Thursday, January 1, 2009

I read 42 books in 2008

I love to read and I love the site So this year I did a good job of keeping track of all the books I read for 2008. 42 books for the year--almost a book a week. Pretty good since I pretty much only get to read when I sneak it in while I am eating breakfast or lunch, when Selena is adequately distracted (usually not very long), and before I go to bed. Luckily I am a fast reader.

My favorite book of the year was The Mists of Avalon. My mother had recommended this book to me many times when I was younger, and I tried to read it, but could never get into it. Well I am glad I tried again, because I really liked it.

I also got curious about the Twilight series after hearing so much about it and that really sucked me in. While I really enjoyed it and it pretty much consumed me for a day or two for each book, it was really quite silly. Definitely targeted towards teenage girls. I was glad to get my life back when I was done.

I also got to quickly read through The Great Cholesterol Con which was very interesting. I don't know if I am sucker for conspiracy theories, or if it is an open mind and willingness to not accept everything I am told (I hope it is the latter). But the author very persuasively argues that even though there have been many studies done, there are very few that actually indicate that high cholesterol causes heart disease (and the few that do are very poorly designed), or that eating saturated fat increases your risk of heart disease, or that LDL cholesterol is "bad" (it only becomes "bad" when it has been destroyed by excessive free radicals which come from air pollution, smoking, radiation, etc, and ironically when you consume vegetable oil that has been heated). But the studies do show that higher levels of cholesterol (but not excessively high) do correspond with decreased overall mortality, while very low levels correspond with higher overall mortality. In general his point is that if you really wish to fight heart disease you should decrease your stress, watch your blood sugar levels, eat more whole foods, and ignore your cholesterol levels as they aren't indicative of anything and trying to control them is many times anti-productive. The book is very well researched and annotated. I didn't find any glaring holes in his logic, and overall I thought it was very interesting.

No comments: