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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Little Princes by Conor Grennan

Little Princes is a surprisingly entertaining memoir, and it's also heartwarming, of course.  In some ways, I liked it better than "Three Cups of Tea."  I know this was written better, and whereas this author is self-deprecating and funny, Greg Mortenson was not portrayed as such by his ghost writer in 3COT.  I listened to the free audio download of Little Princes through my library and I feel it really enhanced the experience of this book.  It was read aloud by the author and so he was able to mimic the voices of the sweet children as he remembered them and parts of it were really funny, despite the dark circumstances of poverty and child trafficking.  I don't want to take away from Three Cups of Tea, because I believe that Greg Mortenson is doing amazing work, possibly even bigger work in that he truly believes the world will not change until girls have equal education and opportunities.  However, I just want to say that Little Princes was more enjoyable in some ways.  Set in Nepal, Conor Grennan brings it to life, and especially makes the images of the darling children come alive off the page.  If you have a choice of whether to read or listen to it, and you enjoy audio books, i would recommend listening to this one, but either way, it's a good read.  Conor Grennan really wants to trek and travel, but he does end up doing a brief stint as a volunteer in Nepal.  Part of his motivation was that he noticed girls would "sort of swoon" when he told them he was thinking of volunteering at an orphanage.  His youthful motivations turned into a sometimes-harrowing quest, however, to literally save helpless children, and along the way, he sort of saved himself and found love in the offing.  I wish we could all get along as well as the Christians, Hindus and Buddhists do in this adventurous memoir.  If you ever wanted to trek across a foreign land, or join the Peace Corps, you might really enjoy this book.  Two of my favorite previous memoirs include "Nine Hills to Nambonkaha" and "The Bookseller of Kabul" and now I can add this one to my list.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr

I can't quite remember how I heard about the book "Crazy Sexy Diet," but I'm glad I did.  I've been a fan of Kris Carr since I saw her on Oprah a few years ago, talking about her TLC  documentary "Crazy Sexy Cancer."  I did watch the film a little while later and really enjoyed it.  I loved the way she did not just accept her cancer diagnosis, but got up and tried to figure it out and save her own life.  My take on this new book is that it's for anyone who wants to be healthier and to live in a way that helps prevent cancer.  One of the main principles in the book is to eat in such a way that your system PH is more alkaline, so your body is less acidic and inflamed.  And of course, the other health benefits are myriad and ideal.   One would think that fruit is acidic, and it is, until you eat it.  I have read a bunch of books on health over the last 20 years and I still learned a lot from this book.  Do you know what the best anatomical position is for your body when you eliminate, the truth about amalgam fillings, that there's a best way to juice?  How to do a one-day juice fast, and what to expect (a lot!).  There are many suggestions for exercise, chemicals to avoid, what type of salt to avoid, which vitamins are best absorbed, product recommendations and recipes in the back of the book.  There's a questionnaire, and a 21-day cleanse guide also.  Health gurus such as Dr. Mehmet Oz, T. Colin Campbell, Dean Ornish and Neal Barnard chime in as well.  This is a book I'll go back to again and again, as I learn to live just a little bit healthier every day.  p.s.   There are about ten pages of recipes on her web site, but I haven't tried any yet.