Book Recommendations?

I’m looking for book recommendations. Fiction or non-fiction. Nothing with really graphic violence. I could tell you what I like to read, but it wouldn’t matter. I’m asking because I want to try new authors, new genres, new ideas. I just don’t want books that are going to make me cry. Making me think, making me mad, making me laugh, those are all okay.

Please leave a comment either directly on the blog, or as a facebook comment to this post. If you put it anywhere else, I might not find it later. This way, all the suggestions are together where I can get to them.

Thanks, everyone! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

I Hate You. Will You Be My Friend?

I *love* Facebook. I love that I can reconnect with old friends. I love that I can get to know family members and current friends in a different context. I love the sharing of ideas. I love the silly conversations. I love the serious discussions.

What I do not love is when a discussion accelerates into a name-calling argument. It *is* possible to disagree with someone without being hateful and calling them names. I am on a Yahoo group with 145 other homeschoolers from around the world. About 50 of us are active on the list. We have probably discussed every topic imaginable at some point. As you can imagine, we don’t all agree on everything. Yet our discussions never denigrate into name-calling or rudeness. It’s not because we’re all perfect. (Well, maybe… Oh, all right.) It’s because we respect each other and we respect that other people have a right to have opinions that don’t mesh with ours.

For the most part, I see the same thing on Facebook. If people don’t agree with a post, discussions are usually respectful. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. I’ve seen several posts recently to which the responses were rude and hateful. Now, I’ve been unfriended by a few people who (I presume) didn’t like the things I post. They didn’t tell me why they removed me from their list and I didn’t contact them to ask. Facebook is supposed to be fun and if something is detracting from that, each person has the right to add or remove friends and/or applications as they see fit. There is also a handy “Hide” function. So if you don’t like to see all the things a certain friend posts, but you don’t want to unfriend them, you can still hide them from your News Feed.

So with these options, I can’t really understand why I keep seeing all these rude comments. Especially in one case, where I get the impression that the commenters don’t even *like* the original poster. Why would you be friends on Facebook with someone you don’t like? It’s a co-worker… So what? It’s a family member… So what? You’ll still be co-workers or relatives without Facebook… And without the ugly online arguments, even if you don’t care much for one another, you’ll probably get along better.

Another Reason to Avoid Diet Soda

A study of more than 3,000 women, followed for eleven years, found that those who drank two or more diet sodas a day had double the risk of damage to their kidneys when compared to women who drank less and those who did not drink diet soda.

The research, conducted at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, did not show kidney damage from the consumption of sodas that are sweetened with sugar. (But, unfortunately, most soft drinks today are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, not sugar.)

While the US government considers the sweetener aspartame to be perfectly safe, the British government is seeking volunteers to study the link between aspartame and illnesses.

Reprinted from Pure Facts, the newsletter of the Feingold Association of the United States,

From me: If you’re trying to lose weight, water is always a better option than diet soda.