Bookshelf Monthly #8: Wise, Hot & Healthy

As a self-proclaimed bookworm I love to share my book tips on health, ethics, philosophy, as well as scifi and fantasy. And isn’t it time to pack for summer holiday anyway!?

What to expect

bookshelf-monthlyI’m a somewhat chaotic neutral reader.
I tend to be binge-reading five or six books at a time.
My reading habits include both real books and ebooks, and I am pretty omnivorous when it comes to reading topics.
The only books I hate are books by boring and pompous writers too full of themselves.
I read everything except maybe self-help books, esoterics for dummies and modern literature without any thriller/fantasy/grotesque twist.
I proud myself to have never read Murakami, Beigbeder, or Coelho.
Don’t expect novelty. Expect quality.

If you like fantasy, thriller, horror, scifi, forgotten classics or “everybody talks about them but nobody have read them”-classics, grotesque humour, or books about philosophy, ethics, psychology as well as about health & food, then this new monthly reading round-up is an addition to BEAUTYCALYPSE that you’ll love.

If you haven’t yet, subscribe to new posts. It’s free-free-free (spam-free, costs nothing, and sells nothing).

Don’t expect me to show you only the newest pubications either: it’s about quality, not novelty.”

Let’s begin!

Seven books you could read in July (all Kindle editions – for less paper and less controversy)…

1. Murder, mayhem, La La Land:
IT’S IN HIS KISS, Vickie Lester, 2014.
2. Modern philosophy in unexpected context(s):
RELIGION FOR ATHEISTS, Alain de Botton, 2012.
3. Empowering & clever – Internet safety for non-geeks:
4. Healthy #freefrom food made easy:
THE OH SHE GLOWS COOKBOOK, Angela Liddon, 2014.
5. 100 gluten-free vegan recipes for the green smoothie crowd:
THE BLENDER GIRL, Tess Masters, 2014.
6. Beware of self-treatment (!) but be in the know:
THE HORMONE CURE, Sara Gottfried, MD, 2013.
7. Have you ever wondered about big data & the benefits of progress? Read:
WHO OWNS THE FUTURE, Jaron Lanier, 2013.

…and seven Quotes & Reasons to show you why 

1. IT’S IN HIS KISS, Vickie Lester: Hard to pick a quote from a crisp and paced plot filled with intelligent observations, detailed portraits, and witty dialogue… Just be assured that you’ll be left gasping for a sequel or at the very least, browsing the author’s deliciously amazing blog dedicated to Old Hollywood.
So let me showcase Miss Lester’s (what a wonderful nom de plume!) minute writing with this juicy lil spoiler instead:

Anne stared at the page but she didn’t read. She thought. What if the oracle of her future was a gutter-mouthed, temperamental, two-hundred-and-eighty-five-pound moviemaker? Having never been pregnant she had no similar experience with which to compare it. The thought of having a child wasn’t objectionable, but the prospect of raising one was confounding. She wondered if she begged the dean she could cancel her unpaid leave of absence for the following quarter. She thought some more. She slept. She ate. She didn’t leave her apartment once. She didn’t answer the phone.”

2. RELIGION FOR ATHEISTS, Alain de Botton: The full title of this book is less misleading. It runs “”A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion”. Exploring the depths of wisdom, consolation, kindness that even non-believers can find in religion, the author explores intellectual and emotional pitfalls of human searching and suffering. Here is a quote for you:

The unreliability of our native imaginative powers magnifies our need for art. We depend on artists to orchestrate moments of compassion to excite our sympathies on a regular basis; to create artificial conditions under which we can experience, in relation to the figures we see in works of art, some of what we might one day feel towards flesh-and-blood people in our own lives.”

3. THE SMART GIRL’S GUIDE TO PRIVACY, Violet Blue: Known best for her saucy guides to better sex as well as for tech articles, in this book the controversial writer and blogger Violet Blue (from all we know a real name) writes about Internet safety for women. She offers comprehensive checklists on how to better manage your social media accounts, what to do to protect yourself from harrassment.
I think I should add “trigger alert” to this short review, but if you’re wondering how to make Internet safer for you, your sister, your daughter, your friends… all without getting paranoid, these 6 dollars are a good invest. A quote:

Right now it seems like data dealers are really taking advantage of the fact that few people understand [how their data is handled].
That’s why lately I’ve really been getting mad when sites like Facebook and Google+ require legal birth names for users. They claim that real name use makes people behave better, when there is no evidence to support this assertion and many people are having the opposite experience. I think the truth is more that a legal name makes the personal data Facebook and Google Plus collect more valuable, because it’s more accurate.”


Angela Liddon is well known for her fabulous vegan blog Oh She Glows.
In her cookbook, the foodie presents 100+ over-the-top truly delicious recipes and mouth-watering photography.
I found the book even more inspiring to try new recipes, and I think I’m making the grilled portobello burger tomorrow and maybe salt & vinegar roasted chickpeas as a good night snack. And for dessert, maybe the chilled chocolate-espresso torte with toasted hazelnut crust?

5. THE BLENDER GIRL, Tess Masters

As a now proud member of the Vitamix club, I’m on a constant lookout for new and fabulous smoothie recipes.
Preferably green. Preferably easy.
Tess Masters’ ebook goes beyond smoothie recipes: it opens a real universe of fresh, tasty, healthy food. The author gives a lot of advice on how to take proper care of your blender device, and explains the basic ingredients. And then – countdown, and lift off! Vegan, healthy eggnog and pina colada! Mango fire and ice! Flourless triple-pecan mousse pie! Fluffy GF pancakes! Creamy mushroom Stroganoff! OMG, right?

6. THE HORMONE CURE, Sara Gottfried, MD

A fluently and understandably written, comprehensive guide on the delicate balance that makes or breaks our health.
In the end, you will have learned a lot about your body and how you can read the symptoms: the author explains what your fatigue, blues, weight gain, heavy periods, and breakouts are telling you. You’ll learn what hormone highs and lows mean and how to balance them.
The author tells you the characteristics of a good doctor, and helps you understand how to collaborate with them (loved this in particular!).
Sara Gottfried’s approach is that of knowledge, and kindness.
However, and this is highlighted in the book, and I insist on repeating it here as well: this book only gives you knowledge.
It does not replace your doctor. 

7. WHO OWNS THE FUTURE, Jaron Lanier

Having coined the term virtual reality and opposed the existence of collective intelligence, in his latest book Jaron Lanier tells off “Siren Servers” who lure us into giving them our data for free. This book is brilliantly putting technology into a humanistic and political context. It’s a must-read in 2014. If you don’t want to wake up to a digital 1984, that is.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these eclectic reading suggestions.
Make sure to let me hear about your reading preferences in the comments!

12 Comments on “Bookshelf Monthly #8: Wise, Hot & Healthy

  1. Pingback: Bookshelf Monthly: The Last in 2014 | BEAUTYCALYPSE >>> A Quest for Ethical Excellence

  2. I bought a copy of Alain de Botton’s Religion for Atheists a few months ago but I still haven’t got around to reading it: I must dig it out. 😉

    • I think he does sound a bit pompous at times, but it’s a enlightening read nevertheless. It’s in no way fun or light, but it’s digestible 🙂

  3. Thank you! I didn’t catch this yesterday because I was at the airport picking up The Kid, who was studying in Antwerp… What fascinating company in the monthly book list, love that I’m included, and am going to read, read, read! May I reblog this over the weekend? xox, V

    • Hey Ms Lester 🙂
      Reblog and reuse to your liking. Thank you for this excellent read and for making it available via Kindle (if I were purchasing all them books as hardcopy, I’d have to eat from books, sleep on books, and ultimately dress in books)
      I ❤ It's In His Kiss.

  4. I am over the moon that you featured Vickie’s novel (because it really is soooo good) and I will definitely be getting the Alain de Botton book. I love his writing and this is spot on perfect for me right now. I have been thinking a lot about faith in a non-religious specific context.

    • I think I will read her novel a second time slowly. I really wolfed it down on a very lazy Sunday 😀
      Glad that one book was spot on for your!

      • I did the same and am just about ready for a second read myself!

        • The story is cinematic, and I looooove her approach to details. How people & places & dialogue are so spot on.
          I am such a love scene refusenik, but hers don’t let me cringe 🙂

  5. I read every post here but the monthly booklist is my fave. Please keep the European author recommendations coming too.

    • Aaawww, thank you Rose!
      And you are right, European authors are somewhat under-represented in this month’s list. Only Mr de Botton is British 🙂
      Didn’t really occur to me, so will be paying attention to the geographic versatility more next time.