The message of this book could be a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective. There is no hard science, no clearly-defined plan, and no lists of food to have or have not; instead, you’ll find simple tricks that boil down to eating carefully prepared seasonal food, exercising more and refusing to think of food as something that inspires guilt. It’s both a practical message and far easier said than done in today’s “no pain, no gain” culture.
Author Mireille Guiliano is CEO of Veuve Clicquot, and French Women Don’t Get Fat offers a concept of sensible pleasures: If you have a chocolate croissant for breakfast, have a vegetable-based lunch—or take an extra walk and pass on the bread basket at dinner. Guiliano’s insistence on simple measures slowly creating substantial improvements are reassuring, and her suggestion to ignore the scale and learn to live by the “zipper test” could work wonders for those who get wrapped up in tiny details of diet. She sympathizes that deprivation can lead straight to overindulgence when it comes to favorite foods, but then, in a most French manner, treats them as a pleasure that needs to be sated, rather than a battle to be fought.
A number of recipes are included, from a weight-loss enhancing leek soup to a lush chocolate mousse; they read more like what you’d find in a French cookbook rather than an American diet book. Most appealingly, these are guidelines and tricks that could be easily sustainable over a lifetime. If you agree that food is meant to be appreciated—but no more so than having a trim waist—these charmingly French recommendations could set you on the path to a future filled with both croissants and high fashion.
Gretchen Rubin - The Happiness Project
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project. In this lively and compelling account of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of bestselling memoirs such as Julie and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Rubin didn't have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her—and what didn't. Her conclusions are sometimes surprising—she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that "treating" yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference—and they range from the practical to the profound. Written with charm and wit, The Happiness Project is illuminating yet entertaining, thought-provoking yet compulsively readable. Gretchen Rubin's passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire you to start your own happiness project.
Yann Martel - Life of Pi
After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific.The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan, a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger and Pi - a 16-year-old Indian boy.The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary pieces of literary fiction of recent years. Yann Martel's Life of Pi is a transformative novel, a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God.
Audrey Niffenegger - The Time Traveler's Wife
A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant. An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler's Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.
Jodi Picoult - Perfect Match
What happens when you do all the right things for all the wrong reasons? As an assistant district attorney in York County, Maine, Nina Frost prosecutes the sort of crimes that tear families apart. She helps clients navigate their way through a nightmare – even though the legal system is not always the faultless compass they want and need it to be. She learns that the easiest way to cross this devastating minefield time and time again is to offer compassion, battle fiercely for justice, and keep her emotional distance. But when Nina and her husband Caleb discover that their five-year-old son Nathaniel has been sexually abused, that distance is impossible to maintain. The world Nina inhabits now seems different from the one she lived in yesterday; the lines between family and professional life are erased; and answers to questions she thought she knew are no longer easy to find. Overcome by anger and desperate for vengeance, Nina ignites a battle that may cause her to lose the very thing she's fighting for.
J. K. Rowling - The Casual Vacancy
When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils... Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
Jodi Picoult - Change of Heart
Freelance carpenter Shay Bourne was sentenced to death for killing a little girl, Elizabeth Nealon, and her cop stepfather. Eleven years after the murders, Elizabeth's sister, Claire, needs a heart transplant, and Shay volunteers, which complicates the state's execution plans. Meanwhile, death row has been the scene of some odd events since Shay's arrival—an AIDS victim goes into remission, an inmate's pet bird dies and is brought back to life, wine flows from the water faucets. The author brings other compelling elements to an already complex plot line: the priest who serves as Shay's spiritual adviser was on the jury that sentenced him; Shay's ACLU representative, Maggie Bloom, balances her professional moxie with her negative self-image and difficult relationship with her mother. Picoult moves the story along with lively debates about prisoner rights and religion, while plumbing the depths of mother-daughter relationships and examining the literal and metaphorical meanings of having heart.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - The Little Prince
The Little Prince is a classic tale of equal appeal to children and adults. On one level it is the story of an airman's discovery in the desert of a small boy from another planet -the Little Prince of the title - and his stories of intergalactic travel, while on the other hand it is a thought-provoking allegory of the human condition. First published in 1943, the year before the author's death in action, this new translation contains Saint-Exupery's delightful illustrations.
Jodi Picoult - The Pact
Friendship, loyalty, lifelong love -- and teenage suicide. A riveting, timely, and terrifying novel from an acclaimed writer who skillfully intertwines the intimate perceptions of Anne Tyler with the dramatic tension of John Grisham The Golds and the Hartes, neighbors for eighteen years, have always been inseparable. So have their children-and it's no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into something more. But the bonds of family, friendship, and passion-which had seemed so indestructible -- suddenly threaten to unravel in the wake of unexpected tragedy. When midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is ready for the truth. Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head. There's a single unspent bullet in the gun that Chris pilfered from his father's cabinet-a bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself. But a local detective has doubts about the suicide pact that Chris describes. This extraordinary, heart-rending novel asks questions that every parent faces: How much do we know about our children? Our friends? What if . . .? As its chapters unfold, alternating between an idyllic past and an unthinkable present, The Pact paints an indelible portrait of families in anguish . . . and creates an astonishingly suspenseful courtroom drama, as Chris finds himself on trial for murder. It's rare to find a writer who combines Alice Hoffman's gift for evoking everyday life in pellucid prose with a remarkable ability to create a legal page-turner that will keep you up all night reading, but this is such a book. The Pact rings true: wonderfully observed, truly moving, frightening, and utterly impossible to put down.
Jodi Picoult - Samantha van Leer - Between the Lines
Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah. And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom. Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.
Jodi Picoult - Sing You Home
Zoe Baxter has spent ten years trying to get pregnant, and after multiple miscarriages and infertility issues, it looks like her dream is about to come true – she is seven months pregnant. But a terrible turn of events leads to a nightmare – one that takes away the baby she has already fallen for; and breaks apart her marriage to Max. In the aftermath, she throws herself into her career as a music therapist – using music clinically to soothe burn victims in a hospital; to help Alzheimer’s patients connect with the present; to provide solace for hospice patients. When Vanessa – a guidance counselor -- asks her to work with a suicidal teen, their relationship moves from business to friendship and then, to Zoe’s surprise, blossoms into love. When Zoe allows herself to start thinking of having a family, again, she remembers that there are still frozen embryos that were never used by herself and Max. Meanwhile, Max has found peace at the bottom of a bottle – until he is redeemed by an evangelical church, whose charismatic pastor – Clive Lincoln – has vowed to fight the “homosexual agenda” that has threatened traditional family values in America. But this mission becomes personal for Max, when Zoe and her same-sex partner say they want permission to raise his unborn child. SING YOU HOME explores what it means to be gay in today’s world, and how reproductive science has outstripped the legal system. Are embryos people or property? What challenges do same-sex couples face when it comes to marriage and adoption? What happens when religion and sexual orientation – two issues that are supposed to be justice-blind – enter the courtroom? And most importantly, what constitutes a “traditional family” in today’s day and age? Also – in a very unique move – readers will get to literally hear Zoe Baxter’s voice. I am collaborating with Ellen Wilber, a dear friend who is also a very talented musician, to create a CD of original songs, which will correspond to each of the chapters. This CD will be packaged with each hardcover book. So – literally – stay tuned!
Karen Joy Fowler - The Jane Austen Book Club
Six people five women and a man meet once a month in California's Central Valley to discuss Jane Austen's novels. They are ordinary people, neither happy nor unhappy, but each of them is wounded in different ways, they are all mixed up about their lives and relationships. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable under the guiding eye of Jane Austen a couple of them even fall in love 'A thoroughly delightful comedy of contemporary manners' Entertainment Weekly
Mireille Guiliano - A francia nők karriert csinálnak
A francia nők nem híznak és a Francia nők télen-nyáron szerzőjének új könyve remek és sajátos iránytű az üzleti élet útvesztőihez. Ezt forgatva kiderül, hogyan érezzük jól magunkat nőként is, miközben legtökéletesebb formánkat hozzuk a munkahelyen és a magánéletben egyaránt. Mikor Mireille Guiliano a jó nevű Veuve Clicquot pezsgőüzem felsővezetésébe került és a cég szóvivője lett, "a francia nők filozófiáját és stílusát" használva a francia pezsgőt vezető luxuscikké tette. Új könyvében megosztja olvasóival azokat a képességeket és praktikákat, amelyekkel mindenki elegánsan bonthatja ki élete pezsgőspalackját, és a benne rejlő nedüt az utolsó cseppig élvezheti. Így nem meglepő, hogy a karrierépítés művészetében - a Guilianótól megszokott "franciás" módon - jól megfér egymás mellett megannyi, az élet különböző területén beváltható jótanács. "Olyasfajta könyvet próbáltam írni, amilyet én szerettem volna kapni, mikor kikerültem a nagybetűs életbe, mintegy segítő kéz helyett. Ez nem egy szokványos üzleti útmutató arról, hogyan "váljon sikeressé" az ember, vagy hogyan "szerezze meg a legjobb irodát". Igen, szerepelnek benne szakmai előrehaladással és előléptetéssel kapcsolatos tanácsok, de ennél többről is szó esik; hogyan legyen boldog és hogyan éljen teljes életet úgy, hogy közben a lehető legtöbbet nyújtja a munkahelyén. Ezért merem szóba hozni a stílust és a ruhákat, az ételeket és a bort, meg a szórakozást, sőt magát az ÉLETET egy üzleti tanácsadó könyvben. Nem légüres térben dolgozunk. A munkánk az életünknek csak egy része" - írja Mireille Guiliano kötete bevezetőjében.
Szendi Gábor - Paleolit táplálkozás kezdőknek
A "Paleolit táplálkozás kezdőknek" azoknak szól, akiknek eddig nem állt módjukban vagy nem volt idejük alaposan elmélyedni a paleolit táplálkozás rejtelmeiben. Szendi Gábor könyve arra vállalkozik, hogy röviden és lényegre törően az ő számukra is bemutassa a legfontosabb, legalapvetőbb paleo ismereteket. Hiszen rendkívül sokan vannak, akik elfoglaltságaik, rohanó életük mellett is szeretnének lehetőséget kapni arra, hogy a természet rendje szerint táplálkozva megőrizhessék vagy visszanyerjék egészségüket. A "Paleolit táplálkozás kezdőknek" kedvcsináló egy sorsfordító étrend bevezetéséhez és a témában való további elmélyüléshez. Megtudhatjuk, miért és hogyan okoznak a nyugati életmód által átalakított táplálkozási szokások olyan civilizációs betegségeket, amelyek a természeti népeknél ismeretlenek, hogyan okoz a túlzott szénhidrátfogyasztás szív- és érrendszeri megbetegedéseket, hogyan győzhetjük le könnyűszerrel a paleolit étrend segítségével a 2-es típusú cukorbetegséget, valamint hogy miként vezet a paleolit táplálkozás elveinek követése koplalás nélkül is gyors fogyáshoz és az egészséges testsúly folyamatos fenntartásához. Szendi Gábor legújabb könyvében is a tőle megszokott tudományos alapossággal foglalja össze kutatásainak eredményeit, hogy megértsük ezt a forradalmian új, minden tekintetben tudományosan megalapozott, az ember evolúciójára épülő táplálkozástant.
Szendi Gábor - Paleolit táplálkozás és korunk betegségei
A múlt század derekán kezdett világossá válni, hogy valami nagy baj van a nyugati világ egészségével. A probléma előtt értetlenül állt a tudomány: a látszólagos fejlődés ellenére olyan veszedelmes kórok jelentek meg világunkban, amelyek pár évtizeddel korábban még ritkák vagy ismeretlenek voltak. Szendi Gábor legújabb könyvében fejezetről fejezetre bontakoznak ki a nyugati civilizáció és egyes betegségek összefüggései. Ezek a bajok oly réginek tűnnek, hogy hajlamosak vagyunk azt hinni: mindig is velünk voltak, és nem új fejlemények az emberiség történetében. Ám a gyökereket kutatva szinte kivétel nélkül azt tapasztaljuk, hogy történetük nem is oly régen kezdődött... A paleolit táplálkozással foglalkozó kutatások és az evolúciós orvoslás újszerű felismerései teljesen átrendezik az emberről alkotott képünket: merőben új betegségelméletük érthetővé és sikeresen kezelhetővé teszi a nyugati civilizáció betegségeit. Szendi Gábor e tudományos eredményekre támaszkodva állítja: mivel a betegségek keletkezésének a táplálkozás az egyik sarkalatos pontja, ezért a paleolit étrend rendkívül hatásosnak bizonyulhat a kezelésükben. A paleolit táplálkozás nem az élet vize és nem a bölcsek köve. Ám szemben más divatos fogyókúrás irányzatokkal - amelyeknek kritikája is helyt kapott e kötetben - nem is zavaros prófécia, hanem az ember tudományos alapokon nyugvó, újra felfedezett étrendje és életmódja.
Jodi Picoult - The Tenth Circle
Trixie Stone is an imaginative, perceptive 14 year old whose life begins to unravel when Jason Underhill, Bethel High's star hockey player, breaks up with her, leaving a void that can only be filled by the blood spilled during shameful self-mutilations in the girls' bathroom. While Trixie's dad Daniel notices his daughter's recent change in demeanor, he turns a blind eye, just as he does to the obvious affair his wife Laura, a college professor, is barely trying to conceal. When Trixie gets raped at a friend's party, Daniel and Laura are forced to deal not only with the consequences of their daughter's physical and emotional trauma, but with their own transgressions as well. For Daniel, that means reflecting on a childhood spent as the only white kid in a native Alaskan village, where isolation and loneliness turned him into a recluse, only to be born again after falling in love with his wife. Laura, who blames her family's unraveling on her selfish affair, must decide how to reconcile her personal desires with her loved ones' needs.
Sarah Addison Allen - The Peach Keeper
The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon welcomes you to her newest locale: Walls of Water, North Carolina, where the secrets are thicker than the fog from the town’s famous waterfalls, and the stuff of superstition is just as real as you want it to be. It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather during Walls of Water’s heyday, and once the town’s grandest home—has stood for years as a lonely monument to misfortune and scandal. And Willa herself has long strived to build a life beyond the brooding Jackson family shadow. No easy task in a town shaped by years of tradition and the well-marked boundaries of the haves and have-nots. But Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite do-gooder Paxton Osgood—of the very prominent Osgood family, has restored the Blue Ridge Madam to her former glory, with plans to open a top-flight inn. Maybe, at last, the troubled past can be laid to rest while something new and wonderful rises from its ashes. But what rises instead is a skeleton, found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, and certain to drag up dire consequences along with it. For the bones—those of charismatic traveling salesman Tucker Devlin, who worked his dark charms on Walls of Water seventy-five years ago—are not all that lay hidden out of sight and mind. Long-kept secrets surrounding the troubling remains have also come to light, seemingly heralded by a spate of sudden strange occurrences throughout the town. Now, thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the dangerous passions and tragic betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover truths of the long-dead that have transcended time and defied the grave to touch the hearts and souls of the living. Resonant with insight into the deep and lasting power of friendship, love, and tradition, The Peach Keeper is a portrait of the unshakable bonds that—in good times and bad, from one generation to the next—endure forever.
Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day.
Lucy Maud Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables
'Oh, it seems so wonderful that I'm going to live with you and belong to you. I've never belonged to anybody - not really' When a scrawny, freckled girl with bright red hair arrives on Prince Edward Island, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are taken by surprise; they'd asked the orphanage for a quiet boy to help with the farmwork at Green Gables. But how can you reject a child like an unwanted parcel, especially when she tells you her life so far has been a 'perfect graveyard of unburied hopes'? So the beguiling chatterbox stays. Full of imagination, spark and spirit, it is not long before Anne Shirley wins their hearts.
Clinton Kelly - Oh No She Didn't
Muffin tops. Scrunchies. Suntan hose. Slut shoes. Visible panty line. Who hasnt had the unfortunate experience of witnessingor (gasp!) actually wearingone of these fashion disasters? The atrocities Clinton Kelly has seenits a surprise he hasnt gouged out his own eyes. Mom jeans? Fancy fingernails? Tracksuits? In the same straight-talking style that has made TLCs What Not to Wear a smash hit for eight seasons, the cheeky media personality and author of Freakin Fabulous shows women how to outfit themselves with confidence and style as he pokes fun at fashion "donts." From the most obvious faux pas (Texas tuxedos) to borderline offenses (peekaboo boobies), Clinton offers detailed and entertaining critiques of our top one hundred sartorial slip-ups. He turns his keen eye to wardrobe, color, cut, cleanliness, hairstyle, accessories, and even posture. And because he loves you, he presents easy alternatives and practical suggestions for creating fabulous outfits that will make you forget you ever wore socks with clogs. Clinton also explains how to use trends to your advantage at any age, from deciding which ones work for you to understanding how to wear them to keep your look relevant. Because if youre not comfortable in the sequined mini, everyone around you will know it. A delightful mix of hilarious dish and expert fashion advice, Oh No She Didnt will turn anyone from fashion victim to fashionista in no time.
Nicholas Sparks - The Notebook
A man with a faded, well-worn notebook open in his lap. A woman experiencing a morning ritual she doesn't understand. Until he begins to read to her. The Notebook is an achingly tender story about the enduring power of love, a story of miracles that will stay with you forever. Set amid the austere beauty of coastal North Carolina in 1946, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner returned home from World War II. Noah, thirty-one, is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories...until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again. Allie Nelson, twenty-nine, is now engaged to another man, but realizes that the original passion she felt for Noah has not dimmed with the passage of time. Still, the obstacles that once ended their previous relationship remain, and the gulf between their worlds is too vast to ignore. With her impending marriage only weeks away, Allie is forced to confront her hopes and dreams for the future, a future that only she can shape. Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments and the fundamental changes that affect us all. Shining with a beauty that is rarely found in current literature, The Notebook establishes Nicholas Sparks as a classic storyteller with a unique insight into the only emotion that really matters. "I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough." And so begins one of the most poignant and compelling love stories you will ever read...The Notebook