Recently for a project, I read Blue Zones by Dan Buettner that discusses how to live longer. Everyone wants to live life to the fullest, and to do that you have to live for a very long time, or so some think. The author traveled to some pretty remote regions of the globe to find centenarians, or people that were 100 years of age or older. The four places discussed were Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Italy, Nicoya, Costa Rica, and Loma Linda, California. These places have a high concentration of centenarians and Buettner set off to discover the secrets to these people’s longevity and to see how they’ve managed to stay alive so long. Overall, he discovered nine basic things in life that help you live long: 1.) Move a little everyday, get your muscles working 2.) Find your purpose 3.) Find a routine that helps you distress 4.) Stop eating when you’re 80% full 5.) Eat lots of veggies 6.) Drink wine in moderation 7.) Belong and believe in a faith 8.) Keep your family close 9.) Establish a group of close friends who encourage good habits and lifestyles. These nine things were all found to be a part of centenarians lives around the world, recurring habits that they all practice in their own way. More information about Blue Zones can be found at their website http://www.bluezones.com/ which has tips on how to make your life more like on of a centenarian along with quizzes and checklists that you can do for further life improvement. One thing I didn’t really like about the book was the author’s style of writing. To me, the book should’ve been presented as research, but the way the author wrote made it sound like he was trying too hard to write something like a memoir. Other than that, the book was interesting, especially knowing there are a small number of people who have had the privilege to live for so long.
Over school breaks, I like to try and accomplish a lot of reading. Usually this doesn’t end up working out, however I always like feeling a little ambitious. The following books are ones I wish to read or at least start over the Christmas break (if I read one with my busy schedule that will be an accomplishment in itself).
I Am Malala
As you might know, I find Malala Yousafzai one of the best role models a woman can have. The girl stood up against the Taliban for the right to an education and was shot because of it. She survived the ordeal and is very outspoken about advocacy and awareness to get women education in her home country of Pakistan. Malala spoke to the United Nations on her 16th birthday, something none of us would ever dream of doing. This book intrigues me because I am a strong advocate for education as well because I want to be a history teacher. I think we really take education for granted here in America when there are people like Malala getting shot just because they want to learn. This is not right. I love how demanding Malala has been for her story to be heard by everyone and her activism in wanting an education and wanting every single women in the world to have the right as well. She has had many interviews with famous people and she is so well articulated and you can tell she’s very educated. She is a girl that takes her education and gives it purpose, not something that everyone in the United States can say for themselves. I am very excited to start reading this book and I definitely will be posting about it soon.
This book was a random thing that I stumbled into. I went to my weekly Key Club meeting and some representatives for the Blue Zones were there to talk to us. If you don’t know what the Blue Zone project is, it was first a research study in all parts of the globe to see what places had people that lived the longest and why they do. These people are known as centurions because they lived into their 100s. The research consisted of diets, habits, lifestyles, and relationships. There are many checklists and guides to see if you’re living the Blue Zone lifestyle. The book is by Dan Buettner and he has started a healthy revolution with his research. Schools and communities have taken part of the action and even my hometown is racing to be one of the first Blue Zone communities in the nation. I want to read this book because I want to see the research and how it was collected and learn more about these people who have lived over a century. I also picked up some pamphlets and checklists from the representatives to see if I’m living in the guidelines of the Blue Zone. I took the Blue Zone pledge during the meeting but I don’t really know if I understand what I’m getting into. If you want to learn more about Blue Zones and how you can change your life, go to www.bluezones.com
I am so excited to read this book! I really hope I get the chance to read all of it over vacation, but with it’s 613 pages, I doubt that will actually happen. Historical fiction has always fascinated me because it’s really great to see history in a certain time period from a certain point of view. To be completely honest with you all, I saw half of the movie before I read the book (I know, shun me). What I did see of the movie was pretty great. The story is set in Russia during the time of the Bolsheviks and the Red Army and all things related to that. A doctor falls in love, a war begins, the story has been seen before. However, no story can be told the same and I’m sure that this one won’t disappoint. I don’t really know why I’m so excited to read this, maybe just because reading in itself is exciting. I do hope that I can find the rest of the movie to watch after I read it because I really want to see how filmmakers portrayed such a classic novel. The well-acclaimed novel is written by Boris Pasternak and the copy I have that is pictured is translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. My copy also has some poems in the back written by the main character and some notes on the reading.
All Through the Night
As some have seen in my previous post, I am a big fan of Mary Higgins Clark, or as known as the Queen of suspense. She has written so many books, even some holiday themed books like the one pictured. I thought it would be fun to read a book set in Christmastime on the Christmas holiday. This book is quite small, with only 206 pages. I also usually breeze right through a Mary Higgins Clark book. What I’m really excited for is that this is one of her books that I haven’t read (which is surprising) and also because in the back, there is a short written interview with Mary Higgins Clark about her life and her writing. I think it’s astounding that she has been able to write over thirty books all about mysteries. If that were me, I would most likely repeat myself on accident. In this novel, Clark does use previous characters but she does it on purpose because the two characters were popular. Clark has aged but that hasn’t stopped her from keeping writing and her latest novel came out in April of this year, if I am correct. I want to continue to expand my collection of Mary Higgins Clark’s books and I plan to read all of them in my lifetime, if time permits.
Well, that is my Christmas reading list. I really hope I will get them all done. What are you reading this holiday season?