Friday, 6 January 2012

Unfinished post (book review) finished

Who was it that asked about my reading material, Jane I think. Dartford Warbler asked if I have read Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. Is that fiction DF, because if it is no I haven't, I don't read fiction. My choice to read non fiction limits me to a small section in the mobile library, I go through every title to find something which takes my fancy. Ocassionally I will have a blitz through the main library, and bring even more books home as there is a much wider choice.

So, it's biographies and auto biographies, crafting, gardening, diy, diet, medical, walking, travel books, food nutrition, art, home making, excercise, psychology, relationships, and true history stories. So, anything what happens for real, not made up :o)

I usually have eight books out of the library at one time, they live on my table in the living room or on my bedside (ironing board) table. I pick bits out of them whenever I want a quiet wind down moment. I find it hard to read from cover to cover, my attention span is not long enough as all kinds of thoughts are darting through my brain, I am constantly thinking 'what next'.

So, a brief run down of what I am reading at the moment. Fitness has always fascinated me, and what better example of this is Arnie. I also like stories of the meek and mild pulling themselves up by the bootstraps and making something of their lives. Mr Schwarzenegger was a scrawny boy from an Austrian village, who went on to be the greatest body building champion in history. He became a big movie star, then married Maria Shriver, and went on to become the Republican Governor of California.

Laurence Leamer writes a very graphic account of how the young Arnie was single minded and driven towards stardom. Along the way he used his charm and charisma to get anything he wanted, women were falling head over heels in love with him and he took full advantage of that. Indeed, later on his colourfull past gave him cause for concern, as his credibility came into question many times. All his skeletans in the cupboard came back to haunt him.

I haven't reached the end of the story yet, but I have read in the press that his sexual behaviours eventually put a big strain on his marriage as it emerged that he fathered a love child many years ago. Reading his story I am not surprised one bit that Maria thought about leaving him, there are some men who just won't be tamed. A fascinating insight into the world of fame and glamour.

There is a lot of humour in Bill Tarmey's story. Of course we all know him as Jack Duckworth from Coronation Street. There is an account of his early days before the Street, how he was a night club singer and host, then became an extra on the Street, and then offered the part of Jack.

He has had a few health scares along the way, but always managed to inject a sense of humour into his accounts of this. It's nice to read some background stories of Coronation Street, what happens off camera, and discover a bit about the other people playing the parts of the characters we know so well. What comes over in the book is that Bill looks back on his past with great joy, and is eternally gratefull for the life he has been blessed with.

This might seem a strange book to pick up, unless you are a person who is battling with cancer. It's an 'everything you need to know' pocket guide, though you would need a big pocket with almost 300 pages. As I mentioned, I am interested in food nutrition and how different food affects our bodies, the reason for me reading this book.

The Author, Dr David Servan-Schreiber, is a clinical professor of psychiatry. He was treated twice for a malignant brain tumour, which was first diagnosed almost twenty years ago.

Excuse me while I take a few moments to compose myself, I have just googled his name and found out that he passed away on 24th July 2011. It has taken me by surprise, I didn't expect that. I've got to walk away for a few minutes. Knowing what I have read about him in his book, and knowing he is no longer with us, I am gutted.

Sorry for that blip, I have had my lunch and I'm ready to continue. That was very strange, I don't even know him. Oh heck there I go again, I didn't even know him, but there are things in his book which really struck a chord. He describes natural methods of healthcare that contribute to preventing the development of cancer.

People who want to protect themselves should seriously reduce their consumption of processed sugar and bleached flour. He also talks about some foods which are cancer promotors and fuel their growth, and other foods which are anti promotors, they block the mechanisms necessary for cancer growth, or force the cancer cells to die.

Throughout the book Dr David tells of hard scientific facts that back up all his research, so you don't get the feeling that it is all mumbo jumbo. You don't need a scientific brain to understand it, I am not clever but it makes good sense to me. Try googling his name, there is a lot out there about him.

Here he is telling his own story. RIP Dr David.

There was another book to review, but I can't find any more words.


  1. Maria Shriver DID leave him months ago. They were back together for Christmas but she did leave him.

  2. What an amazing reaction you had to Dr David, you must have been taking his words right to your heart, bless you. I haven't Googled him yet but I shall.

    Listening to the radio this morning, two people were discussing 'Arnie', they had met him in their professional lives, separately, and both thought that he was a very nasty man. Odd, no?

  3. I can see why you read Dr. Servan-Schreiber`s books. His analagy of the relationship of food and cancer make an awful lot of sense!! I shall also look for his books in my library.

  4. Yes, I have heard of Dr David's theories before.

    He talks alot of sense.

    Sft x

  5. Hello,
    Delurking to say that I much enjoy yr blog, esp yr photos.
    Re: Dr S-S, his courage and determination throughout his illness is very inspiring.
    I follow French media and they said that even though he lost his battle with cancer, he succeeded in surviving a lot longer with the disease because of the healthy habits he had adopted. But it is very sad indeed.
    Marta in Canada

  6. Thanks for bringing Dr D.S.S to my attention Ilona, I'll definitely look him up as I'm interested in what he has to say about dairy products and cancer. Have you read any Dr Neal Barnard who also has some very interesting things to say about the link between food and cancer ( When I had cancer, two years ago now, my body decided for itself that there were certain foods it just couldn't bear and others it craved (like seaweed!!!). Later research suggested that the diet my body chose for itself was just what it needed to recover and stay well ... spooky.

  7. Thank you Linda and Toffeeapple for adding a bit more to the Arnie story. It comes as no surprise.

    Hello Marta in Canada and welcome. Your name made me instantly think of my dear mother. She was called Martha, but all her friends called her Marta. Thank you for introducing yourself.

    Hi annei. Thank you for your story, I hope you continue to stay well. I'm off to view the link you mentioned. I am even more keen to eat the right things, now I have been looking into it.

  8. Oh, Ilona I can see why you were gutted when you read that Dr. Serven-Shrieber had died... I'd never heard of him until now, but he came across as such a gentle and kind man on his video. I loved it when he emphasised that we need to "nourish life in us," how true is that!

    I too have a great interest in nutrition and really believe that our diet and lifestyle affect our health more than what we realise. I was interested when he noted, there were traces of pesticide in that child's urine when tested. I often wondered if all those pesticides and messing around with our foods could POSSIBLY be a cause of the many cancers we hear about today. I don't eat much organic because of the expense, except milk and chicken. I really should have a go at growing my own veg, like you do!!

    I'm so glad you did your book reviews, I always enjoy knowing what other people are reading and inspired by your post, I shall certainly be looking out for this book by Dr. Serven-Shrieber.
    I'm a big non-fiction book reader too!!

    Thanks, Ilona


  9. I will seek out Dr D.S.S's book, it sounds very interesting. I much prefer non fiction too, I can highly recommend "The last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. He wrote about the final years of his life when diagnosed with terminal cancer, and how he lived life to the absolute fullest. I too was incredibly moved when I googled his name to see that he had already passed away. DebsX

  10. They sound like good reads. I'd love to find more time for reading. I'm free from my evening job for a month starting Sunday, so it'll be nice to fit some time in for that!

    Sorry you are so upset about the author. Sounds like he was a survivor against all odds.

  11. I watched a programme about breast milk on 40d with kate garraway. There was a man on who had prostate cancer which was being helped with breast milk. He said his cancer markers went right down to normal when he was drinking this and up when he didnt. Fascinating watching this.
    The programme was actually about wet nursing but included the above

  12. Hiya DebsX and welcome. Yes I have read up on Randy Pausch. I watched his last presentation on yoootube, and followed his blog untill he died. A truly inspirational man.

    That's interesting, Anonymous. I don't usually watch baby programmes but I might look that up. Thanks for mentioning it.

  13. I think i am going to find that anti-cancer book on Amazon or ebay. An ounce of prevention is better than any cure. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I worked for the State of California until 05/01/11 when I retired. Oh my if you didn't know how to live frugally and put away funds in savings you would become a basket case. Furloughs, not knowing if you would get paid until a budget was passed, all things that occurred throughout my 33 year career. So many people were in a quandry; our credit union even offered loans to their members in the event we didn't get paid. Our current governor got rid of all of that rubbish when he took office in 2010. Bev M