Category: Books

The Abs Diet

The Abs Diet by Men’s Health Editor-in-Chief David Zinczenko, is book worth the read. Full of helpful information, it is not your usual diet book-as David will remind you a few times. It reminds me a lot of the Body-for-Life philosophy in that it touts proper nutrition and exercise. The book makes its case against popular diets-particularly the hi-carb/low-fat and the recent low-carb craze. David argues, of course these diets work-at first. If you limit your body to a certain type of food then you are automatically limiting your calories. However, after six weeks your body gets used to it and you loose all will-power-cookies, here we come! The Abs Diet does not limit you to protein only or carbs only, but it is a sound balance of them both with room to wiggle.
I’ll start with what I did not like about the book. I was not too impressed with the writing. Thankfully, that wasn’t totally what the book was about. David’s humor was a little cheesy at times, and it seemed forced. There were a few too many “man jokes” and innuendos for my taste, but I wasn’t surprised. I have read some of his magazine articles that I have liked much better. The other thing I didn’t like was that it seemed like he was saying this was the first any body has ever challenged popular diets with concepts such as 6 small meals a day. The Abs Diet was published in 2004, and Body-for-Life came out in 1999. It’s a great concept, just stop the bragging.
Now for what I did like. I like the “Abs Diet Power 12”-twelve foods to base your eating off of. The focus is on protein, high quality carbs with fiber, and healthy fats. It is simple enough without being monotonous. I also like the section on exercises. There are enough suggestions to keep you from getting bored, and they give the “at home” alternative for those of us without the heavy equipment. Lastly, the maintenance phase is specifically addressed. In other books I’ve read, that section is totally missing or it is hidden throughout the book. It is inevitable that you will hit a plateau. At the end of the book there are specific instructions on how to work though that.
So, in conclusion, I would recommend this book-especially if you haven’t read Body-for-Life. However, the book itself won’t do you any good. You have to be ready to make the changes. This will probably be the last diet/exercise book I read for a while. Johnny Cash, here I come.

Band Of Brothers

Dave Draper (Mr. America, Mr. World, Mr. Universe) commented on my last book summary. I wonder if any war veterans will comment on this one.

I just wrapped up reading Band of Brothers. This was a remarkable story of a company of paratroopers from World War II. I haven’t read too many books about war, but my interest was piqued to this one because of a reference I heard in MBC’s men’s group podcast. And it was this one simple thing that resounded through the entire book. These men volunteered for this company because they wanted to be with others who were committed to doing their best and getting through the war. They did not want to be with enlisted men who were more likely to be worried about themselves and only themselves.
The book goes into detail about the company and their missions with plenty of first hand accounts. Their training was intense, arguably the most tense of any of the other companies in the army. The person responsible for this was despised, and yet the men acknowledge without that initial training they would not be such a close knit, well prepared group.
The paratroopers, although only making 2 or 3 jumps, were used for many other missions. They found themselves, on most occasions, outnumbered and with less artillery, ammo, supplies, food, and sleep than they needed. And yet they overcame all these obstacles-together.
The point that the podcast made was this is how we should be living life. Not haphazardly or selfishly, but surrounded by a band of brothers that will help us, and be helped by us, through the many battles of life.

Brother Iron, Sister Steel: A Bodybuilder’s Book – Dave Draper

That’s right, time for another book report. Cozy up by the fire with some Moose Munch, or perhaps in this case, a pair of dumbells.
This was a very interesting read. I was not sure what to expect when I started it. I had no idea who Dave Draper was, and I was afraid it would be either boring or of no relevance to what I wanted to learn. It turns out that it was a great read. It is about half story, half how-to, half pictures (hey, what can I say, I was home teached. I’m 4/3rds smarter than average). Dave writes with dry witty humor, not too sophisticated, but enough to inspire a chuckle. The writing is done in a personal way that I felt connected to. Without being dumbed down he avoids complicated ideas, or deep thoughts. And then he wraps with his thoughts with things like, “Lift that iron, drop the junk food and move like a machine, jellybean.”
Now, I don’t aspire to be a bodybuilder, but I do want to be physically fit and I would like to fill out my clothes (size small). I’ve read a couple other books on the topic, but this one was my favorite. It inspired me, but not because of some new cool technique or workout or protein shake recipe. There are some great tips, workout plans and inspiring pictures. However, it was the simple message of, do something! And then keep doing it. Persistency. There’s a new idea, a new system that comes out every week. You need to find what works for you, and sometimes make it up as you go. Don’t read a lot of books and make it complicated. The more I read, the more frozen I get. I like to do a little reading and planning, but what I really like is to teach the iron and steel who their master is.

**I was excited to see a comment posted by Dave & Laree Draper!! Check out and sign up for the weekly newsletter. Thanks Dave & Laree. God bless!**

Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems – Janet & Geoff Benge

Janet & Geoff Benge have written scores of condensed biographies on Christians that have impacted our world. I first saw these at MBC’s Bookstore. Wanting to save money for silly things like eating and paying rent, I decided to look for these at the library (this is where the inspiration came from that lead to my post about libraries). There were about 15 of these books on the library’s website. However, after 4 weeks of waiting, I’ve concluded-either someone is hoarding them all or this one is the only one they have.

After reading the first chapter of Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems, I had a strange feeling I was reading a book geared towards children. Oh, what do you know…the “J” on the DDC confirmed my suspicions. The book was only 200 short pages, so I decided it was decent enough to keep reading.

The book follows Amy from a young age through her death, highlighting her many ministries. It is written fairly simply, so you have to imagine most of the details such as emotion. One thing that impressed me was Amy’s view of financing ministries. She resolved to never ask anyone for money. She would pray and when God showed her the timing was right, she would begin. And the money would come. The book also talked about how many (if not most) of the missionaries would separate themselves from the people they were ministering too. They would move into the country and establish life as they would have lived in their own country, continuing to dress and eat and socialize in ways they were accustomed to. I was glad to read that wherever Amy went (China, Japan, and India), she fought against this and would “go native” even though other missionaries looked down on her for it. Her ministry was most effective when she would embrace as much of the surrounding culture as she could.

The stories of her work with the children in India were the most touching. It felt like the authors left out a lot of detail, but you at least got an idea of what was accomplished. God protected and provided and Amy walked in faith. The Christian converts were constantly risking their lives by breaking the caste system in India. They would rescue and nurture outcasts and baby girls and eventually baby boys. They even built and ran a hospital.

If you are looking for an overview of Amy’s life and ministry, then this book would be a good choice. It made for a quick and easy read. I intend to read the others, should I ever get my hands on them. That way I can determine if I’m interested before beginning a 400 page in-depth biography.

Book Reports

I’ve been reading a lot lately. Perhaps not as much as my wife, who could consume a good novel in one sitting if she allowed herself to. But I’ve decided I really enjoy reading. I mostly enjoy non-fiction books that I can learn a great deal from. Biographies are the new thing for me. Don’t get me wrong. I can get wrapped up in a good fictional story, but it has to be good. Time is precious these days, and with my “achievers” mind-set, I hate feeling like I’m wasting time. I’m always trying to weeding out the nonsense in my life (like blogging?).
I am going to attempt to review and report on the books I read. Book reports, you ask? Why this strange form of torture? Well, don’t worry. I won’t grade myself too hard. All of these books will be listed in the “Recent Reads” section, with a link to some other (probably better) reviews at amazon. I’ll skip reviewing Harry Potter (other than to say it was good) because anyone that is going to read it has already read it. I will include this link which you may find interesting.

Anyway, without further ado…

Ou est la bibliothèque?

Ok, so I’ve never been a big fan of the library. I mean, goodness, until a few months ago I was still 5’8″ and only 130 lbs! But seriously, the library always gave me a headache. I was overwhelmed with the amount of books, and I never seemed to know what I was looking for anyway. That definitely doesn’t help things.
But recently, after almost a decade long hiatus, I rediscovered the library. And the main thing that has caused this regeneration of interest is the option to do it all online. Just search the online database, reserve your book, pick the library you want to pick up, and presto. As soon as the book arrives you get a computer generated call (laugh as the computer butchers your name) to let you know the book is in. My library trips are now short and headache-free. Oh the joys of reading (free books).