the china study: startling implications for diet, weight loss and long-term health, by t. colin campbell, phd and thomas m. campbell II. michael bridges, half of the ys-loved musical duo lost and found, sent me this book after reading my posts about my cleanse. it rocked my world. i’ve had more discussions in the last few weeks as a result of this book than from any book i’ve read in years. written by a scientist (not a science-buff opinionating), the book is, primarily, a summary of the largest nutritional study ever conducted (he brings in a massive quantity of other clinical research also). his primary findings are that the diseases that kill americans (he calls them “diseases of affluence”, because they’re found only in populations that can afford an animal based diet) are all direcly linked to animal proteins. heart disease, all the leading cancers, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, obesity and many others: these diseases, for the most part, do not exist (to a great degree) in countries and populations that eat a plant-based diet. here’s the upshot: i’m seriously considering — and anyone who knows me, or has even seen me, will know what a big statement this is — pursuing a vegan diet. i’m not sure i can pull it off. i do like meat! but i think i’d rather have a cancer-free, heart disease-free, and many other diseases-free next 30 years of my life, than have cheeseburgers and filet mignon (and milk, cheese and eggs). i’m sure i’ll be blogging about this more this fall, as i’m tentatively planning on trying a vegan diet for one month at some point. really, you have to read this book! even if you never adopt a whole food, plant-based diet, it’s a brilliant and accessible read.
rejuvenile: kickball, cartoons, cupcakes, and the reinvention of the american grown-up, by christopher noxon. i’ve ruminated a few times on this blog about “grups”, the name given to adults who are erasing the generation gap by continuing to embrace values and tastes traditionally associated with adolescents. this book (pointed out to me by bob carlton) notches it down a few years. while most of the “grup” discussion has centered around rock concerts and expensive jeans, noxon’s book looks more at kickball leagues and toy collectors (not adult toys like jet skis and GPS, but real toys, like dolls and super-soakers). noxon is clearly pro-rejuvenile, though he says the word is neutral, and has positives and negatives. the book gets a bit wordy at times (i love all his examples, but they could often be shorter), but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile read, identifing what i believe is a significant cultural shift in affluent populations. fun reading with plenty of implications for those of us in youth ministry (or any kind of ministry, for that matter).