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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

"Radical Beauty" by Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Kimberly Snyder, C.N.

When it comes to health and beauty wellness, the options for reading are countless.  There are lots of books out there that are written by professionals that are way too difficult to follow.  There are also lots of books out there written by nonprofessionals that are easy to follow.  This book offers the best of both worlds in that it is written by professionals yet is easy to follow.  With no medical degree, I was able to follow along and put the advice into practice in my own life.  Knowing the tips in this book are backed by science and not just some fad really helped.  I also really enjoyed the sections devoted to recipes and exercises.  It isn't good enough simply to tell readers they need to eat better and move more.  Books need to tell readers WHAT to eat and HOW to exercise.  With the cool pink pages and emphasis on beauty, this book is geared more towards women.  However, I would argue that men would also like to learn how to look better.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

"The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant

This dramatic novel takes a simply Bible story and makes it come to life in a most unflattering yet human light.  In Genesis, countless generations read how Jacob wanted to marry Rachel--his one true love--but was tricked into marrying her sister Leah.  After this swindle, he waited seven years to be with Rachel (as was the custom in that day when some men worked for their bride-to-be's father until the agreed-upon wedding day).  Yet, in Diamant's tale, Jacob was not totally in love with Leah, and he was not such an honorable man.  Beyond having two other wives beyond Rachel and Leah, Jacob had several sons by Leah.  A drunken man can be excused for conceiving on his wedding night, but what of all the other children and women?  What other excuse is there?  Leah's only daughter Dinah is remembered in the Bible as a woman who fell in love with a prince.  The prince and her were intimate, and the prince loved her so much that he wanted to marry Dinah.  However, Jacob's sons murdered Dinah's love and doomed her to a life of misery.  From this misfortune, Dinah never forgave her family.  Diamant goes so far to presume Jacob changed his name to Israel not due to some diving encounter but rather to be rid of his former name Jacob that had become synonymous with murder and deceit.  Of course, the story of this novel is historical fiction or midrash of the Torah.  It can not be 100% verified.  However, given the blunt details of the Bible and the persuasive way this story reads, it is not difficult to imagine that the characters in the Bible really lived the way we read in "The Red Tent."  This book has adult themes and is not recommended for children.  It is also very sad, so I would not recommending it right before bedtime.