Lutie McFee's history has taught her to avoid attachments...to people, to places, and to almost everything. With her mother long dead and her father long gone to find his fortune in Las Vegas, 15-year-old Lutie lives in the god-forsaken town of Spearfish, South Dakota with her twelve-year-old brother, Fate, and Floy Satterfield, the 300-pound ex-girlfriend of her father.
While Lutie shoplifts for kicks, Fate spends most of his time reading, watching weird TV shows and worrying about global warming and the endangerment of pandas. As if their life is not dismal enough, one day, while shopping in their local Wal-Mart, Floy keels over and the two motherless kids are suddenly faced with the choice of becoming wards of the state or hightailing it out of town in Floy's old Pontiac. Choosing the latter, they head off to Las Vegas in search of a father who has no known address, no phone number and, clearly, no interest in the kids he left behind.
MADE IN THE U.S.A. is the alternately heartbreaking and life-affirming story of two gutsy children who must discover how cruel, unfair and frightening the world is before they come to a place they can finally call home."
Practical tips, like how to simplify e-mail, are used to inspire and motivate the reader. For example, limiting your inboxes, spending less time answering e-mails, reducing your incoming stream, processing your box to empty, and writing less, are discussed and encouraged.
I liked this book and while reading it I referred to the his website located at Zen Habits. There are many recourses on the website that are also discussed in the book. For a nice introduction, check out his beginners guided tour.
I give this book 3 stars because I enjoyed reading, but will probably not refer to it again. Many of the ideas were very repetitive, and halfway through the book, my interest started to wane. I found that I actually read more on the website rather in the book about topics that I found interesting. I would suggest this book to anyone who has tried the Getting Things Done method and found it not to their liking. Also be sure to check out the website Zen Habits for more great tips.
The book, the Liberation Diet, by Kevin Brown and Annette Presley, is written to describe the history of weight loss, health misinformation, and greatly improve quality of life through safe and effective drug-free weight-loss. Included in the introduction of this book, the authors state their purpose as reeducation of a healthy lifestyle diet system to improve the lives of people often with dramatic results. Through this book, they hope to help others experience freedom from chronic disease to live a full abundant life.
As a family practice physician, I was very excited about receiving this book to review, with the anticipation that I would use the new information about healthy lifestyles to better educate my patients for improved weight loss. Unfortunately, I was only able to read through the first 30 pages of this book because of the inadequate, illogical, and untrue statements made by the authors regarding healthy weight loss.
At the opening of the introduction and with every chapter, a basic history is given regarding the topic to be discussed, and the controversy put forth by the vast web of diet industries, educational programs, and media outlets. Building upon the concept of the conspiracy between government agencies, health care industry, pharmaceutical industries, food industry, and physicians, the authors state that through misinformation and for substantial profit the general public has been misled about healthy dietary habits. Quoting from the book:
Food companies get to use cheaper ingredients so they can increase their bottom line. These cheap ingredients do not nourish the body, so people get sick. Money is poured into the health-care system to treat the sick people. Pharmacological companies make a fortune on drugs designed to treat but not cure these diseases, and most of these drugs have side effects that require additional drugs to combat the other drugs. People get tired of being fat and sick, so they go on a diet. But the diet industry tells people to eat fake food and follow the food guide pyramid, creating more marketing opportunities for diet plans, pills, and potions that don't work, starting the vicious cycle all over again.
Now I admit as a physician, I could be included amongst the “healthcare conspiracy”, but I'm not. Beginning each chapter with the premise that this is a conspiracy and that healthcare providers are withholding vital information from their patients is both a falsehood and logically impractical.
Illogical statements like “the pharmaceutical industry invented the drug Viagra for carbohydrate lovers to combat a low sex drive” are both untrue and take away from the topic at hand, and brings to question the general knowledge and accuracy of the authors. Other examples include the concept that sugar reacts with protein and fat destroying their ability to function, and that the more sugar you have in your body the more damage occurs to cell membranes leading to the development of cancer. The initial premise that increased levels of blood sugar can lead to damage in specific tissues is true, but to link this damage to the development of cancer is both illogical and misleading.
The references provided for each chapter also compound the idea of a deceptive health care industry. Titles like the fluoride deception, the cholesterol myths, life without bread, and the untold story of milk, suggest further misrepresentation by a global conspiracy.
I give this book one star because I do believe that the authors premise is true, but that the conclusions are false. I would not suggest this book to any of my patients because I believe that there is no conspiracy, and that many of the statements made are misleading and could be harmful. Two of the main reasons for the obesity epidemic are the increase in food portions, and the decrease in general activity levels. The authors would have been more successful if they had focused more on these two principles rather than delve into conspiracy and conjecture.