The Week in Books 2009, No. 22

Y’all know how I love to read food history books, so I was glad to hear about The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread in a recent alumni magazine. While not quite as entertaining as other food narratives I’ve read, this book was informative and gave me the world’s hugest craving for bagels. So I made some. If you want to make your own bagels too, you can read about it here.

Anyway, the book made me think about the differences between frozen Lenders type bagels (gross), really awesome fresh bagels such as can be had in certain NYC bakeries (sublime), and everything in between. If you like to eat bagels and read about food, you’d probably enjoy this book.

I am sorry to report that I did not get much out of Making the Cut: The 30-Day Diet and Fitness Plan for the Strongest, Sexiest You by Jillian Michaels. The book is directed toward people who are in pretty good shape but just want to lose those last few pounds and get really “cut” looking. That’s a good premise, but Jillian spends a lot of time explaining what your calorie needs are (and if you’ve been around the fitness scene much you probably already know that, even if you’re not following it), explaining if you’re a slow or fast oxidizer (not as helpful as I expected because I already knew about it), and giving recipes. Then the rest of the book gives a detailed 30 day workout plan, descriptions of exercises, and a chapter on how to seriously drop weight if you have a big thing to go to in a week.

I think the program is sound and if you don’t know the oxidizer stuff or how to figure out your caloric needs when you’re exercising but trying to lose weight, this would be a good book for you. Personally I’m more motivated by the DVDs (the Shred and the other two DVDs in that series cover the exercises she mentions in the book) but if you like to read about a plan before starting it, you might like this book.

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