Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In The Woods by Tana French

I know that I am horribly late with this review. It seems like I am the last person on the planet to read this book!

One of the downfalls of studying literature is that you study plot and narrative. This said, my husband hates watching movies with me because I always call the plot 20 minutes into the film. Not so with this book. There were so many twists and turns that I was honestly at a loss for most of the novel.

In 1984 three children go to play inside the woods of an estate in Ireland, Knocknaree. Three kids go in, but only one child comes out; in blood soaked tennis shoes and a shredded T-shirt, with no recollection of what occurred. He goes on to become a detective and is placed on a case in the same forest, a homicide. Are they related?

I liked the book a lot. HOWEVER, there are two things about this book that bothered me.

*****SPOILER ALERT************

1. Cassie and Rob sleep together! I mean, come on. Really? Although I do like that Sam and Cassie couple up at the end.

2. We never find out what happened to the other two kids. I heard that this is an actual myth in Ireland, and that supposedly these two kids still haunt the woods of Ireland. Who knows?

******SPOILER OVER************

I just checked out her second novel, The Likeness, which continues on with Cassie Maddox. I am excited to get started on it.

Also, I have a ton of really great reviews and giveaways coming up. Including, but not limited to (how much fun is it to say that?!) CoverYourHair.com, SkinMD Shielding Lotion, Admit One by Emmett James, Futureproof by N. Frank Daniels, and Now and Then by
Jacqueline Sheehan.

I am very excited!

Stay tuned!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Review- Home Repair, by Liz Rosenberg

Home Repair, by Liz Rosenberg
Harper Collins, 2009
328 pages

It occurred to me as I started to think about this review that I am going to have to post a review for a book that I DO NOT like. Otherwise, you all are going to start thinking that I am just full of fluff. Because I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!

I started this book one night while rocking the wee one to sleep. I only had the rocking time to read, and had I known what was coming, I would have waited to start it because once I started reading Home Repair, that was all I wanted to do!

Eve, Rosenberg's main character, decides to have a garage sale. She just needs a little space, some breathing room, just a tiny little wedge of space for herself. So she holds a garage sale. What she gets rid of in this garage sale, was her husband.

ANY mother that I know can identify with Eve, and her need for space. From Home Repair, "The inside of her car was messy with Marcus's old school papers, empty candy wrappers, and spring-water bottles or empty Gatorade. Both kids treated the car like a giant moving garbage can. She wished, not for the first time, that she could have one clear space she could claim her own." (160)

What we see after her husband, Chuck, abandons her in the middle of a garage sale is a story that strikes home with all of us. The characters are beautiful, round characters (you don't even really meet the husband until the latter part of the book, which is fantastic because all I did was daydream about what he was really like!) and a story that guides Eve right into her own independence, and no one elses.

You can find more about Liz Rosenberg's novel, Home Repair, here and here and here.

You can get it here and here. AND YOU SHOULD.


Friday, January 8, 2010

You want cement dust and chicken litter with that?

Most of you know already that I abhor fast food. I just can't stand it. I hardly ever touch it, and I think its gross that my husband is oddly cultish about the damn McRib. A few times during my pregnancies I craved really horrible fast food meal. With my oldest, I ate a Whopper once a day for nearly two weeks. These days I can't even look at them!

I have always tried to be educated and informed about the food that I feed my family. I have always made our baby food, instead of buying processed industrial baby food (plus its SO inexpensive! Try it!). I try to get what I can from the farmers market, and when I'm at the grocery store I read labels and not just prices. Sometimes we can't afford to eat the way I would REALLY like to, but I try to do the best I can with what we got. I thought I had it down pat...

Until I read The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan.


Has anyone else read this book?! OH MY GOD.

I knew about the influx of corn into nearly every food product we eat today, but did you know that there are, on average, 45,000 products in your supermarket? Did you know that of those 45,000 more than a quarter of them contain corn in one form or another?

From his book-

"American farmers produce 13 million bushels of corn a year. (That's up from 4 billion bushels in 1970." Of those 13 million bushels, 10% goes into processed foods.


The same wet milled corn starch products that create industrial baby foods, instant puddings, custards, instant teas, low-cal sweeteners and salad dressings also create pastes, glues, fiberglass, insecticides, wallpaper, and leather products.

And we eat them...

The same native starch used to create precooked, frozen meals also creates dry-cell batteries, detergent, and charcoal briquettes.

And we eat them!

Chicken nuggets from McDonalds?! HORRIBLE. Chicken Nuggets, made by Tyson for McDonalds, contain, among other things, tertiary butylhydroquinone- a form of butane.

Pollan offers a list of possible ingredients in cattle feed- chicken manure, cattle manure, chocolate, cement dust, molasses, candy, urea, hooves, feathers, meat scraps, fish meal, pasta, peanut skins, brewery wastes, cardboard, feather meal, chicken litter (bedding, feces & discarded bits of feed from chicken farms) chicken, fish, and pig meal.

This is what we are intentionally ingesting?!

Not so fast you might say. But I eat organic you might say....get the book, read the chapter on Industrial Organic. It is eye opening.

I will leave with this quote- "The fast food meal seems cheap, but as we have seen, the costs are actually enormous. The industrial food chain costs each and every one of us: in government spending, in pollution, in global warming, and in our health."

He also leaves us with a bevy of resources and a list of ways to start changing how we view food, and how we view our natural surroundings.

I would STRONGLY suggest this book to EVERYONE.

Now, who's hungry?