Book review: “How not to die”

Dr. Michael Greger shares a story at the beginning of the book that details his interest in health. Greger’s grandmother at the age of 65, was left for dead after multiple attempts to unclog her artery plaque. Doctors were perplexed on what further solutions they could provide. So they sent her home and she started a vegan diet, her heart disease was reversed and lived to be 96 years old,
heart disease free. Below is a video of my review.

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“The Girl on the train” book review

This was a book that I knew was a chick book, but I had to read it because it was the trending book. This review is from when the book came out. I thought it was going to be over rated. To my surprise, it was exceptional. There is a lot of plot twists and suspense throughout the whole book.

Below is my YouTube review:

 

Video duration: 6 mins

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It was me all along by Andie Mitchell book review

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Have you ever wondered what goes through an average obese person’s mind? Maybe you are obese yourself and are searching for a book that speaks to your struggle with obesity.

Andie Mitchell, author of It was me all along, talks about her battle of the bulge. She has lost over 100 lbs and has kept it off for several years. She delves into her personal life and relationships as well. Here is a video of my takeaways.

Video duration: 5 1/2 mins

Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss book review

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Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss

  1. Have you ever wondered why you can’t just eat one potato chip?
  2. Does it befuddle you why you cannot stop refilling that bowl of frosted Flakes?
  3. Do you feel like a vending machine fiend?
  4. Can’t stop reaching for those 100 calorie snack packs?
  5. Can’t stop grabbing that Dr. Pepper or Mountain Dew?

There is a reason for that. Michael Moss, author of Salt, Sugar, Fat, examines and investigates the food industry, and their crafty practices. He starts the book off detailing a private meeting of the top food companies of the world. The meeting was    a call for these companies to end their participation in the plague of childhood obesity. The medical field was seeing an emergence of juvenile diabetes, and high blood pressure in young children. Health complications were becoming so widespread, that it needed to be addressed. As you can imagine, this didn’t go so well with a lot of these CEO’s. One of the CEO’s in attendance, went on to slam the meeting. He abruptly contended that it wasn’t his responsibility to tell kids what to eat. Moss, captures your attention at that moment, and you are a prisoner of his book until the end. It is a very long book, however, the information is worth the duration. Here is my youtube takeaways from the book.

VideoDuration: 5 mins

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Two hood books that I automatically assume you haven’t read

Raised in South Central, Los Angeles -now known as South Los Angeles- Ross witnesses a traumatic incident inside of his household. He witnesses his Uncle’s Murder. Moving to the other side of town, he resides on a street called Flower St, a street that runs parallel to the 110 fwy. Therefore, Ross and his friends became known as the “freeway boys”. He attended the local schools during a time when gang wars were at its prime. According to Ross, he never joined any gangs, even though he lived in the territory of the crips. He attended Dorsey High School and became a tennis star. He had played tennis so good that he was offered a scholarship, until they found out he was illiterate. Once scouts found out he was illiterate, he was of no use to the potential colleges. He ended up like just another Black 18 year old kid with no job or school, looking for a way to fill his idle time.

He started off small, then sold the narcotic PCP, then graduated to cocaine.  He made a connection with a Colombian and the rest is history. You already know how the story ends. Drug dealer goes to jail and ends up broke. Well, he went to jail and came out blaming the informant who put him in jail, and the secret service that employed the said informant. The Contra Scandal was the real deal, and it had a catastrophic effect on the Black and African-American community. I was born in 1984, the era of  “crack-babies”. So, I am not saying that what he claims happened is false; my gripe is that he diminishes his role, when compared to the macro level. The remorse for the actions he took were minimal, making it seem as if he was only a middle man. That is something that I vehemently disagree with him about. Conscientiously selling drugs to your own people, while seeing how the product affected families, was FUCKED UP. As any true drug dealer would privately admit, the bottom line was money. He apologizes, but only before making it seem accidental. That was what irritated me about the book.

THENNNNNN!

When he got out of prison, he saw that someone stole his alias and moniker. Parading around stage, and doing world tours, a rapper was using his name and image to make entertainment money. He got offended by the business move and took the rapper to court. Wow!!! The irony of it all.

“No I am a Drug Lord, your Honor, he is a fraud. I really participated in the genocide of my people, by selling them drugs that would break up homes. IT WAS ME!!!…Where’s my money for being the REAL bad guy?”

Ridiculous. .

This book is based on an inner-city corrections officer who goes rogue. He talks about the ugly realities that exist inside the American prison system. Drugs, sex, murder, and hard liquor all wrapped into one book. He is vulgar and bawdy throughout the whole book. To be honest, you will need urban dictionary more than Webster’s Dictionary. He keeps it hood and gutter. It is very short and easy to read. By time you get to the part where the female officers are being auctioned off as prostitutes to shot-callers, you will become engulfed in the salaciousness of it all.

As I read the book, I could kind of tell he was pulling stories out of his ass to add shock value. I honestly cannot believe everything that was in this book.

Interesting read considering that nowadays, you have 4G cell phones being smuggled in prison for the right price. It is so rampant at this point, that many women on dating sites have to post “NO GUYS IN JAIL” on their profile.

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Reasons why you should buy “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert

She made me feel like a middle-aged White feminist divorcee.
  1. Elizabeth Gilbert has the most realistic approach about dream chasing- Change your perception of failure and fear.
  2. Get out of the “apprentice” mindset when it comes to helping people. Do no favors for people when it comes to your craft.
  3. How to get out of the permission mindset: I’m too fat, not attractive enough, no experience, what if…etc.
  4. Just go for it! Success and failure are all subjective anyhow. Put the work out there.
  5. Stop taking yourself so seriously, live creative without boundaries.
  6. The suffering/tragic artist is a myth.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love, writes another New York Times Bestseller. Big Magic, is not another glib self-help book written by an impudent Guru. Gilbert, attacks the common fallacies that hold us back from our creative energy. Fear of failure is almost number one on anyone’s list for anything. Reluctant to start a blog about awesome books, I felt an immense fear of failure. In spite of that, the right book will motivate the most procrastinating dreamer. Gilbert, gives you that kick in the bottom to get the inertia rolling. Just get off your stinking tail and start rolling.

“I swear I’m gonna start my fitness DVD. Soon!”

Gilbert, had this concept of a book that involved a Minnesotan woman traveling to an Amazonian jungle on a business trip, that eventually turned into her falling in love with her superior. Abandoning the book project for her young love life, Gilbert, lost her motor to complete the book. Traveling to some event later on, she met some woman that coincidentally had the exact same story that Gilbert abandoned. This is where Gilbert inserts her incredible belief of spirits, and creative energy being transferred in the universe. Due to my skeptic nature, I became disconnected from the whole “energy in the universe” mantra. Eh, I don’t know about that. This is starting to feel creepy.

“No thanks, I’ll pass. I don’t want to hear what my dead Grandpa Henry has to say to me.”

Besides that, the book is a knockout hit. Unlike most self-help books, Gilbert, feels as if she is talking WITH you. The vibe of the book is like an expensive lunch with a mentor. Gilbert, has a mastery of storytelling that is impeccable. She can talk to you about bagpipes in Scotland, and you will feel inspired to put on a kilt. The theme of the book is similar to Nike: ‘Just do it!’ Get off your ass and fail, then fail some more, until you ultimately succeed. Gilbert, failed many times over, dealing with constant rejection and botched efforts. Unequipped with any certainty, Gilbert, created Eat,Pray, Love and her career took off. Many people loved it, another crowd of people hated it, and dissected flaws in the story. Nevertheless, the movie and book were an international success that catapulted her into stardom. Gilbert’s response to the critics:”If people don’t like what you’re creating, just smile at them sweetly, and tell them to go make their own fucking art!” This is so true. Imagine if Gilbert, or any other luminary you admire, stopped and revised their art for the sake of pleasing everyone. Inevitably, the work would be compromised and disingenuous.

Just stick to what you know is authentic. Don’t change to fit everyone’s flavor.

For the millionth time I questioned myself why I haven’t followed my dreams. After reading Big Magic, I clearly understood why I never allayed my creative appetite. The fear of being a gigantic screw up was looming over my head.  I have no experience writing a blog, and I feared that I would be exposed for the flaws of my inexperience. Without truly conceptualizing my actions, I was giving the imaginary internet troll, or English major wise-ass, permission to prevent an action I never even attempted. Gilbert’s Big Magic, helped me grasp an understanding of  this logic that was present inside of me. Maybe I’ve read it in another self-help book, and it isn’t original, however, the way that she presented the information had a different angle to it.

The last thing I will leave you with is her take on the tragic artist myth. She asserts that you don’t have to be the suffering artist who translates pain into beautiful creativity. Her message is be yourself, create your own story, and stop conflating art with money. Don’t be upset at your creativity for not making money, because art is simply art.

Gilbert says: I told the universe (and anyone who would listen) that I was committed to living a creative life not in order to save the world, not as an act of protect, not to become famous, not to gain entrance to the canon, not to challenge the system, not to show the bastards, not to prove to my family that I was worthy, not as a form of deep therapeutic emotional catharsis … but simply because I liked it.”

She is one hell of a speaker also. Check out her ted talks on YouTube:

Stop playing around, and add this book to your book collection. You will not regret it. Information posted below.

http://www.amazon.com/Big-Magic-Creative-Living-Beyond-ebook/dp/B00S52M350