Recent Reads, Nonfiction Edition

Lately I've been reading all nonfiction books. I'm going through one of those spells where I can't seem to find a novel that interests me.  Hopefully I'll be back on the next installment with some fun fiction.

State by State, edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey
I bought this ages ago and never read it, and recently picked it up.  Fifty notable people each pen an essay about their state, with the goal of “describing America to Americans.” (Anthony Bourdain’s essay absolutely nails New Jersey!!). It’s a fun read, and it’s great because you can just pick a state and read the essay and not feel bad if you don’t read the rest of the book. The appendix has a table of state statistics (crime rates, suicide rates, etc) in the back, which was really interesting. Good read for something a little different. 

Clean by Alejandro Junger
I have absolutely no idea how I got lead to this book, but I was completely fascinated. Dr. Junger is a cardiologist who focuses on the nutritional aspect of health- basically how the things we ingest impact our bodies’ ability to reduce toxins and keep us healthy.  

He created the “Clean” program, a 1-3 week detox that involves lots of juicing, shakes, and no processed foods. You can eat one solid meal of lean protein and vegetables per day, and you juice for your other meals.  It seems extreme, but he shares (of course) tons of stories of patients suffering from all sorts of ailments- stomach, skin, cardiac, etc- and how following his program drastically lessened or eliminated their symptoms completely. 

I didn’t try the program, and have no immediate plans to, but I am fascinated by reading about the results, and just about some of the regular medical information Junger gives. It makes you trust in your own body and want to be good to it.

 I’d love to know if anyone out there has tried this program, and what the results were!

The Church of 80% Sincerity by David Roche
This book is about a concept, not a real church. It’s not even really religious. The author, David Roche, was born with an extreme facial deformity, and the book just details his experiences of learning to love himself and find his own personal worth instead of focusing on his exterior.  The concept of “80% sincerity” is about letting go of perfection and finding grace and love in flaws. Enjoyable, but not amazing, and quite short.  

Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, and Other Southern Specialties by Julia Reed
I am obsessed with all things Southern.  I always tell my husband I wish we could pack up and move to Atlanta, but I have far too much New York in me to ever fit in elsewhere.  The South just seems so genteel, classy, elegant, and fun.  But since I can’t live there, I get my fix in books like Reed’s, which is composed of short food writing pieces and essays. Her Southern life comes right through, and while the recipes don’t really appeal to my tri-state area Italian palate, it’s a fun read nonetheless.

Any book suggestions?

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