Monday, October 12, 2009

Book Review Mondays

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The Dinner Diaries: Raising Whole Wheat Kids in a White Bread World
by Betsy Block

Book Review by
Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

In this 261-page book, Block, a former writer of food features and restaurant reviews for the Boston Globe, offers an extremely readable, relevant, reliable, and relatable set of suggestions that are both humorous and informative. Her book is thoroughly researched. Block is the mother of two, and in this book you not only get excellent tips for feeding your family nutritiously — using locally grown ingredients that are toxin-free and healthful — but you get something that is much more interesting and fun. You get a woman who, from the trenches, is willing to relate her daily challenges (eating with her children, faced with a picky husband, contending with busy schedules, dealing with lunch trades, snack machines, and permissive grandparents) in making decisions regarding everything from fish, to meat, produce, and plastics. Not only does Block offer creative tips and nutritional information, but in this book you will read about a very funny mom (Block) who is on a food mission and, lucky for us readers, lets us in on her mission. This is just plain good fun!

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Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain
by Oliver Sacks

Book Review by R. Scott Weaver.

We have all experienced a time when a song won’t leave our brain. We try to think of other songs or hum a different tune and yet the song imbeds itself into our head. That all too common human experience has been studied and the song has a name: an earworm. We learn about earworms and other strange, music-related syndromes in “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain.” Neurologist and professor Dr. Oliver Sacks presents a collection of case studies and clinical observations with music at the core. Sacks is best known for his book “Awakenings” later made into a movie featuring Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro. In “Musicophilia,” we learn in minute detail how the wiring of the brain seems so conducive to music in both positive and negative ways. Sacks explores both the tragedy and triumph gained through and with music in the lives of those affected by disorders both familiar and bizarre. In one instance, we are introduced to an individual who literally cannot hear a melody. What would it be like to be in the word and yet not touched by music? We get a glimpse in the words of Dr. Sacks. From beginning to end, one cannot help but be fascinated by how music’s touch is so powerful in humans. And those earworms? Imagine spending your life with only one song that won’t leave you . . .


Through our reading, researching, and writing, And Then Some Publishing (and our extended family of readers) mine volumes of books representing a wide variety of tastes. We use the books in our writing, test and try suggested techniques, and we read for enjoyment as well. We wouldn't spend the time reviewing the books if we didn't get something out of it. Read more reviews on other fantastic books at our website.

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