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Fruit Belly by Rome Dolle

As people learn more about real nutrition, and apply Paleo and Primal eating principles to their lives, fruit continually is thrown out of eating plans. Yes, I know, many still believe a diet composed in large part of whole grains, low-fat dairy and fruit is best for people, but in fact (science), it’s not. A great number of these “health conscious” yet uninformed people, athletes and everyone else, often wonder why they suffer abdominal bloating, gurgling insides, and a fat-covered belly that doesn’t change no matter how “healthy” they eat!

Rome Dolle works hard in Fruit Belly to lead people to enhanced health. A flat belly isn’t the only goal here (but it’s worthwhile). Having survived years with abdominal and digestion issues herself, author Dolle helps readers understand gut science, ease digestive distress, and kick up body-fat loss. 

Dolle’s thoughts are effective; they work. I spent years eating fruit constantly, especially in my endurance athlete years. And I always suffered for it, but didn’t know why. Only 22 years ago when I began dramatically cutting down on fruit, adding fat (thank you Udo Erasmus for Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill!), all the while maintaining high levels of protein, did my guts begin to settle down. Since then I’ve consumed ever-decreasing amounts of fruit, and the last decade or so it’s mostly just been berries added to my protein/kale shakes, and occasional apple or pear slices in a salad, or maybe once a month a banana.

Fruit Belly isn’t just about throwing those bananas and apples into the compost bin. It’s about true health, managed by yourself. She provides recipes designed, and proven, to easy your digestive issues and boost fat loss at the same time. Menu outlines easily help even the most un-chef-like.

Take charge of your health and body. Live more comfortably, and at the same time, take in that belt a notch!, @PrimalPublish, #primalblueprint, #FruitBelly, @romydolle, @UdoErasumus, #fatsthathealfatsthatkill,


Dreaming About Record Collecting

Sure, there's currently a vinyl resurgence and buzz, but for many, records never went away. Jordan Teicher profiles some of the biggest collections and largest personalities in record collecting today in the Photo Blog of Slate, Including my old friends Billy Miller and Miriam Linna of Norton Records (I used to crash on their floor in Brookly in the late 1970s and early '80s). "Insant Record Collections and the People Who Own Them" sums it up.


Still the Best Christmas Record of All-Time: Phil Spector!

Listening tonight, I'm again reassured that Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift For You retains the title as absolute best Christmas recordiing. Ever.  Play it loud!!


The Promise by Robert Crais

Detective-thriller-mystery novels are bread and butter for author Crais. He’s been in the game a long time, one of the best. The Promise is his 20th novel, the 15th featuring Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.

Cole is an ex-cop, a private eye with a certain disdain for following all the rules. He’s disliked and also respected by the police officers he routinely comes into contact with. Pike scares everyone other than Cole and Cole’s cat. He’s quiet, effective and willing, sometimes eager, to operate outside of the white lines. Together these two solve cases the police are unwilling to get tangled up in, or they find themselves on the side of the innocent-yet-seeming-guilty. 

Always there is confusion, action, relationship tests, and the perpetual struggle between good and bad and all the shades in between.

The Promise begins simply enough, as Elvis Cole is hired to find a woman, Amy Breslyn, who appears to have embezzled a half million dollars.  However, events spin out of control almost immediately, beginning when Cole follows Breslyn’s trail to what he thought was an ordinary house, only to find himself in the midst of an active crime scene. Cole follows his instincts and becomes involved in a situation that even he doesn’t yet understand. The police, though they know Cole, are unhappy with his presence and have little regard for his story or reasons for being there.

The complicated path towards solving the mystery of where Amy Breslyn is and what she’s really done is expertly laid out by Crais. I found myself unable to successfully guess at upcoming events, and was happily engrossed in the people and the story. Along the way Cole and Pike enlist the help of Jon Stone, a mercenary, and police K-9 officer Scott James and his dog, Maggie 

Here’s where I had some minor issues. James and Maggie had a starring role in Suspect, Crais’ novel before this one. Maggie, notably, is a powerful character. I’m happy to see them involved with Elvis Cole again, and how this takes place is wonderfully drawn on the pages. But the story in The Promise ends up with a lot of characters and moving parts, too many, I feel.

Initially, Jon Stone comes into the story with what seems to be an important role, accompanied by interesting baggage and backstory. Yet along the way he becomes little more than a babysitter, a waste of his remarkable attitude and talents. 

I like The Promise a great deal. Crais did a fine job  integrating a big cast into a single novel, one that nonetheless moves quickly and remains challenging every step. Jon Stone could be compelling, working again with Cole and Pike, but mixing him with James and Maggie diluted everyone’s role for me. In a complicated world of bad guys and shadowy motives, Cole and Pike and James and even Amy Breslyn come alive as people. This is deeply effective writing, weaving humanity into the story when a lesser writer would go sharply black and white. 

Robert Crais has a deep love for police dogs and writes about them in a smart, loving way. Maggie is a wonderful addition to the Cole-Pike team, just as The Promise is another strong entry to the Crais library of novels., @HMHCo, #robertcrais, #thepromise


Deep South by Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux has spent decades traveling the globe, working hard to dig deeply into cultures and people, writing about it all in wonderful books and essays. When he writes about his life, so far mostly abroad, it’s with sensitivity and a clear vision. I have never felt he considered himself “a travel writer.” Rather, my impression of Theroux as a top-tier writer is of a thoughtful observer with a marvelous ability to bring his experiences alive with the written word. 

Deep South finds Theroux spending four seasons roaming the true southern world of the United States. Yes, “world” is the proper term. The people and towns and crossroads he brings to life inhabit areas far from the major highways, left behind by tech revolutions and social media and, unfortunately, our government and most social services and outreach. 

Theroux digs into people’s stories; he asks questions and listens. People open up and relate their lives and experiences and histories in a way that doesn’t surprise me, having read enough of Theroux to expect this quick relationship. Across the pages, I could hear in my head the voices Theroux was hearing. He so effectively paints word pictures that speech patterns and voices and language came alive. 

Poverty and despair cut deeply through the American South. When I lived in Georgia in the middle 1970s some areas were simply used up. People were tired and without hope or jobs and reeling from the years of the Vietnam War and the draft and how many people they’d lost. Theroux digs deeply into how people feel today in the tiny towns crowded with empty storefronts, left with a church and a bar and perhaps a grocery store (or a crappy motel operated by Mr. Patel). 

Generational poverty, living in a manner nobody would expect is happening in the United States, or should experience, is the norm for a shocking number people in the American South. Yet in the midst of these dark times many people shone brightly. At every turn people were friendly and upbeat with Theroux, working hard to help each other and provide whatever assistance they could.

There’s no getting around the fascination with the American South Theroux has and many of us share. But read Deep South to savor the ease with which Theroux puts us in his shoes, how he enables the reader to see what’s in front of him and how it processes inside him. There’s so much more to this acclaimed writer’s work than superior writing. Paul Theroux has an uncanny ability to write like a novelist. He captured me on the first page of Deep South, creating an adventure story jammed with memorable characters, disguised as a travel book. Amazing work.


@PaulTheroux @MCHCo #deepsouth #paultheroux