Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Books Read

Fat Politics: The Real Story Behind America's Obesity Epidemic by Eric Oliver
The author begins his project trying to find out why Americans are getting fatter. What he found was that the issue of weight is inseparable from politics. Regarding the question, he kept covering some well-worn explanation as to why we're fatter, then would prove it's not quite that. The plethora of ads? No. Fast food nation? No. Larger portions? No. More sedentary? No. What about corn syrup? No. What he does seem to conclude is that our more sedentary ways make us more prone to snack. We snack more, something we didn't do in the old days, and those snacks have the very things that contribute to heart disease and insulin resistance: trans-fats, and refined carbohydrates (what we called "empty calories" when I was a kid...nothing new there). Review at ILiberty.org. A commenter at BigFatBlog remarks that it is a recap of Paul Campos. I haven't read that yet. In my search for "Fat Politics" I found this blog. It looks like fatfu is keeping an eye on fat politics as it arises in the media for us.

I am fat and I am polyamorous, two characteristics that society deems it okay to judge negatively. Author Eric Oliver notes, "Over the past three years, I've heard scores of unsolicited invectives of disgust and contempt for fat people, particularly from educated, middle-class folks who otherwise pride themselves on being rational and fair-minded. Even more interesting is how they assume that I, as an affluent thin person, naturally share their horror."

Bottom line, it shouldn't be about weight management, it should all be about health management. Weight, and it's ugly cousin, BMI, are not good indicators of good health. Insulin resistance, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels are, and they have not been shown to be caused by extra weight, but connected to.

Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie by Holly Black
I was glad of my visits to New York last year. The subway scenes were made that much more vivid for me. How many fairy tales are there set in New York, I wonder? While Good Fairies of New York was amusing with shades of A Confederacy of Dunces, this one was a runaway teen meets fairy dust story. Drawing upon the lore of "don't eat the fairy food" these street kids are doing fairy dust like drugs. There is some nobility to be found, and as is often the case, not all fairies can be trusted. Shades of Beauty and the Beast in the relationship between the Troll named Ravus and the questing Val. Holly Black is a drug...gimme more.

Pedal Power: A Legal Guide for Oregon Bicyclists
I skimmed through the 4th edition from the library, but this link takes you to the pdf of the 5th edition. This will only be interesting to people in Oregon, not only to bicyclists I hope, but to drivers who care about bicyclists, and to pedestrians...there's good stuff in here on the rights of pedestrians. This one online has clarifying info about the crosswalk law that went into effect in January 2006.

Powers by Deborah Lynn Jacobs
I liked it, a quick read. Two teens find themselves repulsed and drawn together like magnets. The more they get close, the more they can tap into their respective powers: reading minds and receiving visions of the future. Much like horses for little girls, these supernatural powers are all about sexual energy and love.

Empress of the World by Sara Ryan
It's rare for me to read a book twice, but I'd forgotten I really did read this before. Sadly, my brain is getting more like a sieve and there were many parts I did not remember so I just kept reading. Do not let my leaky brain be a sign of the book's merit, because it is a good book for teens, a bi-girl coming of age story. A prestigious summer school for gifted kids provides the backdrop for all that teen drama. I look forward to reading the sequel. I don't know how this woman does it...works full time as a librarian (and she's a great librarian), writes teen novels, writes zine comics, and keeps a blog.

Shredderman #1: Secret Identity by Wendelin Van Draanen
Kid's book, great for the reluctant reader. A geeky boy is inspired by a class project to report on the class bully. He creates a secret identity website and comes up with a way to tell the whole school about it. It sparks great changes in him and in the school.

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