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2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

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My Progress:

12 / 30 books. 40% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
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- California (3)
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- Connecticut
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- Australia (1)
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- England (10)
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- Ireland (4)
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My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

48 / 50 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

40 / 52 books. 77% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

27 / 40 books. 68% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

10 / 25 books. 40% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

12 / 26.2 miles. 46% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

26 / 100 books. 26% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

64 / 104 books. 62% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Breezy Weight Loss Boss Offers Realistic Advice From Someone Who's Been There

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

With the dawning of each new year, I always make the same resolution:  lose weight.  A frustrating week or so later and I'm scribbling a new goal:  forget dieting and embrace my chubbiness 'cause it's obviously not going anywhere anytime soon!  It's only when I've taken a middle ground approach that I've actually had success working off some of my unwanted pounds.  Willpower and self-motivation not being particular strengths of mine, I've turned to Weight Watchers for help more than once.  It works.  As long as I stick with the program.  Which sounds so easy ...

It was actually at a Weight Watchers meeting that I heard about Weight Loss Boss by David Kirchhoff.  Published in 2013, the book chronicles the (former) Weight Watchers CEO's 9-year journey to his goal weight.  Using the tools taught to all WW members, Kirchoff lost—and kept off—40 pounds.  Although he resigned as CEO in 2013, he continues to use what he learned to keep his weight in check.

As Kirchhoff tells his story, he spills his big secret to success:  do not rely on willpower and determination alone.  He emphasizes the importance of sticking to healthy routines.  By consistently exercising, eating the right foods, and avoiding the wrong ones, we can achieve "medically meaningful" (11) weight loss.  As Kirchhoff describes his daily doings, it's easy to see that he practices what he preaches.

You won't find any revolutionary, miracle advice in Weight Loss Boss, but what you will get is realistic, no-nonsense tips from someone who's been there.  Kirchhoff is funny, compassionate and, above all, authentic.  If you want a quick, inspiring read that will jumpstart your desire to work on your own weight loss goals, definitely give this one a go.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for brief, mild language (no F-bombs) and very vague references to sex

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

Despite More Generic Vibe, Contaminated 2 Still a Compelling, Can't-Put-It-Down Survival Story

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  Although this review will not contain spoilers for Mercy Mode, it may inadvertently spoil plot surprises from Contaminated.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.) 

It's been several years since the tainted diet drink, ThinPro, started turning normal people into zombie-like freaks.  The Contaminated ("Connies") are less feared now, but still viewed by most with cautious suspicion.  Even when the affected are wearing the shock collars that are supposed to keep them from turning violent.  To contain further outbreaks, the regions of the U.S. hit hardest by the epidemic have been identified as "black zones."  Under strict military rule, healthy citizens fight for basic needs—food, shelter, medicine—while soldiers patrol constantly looking for any sign of Connie trouble.

Ever since Velvet Ellis removed the collar from her mother's neck, she's doubted any official information about Connies.  After all, the older woman didn't die like the government said she would—in fact, she got better.  At least for a little while.  Now, 17-year-old Velvet's even more worried.  Her makeshift family—she, her younger sister, their mother, and Dillon, her on-paper-only husband—are barely surviving as it is.  With her mom ailing and Velvet feeling some effects that can only be related to her own ingestion of ThinPro, she's got plenty to fret about.  Especially when the government institutes mandatory testing for the disease.  Determined to keep her family together at all costs, Velvet must do whatever it takes to survive.

I loved Contaminated, the first book in Em Garner's dystopian "zombie" series because it brought something new to the genre.  It felt fresh and original.  Mercy Mode, the second installment, feels less so.  Still, despite a more generic vibe, the novel features a tense, taut plot line; strong, sympathetic characters; and a powerful, compelling central conflict.  Anyone can relate to Velvet's desperate plight to save the people who mean the most to her.  Because achieving her goal takes the unselfish sacrifice of her own wants, she's a noble heroine—it's impossible not to root for her success.  Like its predecessor, Mercy Mode is a fast-paced, can't-put-it-down read that will stay with you long after you finish it.  


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, blood/gore, and intense situations

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find
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