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url 2018-06-21 11:57
Best Natural Healing Centre in Canada

Looking for the professional retreat centre in Bragg Creek, Alberta? If yes, then Zen Wellness Retreat is the place where your search ends! We are dedicated to offer you the best-in-class ayahuasca retreats, wellness retreats, spiritual healer, health wellness and various energy healer program at the lowest possible price.

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review 2018-06-20 02:25
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine -- she really actually is gonna be just fine
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman
I liked this because I could relate to a lot of parts, but I don't think my star rating should count as a recommendation for just anyone. It's pretty much like a "beach read" - an easy book where everything is obvious, but it got to my heart. I saw every single plot point coming from a mile away, and the only reason I kept reading is I found her charming in the way that something horrible becomes funny ten years after it happens. (This is a coping skill of mine: "Right, life is falling apart, but in ten years, this will make a really funny story." That's sort of how you have to take Eleanor.)

Thanks, Book Club - because I'd not have touched this without you guys outvoting me once again! And I just made the cut-off for actual discussion time too. 

Seriously, this is a decent look at trauma through a non-victim lens. Eleanor Oliphant can be a difficult woman. She's sure she's right about everything, so has no clue why you might be irritated with her lack of tipping, total candor, rudeness, judgmental attitude, etc. It's clear she has some "issues" and the book is basically about how just a little human contact can go a long way toward healing even horrific damage. She really will be completely fine I'd bet.
 
(Yes, of course that's simplistic - that's why it's a beach read and not a psych textbook.)
 
 

 

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review 2018-06-17 23:35
Dr. Colbert's Keto Zone Diet
Dr. Colbert's Keto Zone Diet: Burn Fat, ... Dr. Colbert's Keto Zone Diet: Burn Fat, Balance Appetite Hormones, and Lose Weight - Don Colbert,MD

Another health book that turns conventional wisdom on its head about what is healthy and not healthy to eat if you want to lose weight. Eat fat! Healthy fat that is, like cooking with coconut, avocado and sesame oils; eating nuts, avocados, eggs, and much more that you were told not to eat. Cut out the gluten and increase your fats and you will get thin and healthy and you will keep it off! Food What the Heck Should I Eat is even a better book to take back your health.

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review 2018-06-13 21:28
An honest, simple, and clear explanation of intermittent fasting as a weight loss method and good tips on how to implement it.
Z-FAST: A Simple, Proven Intermittent Fasting Method - John Zehren

I must confess that I have struggled with my weight from very early on (well, all my life) and, like the author of this book have tried (or read about) a variety of diets. In my case, if something doesn’t make sense to me, I don’t try it, especially if it is something long-term. (I am a doctor but I’ve worked mostly as a psychiatrist, and I cannot claim specific expertise on this subject, even if I’ve read plenty about it). I have been hearing about intermittent fasting for quite a while and know people who have tried some versions of it (like eating only 500 calories two days a week), and I felt curious when I saw this book on offer for free. After all, fasting has a long tradition and plenty of people and cultures adhere to it, in one fashion or another.

The book is easy to read (I read it all in one evening), and although it is packed with information, it is not overly complicated. There is some degree of repetition because some of the information is relevant to several of the points the author discusses but does not get excessive or boring. The style of writing is conversational, and it is easy to imagine that you are talking to the author, who comes across as a knowledgeable and likable person, fully convinced of the goodness of the method, and interested in sharing it with as many people as possible. I’d recommend checking a sample of the book to make sure it suits the reader’s taste.

While many books of this kind try to sell you something (a method that involves subscribing and paying for a programme or buying supplements or other books, foods to be delivered at home, an exercise programme), this is not the case here. The author clearly states that he does not have time to prepare elaborate meals or to exercise for hours on end, but what he can do is not eat. The plan might not suit everybody as it does require a big deal of discipline and strong will (most diets do) but it is pretty flexible, and it makes sense. Different people feel differently, but for some, it might be easier to have nothing at all to eat at times than to try to restrict the amount of this or that or engage in very complex routines. The book contains testimonials from a variety of people who have tried fasting as a method to lose and control their weight and have found it useful, some for a large number of years. I particularly liked the idea of having an emergency plan and making a strong commitment to take action if the weight goes over a certain level. Personally, I cannot say if the plan works or not as described, but I’d recommend the book as an interesting read for people considering fasting as a method to control their weight.

My only warning would be that readers must pay attention to the fact that the book mentions that it might not be a suitable method for people with certain medical problems as it does not place a lot of emphasis on that aspect. I’d recommend anybody with chronic health conditions or taking regular medication to check with their physicians before attempting this.

An easy-to-read book that proposes a simple weight loss and maintenance plan that will particularly appeal to those with little time and who prefer simple options (not easy, though).

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review 2018-06-10 12:46
The Recovering: Addiction & Its Aftermath
The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath - Leslie Jamison
nb. I am a recovering heroin addict with decades clean. I lived through it when some medical professionals thought I wasn't worth the effort anymore. (That still upsets me - nobody should ever give up on an addict, especially medical professionals!) My addiction is private, but it's worth a mention here since it affects how I consume recovery literature.
 

I normally stay far away from recovery memoirs, having lived one myself and heard thousands more through the years. This book, though, promised to turn "the traditional addiction narrative on its head, demonstrating that the story of recovery can be every bit as electrifying as the train wreck itself." My ears perked up and I took note. The blurb goes on to say (from the publisher):

All the while, she offers a fascinating look at the larger history of the recovery movement, and at the literary and artistic geniuses whose lives and works were shaped by alcoholism and substance dependence, including John Berryman, Jean Rhys, Raymond Carver, Billie Holiday, David Foster Wallace, and Denis Johnson, as well as brilliant figures lost to obscurity but newly illuminated here.

That interested me tremendously. I find it endlessly interesting that so many artists are sure their art is linked with their particular dysfunction -- be it mental illness, substance abuse or misogyny. And I know of some writers and other artists who have done their best work only after clearing away the wreckage of addiction (Denis Johnson, Mary Karr, David Foster Wallace, Raymond Carver to name just a few...) Jamison's theory and examples seemed (from the blurbs) to be about how the stories we tell ourselves about addiction and recovery are, in fact, part of both solution and problem. I've read enough about the hard-drinking writer. I wanted to hear about the writers who got clean and sober and continued or gone on to great success. I didn't want another quit-lit book. I wanted something deeper and more interesting. What I got was mostly (but not all) another literary drunkalog, and this ain't Tender Is The Night, Where I'm Calling From, A Moveable Feast or any of the other rather brilliant drunkalogs we have to choose from.

Jamison has been compared to such iconic writers as Joan Didion and Susan Sontag. Yet her utterly singular voice also offers something new. With enormous empathy and wisdom, Jamison has given us nothing less than the story of addiction and recovery in America writ large, a definitive and revelatory account that will resonate for years to come.

Lofty, eh? It promises not just another quit-lit recovery memoir, but something that will alter the landscape.

 

So I was mighty upset when, for the entire first half of the 544-page book, we get precious little that differs from any number of other recovery memoirs, even while she explicitly states in the text that she will not be writing "just another recovery memoir." The language in this part is practically caressed, not just massaged. Every bartender's eyes or hair rates several adjectives, every drink is served with multiple metaphors. Everything is so damned beautiful. It felt -- a lot -- like the glorification of alcoholism and the behavior that comes with it. Eventually, on her own because it seems nobody else really noticed her problem, she will get sober, relapse and start over. It's here that the tone begins to change, but we're more than halfway through 544 pages at that point. In other words, she devoted a massive amount of pages to the glorious drunken Leslie and her oh-so-uniquely artistic pain.

 

At one point she says outright that she has trouble writing without putting herself in the story, and that's clear. She makes mention of the famous writers at Iowa with her, but only in passing because we're busy learning what she likes to drink, how much of it, when and how... Once she decides to get sober, she will fail and there will be a bit more longing for drinking/scheming etc, but the shine has gone, as anyone who has relapsed could tell you in far fewer words. It's after this point that the book starts to be unique. She is an excellent journalist, and I wish she'd excised her own story from this book entirely.

 

Her drinking is written in far greater detail than her recovery. She seems to take an emotional step back the minute she gets sober. I could feel fear at her vulnerability and recovery the minute it stopped being a drunkalog. Once sobriety starts, Jamison introduces journalism, statistics and experts, so we get no "other side of the coin" to the first half of the tome -- there is no honest portrayal of Jamison sober. It's obscured by her fact-finding missions and critical readings. This is where the other writers step in to give an assist.

 

Honestly it felt a bit like she used their stories of relapse and recovery to mask her own fear that she isn't qualified to write about her own recovery. Perhaps, like any smart addict, she has a fear of relapse. If you write a book called "The Recovering" you probably hope not to have to start counting days sober again after the publication date. Instead of saying that outright, though, she shows us other writers who did exactly that. The irony is that her sponsor tells her at one point that this is her problem in life -- it seems to also be a problem in her writing.

 

Jamison leads a charmed life, drunk or not. She is in prestigious writing programs and residences throughout the entire time chronicled in this book, and she's publishing too. High-functioning isn't even close to the right word. That doesn't change her pain or disqualify her sobriety, but it's worth a mention. She says nada about insurance or paying for medical care. When she does make mention of money, it's to do things most of us will only dream of - travel, foreign research, time just to write in exotic or beautiful locales. One could imagine she saw this note coming, since she shields herself from her privilege by mentioning it a few times. 

 

But between all of that extraneous and rather privileged "just another recovery memoir," there are very interesting themes and excellent journalism. She has a great hypothesis that's buried a bit deeply, but it goes something like we are all subject to being seduced by the stories we tell ourselves and it might be good, if scary and different, to tell ourselves healthy stories rather than unhealthy ones. Artists don't have to write with their own blood, and if they do, they'll eventually bleed out. She has an excellent critical eye for reading others' writing and pulling support for her story out of their words. Those parts are extremely compelling, and I really wish that the majority of the massive amount of pages had gone to that.

 

One final thing. While she makes mention of the big names who were known to drink, some of these writers also seem to have suffered from comorbid disorders, and that is never discussed. I can't say, nor can Leslie Jamison or for that matter, her relative, author and psychologist, Kay Redfield Jamison, whether many of these suicides were caused by one specific illness - be it alcoholism or an affective disorder. I do wish these rather large topics weren't skipped. They're important, even if they don't fit neatly within the narrative built here.

 

What I would hope is that the personal story be completely excised next time and the researching, critical eye step in. Her best work is when she empathizes with the writing of others and explains it from the standpoint of one who has felt those feelings and lived to tell.

 

 

 

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