November 24, 2017

Dollar Tree Book of the Week: Alas, Babylon

This is my third Dollar Tree Book of the Week (see my first post for details). I discovered a sci-fi classic that's been around since 1959. 

It's Pat Frank's Alas Babylon in a Harper Perennial Olive Edition that is priced at $9.74 right now on  There are cheaper alternatives both in paperback and digital, but this is the edition that I found at Dollar Tree this week.

Read about it on Goodreads

And yes, I got an American classic, in pristine condition with great quality white pages, for a buck.  Finding great books at Dollar Tree never gets old!

November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Day Toasts

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and most likely you already have a tradition on how the meal begins.  Perhaps it's a prayer.  Maybe your family likes to start off with everyone going around the table sharing something they are grateful for this year. 

Could be there's a toast or two.  Am I right? 

Toasts are great -- and they can start the festivities off with a flair or add something more to the meal.  But what to say, besides "Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!" or "Okay, Let's Eat!"

Thanksgiving Toasts

Here's are a few from the collections at and that you might enjoy reciting tomorrow (check out the sites for their full lists):

  • “For each new morning with its light. For rest and shelter of the night. For health and food, for love and friends. For everything Thy goodness sends.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Remember God’s bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!” – Henry Ward Beecher
  • "Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." - William Arthur Ward
  • "We can only be said to be alive in those moment when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." -- Thorton Wilder 

... and please have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday, Dear Reader!

November 13, 2017

Dollar Tree Book of the Week: The Great Santini

This is my second Dollar Tree Book of the Week (see my earlier post for details).  I'm still reeling that I found something written by Pat Conroy at the DT.  What a find!  Pat Conroy is one of my favorite writers. 

Here's what I brought home -- The Great Santini by Pat Conroy, in paperback:

Maybe you recognize it from the movie version.  This 1976 novel was made into a movie with Robert Duvall in the title role, 1979's "The Great Santini."  It also starred Michael O'Keefe and Blythe Danner -- but Duvall really made that film IMHO. 

It was a good movie.  Critics loved it (94% at Rotten Tomatoes), but for me the book was so much better.  Maybe it was because I knew before I started reading it long ago that it was based on Pat Conroy's difficult childhood and that Santini, in many ways, was his abusive dad

And I got this paperback, crisp and clean, for a buck at the Dollar Tree.  What a treasure!!!!!

November 11, 2017

Resistant Starch and Gut Health: Pasta, Rice, and Potatoes Are Cool Again

Last fall, I discovered “resistant starch” and shared research about how eating cold potatoes was good for you because they contain this stuff.  See, “Resistant Starch: Potatoes are Good for You (Again).”

But silly me, I went off and forgot about it.  I had programmed myself against eating white stuff like bread and potatoes and rice for so long, I guess.  I skipped along, going my merry way, and never got on board with intentionally eating sources of resistant starch.

Big mistake.

Last month, I returned to investigating sources of “resistant starch” after the topic popped up in one of my research projects.  Turns out, I was including some forms of resistant starch in my diet (beans, for instance).  Good news.  But not enough, and not daily.  

Gut Health Boosted With Cold Potatoes

For personal reasons I’m not sharing here, focusing on my gut health is very, very important to me.  Gotta do it. 

So, beginning in October 2017, I started making sure that every day I had some form of these short-chain fatty acids in my diet. 

I ate cold potato salad.  I added some cold beans to my salads.  I tried a green banana or two (yucky).

And I noticed a difference.  I felt better.  I had more energy.  Emotionally, I was peppy.

This month, I’m delving into cold brown rice and rye bread.  Reuben sandwiches, yum!!! 

Brown Rice and Reuben Sandwiches

So, Dear Reader, if you want to do more for your intestinal gut health (and of course you do, it’s your “second brain” after all), then maybe you’ll like to eat more cold potato salad, too.

For more information, check out:

9 Foods That Are High in Resistant Starch, by by Rudy Mawer, MSc, CISSN and published by Healthline on October 6, 2016;

Keenan, Michael J., et al. "Role of resistant starch in improving gut health, adiposity, and insulin resistance." Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal 6.2 (2015): 198-205.'

Sawicki, Caleigh M., et al. "Evidence Mapping: Resistant Starch Interventions and Health Outcomes." Diabetes 3 (2016): 5.

November 3, 2017

Dollar Tree Book of the Week: The Man Who Was Thursday

I know there are arguments against buying new books cheap (remainders). The big one:  the author will not be paid anything from the sale. 

So when I see a new book at a low price, it gives me pause.  Still, when I see a treasure at the Dollar Tree, which happens more and more often these days, I grab it up.

It's an amazing thing, to find great books for a buck -- and with the bargain, there's this feeling that I'm saving them somehow.  How can they tossed aside like this?  They need love. 

So I buy them.  And I'm buying more and more. 

In fact, so many wonderful books are showing up at my local Dollar Tree, I thought I'd start sharing them with you.

Maybe you, like me, Dear Reader will feel like you've discovered treasure too ....

My Dollar Tree Book of the Week

This week's Dollar Tree Book of the Week, The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton, published by Penguin Classics:

Look carefully, and you'll see a quote from Kingsley Amis on the cover, "The most thrilling book I have ever read."

For more on the book, check out Wikipedia, Goodreads, or the 2016 movie.

And, yes, I know it's in the public domain over at Gutenberg.  Doesn't take away from the excitement of finding this book on a DT shelf.  

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