September 14, 2015

Even To A Reader This May Be Too Many Books!


bookshelfMaybe it was because I had extra time after my heart problem. Maybe I was getting tired of the super heat of an Arizona summer. Or, maybe I just like books and like to have lots of choices.

For whatever reason, last week I found myself with more stacks of things I wanted to read than normal. Add to that at least three books on my library hold list that would be available soon and I was in reading heaven....or in need of a break!

Let's see, what was in stacks in the living room, family room, kitchen, office, and by the bed?

Two of the titles make perfect sense:Prevent a Second Heart Attack and Outliving Heart Disease. I am looking for an explanation of what got me where I am today and how to prevent another ambulance ride when my heart rebels.

Close by were Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Quick and Easy Cookbook from the American Heart Association, and The Complete Mediterranean Diet Cookbook. Oh, and The South Beach Diet to help me lose some weight quickly. The days of potato chips, burgers, lots of bread, and processed cold cuts were over. What were safe choices from now on?

In my office were two books waiting for me to read and review on the blog: Live Well With Chronic Pain and Windows 10 for Seniors for Dummies. The first is one that Betty is reading to give me her reactions. As someone who has lived with pain for the last 30 years, her take on that book would be important. I had just converted from Windows 7 to Windows 10. I figured the Dummies book would point me toward features I hadn't discovered yet and might helps others in the transition.

In a real shift of topics, by my chair in the living room was a copy of Philip Yancey's Prayer and an English translation of Lao Tzu's Te Tao Ching. I have read the Yancey book before but didn't really enjoy it. Now felt like the right time to give it a second chance. The Te Tao Ching was one I stumbled across while in Portland. I found many of the author's thoughts to be remarkably in sync with my Christian beliefs, others both confusing and enlightening. I do like to learn about subjects that are new to me; the Te fit perfectly.

For pure escapism, Kathy Reichs' Bare Bones was a nice change of pace. The lead character is Temperance Brennan. If you watch the TV series, Bones, that name should sound familiar. She is the forensic anthropologist that the series is built around. I enjoy the show so I decided to give the book a chance. Summer fluff that feels good after all the "heart" books! 

And, finally, a book that seems so appropriate: Browsing, a Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books. As its name implies this is a series of essays, by a book fanatic, on the thrills of reading and collecting books. Each essay contains at least a half dozen suggestions. I knew I was in trouble when I had added four authors to my must-read list and I was only halfway through the first chapter.

A Satisfying Journey moves forward, one printed word at a time.


22 comments:

  1. Hi Bob. Wow what a reading list! One thing I discovered after me heart episode almost a decade ago is that I needed to get exercise on a daily basis and not just sit around reading books all day. (ha).

    Hope you are doing well..
    RJ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try to limit my reading to late afternoon or evening so I dont waste time that can be spent outdoors, at the gym, or writing. The only time I am OK with much daytime reading is when it is 105 degrees!

      Delete
  2. sigh.

    As a part of our recent re-organization, I am getting rid of books.......your post just made me want to run out & get a lot more! Mostly, though, because of my bad eyes, I'm putting them on my e-reader; I can then enlarge the print to read more comfortably and it is taking down some of the stacks of stuff at home.

    I have to chuckle & agree with RJ---I'm wearing a FitBit now & that reminds me to get up, quit reading (which I would do much of the day) & walk/move around.

    We haven't switched to Windows 10 yet; I'd be interested in your book review & comments when you get there. So glad you are doing well & hope you continue.......thanks for coming back & writing. You are a great reminder to take care of me, which I'm not too good at, instead of helping others, which I do fairly well.

    pam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All but one of these books are from the library. Amazon is not happy that I stopped buying many books.

      I tracked over 16,000 steps on my fitbit yesterday, but we are at Disneyland with the grandkids so that makes sense!

      I am not going to review the book, but I can tell you I have had no problems with Windows 10. It does load much faster than 7.

      Delete
  3. Well, let's see . . . currently by my bedside is 'Lean In' by Sheryl Sandberg, '168 Hours' and 'All the Money in the World' both by Laura Venderkam, 'Infinite Jest' by David Foster Wallace (Book club read) and 'Micro' by Michael Creighton (his last work before he died). I'm very much enjoying the first three, and all are inspiring me to make changes in my life with regard to how I manage my time in retirement. I am about 10% in to Infinite Jest, and I'm loathing it. This is probably the first book club read in my six years with the club that I will elect to not finish. Though Mr Wallace was unquestionably a brilliant writer (was, because he committed suicide in 2008), I find his subject content unpleasant to the degree that I feel it's detracting from my life instead of adding to it. And Micro is likewise not so great either, but simply due to its rather bad writing. Toward the end of his career Mr. Creighton seemed to simply be penning movie scripts rather than compelling novels. I miss his earlier works - though a bit choppy in writing style, they were endlessly intriguing!

    I just downloaded The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, from my library, so fingers crossed for a good read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Based on your suggestion I read and enjoyed 168 hours. Thanks for the heads up on a few titles not worth the time. I enjoyed earlier Creighton novels. I will skip his last. I do want to read Girl on the train.

      Delete
  4. I love reading too! I recently had a young (12 year old) in the neighborhood inventory my books - she listed 790 in an Excel spreadsheet! My goal is to widdle them down to 100. I think the library is one of the greatest assets of our cities and have something on hold on a regular basis. If you find a good book, memoir, that talks about the experience of a heart attack and recovery please share!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hate to admit it, but I've needed to lose 20 pounds for many years. My health scare has been the best motivator I've ever had for changing my diet. I did some research and found that focusing on eating whole foods was simple and easy for me. Now that each meal has more fruits and veggies, I find I fill up on those healthy items and eat much less than before. I still have my favorite entrees, but I'll have half a serving and bulk up on salad or vegetables. I'm also learning to listen to my body after I eat a meal. Some things make me feel great, others make me want to take a nap. This is certainly another chapter of our journey. Thank goodness for the resources we have to teach us how to live well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly I am still trying to find the best balance of foods. I have lacked energy for the last few weeks so I need to be sure I am not avoiding certain foods that I should have.

      Delete
  6. My list tends to be more escapist than yours. I'm currently reading "Dead Wake", Erik Larson's book about the Lusitania. But I'd like to know how "Windows 10 for Seniors for Dummies" goes, since I've been offered the switch-over, from Windows 7; but I'm not sure I want to do it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I switched to Windows 10 when it was first offered and I like it. It loads much quicker than Windows 7. I have had no software conflicts. I dont use the tile feature very often.

      Delete
  7. Books are for exercising the mind, so they constitute exercise. You should be all set.

    I tend to gravitate towards non-fiction, since I can imagine the stories quite well, almost as if I was there. Just finished a book on the Civil War in Mississippi that I picked up in Biloxi this summer, and also have an e-book on the USS Houston that I am reading. Fascinating story about a ship that was forgotten for years (hint: there were Americans that also built the Bridge over the River Kwai.) I also have volumes on WWI that I have not completely finished, classics like Frankenstein and Dracula that I want to read after first doing so decades ago, and financial history books that I read from time to time. Only a small portion of my books still unread, but I like to build up a lot when I can get them for free or at a low cost.

    Have fun regardless Bob. And 16K steps is very good. I use the Garmin Vivofit and I also love it, since it is accurate for both walking and running.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got the fitbit to also keep track of my heart rate in addition to daily steps.

      The are a handful of books in my library that I reread, but usually once through is enough.I just keep finding books that seem interesting so my reading stack usually is quite large.

      Delete
  8. LOL, I consider the ability to juggle four books simultaneously one of the benefits of retirement! I tend to do different kinds of reading at different times of day -- scholarly reading in the morning when my mind is fresh, less demanding but still serious reading in the afternoon, and light reading in the evening. Oh, and I don't see any conflict between reading and being outside in nice weather; I just take my book and a mug of tea out onto the deck.
    I haven't switched to Windows 10 yet because my computer manufacturer (Sony) has advised against it until they have all the drivers ready, but when I do I'll look for the Dummies guide. I love those guides! I've often thought that Microsoft should just fire all the people who write their impenetrable "help" and contract the job out to the Dummies guides folks. -Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just to be safe I installed Windows 10 on one of my computers to see how it worked. After no issues for several weeks I will go ahead and upgrade the other ones in the house.

      Delete
  9. My thoughts on the Windows 10 upgrade:

    I upgraded to W10 from W7 on my 4 year old laptop, but after a week or so, I rolled back to W7.

    My issue was mainly about poor video playback and a Java app that didn't react well. I tried it out on MLB TV and TV-on-demand from a couple of the networks and the result was not encouraging, so I took advantage of the one month rollback feature to return to W7 (which, BTW, only took about 10-15 minutes).

    I think the fault lies with my aging computer, though, as I've had a flawless experience on the 2 newer computers that I upgraded at work. Both of those went from W8.1 to W10 (if that makes any difference). For anyone concerned about their ability to cope with the new version of Windows, no one at my office has even mentioned noticing anything different on the desktop in the common area.

    A word of caution: for those operating with a monthly bandwidth cap, W10 has a million different ways to drain your bandwidth without mercy, including mandatory updates. If you're already cutting it close every month, get ready for some overage.

    If you aren't a fan of the new Edge browser (and I'm not), Internet Explorer is still there (if you ARE a fan of IE). You just have to search for it and pin the icon to the taskbar. As for those live tiles, I just don't see the point.

    If your computer is up to it, and if you have no fears of running out of bandwidth before you run out of month, I'd say be brave and go for it. If you upgrade and don't like it, you can roll it back quickly and easily.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You have some good books there! I am adding a couple of them to my reading list too. So many books, so little time. I have 3 good ones going now: Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vere Hodgson is her diary from 1940 to 1945 in London--so interesting! Eleanor and Franklin by Joseph P. Lash is just excellent. And The Awakening of Miss Prim is fun fiction. Enjoy your reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am just back from spending a few days with the whole family at Disneyland. I didn't read for 4 full days! But, now, back to the books.

      Delete
  11. Hi Bob. Regarding the diet books, check out some diabetes books. One of my favorites is "Good Carbs, Bad Carbs" by Burani. It was recommended by a client who had lost 60# in six months -- and didn't feel hungry. The secret was substituting long-acting carbs for fast-acting carbs, which levels out the insulin spikes and blood sugar levels.

    Several years later, I finally tried it as the my blood sugar rose to diabetic levels. May not work for everyone, but it worked for me. I lost almost 50#, and kept most of it off for two years. Now time to do it again for another 40-50#.

    I modified things a bit, and call my version the "SEC" diet, for "Stop Eating Crap." No white stuff - sugar, bread, potatoes, rice, etc. No snacks - potato chips, cookies, ice cream, etc. OK, I allow myself to cheat once in a while, just so I don't feel totally deprived. Its really not a diet, but rather a change in lifestyle.

    Breakfast for the past several years is a bowl of "old fashioned" oatmeal with fruit (instant oat meal or processed cereals are a no-no). Lunch or dinner is often a salad with fruit or veggies. The other meal includes meat and veggies, but only rarely potatoes. Snacks are boiled eggs, or small portions of cheese. Still allow myself the occasional red wine, beer, or drink - but not on a regular basis.

    The first month was a little difficult, but after that is got pretty easy. Like my client, I'm no longer hungry after a few hours. And the blood sugar levels returned to normal.

    Best wishes. I look forward to sharing stories over salads and iced tea when we get back to AZ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good pointers, Daryl. The positive news for me is I am supposed to drink red wine for my heart. But, most processed foods, chips, etc have been gone for well over a month and I don't miss them at all.

      Delete

Inappropriate comments will be deleted