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Friday, January 29, 2010

"The Book of Night Women" by Marlon James

The Book of Night Women is the tale of a young slave coming of age in Jamaica at the turn of the 19th Century. The book is written as a slave narrative and chronicles the life of Lilith and the inhumane abuses that her and her fellow slaves were force to endure.

Lilith, at the verge of womanhood, finds herself exposed to the ugly truth of rape, murder and torture that plantation life as a slave has in store for her. After narrowly escaping rape at the hands of a fellow slave, Lilith is sheltered by the house slaves at the plantation, eventually being permanently assigned to the house by the plantation’s “master”. After a dire accident during a cocktail party, Lilith finds herself mercilessly whipped by her owners. This indignation fuels Lilith’s rage at the white slave owners which have control over her. Lilith joins a group of female slaves who call themselves “The Night Women,” who are all connected through their common parentage -- they are all the children of an abusive white slave driver. This group eventually orchestrates a slave revolt across several of Jamaica’s plantations -- a coup d’etat that has tragic results.


Beloved by Toni Morrison
Amistad by David Pesci
The Dark Sun Rises by Denise J. Williamson
The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts
The Known World by Edward P. Jones

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

February is National Heart Awareness Month

Here are three recently published books that focus on various aspects of heart health.

American Heart Association Complete Guide to Women’s Heart Health: the Go Red for Women Way to Well-Being and Vitality. This book provides advice for maintaining heart health and keeping heart disease at bay, for women from their 20s through their 70s and beyond. Coverage includes information on a nutritious diet, beneficial exercise and control of risk factors. Also addressed are issues such as smoking, pregnancy, menopause and hormone therapy, aging, diabetes and other diseases.

American Heart Association Healthy Family Meals: 150 Recipes Everyone Will Love. The heart-healthy recipes in this book focus mainly on dinner entrees for the busy family, accompanied by side dishes of soup, salad, vegetables and grains. Dessert is not forgotten! Also offered are tips on grocery shopping and eating out.

Exercises for Heart Health: the Complete Plan for Heart Attack, Heart Surgery, and Cardiovascular Disease Recovery and Prevention. The book prescribes an easy-to-follow exercise plan for cardiac health and muscle strength. It includes a main section on the exercises, accompanied by many photos and detailed written instructions. It also has an overview of the causes of cardiac disease and recent clinical treatments for cardiac conditions.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year's Resolutions: Diet and Exercise

Here are three recent publications that can help you reach your goals for shaping up and slimming down.

Fitness after 40: How to Stay Strong at any Age, is written by Vonda Wright, an orthopedic surgeon. Wright believes that it is a sedentary lifestyle, not biology that is the accelerant of aging. She imparts methods to achieve post-midlife fitness through the F.A.C.E. system of flexibility, aerobic exercise, load-bearing exercise and maximizing equilibrium and balance. The book includes exercise routines and an eating plan.

Joy’s Life Diet: Four Steps to Thin Forever, written by Today Show nutrition and health expert Joy Bauer, presents a weight-loss program based on her “Look Incredible, Feel Extraordinary” (L.I.F.E.) system. Bauer explains how to overcome unhealthy eating habits and satisfy cravings with low-calorie substitutes. She shares tips on staying motivated, exercising and working through plateaus. Sample menus, recipes and exercises are given also.

The Mayo Clinic Diet: Eat Well, Enjoy Life, Lose Weight, written by the weight-loss experts at the Mayo Clinic, offers a two-part weight-loss program. The first part “Lose It!” is a two-week introduction that results in the loss of six to ten pounds, if the dieter adopts new good habits and drops the old bad habits. The second part “Live It!” is a continuation of weight loss of one to two pounds per week using the new habits. Topics such as meal planning, eating out, and stress reduction also are discussed.