Reading Roundup

I started a yoga class last week.

It’s probably the bravest thing I’ve done in awhile, so yes, I am patting myself on the back, in case you were wondering.

I have some orthopedic issues, so I was reluctant, even fearful, to try it.  I also have some “get off your duff” issues that added to the reluctance.

I'm sure I looked just like this.

The biggest reason I overcame those issues and went for it was that I had just finished reading Younger Next Year for Women by Chris Crowley and Dr. Henry Lodge. [1] There are many exercise books written every year, and nearly none of them are as motivational as this book.

The authors alternate writing chapters; Crowley provides the layperson’s voice, and Lodge provides the science.  Together, they convince you that you can be functionally younger than you are now through what they call The Next Third of your life.    All you need to do is follow Harry’s Rules:

1. Exercise six days a week for the rest of your life.
2. Do serious aerobic exercise four days a week for the rest of your life
3. Do serious strength training, with weights, two days a week for the rest of your life.
4. Spend less than you make.
5. Quit eating crap.
6. Care.
7. Connect and commit.

If you are facing the slippery side of sixty and you want to change your life, start with this book.

Oh, and take a yoga class.

The other two books I have read recently are as widely varied from this one and from each other as possible.   The first is by an excellent mystery writer recommended to me by my daughter.  Her name is Louise Penny, and the book is Still Life[2], her first novel.  These books have Inspector Armand Gamache as their central character, and they are set in Quebec.    A former radio broadcaster with the CBC, Penny has captured the atmosphere of Canada and gives Gamache great psychological insight.  If the rest of these books are as good as the first, I have some fun reading ahead.

The book I am currently listening to is Confidence Men by Ron Suskind[3], a study of the Obama administration.  Suskind, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter,  has previously written about President George W. Bush, and this is very much a behind-the-scenes look at what motivates President Obama as well as what forces have shaped his presidency.  Suskind traces the opposing viewpoints of those who have a voice in the administration, and how those arguments have shaped, or not shaped, policy.  I am about halfway through this book—it’s over 500 pages long—and it’s interesting to be reading it alongside the news reports of the Occupy Wall Street movement.  Whether you agree with it or not, it’s worth your time.

[1] Crowley, Chris, Henry S. Lodge, and Gail Sheehy. Younger Next Year for Women:  Live Strong, Fit and Sexy Until 80 and Beyond. Workman Publishing Company, 2007.

[2] Penny, Louise.  Still Life:  A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel.  St. Martin’s Press, 2004. I read this one on my Nook.

[3] Suskind, Ron.  Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President.  Harper Collins, 2011; I read this as an audiobook downloaded to my iPod from Audible.

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