The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Historical Fiction / Drama / LGBTQ
Simon & Schuster Audio
June 13, 2017
May 1 - 11, 2023
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career. Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
I didn’t really know what to expect going into this book. I chose to read it because a good friend of mine said that “BookTok is raving about this book!” So, I put myself on the hold list at the library, and bided my time.
What an excellent book. When Evelyn Hugo sits down with unknown journalist, Monique Grant, all Monique expects to get is a story for the magazine she works for. Little did she know, Evelyn had bigger plans for her—she wants Monique to write her life story.
After a slow start (sorry Monique, you just didn’t hold my interest!) I was engaged from the moment Evelyn begins to tell her tale. From growing up a poor immigrant, to marrying a man as a teenager and running off to Los Angeles with him, and right up til present day. Who were Evelyn’s seven husbands? What led her to each of them? Why did her marriages end? And the biggest question of all—who was Evelyn Hugo’s one true love?
Now, from the get go we knew there had to be some reason Evelyn chose Monique to write her story, and I had theories! I was dead wrong. I was so convinced that my theory was right that I missed all the clues pointing to what the real reason was. This made it all the more fun!
Now, if you hate historical fiction, don’t worry. This doesn’t feel like historical fiction. Yes, Evelyn is talking about Hollywood in the 1950s and onward, but the Hollywood glamor shines so bright you forget you’re not in present time!
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is an excellent book and I absolutely recommend it!
Size 12 and Ready to Rock
Heather Wells #4
William Morrow Paperbacks
July 10, 2012
April 15 - 20, 2023
After dallying with sexy vampires and ingeniously reinterpreting the Dracula legend (Insatiable, Overbite), #1 New York Times bestseller Meg Cabot is ready to rock ’n’ roll once more with Heather Wells.
The un-petite assistant New York City college dorm director and sometime sleuth is back in Size 12 and Ready to Rock—a delectable comedy mystery that proves once more that the much beloved author of The Princess Diaries rules in the realm of grown-up women’s fiction as well. Heather’s got her hands full when a pop star and her reality TV camera crew invade the dorm—bringing with them a summer camp-full of adoring teen admirers—only to have an inconvenient homicide spoil the fun.
There’s romance, treachery, merry mayhem and music—just the ticket for readers who like to rock out on the hip contemporary singleton fiction of Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Weiner, and Jane Green.
Heather Wells is back with yet another death in the college residence hall she works in. This time, it’s her new boss, the interim residence hall director. To add to the chaos, Tania Trace, the woman who stole her ex-fiance, has moved her teen Rock Camp to Heather’s empty-for-the-summer residence hall!
This is the best Heather Wells book in the series. (So far. I read book 5 AGES ago, and I could not tell you what happened. I will be re-reading so I can assess if it’s better than this one.)
What I loved most in this book was that Tania Trace becomes a real person. In the previous books we’ve heard about Tania, but we’ve never actually met her. Everything we knew was Heather’s opinions of her, and I think we can all agree that Heather has major bias toward the other woman! Now that we actually meet this fiance-stealing-villian… she’s not a bad person. I actually really liked Tania and I was very happy that Meg Cabot gave her a chance to try and clear her name.
As for the murder, Heather wants no part of this investigation. She does, however, have an obligation to keep the Tania Trace Rock Campers safe during their stay in her residence hall. And somehow, because that’s just Heather’s luck, she gets caught up in it all.
This is a solid addition to the Heather Wells series and if you’ve made it through book 3, I promise you won’t want to miss book 4!
Heather Wells #3
William Morrow Paperbacks
November 20, 2007
April 7 - 12, 2023
Life is reasonably rosy for plus-size ex-pop star turned Assistant Dormitory Director and sometime sleuth Heather Wells. Her freeloading ex-con dad is finally moving out. She still yearns for her hot landlord, Cooper Cartwright, but her relationship with "rebound beau," vigorous vegan math professor Tad Tocco, is more than satisfactory. Best of all, nobody has died lately in "Death Dorm," the aptly nicknamed student residence that Heather assistant-directs. Of course every silver lining ultimately has some black cloud attached. And when the latest murdered corpse to clutter up her jurisdiction turns out to be her exceedingly unlovable boss, Heather finds herself on the shortlist of prime suspects—along with the rabble-rousing boyfriend of her high-strung student assistant and an indecently handsome young campus minister who's been accused of taking liberties with certain girls' choir members.
With fame beckoning her back into show business (as the star of a new kids' show!) it's a really bad time to get wrapped up in another homicide. Plus Tad's been working himself up to ask her a Big Question, which Heather's not sure she has an answer for . . .
Meg Cabot is hit or miss for me. Some of her stuff is fun, but also leaves me so full of disbelief, I can’t even. The Heather Wells series, however, is a hit for me.
Heather was once a teen pop star, a la Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson, but after being dropped by her label for wanting to take her music in a less bubblegum direction, her boyfriend (a fellow pop superstar and son of her now former label head) dumps her, her mother runs off with her manager (and Heather’s fortune) leaving Heather alone and penniless, and now she finds herself working for New York College as an assistant residence hall director. (It’s her plan to get free tuition for a college education.)
The problem is, her residence hall is known as Death Dorm due to the number of, well, deaths that have occurred there during her time as assistant residence hall director.
In book 3, we’re greeted with yet another death. This time it’s the interim residence hall director. Heather comes into work as normal, only to find him at his desk with a bullet through his head. Great. Just what Heather needs. Another death in Death Dorm.
After being scolded multiple times in the previous books in this series for trying to solve a murder instead of leaving it to the police, Heather is determined to stay out of it. She has too much to deal with anyway, between her new boyfriend (who happens to be her remedial math processor) and the student workers who are protesting for benefits and better wages on campus. Nope, she’s leaving this one to the police! Until she accidentally gets involved.
This is a fun series (yes, even with all the death.) It does get annoying how much Heather fixates on her weight (she’s totally fine with being a bigger girl) but it’s kind of thrown in our faces all the time. She has an unhealthy relationship with food IMO. I mean, with the titles of the books in this series though, it’s not a big surprise. I just think that Gen X will not appreciate this series. As a Millennial, I can look past the annoying and (potentially) problematic things and enjoy it for what it is.
So, if you’re looking for a light-hearted, funny, murder mystery with plenty of romantic elements, this could be the series for you.
Now, don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here anxiously awaiting book 4 to come through on my library holds!
The Inheritance Games
The Inheritance Games #1
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
September 1, 2020
March 30 - April 4, 2023
Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why—or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man's touch—and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes. Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a conwoman, and he's determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather's last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.
If you’ve seen the movie Knives Out, The Inheritance Games is a little like that. This book released about a year after the movie, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she was inspired by the film. It’s absolutely not a carbon copy knock off though. In fact, I liked the book better than the movie.
Teenager Avery inherits like, a bajillion dollars, from a random old man she’s never met named Tobias Hawthorne. Not only did he give her his money, house, and most of his worldly possessions, he all but disinherited his own children and grandchildren!
The stipulation of her inheritance? She must live in the estate she’s inherited for one full year. The catch? None of Hawthorne’s family, who live there, are to be evicted…unless given good cause.
Let the games begin.
Going from living in her car to being thrown into a world of excess and luxury, Avery must navigate her new surroundings (they say Hawthorne added a new room or wing to the house every year!) and watch her back, all while trying to figure out why she was left this fortune, and could it have anything to do with her dead mother?
Living in the house with her are Hawthorne’s four grandsons, each one displaying varying degrees of hostility toward her. Listening to the audiobook, I’m not going to lie, they were fairly interchangeable to me. I’m hoping that changes with books 2 and 3. This did make me wish I’d been reading the ebook or print book, but alas… I’m a slow reader and am committed to reading my NetGalley e-ARCs, I can’t spend that “eyeball reading” time on other books!
Overall, despite my getting the grandsons confused, I really enjoyed this book. I did wonder how this would end, knowing there are 2 more books to come. I hate books that end abruptly with no satisfying conclusion. This one ended beautifully. There was enough information revealed to satisfy me (for now) while also making new revelations/opening new questions to make me come back for book 2. I absolutely recommend this book to fans of YA books.
Home in Carolina
Sweet Magnolias #5
June 28, 2016
March 28 - 30, 2023
There's no place like home, especially if it's Serenity, South Carolina. For Annie Sullivan, though, the homecoming is bittersweet. She'd always envisioned a life there with her childhood best friend, Tyler Townsend. But Ty's betrayal has cost her the family and the future they'd once planned.
For Ty, losing Annie was heartbreaking. Still, he can't imagine life without the three-year-old son whose mother left him for Ty to raise. Ty wants it all—Annie, his child and the future he'd dreamed about—and he's back home in Serenity to fight for it. But getting Annie to forgive and forget may be the hardest challenge he's ever faced. With the stakes so high, this is one game he can't afford to lose.
The Sweet Magnolia’s is a series of stand alone romance novels with different characters in the small town of Serenity, South Carolina. Home in Carolina is Annie’s story.
We first met Annie in the original trilogy, especially book 2, A Slice of Heaven, which was her mom, Dana Sue’s book. Annie was just a teen then, but now she’s all grown up with a career as a sports therapist working at the spa her mom and her mom’s best friends own and run.
Enter Tyler Townsend. Her childhood best friend-turned love of her life-turned ex. While Annie was in college and Ty was on the road as a big time baseball player, he cheated on her. (He claims they weren’t “officially together” at the time, but I think there was some poor communication back then. I definitely got some Friends “We were on a break!” vibes.)
After suffering an injury, Ty is back in town and doing his physical therapy in the spa’s gym in the evenings. Ty could do his PT anywhere, what he really wants is to win Annie back. That won’t be so easy though, because not only did Ty cheat, he got another woman pregnant and when his son’s mother left the baby outside Ty’s hotel room, he ended up raising the little boy alone. But now his baby mama is also back in the picture, and she wants custody of the little boy she abandoned. When Annie sees Ty with his baby mama, it just opens old woulds and pours salt right inside.
Historically, with this series anyway, I don’t think the author does a great job with sub-plots, but I really liked the subplot in this book. While Annie and Ty are dealing with their drama and feelings for one another, Annie’s childhood friend Sarah is back in town, running from a bad marriage. I loved Sarah’s subplot, I thought it was interwoven with Annie’s perfectly.
What I didn’t like was how things wrapped up. I glanced at my library app and realized I was in the final minute of the book. I was shocked. Things were settled, but I didn’t feel like they were settled completely.
If you’ve read the first books in the series, you may as well continue with this one. It wasn’t exceptional, but it was a nice short read. That said, if you will not forgive a character who cheats, don’t bother. Skip this one and move right along.
Love on the Brain
Berkley / Sphere
August 23, 2023
February 27 - March 9, 2023
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new STEMinist rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis—with explosive results.
Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project - a literal dream come true - Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.
Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school - archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.
But when her equipment starts to go missing and the staff ignore her, Bee could swear she sees Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas... devouring her with those eyes. The possibilities have all her neurons firing.
But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there's only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?
I absolutely adored “The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood. It was utterly enchanting and I had a hard time putting it down. I put a library hold on her second book, “Love on the Brain” almost immediately after I began reading the TLH.
So, how did this one stand up? While I really enjoyed both books, I think I liked TLH just a little more than LotB. But maybe not! Both books take place in academia, LotB takes place at NASA, with an NIH neuroscientist, Bee, teaming up with a NASA engineer AKA her arch-enemy from grad school, Levi.
Bee is so excited for the opportunity to work with NASA astronauts but when she finds out who she’ll be working with she’s also annoyed. Levi was so rude to her in grad school, it was obvious he absolutely despised her!
Once Bee actually arrives at NASA, everything starts going wrong, and all signs point to Levi being the source of the problems! Bee is not surprised in the slightest.
Meanwhile, Bee, who is obsessed to an almost annoying degree with Marie Curie, has a Twitter account as Curie and other users tag her and she’ll re-tweet to bring exposure to their questions/complaints—mostly about how hard it is to be a woman in STEM. She uses her account to try to bring awareness to inequality and causes she believes in. It’s there she met a fellow STEM user with whom she became good friends. He is her confidant, the person she complains to about Levi and all her work problems. I love their relationship.
Bee has plenty of quirks (including fainting constantly) and Levi has his own little secrets Bee slowly learns as they’re forced to work together.
The side characters are also enjoyable to read about, especially Bee’s goth assistant. (In my head, she’s Aubrey Plaza.)
This book ends with a bang. When everything really goes wrong for Bee, it’s literally everything. I can’t say much more without spoilers.
Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
May 3, 2022
February 23-27, 2023
“One of my favorite authors.”—Colleen Hoover
An insightful, delightful, instant #1 New York Times bestseller from the author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation.
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by Oprah Daily ∙ Today ∙ Parade ∙ Marie Claire ∙ Bustle ∙ PopSugar ∙ Katie Couric Media ∙ Book Bub ∙ SheReads ∙ Medium ∙ The Washington Post ∙ and more!
One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn't see coming...
Nora Stephens' life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.
Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.
If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.
You know the woman in all the small town, Hallmark-style romance novels? The one who meets the big city man and convinces him to stay in her small town and break things off for his uptight girlfriend/fiancée back home? This isn’t her book.
This is the story of Nora, a New York City literary agent who has been dumped multiple times by boyfriends who went to the small town and fell for the aforementioned girl, leaving Nora unlucky in love. When her little sister, Libby, convinces Nora to leave the Big City in lieu of spending a month in the small town of Sunshine Falls, Libby has big plans to help Nora loosen up and follow her heart, not just her career dreams.
Shortly after arriving in the small town, who does Nora run in to? Her mortal enemy. Charlie Lastra, the book editor who trashed her favorite clients last book, refusing to even consider working on her book.
Obviously they’re meant to fall in love, this is a romance novel after all! But it’s not a straight shot to love. Nora has a lot of baggage, and so does Charlie. Together they wind up editing a novel together while in the small town of Sunshine Falls and each faces their baggage.
This book is smart and funny (oh so funny). It’s not just a romance, it’s about sisters and loss and self-sacrifice. About learning to let go and accept who you are, and having someone accept you as you are.
This book is beautiful and I can NOT wait to read my next Emily Henry novel!
Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
January 10, 2023
February 2-22, 2023
It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow—and horror. As Princess Diana was laid to rest, billions wondered what Prince William and Prince Harry must be thinking and feeling—and how their lives would play out from that point on. For Harry, this is that story at last. Before losing his mother, twelve-year-old Prince Harry was known as the carefree one, the happy-go-lucky Spare to the more serious Heir. Grief changed everything. He struggled at school, struggled with anger, with loneliness—and, because he blamed the press for his mother’s death, he struggled to accept life in the spotlight. At twenty-one, he joined the British Army. The discipline gave him structure, and two combat tours made him a hero at home. But he soon felt more lost than ever, suffering from post-traumatic stress and prone to crippling panic attacks. Above all, he couldn’t find true love. Then he met Meghan. The world was swept away by the couple’s cinematic romance and rejoiced in their fairy-tale wedding. But from the beginning, Harry and Meghan were preyed upon by the press, subjected to waves of abuse, racism, and lies. Watching his wife suffer, their safety and mental health at risk, Harry saw no other way to prevent the tragedy of history repeating itself but to flee his mother country. Over the centuries, leaving the Royal Family was an act few had dared. The last to try, in fact, had been his mother. . . . For the first time, Prince Harry tells his own story, chronicling his journey with raw, unflinching honesty. A landmark publication, Spare is full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.
I was so excited to read Prince Harry’s book, Spare. And better yet, to listen to him narrate it. (Memoir’s are always so much better when read by the author!) But I’ve got to be honest… this book was excessively long and much of that was snooze-worthy.
I absolutely felt for Harry. He’s certainly the black sheep of his family and I realize there are two sides to every story, but he certainly made me feel for him.
Harry is a man still haunted by the death of his mother. Haunted by a family legacy of never displaying emotion. Haunted by the press.
Unless you’ve been living alone on a deserted island the past few years, there’s no doubt you’ve seen the headlines about Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, but his battle with the press goes so much further back. He’s never liked them, but after the role they played in his mothers death, he will never forgive them.
Reading his story really did make me realize how awful the press treat those who are famous. Unlike actors and musicians though, Harry never chose that life. He was born into it. He can’t escape it. And while some may find that he spends the whole book “whining” about his lot in life, I disagree. Harry hates the system and wants to change it, and I respect that.
What really slowed the book down for me though was his talk about life in the military. I get it, that was a big part of his life. It’s where he felt most himself and accepted. But I hate war and fighting and the fact that militaries have to exist, so that section really dragged for me.
If you’ve seen the Netflix special or any of the interviews with Harry and Meghan, that section of the book will hold no surprises for you. It was very repetitive of has already been said by the couple time and time again.
I suppose I would recommend this book to anyone who is a die-hard fan of the royal family or…. no, that’s probably it. It’s not a bad book, it was just… a lot. And didn’t hold my interest as I anticipated it would. And was a reminder that some people are fortunate to be able to drop everything and spend months at a time in Africa doing charitable work, or hop on a plane and cross the globe without a worry about the financial hit that plane ticket will cost.
I suppose what I’m saying is, I just couldn’t relate to Prince Harry. And why should I, he’s a prince and I’m just a random woman from America.
April 24, 2007
January 30 - February 7, 2023
For the second time in a year a woman arrives in the small town of Virgin River trying to escape the past.
John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of a wet October night. A marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one—the woman is covered in bruises. He wants to protect them, and he wants to punish whoever did this to her, but he knows immediately that this inclination to protect is something much more. Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in this gentle giant of a man—emotions that he has never allowed himself to feel.
But when Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River, Preacher knows his own future hangs in the balance. And if there’s one thing in the marines’ motto of Semper Fidelis—always faithful—has taught him, it’s that some things are worth fighting for.
I started reading these books because of the Netflix series. I adore the Netflix series! Unfortunately, I do not adore this book series and I think this will be the last one I read.
Shelter Mountain is the second book in the Virgin River series, which the Netflix series is based on.
Shelter Mountain is the story of John (whom we know from book 1 as Preacher) and Paige. When Paige shows up at the bar Preacher runs with his pal Jack searching for an inn with a room for the night for her and her young son, she completely shakes Preacher’s world.
I like Preacher. And I think that’s in large part because of how he’s portrayed on the TV series. He looks like a tough guy, but he’s a softie at heart. His immediate connection with Paige’s son (I think they aged him up in the TV show, he seems much younger in the book, though I don’t recall them specifying his age) is absolutely heartwarming.
Paige meanwhile acts as I would expect a woman running from an abusive ex would act. She has her defenses up, but over time we see her realize how good a man Preacher is, and it was nice to watch that relationship grow at her pace. It was weird to me how Paige really seemed to have no clue how computers and the Internet work. A quick Google search tells me the book was published in 2007 and the Internet was definitely around long enough that even if Paige’s husband banned her from using it, she would’ve had experience before she met him. It was just odd to me.
As for the setting, the book mostly takes place at the bar where Paige stays. It’s a small town in the middle of nowhere, and as a city-suburbs girl, I do enjoy the quiet, slower pace of life portrayed in the Virgin River series and others like it.
So, why the 3 star rating? Honestly… I was kind of bored. There were no surprises. There were also too many parallels to book 1. I did like this book better than the first in the series, mostly because of the characters, but the book wasn’t unputdownable for me. I know that there are plenty of readers who adore this book, and I’m glad it exists for you. As for me, I’ll be moving onto books that are more to my liking.
Fiber Fueled: The Plant-Based Gut Health Program for Losing Weight, Restoring Your Health, and Optimizing Your Microbiome
Review: Fiber Fueled by Will Bulsiewicz, MD, MSCI
Non-Fiction, Health & Nutrition
Avery Publishing Group
May 12, 2020
January 22 - 24, 2023
The instant New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher's Weekly bestseller
A bold new plant-based plan that challenges popular keto and paleo diets, from an award-winning gastroenterologist.
The benefits of restrictive diets like paleo and keto have been touted for more than a decade, but as renowned gastroenterologist Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, or "Dr. B," illuminates in this groundbreaking book, the explosion of studies on the microbiome makes it abundantly clear that elimination diets are in fact hazardous to our health. What studies clearly now show--and what Dr. B preaches with his patients--is that gut health is the key to boosting our metabolism, balancing our hormones, and taming the inflammation that causes a host of diseases. And the scientifically proven way to fuel our guts is with dietary fiber from an abundant variety of colorful plants.
Forget about the fiber your grandmother used to take--the cutting-edge science on fiber is incredibly exciting. As Dr. B explains, fiber energizes our gut microbes to create powerhouse postbiotics called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that are essential to our health. SCFAs are scientifically proven to promote weight loss, repair leaky gut, strengthen the microbiome, optimize the immune system, reduce food sensitivities, lower cholesterol, reverse type 2 diabetes, improve brain function, and even prevent cancer. Restrictive fad diets starve the gut of the critical fiber we need, weaken the microbes, and make our system vulnerable.
As a former junk-food junkie, Dr. B knows firsthand the power of fiber to dramatically transform our health. The good news is that our guts can be trained. Fiber-rich, real foods--with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes--start working quickly and maintain your long-term health, promote weight loss, and allow you to thrive and feel great from the inside out.
With a 28-day jumpstart program with menus and more than 65 recipes, along with essential advice on food sensitivities, Fiber Fueled offers the blueprint to start turbocharging your gut for lifelong health today.
Some years ago I watched a news segment or something about a fecal transplant. Sounds gross, right? Well, for whatever reason this woman had this transplant done and after having lived her entire life at a healthy weight, and making no other lifestyle changes apart from the transplant, suddenly she put on weight. And more weight. And she didn’t know why and she was frustrated. Which led doctors to wonder, could the bacteria in her donor’s fecal matter have changed their patient in more ways than expected? Ever since then, fecal transplants and the microbiome have been in the back of my mind.
Now, if you’ve followed me or my blog at all in the last few years, you’ll know that I’ve been really interested in health, nutrition, and fitness, which led me to this book: Fiber Fueled: The Plant-Based Gut Health Program for Losing Weight, Restoring Your Health, and Optimizing Your Microbiome.
That’s a big title packed with promises, so does it deliver? I can’t say. But what I do know is, the basis of his claim just makes sense. While the author, Dr. Bulsiewicz, appears to be a firm advocate for veganism, he isn’t preachy about it. He uses his own anecdotal evidence from his own life in this book, how he went from a college grad student living on energy drinks and fast food, to being a young doctor working long hours and drinking endless coffee and enjoying steak dinners whenever and wherever possible, to finally meeting the woman he would eventually marry and seeing her living a plant based lifestyle and being healthier and having more energy, to starting to emulate her and feeling so much better.
The main take away from what he preaches is this: eat plants, lots of them, and often. (Which is a throw back to a book I read last summer, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan.) What Dr. Bulsiewicz adds to the argument that Pollan makes, is that the wider the variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you eat, the healthier and more diverse your gut microbiome will be.
My own anecdotal evidence for eating healthier foods and cutting out (most) of the processed junk we all favor, is this: In 2019 I started taking my health seriously. I cut back on the breakfast cereal, take out food, processed foods from the freezer and cans, and started living mostly on chicken breasts, eggs, brown rice, fruits and veggies. (I already only drink water, so I didn’t have the easy fix of cutting out soda or juice!) and I felt so much better! I didn’t eat a wide variety though.
This book has recipes in the back. I did not try those recipes because I do not have a good relationship with food, in that I’m an extremely picky eater and afraid to try new things. That said, I have come a long way in the last 15 years, and every day is a new chance. For me though, I’m better off finding a recipe on the internet and using my best judgment about how nutritious it is.
Whew! That was a lot of word vomit. In conclusion: This is a great, easy to read book about the importance of having a healthy gut biome. If my library has more books on the topic, I will absolutely check them out in the hopes of gleaning more information.
OH! Fun fact I just remembered: Apparently you can sprinkle mustard on cooked broccoli to activate an important enzyme that fights cancer causing cells or something. Google it. Or just read this book!