Non-Fiction

This page is for those books that are non-fiction and can include any subject.

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LOSE YOUR BELLY FAT COOKBOOK by Alix Turoff

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Publisher blurb: Slim your belly and boost body health and wellness—while eating foods you love. Lose Your Belly Fat Cookbook features a comprehensive two-week meal plan, and 75 easy recipes that are not only delicious but also scientifically designed to shrink your waistline while keeping you full and energized.

The meal plan begins with a two-day smoothie cleanse to reset your metabolism and continues with 12 days of whole foods that feature lean protein, low carbs, and high fiber. You’ll also find nutrition information that helps you understand exactly when and how to eat—for 14 days and beyond.

Lose Your Belly Fat Cookbook includes:

The more you know—Learn the basic biology of how belly fat and gut bacteria work, and how to make them work for you. See your progress—Writing prompts and spaces to record your results let you see how much you’ve achieved. Not just weight—This diet plan is focused on maximizing the health and happiness that come from balanced eating, not just numbers on a scale.

Get on the path to looking and feeling better with Lose Your Belly Fat Cookbook.

REVIEW:

This book is broken down into sections that include basic information, a 14-day jump-start plan, and recipes sorted by meals (breakfasts, smoothies, snacks, salads, sandwiches, mains, desserts, etc.). Under the basic or beginning information, there’s a nice formula for helping you decide what calories you need to lose weight. Unfortunately, it’s in metric so I had to do a bunch of conversions from pounds/inches to grams/centimeters before I could use it. Fortunately, the rest of the book—the recipes—use standard American measures so no converting needed there. The recipes look easy to use, are clear and contain tips for substitutions as well as dietary information.

What I liked: clear, easily understood recipes with ingredients that are mostly available. Information that doesn’t put you to sleep reading it. Nice charts to help you figure things out. Color photographs that enhance the book and the recipes. Gluten-free options for many of the recipes.

What I didn’t like: as noted above, no conversion chart for the beginning. There’s a conversion listing in the back of the book, but it doesn’t contain pounds to grams or inches to centimeters so I had to resort to online conversions for this calculation. And although I don’t use sweetener in my smoothies, some people do so suggesting the option of maybe something like stevia would be nice. No dairy free options for the recipes—and issue for many people.

Recommendation: I would recommend this book. It’s got good information and some great recipes that I can’t wait to try.

Thanks to the publisher for providing this review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Vicky 11/14/19

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The Anti-Inflammatory Diet One-Pot Cookbook: 100 Easy All-in-One Meals by Ana Reisdorf and Dorothy Calimeris

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Blurb: The benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet meet the simplicity of a single pot

An anti-inflammatory diet is a huge step towards healthy eating—but the stress of suffering from pain may leave you feeling exhausted before you even enter the kitchen. With this guide, you can enjoy the benefits of anti-inflammatory foods with the convenience of one-pot cooking.

Complete with labor-saving tips to keep your kitchen time short, these anti-inflammatory diet recipes can be made in one bowl so you can enjoy fast, flavorful meals without the fuss. Fight inflammation and feel great with these one-of-a-kind, one-pot recipes.

This anti-inflammatory diet book includes:

Path to wellness—Discover the health benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet, complete with easy-to-read charts of foods to love, limit, or lose. Taste relief—Whip up fatigue-free dinners with 100 delicious recipes using everyday ingredients. No pain, no strain—Keep your energy up and cook times down with tips on everything from pre-cut vegetables to packing leftovers.
Cook your way to healthier living with this anti-inflammatory diet guide—all you need is one pot.

Review:

The recipes are easy, quick with times from 15 minutes to 1 hour, and include a nice selection with clear instructions. The majority of the ingredients can be found easily at most markets, though some—like jicama, pecorino cheese—not. I will also note that it seems that a lot of recipes call for bone broth—not always easy for me to find good ones at my local store and a pain to make. Also, many of the recipes also call for wine—something I don’t use so be forewarned. But I will also say that there are helpful tips for substitutes in many of the recipes.

The images, though a bit sparse, are good and add to the overall look. A few more with the dishes would have been nice.

I’m not sure I agree with the author’s “all-or-nothing” attitude that comes across as a bit harsh. Not everyone can follow this due to other issues. But still…a decent cookbook.

Recommendation: Recommended as a generally good cookbook for those looking to add to a healthy lifestyle.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Vicky 11/11/19

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The Alluring Art of Margaret Brundage: Queen of Pulp Pin-up Art by Stephen D. Korshak with J. David Spurlock

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Wow. Just wow. This is a gorgeous, lavishly illustrated history of one of the great, forgotten cover artists of the 1930’s pulp magazines.

Artist Margaret Brundage lived an interesting, challenging life but what she is remembered for today are her pulp magazine covers, mainly for Weird Tales. This history reproduces virtually all of her Weird Tales covers along with covers done for other pulps and a smattering of other art.

If you’ve always believed that magazine covers of the 1930’s were dull because kinky sex didn’t exist way back then (postal regulations don’t you know), you are wrong. Sex has always sold magazines and lurid stories need sexy covers. In 1932, Margaret Brundage, purely by accident, stepped onto the scene with her lush pastel chalk artwork of virtually or entirely naked women being menaced by other virtually naked women, savages and barbarians, demons, evil statues, snakes, and predatory beasts.

The publisher of Oriental Stories was smitten when she walked in one day with her portfolio. Where had she been all his life with her carefully detailed, luminescent-fleshed damsels in distress? He didn’t know until that moment he had been looking for soft-focus, softcore porn to sell magazines. How he got those illustrations past the post office censors and onto newsstands across the country is a mystery.

Leafing through the book is an exercise in saying over and over “Oh my God. Look at this one.” After the initial shock wears off, you’ll be able to see how Weird Tales liked to pair Margaret with Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, Seabury Quinn and a host of other pulp greats. She matched them so well! What would Conan the Barbarian do without terrified naked damsels to rescue? Her cover art for Howard’s story Red Nails is definitely one for the ages.

Nobody illustrated curvaceous flesh like Margaret; sensuous, living bodies captured in that most fragile of mediums, pastel chalk. Her men look good too.

If you need to justify gaping at naughty pictures by reading, there is plenty of text to go along with the full-page illustrations. You’ll find Margaret’s biography, information about the pulp era, the difficulties faced by Weird Tales and the move to New York that damaged Margaret’s career (pastel chalk doesn’t ship well), interviews, even an extensive discussion of the radical politics in 1930’s Chicago. Margaret lived a fascinating life.

If you’re interested in the pulps, Chicago in the 1930’s, or book and magazine covers, this is a terrific resource.

Why do I give this book four sparklers instead of five? I wanted to see more of Margaret Brundage’s art. Unfortunately, chalk pastel is probably the most fragile art medium there is and pulp magazines were ephemera to be read and thrown out. Who knows what Margaret Brundage treasures still lurk in attics, waiting to be rediscovered? She also had a career after Weird Tales left Chicago, but not much of it was reproduced in the book. I understand. The focus was on her pulp magazine covers. Nonetheless, if there was space for radical Chicago politics, there was space for more of her other art.

If you’d like to learn more about Margaret Brundage, here are some places to start.

https://www.amazon.com/Alluring-Art-Margaret-Brundage-Pin-Up/dp/1934331503

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Brundage

https://www.illustrationhistory.org/artists/margaret-brundage

Teresa  11/7/19

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YOU CAN PREVENT A STROKE by Joshua S. Yamamoto and Kristin E. Thomas

Non-fiction/health

4 Sparklers

Our hearts beat over 100,000 times a day. That’s a lot of work for that one organ, and as we age, it gets a little tired. According to the doctors who wrote this book, “natural aging leads to artery plaque, high blood pressure, and slower and irregular heartbeats.” This can lead to poor heart/circulatory health which can lead to a stroke. Even though strokes affect our brain, they start with the heart.

In this book, the authors help you understand what you can do to help yourself. And no, it’s not “you need to diet! You need to exercise! You need to…” (though those are both good things). It’s about how to make sure you have good heart health, which helps your circulation, which helps you prevent stroke.

The doctors are strong proponents of medication in addition to healthy lifestyle. Medication that helps with plaque buildup, that lowers blood pressure, that reduces cholesterol. These things are all necessary to overall health. You can be a very fit marathon runner and still have poor heart health. Or you can be a couch potato, but if you’re taking your meds and being careful, you can have better heart health than that marathon runner.

The book is clear, concise, and easy to read and understand. The big thing to take away from reading this is that you have to be proactive and work with your doctor to make sure you are doing what is necessary to ensure your heart health—and thus your brain health.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be more proactive about their heart/brain health. I’d also recommend it for doctors to read so they can then recommend it to their patients for something that may help them understand what’s going on and why certain tests are necessary. It’s not a comprehensive book—you’re not going to be reading a textbook—but for the average person, it’s a good place to start. There should be a copy in every doctor’s office for patients to look at.

Thank you to the publisher for providing this book free for an honest review

Vicky 9/2/19

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Everyday Keto Baking by Erica Kerwien

5 sparklers

This was an interesting cookbook – colorful, informative, and with some really good recipes that include both sweet and savory dishes.

I loved that the author included conversions for substituting different ingredients. Recipes included both weight and volume measurements and–my favorite–“per serving” stats for those of us who need to know these things.

The recipes are clear and easy to follow with mostly easy-to-find ingredients. For those “oddball” ones like the sugar substitutions–she included places where the reader can find the ingredients.

All recipes are gluten-free, some are dairy and/or egg free as well – a huge plus for those on these specialized diets. As someone who is both gluten and lactose intolerant, I especially appreciated this.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who follows the Keto diet or someone who is gluten intolerant–or to someone who just wants something a little different in their cookbook collection and food choices.