By Dr. Joseph Parent
Zen Golf, an instruction manual for the mental game, brings Zen onto the green in a blend of modern psychology and traditional Buddhist philosophy. Dr. Joseph Parent provides step-by-step instructions on how to overcome mental set-backs in the game and build confidence as a player on and off the course. Traditional storytelling and personal anecdotes are combined in order to create a simple, easy to read guide to golf while helping the golfer build confidence in the game on the course and in life.
Dr. Parent’s wisdom is as applicable off the green as on. “Golf and life aren’t fair on a day-to-day basis . . . everyone has to play the same course”, but for the golfer – Dr. Parent’s insights can help you find the key to shooting below par. Reviewed by Adie Smith
The End of Illness
By David B. Agus, MD
When I first saw the title The End of Illness I feared that the contents of this book would tell me that everything that I thought was healthy is actually not – and I would just be depressed. I read the first page and couldn’t stop reading. Everything I read was fascinating, encouraging and empowering.
Dr. Agus has three goals in writing The End of Illness: to change your view of the human body; to develop practical strategies to apply this new way of thinking; and to inform the reader about the state of current medical research and where the latest research is taking us. As Dr. Agus puts it, this book is about getting to know yourself. The main theme I took away from The End of Illness is a new appreciation for the complexity of the body and the need to view the body as a whole system. Similarly, I have a new appreciation for the complexity of food and the need to eat whole foods.
Some of the topics and practical suggestions included in the text were: an explanation of how vitamins work in whole foods and how little evidence there is that vitamins in pill form are effective, and how they may actually be harming the body; an explanation of inflammation of the body and how we can prevent it; how to exercise and the benefits of keeping a schedule; and how three inexpensive medicines are key to our health. Some of these arguments may be familiar to you, but Dr. Agus explains why, and he does so in a way that is easy to understand and enjoyable to read. Reviewed by Lisa Newman
Leopard & Silkie
By Brenda Peterson
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Rockin’ Mamas. This group of volunteers spends time in the neonatal intensive care unit taking care of newborns. The time spent there consists of rocking and nurturing the babies whose mom’s have already been released from the hospital and can’t be there as much as they would like to be. In Washington State, there is a group of volunteers known as the Seal Sitters who keep vigil over baby seals. While the mother seal leaves her young to search for food, the sitters form a quiet and protective circle around the pup watching over them while they sleep.
Brenda Peterson, founder of the Seal Sitters, is the author of the new book titled Leopard and Silkie. It is a wonderful informative book about the life process of baby seals. You will meet Leopard from the day of his birth and follow him as he learns to do things on his own. Leopard meets Silkie, who is an older seal, but one who is helpful and a great teacher so that Leopard can learn to fend for himself. During this story, with the help of a young Seal Sitter leader named Max, you will also get a glimpse into the Seal Sitters’ world.
For any children or adults that love animals and enjoy a great heartwarming story, Leopard and Silkie is the perfect read. Reviewed by Lisa Newman
By Michael Pollan
You might remember the first version of this little book, Food Rules by Michael Pollan, from a couple of years ago – an unassuming, small white paperback with a pea pod on the cover. Now a new edition in hardback is available with a few more rules and illustrations by Maira Kalman. I read through the new edition in an afternoon; it’s full of straightforward, sometimes humorous advice meant to guide the way we eat, without (though supported by) all the complicated science of healthy eating.
In the introduction, Pollan explains the reason for the condensed (some of his rules are simply a sentence) nature of the book – food science is a very young science, and though there is much discussion about the benefits of various nutrients, “foods are more than the sum of their nutrient parts, and those nutrients work together in ways that are still only dimly understood.” So some of the best advice on how to eat can be found simply by looking to other, healthier cultures, such as with rule 48; French people “seldom snack, eat small portions from small plates, don’t go back for second helpings, and eat most of their food at long, meals shared with other people,” or by following the advice of your grandmother – rule 42: “The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead.”
While researching his book, In Defense of Food, Pollan says he realized that the best food advice could be boiled down to a phrase of only seven words. “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” So Food Rules is divided into three sections based on this maxim.
One rule helps us distinguish between real food and what he calls “edible food-like substances:” Rule 13 – Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle. Another rule gives us some guidelines for the habits of a healthy eater: Rule 76 – Place a bouquet of flowers on the table and everything will taste twice as good.
The rule that sticks with me the most is rule 65: “Give some thought to where your food comes from.” Now, before I eat, I try to say or think this Zen blessing: “This meal is the labor of countless beings. Let us remember their toil.” Reviewed by Kelly Pickerill