Book Review: Diary of a Deadhead by Candace Carson

Diary Of A Deadhead: A Wild Magical Ride into the World of Sound and Vibration by Candace Carson (2015-06-18) - Candace Carson

Title: Diary of a Deadhead: A Wild Magical Ride Into the World of Sound and Vibration
By: Candace Carson
Categories / Themes: Non-fiction, music, Grateful Dead, autobiography, memoir
Read: 12th January, 2017
Rating: 4 / 5
Obtained: Goodreads Giveaway
Crossposted Review to: Goodreads

Candace Carson is a fan of Grateful Dead, a well known band. Diary of a Deadhead quickly goes through her life and follows her dedication to the band. From her childhood, we get a brief look into some very memorable moments in her perspective.

It wasn’t just about the Grateful Dead; it was a look into what it was like to grow up in America during those eras. I found it interesting to think about her brother, Robin and his experience with the army. I also liked getting to experience those concerts through her explanations of them; what it felt like to be there and do the same things she did. I felt it interesting as the author’s emotions changed during differing events. We get to experiences highs, lows, love and loss.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard their music, but I still found it to be an interesting read. It was a good look into the author’s life. It’s a quick book and worth the read!

I won a copy of this book via Goodreads Giveaways and these are just my honest thoughts on it.

Source:
www.goodreads.com/review/show/1626762300?

Original post:
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Book Review: Basic Food- A History of Nutrition by Harold Kalve

Basic Food: A Theory of Nutrition - Harold Kalve

Title: Basic Food: A History of Nutrition
By: Harold Kalve
Categories / Themes: Non-fiction, health & fitness, food, history.
Read: 12th January, 2017
Rating: 1 / 5
Obtained: Goodreads Giveaway
Crossposted Review to: Goodreads
Basic Food: A History of Nutrition by Harold Kalve is an essay that looks at the evolution of humans and the food we have eaten through time. It discusses a few diets as well as considers several nutritional benefits/ negatives of them.
It was an interesting look into history, but I felt it to be wildly inconsistent. I’ll explain using an example. The author states, on page 46, that he “started eliminating food I could not have eaten a thousand years ago, including corn (maize), corn products, and anything with corn products in it.” Moving on a sentence, he says he also cut out rice, potatoes pasta and he soon after comments that he cut out ALL grain products. To my knowledge, I was under the impression that cultures had been using corn for thousands of years. I Googled it and came up with an article from wholehealthsource.blogspot.com.au : “The first evidence of a calorically important domesticated crop I’m aware of was about 11,500 years ago in the fertile crescent. They were cultivating an early ancestor of wheat called emmer. Other grains popped up independently in what is now China (rice; ~10,000 years ago), and Central America (corn; ~9,000 years ago). That’s why people say humans have been eating grains for about 10,000 years.”
If we’re considering the foods a person could eat a thousand years ago we could still have all these things: corn, rice, other grain products, chocolate, cheese, beer… Heck, even the term “pizza” first appears in 997, according to Wikipedia / ~3000 BCE for Palm oil / ~5000 BCE: Fossilized remains of possibly cultivated potato tubers on a cave floor in Chilca Canyon.” – (Wikipedia). / “Polo ventured to China in the time of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and the Chinese had been consuming noodles as early as 3000 B.C. in the Qinghai province. There is even some evidence there of 4,000-year-old noodles made from foxtail and broomcorn millet.” – (todayifoundout.com). Breads have been around for something like 30 thousand of years, according to the bread Wikipedia article.
Articles that I just referenced:
Pasta Is Not Originally from Italy – Today I Found Out: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/06/pasta-is-not-originally-from-italy/
Anyway, my point about this is that he’s judging our diets for eating things so processed and mutated. He implies that we should go back to eating the same ways that our ancestors did. My position is that humans have been eating these things for thousands of years anyway. He himself cuts grain related products out of his own diet, yet we’ve been consuming things like bread for 30,000 years. He cuts pasta out, but we’ve been eating that for 4,000 years. Humans have been processing and farming foods for thousands of years. Obviously, to produce these things, they selectively farm to improve crops. Crops then evolve based on this.
The reason the author cuts back on these foods is because of domestic farming and that these foods have been mutated a LOT in the past thousand years. However, all foods have. Whether they be meat, grain, vegetable or fruit- they’ve all gone through massive changes.
For example, carrots used to come in all sorts of colours. However, due to selective farming, we mostly have orange ones these days. Things like crops have improved yields and animals have grown to very large sizes. Sure, the author suggests really negative things about such farming practices. But it’s only going to get worse as time goes on. Crops and animals are going to keep growing in size, especially over the next century. If you don’t like the way farmers do it, the only way you can pretty much avoid this is to grow your own animals and crops.
It’s an essay about real food vs processed food. But, to me, the author’s argument seems wildly un-researched. He vilifies carbohydrates in particular, and shames a lot of grain related products. However, in my knowledge, it’s fine for people to eat grains; the problem is overindulging. He suggests cutting back on processed and modern day food. By doing this, we’re meant to go back to the same food we would have eaten a thousand years ago- yet he lists things (to avoid) that we actually did have a thousand years ago (pasta, corn, rice, etc)… Apart from it being here and there, I’m a bit mystified. We have a huge list of what to avoid, but that doesn’t leave much left for us to eat.
It has a few interesting points about human evolution, but the book is more scare tactic than proper food advice. The bottom line: if you’re worried about your food intake, make and appointment with a health professional who can tailor make a diet for you.
Note: If you also end up reading the book, I encourage you to research and form your own conclusions.
I won a copy of this book via Goodreads Giveaways and these are just my honest thoughts on it.

Source:
www.goodreads.com/review/show/1876434302?

Original post:
Cattereia.booklikes.com/post/1513426/book-review-basic-food-a-history-of-nutrition-by-harold-kalve

Book Review: Song of the Sending (The Expatriates #1) by Corinne O’Flynn

 

The Expatriates (Song of the Sending, #1) - Corinne O'Flynn

Title: Song of the Sending
By: Corinne O’Flynn
Series: The Expatriates #1
Categories / Themes: fantasy, coming of age, young adult, adventure
Read: 8th January – 12th January, 2017
Rating: 4 / 5
Obtained: Won an eBook copy via a Giveaway
Crossposted Review to: Goodreads

Song of the Sending by Corinne O’Flynn is a young adult novel, full of adventure. Despite living in a travelling carnival, James “Jim” Wales feels like he doesn’t belong there. He’s always felt as if he’s not from the Modern World. One day, he receives a bird messenger, carrying a note from someone he believed to be long gone. Black Riders soon attack the carnival, led by a terrorist named Eldred. He is what is known as a Scholar, born with a symbol. As it turns out, Jim has a similar one. He is the one that Eldred hunts.

I wasn’t impressed with Jim. He’s an alright character, but he’s kind of dull and the situations surrounding his life aren’t the most original. Many are reminiscent of other young adult series that I’ve experienced. I thought that many of the foreground characters had interesting points to them. However, I felt like the author could have cut back a few characters. A lot of background characters were mentioned, despite having no part to play in the book. I wasn’t a fan of the Jim / Charlie relationship; it didn’t seem like a very important part to the plot, in my opinion. I can appreciate that he has feelings for her, but I think he had better things to think about and (to me) it kind of seemed disrespectful to the people who had died. I didn’t really like Sam; as a character, some of his comments seemed depressing and I felt like some of his actions only served to make him seem like a third wheel.

I didn’t necessarily appreciate all of the magical happenings. Charlie’s magical power development seemed odd as she had no indication of it before going across the bridge. It did have an important part to play in the book, but I think it could have been better explained. I appreciate that there are differences between Bellenor and the Modern World, but a bunch of things don’t make sense. For example, Bellenor and the “Modern World” were separated centuries ago due to the “Great Shift”. The Modern World has advanced to present day, with Bellenor stuck in some kind of medieval/ Middle Ages setting- or so it appears to the characters. Why has Bellenor not advanced from that point in time? More to the point, why are they able to understand each other so easily? Not to mention, the people are speaking English, no less. In centuries, the English language has changed a LOT as it’s taken on new words from all sorts of countries and it mutates day to day, depending on slang and new inventions. However, the people in Bellenor speak modern day English, but that doesn’t make sense; they would have a lot of differing cultures depending on their own people. So, although they have travellers from the Modern World, they would likely have their own language. I could understand similarities, but not the exact same language. I think that some other things are unclear as well. In the beginning, it almost seems as if Jim has little knowledge of Bellenor. Yet, later on, he seems to have more knowledge of it- and the events during the family’s departure- than others have.

Overall, it was fairly well developed and I can see that the author has put a lot of details into even small, unimportant things such as background characters. Not all of it works out, in my opinion; I feel like some of it is unnecessary. However, I admire the author’s dedication to building such a comprehensive introduction to the series. Whilst I wasn’t a fan of many characters or all of their actions, I found that there were some intriguing points to their personalities and some of the choices they made.

I won an eBook copy of this book via a Giveaway and these are just my honest thoughts on it.

Source:
www.goodreads.com/review/show/1872452563?

Original post:
Cattereia.booklikes.com/post/1513046/book-review-song-of-the-sending-the-expatriates-1-by-corinne-o-flynn

Book Review: What If by Chrystine Alyx

What If - Chrystine Alyx

Title: What If
By: Chrystine Alyx
Categories / Themes: mystery, romance, searching for a missing person.
Read: 08th January to 10th January, 2017
Rating: 2 / 5
Obtained: Goodreads Giveaway
Crossposted Review to: Goodreads

This book by Chrystine Alyx is a story that questions “What If” Dana, a main character, had taken an opportunity with someone else rather than marrying her husband. She asks Mattie, a co-worker, to research what happened with Jamie- the “other”.

The plot is quite alright. It has an interesting premise and I like that there’s a mystery behind it. I felt that the mystery aspects could have been better plotted, however. I’ve been reading and watching mysteries for years. This one seemed reminiscent of many ones that I’ve experienced before. As I read on, I don’t feel that “What If” is an appropriate title. Yes, Dana wonders “what if I had gone with Jamie rather than getting married?” But the book doesn’t really focus on Dana; it focuses more on Mattie, the person who is actually tracking Jamie down. Mattie doesn’t really imagine “what if” in the way the title means; she wasn’t the one involved in the scenario and didn’t even know Jamie personally.

There were far too many characters for my liking. I didn’t keep up with them all, I’ll admit; I lost track because there were just so many. Many of them didn’t get a proper introduction. I was mystified as to who Janet and Jamie were for a substantial amount of the book, despite both of them being quite important to the plot. I also didn’t feel that Dana really did like Jamie’s company; the flashbacks didn’t seem reminiscent of some inspiring relationship. It just seemed like an ordinary seen. My thought is that she was just romanticising the moments they spent together.

I think that, primarily, the author just needs to tighten up her writing style. The majority of the book is very convoluted. It has a lot of characters and scenes which I feel were unnecessary. For example, the entire plot line with Mattie’s sister’s pregnancy turned out to be kind of meaningless to me. The same with the entire character of Dana. Despite her “What If” question being the premise of the entire book, I think that she was kind of useless and only served as a person to shame and blame for things. If she was so interested in finding this Jamie, than why couldn’t she track the girl down herself? Sure, Mattie has experience in doing it, but if Dana was so interested, than she could have done it herself. This supposed interest just baffles me because she didn’t really seem to care that much about finding Jamie, despite the way the author makes it seem…

Overall, I felt it turned out okay. It was an interesting mystery, but I felt that a lot of characters could have been dropped and the mystery improved.

I won a copy of this book via a First Reads giveaway and these are just my honest thoughts on it.

Source:
www.goodreads.com/review/show/1822788826

Original post:
Cattereia.booklikes.com/post/1512726/what-if-by-chrystine-alyx

The Dream by Cornelius Elmore Addison

Review:

The Dream (Addison's Tales, #1) - Cornelius Elmore Addison

The Dream by Cornelius Elmore Addison. Just as the title of the book suggest, we begin with a dream. The narrator finds themself out the front of Mack’s One Stop Character Shop. Upon his entry he finds that, though even he doesn’t know it, he’s been looking for a gnome.

 

Mack, owner of the aforementioned shop, is quite the character! I appreciate the added quirks and all the items he sells. Norbitts is Mack’s helping hand, a robot with a bit of an attitude. My favourite character so far is Lady Winter, a customer with several interesting requests. There are also a few illustrations so that people can visualise some of the characters.

 

I loved all the little trinkets and wares about the shop that the narrator takes notice of. It’s interesting to read about so many unique things and how the characters interact with them.

 

I enjoy that the narrator position is left somewhat open so that each different reader might simply pop in and imagine themself in such a position. The personality traits, thoughts and actions are all understandable and I’m sure many will find the position to be relatable. Do I think the book lived up to my great expectations of it? Yes, I think it has. The characters and scenery were all somewhat enjoyable. I think it’s a great story for people of all ages. Plus, I think I’m really interested in reading the other books of the series as well; the author has quite the imagination and has left a lot of room for some pretty awesome adventures! Overall, it’s great and, though it’s short, it’s definitely worth a read!

 

I was lucky enough to receive a free eCopy of this book in return for an honest review.

Source:
www.goodreads.com/review/show/1859013502?

Original post:
Cattereia.booklikes.com/post/1512623/the-dream-by-cornelius-elmore-addison