Assuming you are all following the rules and keeping yourselves and the public safe by staying quarantined at home, we are all finding ourselves with a little more leisure time (hopefully) and if any of you are like me extra leisure time is usually spent reading books.
I always prefer to read something new instead of rereading a favorite, but recently I have picked up a few from my top ten and starting rereading chapters that I enjoy. Recommending books to friends and then discussing our opinions about them and reliving the parts that we loved is one of my favorite things, but aside from an intimate discussion between friends, I'm not one for usually voicing my opinion without being asked. Additionally, I find that giving something a review, be it a movie, book, or anything else that can be ranked with stars, can be a bit more damaging than we may realize. I'm a very positive person, so writing or give something a negative review is difficult for me because I always think "Maybe it's just me, surely someone else loved this book and my negative review will just bring down the author's reputation and strew a little more negativity around the internet." But inevitably, even the worst book has its five-star reviews and sometimes the best-reviewed books are the ones I enjoy the least. To each his own, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, etc, etc, etc
That being said, I thought I would start sharing reviews of my favorite books. So here we go, we'll start with the one I picked up again last night and started rereading: French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano.
I'll preface this review with a little admission, I am a francophile and I don't see a reason why everyone else isn't also. Don't get caught up in the silly cliches of striped shirts, mustachioed men, croissants, and unabashed infidelity. As with any culture each one has its cliches that can't be shaken off. So just as you can't judge all Americans by monster truck rallies, cheap hotdogs, and hip-hop culture, give the French a break and immerse yourself in a more realistic version of everyday French living that Madame Guiliano shares with us.
French Women Don't Get Fat is an amusing, insightful book about living life more fully and taking care of your physical and mental health on the way. Covering a variety of topics ranging from posture, mental health, breathing exercises, cooking, and the seasons all discussed surrounding her personal story of building a healthy, enjoyable lifestyle over a course of years and experiences.
Guiliano's book isn't just for someone working on losing weight: French Women Don't Get Fat is for anyone looking to make some simple but drastic changes in their daily habits. With solutions that come from small, daily changes it makes you wonder why you weren't implementing them into your life before reading her book.
An excerpt from the chapter "Moving Like A French Woman":
"You can incorporate simple resistance movements into your daily routine even before you leave the house. After your shower or bath, for instance, try to dry your toes with your towel while keeping your legs straight. While waiting in your car or in the subway, contract your abs for twelve seconds with your back pressed against the seat (better for you than road rage). Use your own body weight a resistance whenever possible: isometric exercises, discreet but effective, are very French. While reading a magazine [in my case a book] at home, try sitting on the floor with your legs stretched and apart in a V and your hands on each side; this is a great stretch for your inner thigh muscles."
Touting that small daily changes will make a greater difference than large unrealistic diets or fad lifestyles, Guiliano makes a great case for living life the French way. Most of the bookmarks in my copy of French Women Don't Get Fat are of her recipes (disclaimer: many of which are not kosher) for delicious, health dishes for every season.
I enjoy French Women Don't Get Fat for an easy, enjoyable read that refreshes my perspective on self-improvement which more often than not can feel like drudgery; eat healthily, work out, avoid things that aren't good for you. I'm always looking for a way to feel better and live better all while enjoying my glass of dry, sparkling something.
If I'm already writing a book review, let's give it a star rating. : )
Five Stars for French Women Don't Get Fat! Gift yourself a copy with a bottle of champagne and enjoy a fresh perspective.
À la prochaine,