Friday, 27 May 2011

What I've been reading

Image of the book cover
Mindless Eating: Why we eat more than we think
by Brian Wansink

"Every day we make around 200 decisions about eating. But studies have shown that 90% of these decisions are made without any conscious thought. Brian Wansink lays bare the facts about our true eating habits to show that awareness of our patterns can allow us to lose weight effectively and without serious changes to our lives."
This is a fascinating subject, explained with adequate references to properly-executed research on the type and amount of food that we eat, and why we eat it. It all matches perfectly with my recent and ongoing experience of weight loss: eating and stopping eating is very rarely related to physiological hunger or satiety, but most of the time is driven by thoughts, feelings, habits and the sensory experience of food - sight, smell, taste. The main thing that I am hoping to embed, in order to make it more comfortable to eat less for ever, is the belief that a small amount of food will be 'enough'. Deliberate behavioural and visual techniques are my weapons: a small plate has been a good start.

Image of the book cover
Why does E=mc2? (And why should we care?)
by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw

"Explaining and simplifying notions of energy, mass and light, while exploding commonly held misconceptions, they demonstrate how the structure of nature itself is contained within this equation."
This is a tough read. Mr A had a go first, and was in trouble because he stole it off my huge pile of books to be read, rather than the equally large pile of books I've already read. As it was, his course demanded too much mental energy to allow him to take on even more in leisure reading, so I took over. The first half is straightforward, especially as I already had some basic grasp of how special relativity works. The second half takes us on to the explanation of why spacetime is defined as curved - in the same way as we perceive the earth's surface to be flat, but two people walking on parallel paths will eventually meet. I might have another go at the second half again at some future time, to see if it gets any easier the second time.

Image of the book cover
The Three Hostages
by John Buchan

"England is at peace after the end of World War I. Richard Hannay is enjoying the country life with his wife and young son at Fosse Manor. However, Hannay's peace is shattered when a dangerous criminal gang kidnap three children of important national figures. The deadline for searching for the hostages is midsummer."
We're back to form in this fourth story of the John Buchan anthology that I bought ages ago. It builds up properly, with suspense, a number of simultaneous threads to the story, some threat but not too much, and a pretty tidy ending, although the effort he makes to tie up all the loose ends makes it a bit long.


A Heron's View said...

As one who two years ago lowered his weight by three and half stone along with 12 inches of the waist line and is still maintaining his now youthful figure with ease. The greatest battle is not about diet, rather it is re-educating ones self into new eating habits, along with a modicum of exercise.

Lola said...

Congratulations, that's quite an achievement, especially maintaining the loss! I've got 2 kg (4.5 lb)to go, and they are the stickiest 2 kg I have ever met - but then I'm sitting down revising most of the time at the moment. When I'm able to spend some of the day walking around, I'm hoping to get there.