Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet by Michael Mosley

                                                28269378




Paperback:  272 pages                                                                                               
Genre: Health, Science
Publisher: Short Books 2015
Source: A Likely Story Bookshop Tywyn
First Sentences: Millions of us have high blood sugar levels - and many of us don't know it.
Review Quote:  "Brilliant book if you have Type-2 diabetes or you don't want to get it" --Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2 presenter
Favourite Quote: “Diabetes – the physical costs Hypertension: 70% of diabetics also require medication for blood pressure. Cholesterol: 65% of diabetics require medication to reduce their cholesterol. Heart attacks: Diabetics, even when on full medication, are twice as likely to be hospitalised, crippled or die from a heart attack. Strokes: Diabetics are 1.5 times more likely to suffer a debilitating stroke. Blindness and Eye Problems: Diabetes is the number one cause of preventable blindness in the developed world. Impotence: Diabetes is also the number one cause of impotence. Dementia: Having diabetes doubles your risk of dementia. Kidney disease: Diabetes is the cause of kidney failure in half of all new cases; most people on dialysis are diabetics. Amputations: There are over 7000 diabetes-related amputations done every year in the UK and over 73,000 in the US.” 
My Opinion
Even before reading this book I was working on cutting down my sugar intake! I now appreciate the importance of doing so.

I am now more conscious of the dangers of too much sugar and although I did not feel the need to rigorously carry out the diet recommendations. I like to think that having lived in Italy for many years that I already have a reasonably healthy diet and I try to lead an active lifestyle. 

My personal feelings are that too much of so many foods are not considered healthy for us, so I try to be moderate in all my eating habits. I do still eat bread, pasta rice and potatoes but much less than I used to!

I would recommend this as a worthwhile read to any one interested in a healthy lifestyle not just those worried about being overweight and the dangers of diabetes.




Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Dr Michael Mosley, author of the bestselling 5:2 Fast Diet, reveals a game-changing approach to one of the greatest silent epidemics of our time - raised blood sugar levels. The food we eat today, high in sugar and easily digestible carbohydrates, is not only making us fat, but is putting us at risk of type 2 diabetes, strokes, dementia, cancer and a lifetime on medication. More than a third of adults in the UK now have raised blood sugar levels and most don't know it. In this timely book, Dr Mosley explains why we pile on dangerous abdominal fat and shows us how to shed it, fast. He demolishes common myths, such as the claim that steady weight loss is always better than rapid weight loss and that those who lose weight rapidly will inevitably put it back on. This is a book not just for those at highest risk but for anyone who has struggled with their weight and wants to regain control of their health. "I feel amazing. I have been given another chance at life." Cassie, 28 - lost 20kg. Average weight loss: 14kg in 8 weeks. Includes a detailed 8-week programme with menu plans.

Author Profile:





Michael Mosley (born 22 March 1957) is a British television journalist, producer and presenter who has worked for the BBC since 1985. He is probably best known as a presenter of television programmes on biology and medicine and his regular appearances on The One Show.

Born in Kolkata, India, the son of a bank director, Mosley studied philosophy, politics and economics at New College, Oxford before working for two years as a banker in the City of London. He then decided to move into medicine, intending to become a psychiatrist, studying at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School, now part of UCL Medical School.

Becoming disillusioned by psychiatry, Mosley upon graduation joined a trainee assistant producer scheme at the BBC in 1985.

Since then he has produced & presented many documentaries on science and/or medicine.



Photographs and biographical information courtesy of the following sites.

Goodreads - Author Profile    Twitter - Michael Mosley   Amazon Author Page

Blood Sugar Diet - Online Programme



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Secrets of a Happy Marriage by Cathy Kelly




Hardback:  426 pages                                                                                              
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Orion Books 2016
Source: St Cadfan's Church Fund Raising Sale - Tywyn
First Sentences: Prologue: In the San Francisco February dawn, Faenia Lennox sat at an off-white chalk-painted desk facing the Bay with its familiar and beloved fog visible beyond the Japanese maples in her garden and typed at speed, the same speed she'd learned from Mrs Farmsworth's classes in New York all those years ago. Over forty years ago, in fact.
Review Quote:  An uplifting story of warm, larger-than life characters. Comforting and feel good, the perfect treat read. (Good Housekeeping)
Favourite Quote: Secrets of a Happy Marriage #7 Never underestimate kindness. Being kind to the person you love is worth more than  hundred gifts. Kindness makes us feel love, supported and appreciated.
My Opinion: Cathy Kelly is an author I have read in the past but not since 2006. When I saw this brand new hardback for sale at a bargain price at a church fund raising event a few months ago I purchased as it looked like a read for lazy summer days.  Just finished reading, it was perfect for taking my mind off the weather, where has the sunshine gone?
A heartwarming story in Cathy Kelly's style of Irish storytelling about modern life. The dynamics of the relationships from the protagonists Bess and Edward, the older couple that have found love in later life to the rest of the characters within the extended family circle, are written about in a realistic way. The themes of friendship, marriage, trust, bereavement, infertility and depression are all topics covered that will not be unfamiliar to many readers.
I also liked the anecdotal chapter headings, all about marriage, a compassionate addition to the novel. Recommended to fans of Irish women's fiction, contemporary fiction and Cathy Kelly, an overall easy read.



Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Any family knows that a special birthday party is the perfect chance to come together, but for the Brannigan clan it's about more than just raising a glass . . .

Bess is hoping to show everyone just how happy her recent marriage is, but behind all the party-planning the cracks are beginning to show. Why is joining a family so difficult?

Jojo, Bess's stepdaughter, has a point to make. Bess is not her mother, and she won't replace the one she's been missing every day for the last two years. And will she ever get the chance to become a mum herself?

Cousin Cari is a fierce career-woman who isn't unnerved by anything - apart from facing the man who left her at the alter, and he's on the guestlist. Her job has been a safe place to hide ever since - but is it time to let love into her life again?

Thanks to laughter, tears and one surprise appearance, the Brannigans might just discover the secrets of a happy marriage . . . But will they find out before it's too late?



Author Profile:





Cathy Kelly was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland on September 12th 1966. A former Irish journalist she has been writing women's fiction since 1997, since when she has gained international recognition.

Published around the world, with millions of books in print. Cathy is the bestselling author of The Honey Queen, Once in a Lifetime and Between Sisters, and is a No.1 bestseller in the UK, Ireland and Australia. Her trademark is warm and witty Irish storytelling about modern life, always with an uplifting message, a sense of community and strong female characters at the heart.
She lives with her family and their three dogs in County Wicklow, Ireland. She is also an Ambassador for UNICEF Ireland, raising funds and awareness for children orphaned by or living with HIV/AIDS.


Photographs and biographical information courtesy of the following sites.

Amazon Author Page - Cathy Kelly     Wikipedia - Cathy Kelly       Author's Official Website

Cathy Kelly Books - Facebook     Twitter - Cathy Kelly

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry





Paperback:  400 pages                                                                                                
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Arrow Books - 2017 -  Originally Published 1994
Source: A Likely Story - Tywyn
First Sentence: The fact is I had just been sacked from my paper, some frantic piffle about shouting insults from the stalls at a first night.
Review Quote:  "Fresh, filthy, funny and fizzing with ideas" (Evening Standard)
My Opinion: I read this in preparation for an evening at The Magic Lantern Cinema in Tywyn last night. What a great evening it was, this is a very funny novel. It is however also a no holds barred story about a young man struggling with reaching sexual maturity, that some readers might find offensive. Personally, I found it a very sensitive novel which I feel considering the author may well contain some autobiographical content. I was also pleased to discover that the director had kept very much to the story and the few changes he made were appropriate. I would highly recommend that you read the book before seeing the film if you can. So, in conclusion book or film? Both, as this novel was, thanks to John Jencks the director and his talented team of actors, writers and extended team, beautifully converted using Stephen Fry's words to the big screen. 




Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Ted Wallace is an old, sour, womanising, cantankerous, whisky-sodden beast of a failed poet and drama critic, but he has his faults too. Fired from his newspaper, months behind on his alimony payments and disgusted with a world that undervalues him, Ted seeks a few months repose and free drink at Swafford Hall, the country mansion of his old friend Lord Logan. But strange things have been going on at Swafford. Miracles. Healings. Phenomena beyond the comprehension of a mud-caked hippopotamus like Ted.

With this funny and deliciously readable novel, Stephen Fry takes his place as one of the most talented comic novelists of his generation.
 

Author Profile:

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry was born on August 24th 1957 in London, England. He is a leading light in film, theatre, radio and television the world over, receiving accolades in spades and plaudits by the shovel. As a comedian, writer, producer, director, actor, presenter and technophile he has featured in works as varied and adored as the movie 'Wilde', the TV series 'Blackadder' and 'Jeeves and Wooster', the sketch show 'A Bit of Fry and Laurie', the panel game 'QI', the radio series 'Fry's English Delight', Shakespeare's Globe's celebrated 2012 production of 'Twelfth Night' (as Malvolio) and documentaries on countless subjects very close to his heart.

He is also the bestselling author of four novels - 'The Stars' Tennis Balls', 'Making History', 'The Hippopotamus' and 'The Liar' - as well as two volumes of autobiography - 'Moab is My Washpot' and 'The Fry Chronicles', which published in six unique editions that combined to sell over a million copies. His third volume of autobiography, 'More Fool Me', was published in September 2014.



Photographs and biographical information courtesy of the following sites.




Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Second Honeymoon by Joanna Trollope





Paperback: 383 pages                                                                                                
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Bloomsbury 2006
Source: My own bookshelves and since released via Bookcrossing
First Sentence: Edie put her hand out, took a breath and slowly slowly pushed open his bedroom door.
Review Quote: "Trollope has perfectly caught the angst of the empty nest... the ebb and flow of relationships is brilliantly handled" (The Observer)
My Opinion: I am a long time fan of Joanna Trollope. Have been reading her novels since her first 'The Choir' was published in 1989 and always found her novels to be light and entertaining, 'Aga Sagas' used to be the popular term for them. In fact it is a few years since I last read one though I still have a few reclining on my bookshelves, so I took a couple with me on my recent travels and then released them via Bookcrossing afterwards.  Although the term 'Aga Saga' is not heard much nowadays it does still seem to describe her writing about contemporary relationships. Actually 'Second Honeymoon' felt very dated to me, but that was my own fault for not reading when it was first published! I might then have found the problems Edie Boyd had struggling with empty nest syndrome a more appealing read.



Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:


Ben is, at last, leaving home. At twenty-two, he's the youngest of the family. His mother, Edie, an actress, is distraught. His father, Russell, a theatrical agent, is rather hoping to get his wife back. His brother, Matthew, is struggling in a relationship in which he achieves and earns less than his girlfriend. And his sister, Rosa, is wrestling with debt and the end of a turbulent love affair.

Author Profile:








Joanna Trollope was born on 9 December 1943 in her grandfather's rectory in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, England, daughter of Rosemary Hodson and Arthur George Cecil Trollope. She is the eldest of three siblings. She is a fifth-generation niece of the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope and is a cousin of the writer and broadcaster James Trollope. She was educated at Reigate County School for Girls followed by St Hugh's College, Oxford. On 14 May 1966, she married the banker David Roger William Potter, they had two daughters, Antonia and Louise. In 1983 they divorced, two years later, she married the television dramatist Ian Curteis, they divorced in 2001.

From 1965 to 1967, she worked at the Foreign Office. From 1967 to 1979, she was employed in a number of teaching posts before she became a writer full-time in 1980. In 1996 she was awarded the OBE for services to literature.She now lives alone in London.

A fuller Biography can be found on her website.


Photographs and biographical information courtesy of the following sites.


Author Profile - Goodreads   Amazon - Joanna Trollope    Wikipedia - Joanna Trollope   

   Facebook - Joanna Trollope  Official Author Website