athene (deinonychus_1) wrote,

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.

Tags: book bingo

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