Even though April might have not been the best reading month as far as quantity goes, it definitely was an awesome month when it came to quality. The two books I read this month were both life-changing in their own ways.
(But I’ll be honest—I’m still counting down the days until summer, when I’ll have a LOT more time to be plowing through my staggeringly huge to-read pile, and I’ll get both quantity AND quality.)
Nevertheless, without further ado, here are the books I finished last month:
To the Rescue: The Biography of Thomas S. Monson by Heidi Swinton
I’m not usually a big biography reader, but when Matt and I got a signed copy of this book for free from Matt’s folks, I couldn’t resist plunging in (plus it’s the biography of the much-beloved leader of our church, President Thomas S. Monson).
I’ve always been a fan of President Monson—as a kid, I looked forward to his talks in General Conference because he always included a story (or several) from his own life, which was much easier for me to grasp than straight-up doctrine. As I got older, I learned to appreciate him for so many other things, like his radiant optimism, his sense of humor, and his exemplary life of service. In reading his biography, I gained an even greater appreciation and love for the man that we Latter-Day Saints sustain as a prophet, seer, and revelator. Through reading countless accounts that others have given of his selfless acts of service in their behalf and his constant focus on the individual, I was inspired and re-inspired daily to serve more diligently in my own life and to more fully follow in the steps of my Savior Jesus Christ.
I recommend this book to all people who could use a boost from one of the most inspirational men living today.
My Rating: 5 Stars
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan
What To the Rescue did for my spiritual self, In Defense of Food did for my physical self—this book about real nutrition and food has forever changed the way that I will eat, cook, and think about what I put on my plate.
In Defense of Food is basically a well-supported argument that the Western way of eating is the root of many evils, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dental problems, and much more. Pollan also argues that “real” food (unprocessed food) is the key to being healthy, not worrying about how much protein or carbs or fat that we’re eating. It’s difficult to summarize the entire book, but Pollan is basically taking a stand against what he deems “nutritionism,” which is the modern-day obsession with breaking a food down into its various parts and trying to figure out which nutrient is the most important. At the end of the book, Pollan then gives you several suggestions on how to create a healthy diet of REAL food and not fall into the traps of the latest health news.
It’s hard to explain why this book is so monumental since we’re constantly being inundated with “health” news, but I’ll try: we’ve all seen that there are a million and one books out there on dieting and losing weight and how to eat healthier. But all of those books are basically just treating the symptom of the real problem: the Western diet. In this book, Pollan explains just how the American diet has gone so awry and simple things you can do to fix it. If you want to put it another way, Pollan basically wrote the book on eating clean.
I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to make REAL changes in their nutritional patterns. This book (like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle) should also come with a warning: don’t read unless you’re ready to change your life.
My eating habits truly will never be the same.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars (I only docked off half a star because parts of this book can get pretty dense)
What have you been reading lately? Anything life-changing?