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Book bingo reviews 6, 7 and 8

So, I'm massively behind on book reviews for lj book bingo this year, but here are three more in an attempt to get vaguely up to date before the end of the year. Still no bingo, although I can see at least two lines which are only one square away from a bingo if I can just fill it in the next month and half!

Veggie Lean In 15, by Joe Wicks. Fills the 'cookbook or food memoir' square

I'll come straight out and admit I'm not a vegetarian, I love bacon and sausages too much! I got this book because I own all of Joe Wicks' other books, and I thought it wouldn't hurt to have a bit more variety as his recipes tend to be a bit meat heavy.

This was actually the very first book I read in 2019, way back in January, but I kept putting off doing a review because people had suggested posting pics of recipes you've made, and I have to admit I haven't made a single recipe all year from this book. There are a few that I like the look of and do want to try at some point, but persistent heałth problems all year have prevented me from living the 'lean in 15' lifestyle, and I just couldn't be bothered experimenting with new recipes. Plus, I will admit, as I was reading the stir fry type recipes I found myself thinking, 'that would be really nice with some chicken or prawns', which kind of deafeats the object!

I don't have anything against veggie meals, it's more just apathy and sticking with recipes that are tried and tested and that I know I like. Maybe I need to be more adventurous next year.

Dynasty, by Tom Holland. Fills the 'starts with the first letter of your name' square.

There was a complete lack of books on my shelf that started with J, so I made use of the note in the rules that said you could use your lj username instead.

This is a history/biography of the Julio-Claudian emperors of Rome - Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero, in that chronological order. I really quite enjoyed it, it was a bit of a page-turner (admittedly probably only if you're an ancient history geek, that is!). Everyone has probably heard of the likes of Caligula (the 'mad' emperor), and maybe Nero (the 'bad' emperor), but I have to admit I knew very little about Tiberius or Claudius, and actually learnt a lot about even the 'famous' ones, beyond the mad and bad mythology. Caligula in particular, I came away with the impression he wasn't so much 'mad', and more just very, very cruel and vindictive and nasty. Nero, however, does come across as a megalomaniac psychopath, so yeah, he's still the 'bad' one!

The general feeling you get reading about them all is that the history of the dynasty is a very violent and incestuous soap opera, with togas!

Along the way with the history and biographies of the emperors, Holland also manages to weave in more general things about Roman history and society, so it's not just a succession of names and politics.

If you're interested in Roman history it's well worth a read, but possibly not recomended as a first forray into the topic if you're a complete beginner.

The Gynae Geek, by Dr Anita Mitra. Fills the 'published this year' square.

So, I alluded to ongoing health issues in my review for Joe Wicks' book, and as this book probably suggests, they are gynaecology related. In somewhat frustration at lack of information from my consultant, or from the internet, I bought a couple of books, of which this was by far the best. It didn't actually, answer my specific questions, but it is a very interesting, informative and suprisingly entertaining book about all things 'down there' (I found it so good I've been recomending it to friends, at least two of which have since bought it!).

Mitra is a practising gynaecologist, so she knows her stuff, and she runs a blog of the same name as the book. She is clearly passsionate about the fact that we as a society in general don't talk about 'womens' health things', and as a result a lot of women are needlessly suffering with treatable conditions because they think it's 'normal', and 'just something they have to put up with'. So what Mitra does very well is myth-busting and outlining what *is* normal, so you can judge for yourself whether you have something that might need discussing with a GP (she spends three chapters purely on periods, and to be honest it was a bit of an eye-opener even for me, and I'd like to think I'm not entirely ignorant in such matters).

Again, like many of the books I've reviewed this year, it's probably a bit of a niche market, but well worth it, and a very good and straightforward, non-technical and practical guide to women's health.


7 comments or Leave a comment
clea2011 From: clea2011 Date: November 11th, 2019 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
OH! First letter of your USERname!! I've been looking for J's - C is much easier!

You're doing great! 8 is already double what I managed last year!

I think I'm on book 16. If you haven't already read Song of Achilles, do - it's fab. I could bring it up to Telford for you if you like?
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: November 11th, 2019 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I've actually filled 13 squares, I'm just massively behind on posting reviews for them! But I've definitely given up on getting anywhere near a blackout this year.

Ooh, yes, I have read Song of Achilles, it is indeed very good.

I think the name thing can be either your real name or username, but D was far easier than J to find a book for. The only thing I had on my shelves was Jurassic Park, and I didn't fancy reading it again when I have so many books that I haven't read even once, compared with the multiple times I've read JP.
clea2011 From: clea2011 Date: November 11th, 2019 11:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't bother with the reviewing, I assume people will not be interested in the majority of what I read and also I'm very lazy!
Yeah, I can find C I am sure. J is just too difficult.
honor_reid From: honor_reid Date: November 12th, 2019 05:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Your choice of books always reminds me of my love of reading history books. I always mean to read more history but I get distracted and I don't seem to see as many historical books advertised.

I'm sorry to hear your health hasn't been great. I love to try new recipes but if I am under the weather or stressed I can't seem to find the energy to try anything new.

Congrats on finishing more books!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: November 15th, 2019 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really meant to read more history and archaeology books this year, but I seem to have run out of time :-(

I am currently reading a book about Alexander the Great, so that one will definitely fill the history/historical square. I might not have time for the book about Stonehenge as well, though.
fififolle From: fififolle Date: December 24th, 2019 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)
What three absolutely fascinating books!!

Do you know, I am sure chucking some prawns in one of his veggie recipes is a brilliant way to use them! We have started using lots of the 'Quorn pieces' type of product and they actually work out pretty well.

Those Roman emperors, I bet that does make brilliant reading :D

I think that 'women's issues' being an actual thing is becoming a revelation to science. Hard to believe just how male-biased the health system is.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: January 14th, 2020 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry, massively behind on commenting and lj in general.

Oh, god, re the female issues and male bias, a real eye-opener was a book called Invisible Women, by Caroline Criado Perez, which I also read in 2019. Reading that book made me *angry*! It's all about how society is built around unconscious male bias, and there's an entire section on medicine and the health system. Here's a quote from one of the health chapters:

PMS affects 90% of women, but is chronically under-studied: one research round up found five times as many studies on erectile dysfunction than on PMS. And yet while a range of medication exists to treat erectile dysfunction there is very little available for women, to the extent that over 40% of women who have PMS don't respond to treatments currently available... But researchers are still being turned down for research grants on the basis that 'PMS does not actually exist'.

Grrrr!!! This book makes me ANGRY!!!!

I must do some more book reviews, I think many more people need to read this book.
7 comments or Leave a comment