Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Books I'm Reading

So, part of my recent resolution was to read some books. Here's what I've read so far:

The first book of the promised five was Real Food by Nina Planck. This book appealed to me because of its traditional food, eat-like-a-farmer mindset. However, there's a lot of information in the book about how foods affect cholestorol, much defying convential ideas. I have really outrageous cholestorol (my first test had Triglycerides in the 700s. 200 is considered high.) In fact, at a recent checkup my scores were bad enough that instead of returning in a year, I was to return in three months. So, I started to largely eat according to the book.
This meant basically no industrial food (or, with lesser emphasis, recently used oils. Imagine eating no ingrediants not eaten a hundred years ago). Note that this does not mean to just buy organic-- while organic meat may not be given antibiotics and such, the book advocates meat from animals allowed to graze and not cooped up and fed an "unnatural" diet. I bought organic meat at Earthfare (probably not free-grazing, but you take what you can get), free-range organic chicken eggs, whole milk, bread from a local bakery, etc... and just ate what I wanted. My triglycerides came down to 200, which isn't bad for me, but more interestingly, my HDL came up to 45, which is about the highest it has ever been. It's a little harder to buy food, and food is a little more expensive, but I feel like I'm eating better and it seems to help my cholestorol. Plus, you can eat organic food and not feel like a gaia-worshiping hippy.
The second book I read was Up Front in Vietnam by Reed. I found it at a local library book sale for $2.00, I think. It was a collection of 1-4 page vignettes, not all combat related, that the author had seen or heard about as he travelled Vietnam in 1967. It was interesting, but the very short chapters meant lots of blank pages, and I finished this book in about 24 hours without much effort. It was worth about what I paid for it.
The third book, which I am not quite finished with yet, is The Cunning Blood by Duntemann. This is a very good, fairly hard Sci-Fi book. About 3-400 years in the future, Canada leads a risk-averse nanny-state world government which has largely stunted technology development and halted space exploration. Almost 2/3 of the male population is barred from serving in the government due to a propensity for violence recognized by such acts as school-yard brawling. Violent criminals are actually shipped off-Earth to Hell, an Earth-like planet which uses current-seeking nanobots to keep the level of technology low. Illegal nanotech development continues through several groups modelled on secret societies. The plot involves a member of one of these secret societies and his hidden "smart blood," an emergent illegence nanobot system in his body, being condemned to Hell as part of a plot and what he finds on Hell. It's really great, one of those books you stay up too late for and read on your lunch break. I figure I'll finish it tonight. I highly recommend it to SF fans.

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