Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Review: The Body Tourist by Dana Lise Shavin

Here is the book description as written on Amazon: In this moving and funny memoir that spans the six years following the author's purported recovery from anorexia, Dana Lise Shavin offers a candid and ultimately optimistic window into the mindset and machinations of a mental illness whose tentacles reached deep into her life, long after she was considered "cured." In 1981, Shavin graduated from college with a BA in Psychology. It had been a difficult venture that included an expulsion, a four-month institutionalization, and a multitude of transfers. By the time it was over, she was convinced she was cured, and that it was time to start curing others. "I’m ready," she told her parents, her therapist, and friends—all of whom shook their heads in horror at her 95-pound, 5’9” frame. Undaunted, she landed a job as a counselor in a halfway house for drug and alcohol addicts.

 If anyone knew what it took to become a happy, functioning adult, Shavin was convinced she was the one. As anyone would suspect, the burden of self-contempt, faulty logic, and interpersonal turmoil that are the character traits of depressive disorders and addictions do not miraculously disappear once medication and therapy have taken effect. Where, then, do these dangerous obsessions, such as the wish for obliteration (which often co-exists with the wish for immortality), go once a person sets foot on the road to recovery? For Shavin, they lived beneath the radar of her supposed new-found health, disguising themselves in the falling-down houses she happily moved into and the dangerous neighborhoods she somehow didn't fear. They announced themselves in the deeply flawed men she professed to adore, the food rituals she thought were normal, the ordinary sex she could not have, and, most profoundly, her inability to acknowledge her father’s illness and encroaching death.

 While many writers have written candidly and eloquently about their struggles with depression, addictions, and eating disorders, those stories usually conclude once there is progress toward recovery. Beyond recovery—whether from addiction, illness, the death of a loved one, or divorce—there is another story, one that is about how we re-join the world, and, in the living years that follow the darkness, pursue a life that is creative, engaged, and deeply felt in one's body.

 My review: This book was beautifully written allowing the reader insight to the thoughts and feelings of Dana Shavin dealing with her Anorexia and her fight to overcome her mental illness. Through the Body Tourist book Dana Lisa Shavin shows that Anorexia is a lot more than just controlling what you eat. I loved the honesty of the memoir. Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book and write my honest opinion.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Book Review: How to get Dressed by Alison Freer

I absolutely loved this book!!  So many insider secrets and tips to making your clothing work for you! I received this book in Kindle version but I will definitely buy it in paperback so I can highlight it and flip through it as often as I want.  It would make a great present for any woman or man that you know.

Also, I could not wait to look up a few of the inexpensive products that she mentions in the book so I can have them at all times.

Thank you to Netgalley, Alison Freer and Ten Speed Press for this ARC copy and allowing me to give my honest opinion of this book.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Book Review: The Authentic Amish Cookbook by Norman and Marlena Miller, compliers

The book summary: Now you can enjoy genuine Amish recipes from the Amish themselves. From the members of the Evart, Michigan, Amish community comes this collection of 450 family favorites, including… salads and dressings (24-Hour Potato Salad, Italian Macaroni Salad)meats and main dishes (Honey-Mustard Baked Chicken, No-Fuss Lasagna, Taco Quiche)desserts (Apple Cream Cheese Pie, Rhubarb Torte, Raspberry Swirl) Several miscellaneous recipes (jerky, play dough, finger paint…) and large-quantity recipes (for wedding receptions and other large events) are followed by many healthy recipes for folks who are watching their diet. A generous collection of tips and hints provides extra help in making your duties in the kitchen and throughout your home flow smoothly. With popular Amish hymns and inspirational thoughts sprinkled throughout, The Authentic Amish Cookbook provides everything you need to enjoy your meal preparation and to bless your family and friends with table times they’ll never forget.

I love cookbooks with recipes from home cooks.  This cookbook has over 450 wonderful recipes, Roasted Potato Salad, Kolaches, Wet Bottom Shoo-fly Pie, Cream Cheese Sheet Cake are examples of the many recipes I want to try.

I loved the addition of inspirations, poems and quotes.

I highly recommend this cookbook as an addition to your cookbook collection.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Harvest House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for an honest review. And I would like to thank the many ladies that contributed to the cookbook.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Book Review: Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

I recieved this book for my honest review from Netgalley(Random House LLC).  This is the author's debut novel.

Hausfrau is not what I expected, it is a dark, very thought-provoking book and would make a great book club book because it would generate a lot of discussion.

The main character Anna Benz is a thirty something housewife that moves to Switzerland with her Swiss husband and two sons.  The saying "a bored woman is a dangerous woman" is very true in this story. Anna is a bored housewife.

I enjoyed the writing of this book by Jill Essbaum but I did not like Anna.  Anna is living in a perfect family a beautiful country with a loving husband and yet cannot be happy.  She is her own worst enemy and has no self-control.

I wanted to continue reading Hausfrau because I was hoping Anna would get her act together.  The ending of the book was very depressing and some of the language was a little too strong for me and the sex scenes left nothing to be imagined.

I would recommend this book to book clubs.