While you’re waiting…

Hillary Rodham Clinton is not the only person searching for the answer to the question “ what happened?” in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as her recently published memoir was our most requested book in recent weeks. It looks like WPL customers also want that fly-on-the-wall feeling as she leads the reader through what must be one of the most disappointing moments of her political life. The question is what would be a good book to read while you are waiting to read Hillary’s book, What Happened, or to read after you have finished it – in that post-reading glow you have when a book is finished and you want to continue your reading journey on that theme. Our shelves are bursting with books that can supplement that interest.

You will find other books in our catalogue written about Hillary Clinton and you could dip your toes right back into her own writing with her 2014 book Hard Choices where she provides readers with her perspective on her role as the Secretary of State in the years 2009 to 2013. She wrote this book cautiously, knowing that a presidential run might be in her future, without giving away too many secrets although she is frank about her discouraging loss to Barack Obama in 2008. Hillary recently said that her defeat in the 2016 election would have felt entirely different if it had been to any other Republican candidate and it could be interesting to compare her reactions in these two memoirs.

Maybe you could just take a break from the U.S. election (it’s probably a good idea when you can) and dig into the lives of other remarkable women through their biographical writing. Although Hillary Clinton was born in 1947 and Joni Mitchell in 1943 they have much in common – both have had long careers in the spotlight and faced criticism for making unpopular decisions. In her own words is actually a combination of interviews, photographs and reproductions of Joni’s paintings and could possibly inspire you to take a trip to browse our CD shelves as well. A change of pace and a chance to listen to some fantastic music.

How about a recent memoir by Saudi activist Manal al-Sharif?  It’s still a memoir about a powerful woman but it is the transformational story of one from a modest family who became frustrated by the constrictions of having to be chauffeured around despite having a car in the garage and a license she had obtained while working in the U.S.  In her book, Daring to drive : a Saudi woman’s awakening, she shares her experiences of growing up in a culture where a guardian’s permission was required for virtually all decisions she made in her life and how this helped to transform her into the face of the Women2Drive movement. In September of this year that longstanding ban was overturned and Manal turned to Twitter to say that she is working on her next campaign which is to end guardianship laws with a hashtag #IamMyOwnGuardian.

It’s always a good idea to turn to books from home when you are in the mood for a good read. There really is nothing more exciting than when an author references a street name that you are familiar with or you read that they are eating in a restaurant or visiting a hotel that you have been to. Reading Vij Vikram’s 2017 memoir, Vij, is like worldwide travel and cooking inspiration in book form.  lara Hughes is so relatable and can always bring people to their feet whether you are cheering for her on your TV screen, listening to her on the CBC, or reading her 2015 story about her struggle with depression. You could also learn more about our own Canadian politicians with Elizabeth May’s Who we are: reflections on my life and Canada or Tom Mulcair’s Strength of conviction.  It might be a good time for us to reflect on the future of our own country now that we have read, or are going to read, the thoughts of Hillary Clinton.  Using the autobiographical writing of any person can be a fantastic opportunity to sort through your own life – consider where you are going and think about where you have been.  You might have your own ‘what happened’ moment, with or without the question mark.

-Penny M.

In good health

One of my favourite things about working in the library is the treasures I find shelving or among the returns in the book chute. Many times, my interest is captured by an item I would never have thought to search the catalogue for on my own. Hot Detox, by Registered Holistic Nutritionist Julie Daniluk, is new to the library and one of my latest finds. The title hooked me right away, and when I quickly flipped through the book I found lots of beautiful photographs and healthy-looking recipes.

Later, at home, I discovered whole chapters dedicated to cleansing toxins from your “gut”, liver, lymph system, kidneys, lungs and skin. Julie Daniluk, who is also the author of the Meals that Heal Inflammation and Slimming Meals that Heal cookbooks, explains how she suffered from colitis and joint pain for years until she began to experiment and eat foods that reduced inflammation in her body. In Hot Detox, Daniluk takes her experience and learning even further, by using warming spices in all the recipes, traditional Ayurvedic practices from India, and medicinal techniques from China. Hot Detox provides a 3 day, 10 day, or 21 day detox plan, each complete with suggested menus.

I decided to try the 21 day detox. In the first 9 days of the plan (Phase 1) you are weaned from gluten, dairy, refined sugar and caffeine. This sounds way worse than it is!  I did have a bad headache for a couple of days, which Daniluk suggests could be caused by shifting hormones or toxins, dehydration, or caffeine withdrawal. Phase 2 of the detox (days 10, 11, and 12) eliminates animal products and relies heavily on liquids. Phase 3 allows you to choose whether you want to remain vegan or reintroduce animal products again. There is also more of a focus on rebooting and nourishing all the systems in your body.

I have to say I really surprised myself!  Not only did I stick to the plan, but I didn’t feel hungry or have cravings. I tried lots of new-to-me foods, such as hemp hearts, chia seeds, coconut flour, and coconut milk. My whole family found the supper recipes to be especially good, and some even provided leftovers for another meal. I think the only recipe I really didn’t like was called Detox Rocket, which was a smoothie that included boiled beets. Other members of my family, who are counting calories, didn’t like the fact that the detox recipes do not include a nutritional breakdown. To save money, I went to Bulk Barn to get only the amounts I needed of ingredients I wasn’t sure I would use again after the detox, rather than buy them in big bags at Goodness Me or the grocery store. Some of the recipes also require additional preparation time, so I either chopped up ingredients in advance, or tried the recipe on a day that wasn’t as busy.

I lost 12 pounds on the 21 day detox plan. People ask me, “But how do you FEEL?”  Other than the obvious answer, “I feel great!  I lost 12 pounds!” I think the biggest change happened after the detox was over, when I ate a cookie a friend had made. One small taste of refined sugar and I felt very sick for several hours. This has only given me more incentive to carry on, and I have now borrowed Meals that Heal Inflammation and Slimming Meals that Heal. All three of Daniluk’s books are available at the Main Library, and the John M. Harper and McCormick branches.

Hot Detox has been shortlisted for the Taste Canada Cookbook Awards 2017.  Daniluk, who lives in Toronto, has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, is a resident expert for The Marilyn Denis Show, and hosts The Healthy Gourmet on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).  Daniluk’s blog, free recipes and video cooking classes can be found on her website at http://www.juliedaniluk.com.

-Sandy W.