New York and there the story begins. There is family drama as Kim, George's cousin, enters the picture and as Amina tries to get her parents to America. I recommend you read this NPR review to get a better idea of where Fruedenberger comes from. You really feel for Amina and George as they face cultural differences and communication issues and you just want them to be honest! It's slightly painful to read as is any story that speaks truthfully about relationships. I don't want to give away too much of the story so I can't explain much more. Bottom line is that I definitely recommend it.

Gold by Chris Cleave

Kate and Zoe have been their own worst rivals and closest friends since they started training together for cycling in the Olympics since they were 19. They train through the Athens, Beijing and the Sydney London and face life along the way. Zoe has a troubled past that makes her a fierce competitor with a lousy personal life. Kate married Jack, another Olympic cyclist, and they have a daughter, Sophie, going through treatment for leukemia. As you can imagine the personal struggles and highly competitive careers make for a challenging friendship between the two. Cleave tells this story in a way that makes you want to sit down and ignore life for most of the time you're reading it. His other book is definitely on my to read list now and I think you should read this book if you haven't yet.

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