Quick Reads April 2016
Quite a few (excellent) Audible reads this month, as well as some fantastic cookbooks.
The Goddess and the Shaman: The Art & Science of Magical Healing by J.A. Kent*: The author had claimed to take a sceptical and nuanced look at magical healing, but it was anything but. I got through about 10% of the book before I had to put it down.
The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring, and Enjoying the Health Benefits of Fermented Tea by Hannah Crum & Alex LaGory*: The Big Book of Kombucha is an excellent introduction to everything kombucha – the history, health, brewing techniques and a vast array of recipes beyond your imagination. I thought I knew a lot about kombucha already and still I learnt so much from the authors – it is clear they have a passion for the topic. Whether you are new to kombucha or an experienced brewer I highly recommend checking it out.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker: I knew this was a classic, it had been on my to-read list for years, and I am only sorry I didn’t pick it up sooner. I expected it to be good, and was blown away at it being so much more than merely good. Yes, this is a story about race and racism, about poverty, sexism and inequality. But it is also a story about sexuality, colonialism, strength and power. I listened to the Audible edition, recorded by the author herself, which only added to the novel’s impact. If you haven’t read or listened to it yet, I highly recommend you pick it up – it went straight to my list of all-time favourites.
Change Your Posture Change Your Life: 10 Days to Revolutionise and Free Your Posture by Greg Parry, PhD (currently $2.76 on Kindle): 10 excellent lessons on how to release stress and tension through changing your posture and reducing your pain.
The Goddess Home Style Guide: Divine Interiors Inspired by Aphrodite, Athena, Atemis, Demeter, Hera, Hestia, and Persephone by A. Bronwyn Llewellyn: I enjoyed learning about what things are associated with each goddess, and the book is illustrated with beautiful pictures. I picked it up at the library and it was a fun read.
Eat the Yolks by Liz Wolfe (currently $2.45 on Audible): Recorded by the author herself, Eat the Yolks is both entertaining and educational, covering both the history of how our understanding of nutrition went so wrong, and how we can get it back on track – on both a personal and political scale.
Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn (currently $2.45 on Audible): Fairly average YA dystopia novel taking place in a future where the majority of people read minds, a few zeros don’t and some might have stronger capabilities.
The New Bread: Great Gluten-free Baking by Jessica Frej & Maria Blohm*: The authors are Swedish, and as a Dane I really enjoyed getting some recipes for gluten-free varieties of my old favourites. The photography is absolutely gorgeous and the recipes cover a vast selection of bread from sides and appetizers, sweet and savoury. My one big criticism is that it could’ve done with much better editing and translation from Swedish. Recipes are often referred to as “classic” or “well-known” when no one outside of Scandinavia (or sometimes just Sweden) would have any idea what they’re talking about. A bigger problem is that many of the ingredients haven’t been translated very well or aren’t easily accessible outside of Sweden.
Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa*: This novel took me by surprise. It took me a while to get into it, and even longer to realize that it was based on the real events in Seattle around the WTO protests in 1999 (probably because I was 12 at the time and I don’t clearly remember any details from the time). The story follows several different characters which makes it seem a little disjointed at first, however it is completely worth it as they all begin to come together. Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is not an easy read, there are passages that are difficult to read, and events that I was horrified to learn actually took place. I cried more than once. But it is also an incredibly important read, and I truly believe that sometimes we need to read the difficult things, sometimes we need to not turn away, and I truly wish this novel was no longer relevant, but the truth is it never has been more relevant. (full review)
Start Spinning: Everything You Need to Know to Make Great Yarn by Maggie Casey: This is an excellent introduction for those wanting to learn how to spin, covering techniques for preparation, spinning techniques on both spindle and spinning wheel, plying and how to design the type of yarn you want.
Body Into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care by Maria Noel Groves*: This is a thorough introduction to each of the body’s systems, and which herbs can best benefit, help and support them. The author covers respiratory, digestive, immune, nervous, memory, reproductive and circulatory systems, including how to deal with specific diseases and how to generally optimize and keep them healthy. Furthermore she covers how to use the herbs, with specific recipes and preparation techniques. Highly recommended, especially to keep on the shelf as a go-to resources when you have specific issues or questions.
*Received an advanced reader’s copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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