Sunday, July 22, 2012

Books - Quarter 2

A busy knitting and crocheting life means a slow reading life.  I don't think I have ever finished this many knit/crochet projects in such a short time, so that being said: I've hardly had time to curl up with a book.

I have finished a couple books since March, and so I will share them with you today:

 5. This is book three of the Hilda Johansson series, in which the head housekeeper keeps finding dead bodies and solves the crime.  This book took place in the early 1900's when women doing the jobs of men was not received very well.  It starts out with Hilda (a Swede) and her boyfriend (an Irishman) go to the Carnival/Fair where the Irishman's uncle is planning a political speech.  Before the speeches are started the uncle's political rival is found dead and the uncle goes missing.  The uncle has been set-up and it is up to Hilda to prove it and find him.  Everyone is against this sort of behavior because she is a worker helping out a rich family and publicly dating outside of her nationality.  This also makes her a target and gets kidnapped herself.  She is locked in a basement room with only drug-laced water to drink.  She eventually discovers the real murderer and where the uncle was stashed, in addition to earning herself respect within the community.  This book was not as enjoyable as the first novel I read at the beginning of the year, but not bad.  I give it 2.5 thumbs up.

 6. My new bible.  Since I have discovered that I am gluten-sensitive last winter, I naturally had a lot of unanswered question on why there is a gluten/wheat allergy and how does that affect people, exactly.  This books has all the answers (or all the ones I knew to ask and ones I did not know to ask).  It goes over what it is, how the body deals with gluten in us sensitive folks to ones that suffer from full-blown Celiac disease.  It discusses the many forms gluten can take on, what they are named and how to avoid them in our everyday lives.  It gives hints on how to alter the way one bakes using different rice and nut flour blends in addition to where to shop for the gluten-free alternatives to our favorite foods.  Most importantly, it helps you accept this new life style change by giving you the facts you need to process the huge life change.

What have I learned as a result of reading these two books?  Well, for the first one, it is a bit of a stretch, but when you are locked in a large dark room, unstitch the lace edging from your underwear and use it as a "find your way back to your original spot" string so you don't get disoriented from the darkness.  (Yes, this is what Hilda did when she was locked in the basement.  She must've had some pretty frilly undies!)

I have learned a tremendous amount from the Gluten Free book that I cannot possibly list them all out.  One important thing is to not assume that something does not contain a wheat ingredient.  Even food items such as soy sauce and lots of creamy salad dressings has wheat or modified food starch (yes, it's often derived from wheat).  The onus is on you to figure it out by asking a ton of questions and read food labels very carefully.  Lots of people do not know what gluten is or how that affects people so you may order a salad and ask to hold the croutons, but you may get them in your salad anyway.  I am not that sensitive to it that I could not just pick them out, but not the case for all affected people.

I am currently reading two books that I just cannot get into.  One is a murder-drama novel that the murder happened in the beginning and nothing else since.  C'mon, will there be another murder; will all the excitement be squeezed into the last two chapters, as is typical with so many first novels?  Then the second one is a fiction novel based on a true story and it's just not that interesting.  I already gave up reading another book because it was just plain dumb in the first two chapters, that I was like, "Forget this!  There are way better books on my shelf than this waste of paper." 

I may have to say the same thing about the non-fiction/fiction book I mentioned before.  I think I'll just give it back to the gal I borrowed it from and know not to mind her book suggestions.  I don't mean that in a rude way, it's just that we apparently are not into the same style of writing. 

I hope you guys are having better luck with your book selections.  Happy reading!


Kjestine said...

Hunger Games! I loved the whole trilogy!

Nancy said...

I just watched the movie today. I liked it; very sad. Not sure if I will read them, even though you are at least the 3rd person to recommend that trilogy. Maybe...