Lauren's bookshelf: currently-reading

Down Among the Dead Men
0 of 5 stars
tagged: currently-reading

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Anna Karenina: A Book Review

To link my own challenge of every 5th book I read to be a classic, and the Tea and Book Challenge from Brigit at The Book Garden, I have just completed Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. My opinion of the book is somewhat divided. The first Russian novel I have read, I at times became confused with the characters whom at points appeared to have multiple names, first names, middle names, pet names and surnames. However, the main characters of the book were well described and came alive as you read the book, allowing you to sympathise, empathise and follow their musings intently.

What I found frustrating was the socio-economic-political thread, that I am sure was important at the time Tolstoy wrote the book, but I just wanted to know what happened to Anna!! I also found it strange that once Anna reached her tragic ending, not much more was mentioned, making me want to know what happened to her Husband and son and so forth. My favourite characters were Kitty and Levin, and the last 10% of the book is where I felt the threads of the story came together and it all became quite exciting.

It was a long read, that again I feel could have been shorter. Although not one of the best reads in my opinion, I did enjoy it and want to get to the end, and I think I will try some more russian literature.


Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Passage: A Book Review

I have finally finished the slog that was 1008 pages, and to be truly honest, I think the only reason I carried on past the 30% mark, was the tea and book challenge.

It started off promising, and you started to 'feel' the characters and really become interested in their story. Written like a crime thriller, it kept me captivated and intrigued. And then, it all of a sudden jumps to a whole new set of characters in a whole new time zone, and for a while is just seriously baffling. I must admit, sticking with it, it eventually became quite gripping again, but with such a disappointing ending, I feel like it was a waste of all those pages. My first criticism is that it is far too long, and for what is achieved, I think the book could have been half the length. My second, that it felt like two split books, written by different authors, which made it confusing. Having said this, I like the concept of the story, and it did have some great characters (some not so great), maybe with some heavy editing, an okish book could have been a great one??

That's 2 out of 4 for my book what to choose next?


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Catch Up Time

I haven't been great at keeping up with the blogging, I will blame the never-ending stretch of night-shifts I seemed to have been dealt! But now I am off for a whole week, with time for me me me :)

The Diet

Now on to day 13 of the diet I have reached 8st 8lb. My original target was 8st, but I think I have decided on 8st 7lb as my target now. Firstly, the loss of half a stone has made what feels like a difference to my overall size, but today will tell, as later I plan to dig out the tape measure and see how much change there really has been. But also because I this diet was never about being fat, just having put a little extra on, and wanting to loose that, and get back in shape. So really, I don't want to go overboard, I'm not looking to start a career in modelling after all. So once the final pound has dropped, I am going to enter the consolidation phase, and start introducing carbs again, which to be honest I think makes for a better all-rounded diet. I am going to up the exercise too. One thing that I have got out of this (as well as the weight loss), is realising how much I had been depriving my body of water, and also, that really I had just got greedy. I think I have probably halved my appetite, especially on night shifts. My will-power has stayed pretty strong and I have only slipped once when on night 5/5 I had a Mcd's breakkie on my way home. Okay, so if I was going to cheat, I could have been a little better, but why do things by half. In fact, it gave me an immense stomach ache and I didn't enjoy it at all......serves me right really!

The Book

Having some annoying insomnia since 4ish this morning, I have made it to 75% through the Passage. At about 33% of the way, I was ready to give up, it's not the best book I have read, and nor can I see why it has to be so long......did the author get paid per page? However, saying this, it seems to be improving again, or maybe this is just because I know I am nearing the end??

So, on my day off, up at 7am, tea in hand, I think I will finish my book and crack on with the boring housework chores and enjoy the rest of my week off. Hurrahh!


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Dukan Day 6: Who knew vegetables were such an exciting prospect!

So a lapse in up-dates, but with my night shifts and looming essay deadline, I have been pre-occupied. Today I start day 6 of the dukan diet, which means the protein only phase is over, and I can now eat some vegetables. I can honestly say that this has never seemed such an exciting prospect until now. The diet has been relatively ok, I mean I love meat, and haven't felt overly restricted, but have started to get fed up of the one texture, and can't wait to crunch on a raw carrot.

I have stood by my guns and churned some will-power out of somewhere and haven't lapsed or cheated. I have lost a total of 4lb in the protein attack phase, my aim was 5 so not too bad considering there was one day with no weight loss at all. I think I could do with cutting down on the eggs though, but they do seem to form the base of so many recipes.

I have been pro-active once again, and searched the internet for suitable recipes, and also found out from a friend that many of the slimming world recipes can be used (some with minor alterations), and have planned a weeks worth of menus to stick on the fridge and help me get through the next stage.

Now, I am said to be cruising. I have chosen to complete 5 days of alternating protein and veg and pure protein, and at the end of this 5 days will move on to a protein day followed by 5 protein and veg days and completed with a protein day. I will compare the weight loss over these two periods and then decide what pattern to stick with until reaching the target weight.

Continuing with my reading challenge, and using my kindle as a distraction from food thoughts, I have started the next book in my reading challenge; The Passage.....and it seems that it's just starting to get interesting!! (Book Review will follow, however, I am only 22% in, so might be a while!)


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Dukan Day 2

I found the protein filled meat feast a little easier last night, and have already noticed my hunger subsiding. I am also finding it easier to take all these fluids on board, and did prepare myself well for last nights shift and took plenty of skimmed milk for tea and coffee, I had a great crew mate with a flask too, so hot drinks were on tap!

I once again had not managed to do my 20mins of exercise before my night shift, and no patients appeared to be on the top floor or require carrying, so I need to step up my game there! I even had the will-power to turn down chocolates that were given to us by a patient. So I now start Dukan Day 3 and Night Shift 3 weighing in at 8 stone 13lb, and even managed to squeeze in a 20min session of Zumba on the wii before I have to go to work. Go Me!!


War Horse: A Book Review

It's a just a short one, both my review and the book! I was able to read it at work a chapter or two in between each patient, and luckily for my crew mate who wanted to read it but doesn't have time due to revision she got a synopsis at the end of each chapter.

A very heartwarming story, narrated by a horse named Joey who is sent to war. Encompasses the issues with war and soldiers on the frontline and within their camps. Poor Joey has a succession of owners and riders, some far better and more loving than others, looses his best friends in battle (both horse and rider), and comes through the other side with a miraculous recovery for tetanus. It definitely tugs on the heart strings in places and is written to be full of emotion! Turns out to be a happy ever after story that leaves you with a smile on your face. Really looking forward to the stage production and film!


Saturday, 7 January 2012

Back to Work and Dukan Day 1

So after three weeks off, I put my uniform back on and drove into work feeling both a little nervous and anxious. As  I pulled up at the station, so did another student paramedic that I have worked with before, and we discovered we were rostered together. Thank God! Somebody nice to work with to ease me back in. And well, what can I say after the first job, it was like I hadn't been away at all. Well what I mean is, that getting back in the saddle so to speak wasn't as nerve wrecking as I thought. We had a difficult and upsetting job which is never the best start to a run of night shifts, but other members of staff were very supportive.

So night shift number 1 also co-incided with Dukan Day 1. Jeeze I have never had to wee so much! I stuck rigidly to the regime, ate only proteins and drank huge amounts of fluids. Every time we had a patient that didn't want to go to hospital, I panicked about not being near a hospital. My stomach did rumble at one-point and I hadn't taken quite enough food to work with me to see me through the 12-hour shift so I replaced my hunger with cups of black tea (no skimmed milk available) and also took my kindle to work and to try and distract me from thinking about food, I just read. So on the scales after day 1, I am 1 pound down. Let's hope it picks up a little, or if nothing else at least stays steady at a pound a day.