Tag Archives: Book Review

Review: The Game On Diet

The Game On Diet
By Krista Vernoff and Az Ferguson
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: June 2009
ISBN-13: 9780061718892
291pp

The Short of It:

A fun, competitive way to take off a few pounds.

My Thoughts:

When I first agreed to join a Game On Diet team, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Dawn made it sound like so much fun and I had read Book Club Girl’s posts about Game On and I was intrigued with her success on the program. However, when the book came, I was a bit overwhelmed.

You see, there are points to be made and penalties to be had. A good choice could get you points for your team but a BAD choice could cost your team points and who wants to be the one bad egg in a group of Grade AA’s? Not me!!

Here’s the gist of it:

  • You need to eat 5 mini meals a day.
  • You must avoid F.L.A.B.B foods (basically, anything that tastes good)
  • You must get at least 20 minutes of exercise in every day unless it’s your day off.
  • No diet sodas, no artificial sweeteners, no white flour, no alcohol…
  • You must give up a bad habit and replace it with a healthy habit.
  • You must drink 3 liters of water a day (except for day off)

There’s more, but you get the idea. Basically all that was lovely and good in the way of food goes bye-bye and gets replaced with Greek yogurt (and lots of it!), low-fat string cheese, low-fat cottage cheese, veggies, nuts and palm sized portions of protein. Now there are other foods out there that fit the program but because most of the foods I picked had to be easy and quick to grab, I ended up with a lot of dairy in my diet. When I incorporate what I’ve learned into my everyday diet, I plan to balance it out a bit more.

What I’ve Learned:

  • I really can live on 5 small meals and not be hungry.
  • Food played a big a role in my life. I ate out a lot and it was actually a form of entertainment. How sad! I now know to balance it out a bit more. I plan to enjoy the people I am with and not focus on the food so much.
  • I’ve learned that I like exercise. Having a routine has really helped me feel a lot better.
  • That my previous diet was filled with processed foods. Eating whole foods has actually killed all my cravings for the bad stuff.

Now a bit about the book itself. I feel that the book is broken down into logical, very readable sections. However, it is missing an index which I could have really used since I had to refer to the book often while playing the game. I appreciate the humor to a degree, but during week 3, which I felt was the toughest week, I found the humor to be a bit irritating. It could be that the lack of fried foods in my diet sucked my sense of humor dry. That’s always a possibility.

Overall, I found the team concept to be very effective and in the end, I lost a total of 10 lbs. I had a slight gain one week (damn that week 3) which slowed me down but I am happy with losing what I did and I feel as if I can follow this program on a regular basis. Four weeks was just enough time for things to become habit for me.

Here are the teams. They should all be given a huge round of applause:

Team Ding Dong

Ti of Book Chatter and Other Stuff
Jill of Rhapsody in Books
Julie of Booking Mama
Amy of My Friend Amy
Jill of Fizzy Thoughts

Team Twinkie
Denise of M. Denise C.
Jenners of Find Your Next Book Here

Team Ho-Hos
Kathy also has other team mates, but they aren’t bloggers, so I have no links. Oh, except for a last minute addition…Vasilly! ( I stole all of this from Jill/Fizzy).

Thanks to Book Club Girl for providing us with copies of the book and for being our Game On mentor. Thanks to Dawn too for getting the teams together and for handling all the logistics.

As of this writing, I do not know which team came out ahead but in the big scheme of things, I’m not sure it really matters. Ten lbs down and three inches lost overall is pretty darn good. I am continuing with the plan, just not the “team” part of it. I want to see how well I can do on my own.
If you have been curious about the plan, check it out online, then get the book, form a team and dive in!

Review: The Blue Notebook


The Blue Notebook

By James Levine
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Pub. Date: July 2009
ISBN-13: 9780385528719
224pp

The blurb from Barnes and Noble:

Every now and then, we come across a novel that moves us like no other, that seems like a miracle of the imagination, and that haunts us long after the book is closed. James Levine’s The Blue Notebook is that kind of book. It is the story of Batuk, an Indian girl who is taken to Mumbai from the countryside and sold into prostitution by her father; the blue notebook is her diary, in which she recalls her early childhood, records her life on the Common Street, and makes up beautiful and fantastic tales about a silver-eyed leopard and a poor boy who fells a giant with a single gold coin.

The Short of It:

An unsettling story about a nine-year-old girl that is sold into prostitution by her own family. Deeply disturbing at times and extremely graphic. This one is hard to stomach.

My Thoughts:

What struck me about this novel was not the shocking content (surprisingly). What struck me, is that the story was so beautifully written. The content is dark and gritty yet the prose is so alluring that it pulled me through the story even when I didn’t want to read anymore. For this, I would recommend the book.

However, I did have some issues with where the story went. I won’t give anything away, but I felt that the story took an unrealistic turn. I believed the street scenes and her time in “the nest.” This felt genuine to me and I wanted to know more about the other boys and girls who lived with her, especially Puneet. I was also intrigued with the Orphanage and the characters within it, but I felt that her time there was short and then the novel seemed to shift abruptly for me.

I know that there is a hardening that takes place when a child is forced into prostitution. They either grow a tough shell, or they cave and fall apart. Batuk does not cave. She learns to play the game but towards the end of the novel I tired of her. I think I was sickened by her playing the game. Her manipulation at times was necessary for survival but it presented a different side to her, one that I didn’t care for.

A good example of what I am trying to convey is that Puneet had the same life. He had the same horrible things happen to him, yet he never lost his child-like demeanor. I suppose in a real life situation, a child would do whatever they needed to do in order to adapt, but it bothered me.

One important item to mention is that Levine is donating the U.S. proceeds of this novel to the International and National Centers for Missing and Exploited Children.

This book was kindly sent to me by Alyce over at At Home With Books.