Author Archives: germanmarks

4-Hour Body

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The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming SuperhumanThe 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

TMI yes, I realize that’s a wrong spelling of the author’s first name and is also not meant in the figurative sense but literally. This book does have over 500 pages after all.

So first off Timothy Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body starts as a diet book, not as in “starve yourself diet”, but “change your eating habits diet”. It states firstly to NOT EAT GRAINS. Any grains!!! This is even a step up from The Wheat Belly (full review here: in which only modern (gluten containing) grains were not allowed.

To get a full understanding of how grains affect us scientifically here a link to Tim Ferriss’ blog on the issue: www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2010/09…

Sounds like The Paleo Diet Lose Weight and Get Healthy By Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat at first glance and even when you read the recipes provided at the end of the aforementioned blog, you see fruit mentioned as part of the suggestions for that week long menu. But Ferriss does not eat fruit! In his suggestion -contrary to the paleo diet- one is not allowed fruit due to blood sugar raising attributes. For fiber in his ALL meat, ALL veggies, ALL the time (WAIT: it’s not all the time, because each week one is allowed a cheat day, where one can consume anything one likes!!!) he eats legumes like lentils and beans. So this “all the time” isn’t true and a cheat day sounds awesome to keep you on track. But once more back to the blog above: It is mentioned that -especially if you are sensitive to gluten, but even for everyone else looking to improve themselves all around- only after 15 days is the last gluten flushed out of your system, so to see improvement to stick with the total gluten free for at least a month to six weeks. So there goes your cheat day!
Also the NO FRUIT is what I have the biggest issue with and replacing them with legumes that make you gassy and bloated (when all you want is feeling better and thinner?).

To stick with this book though it takes a lot. I started off laughing about the disclaimer in the beginning and the authors writing style is highly entertaining. So there’s that. But then there are also numerous cases in which facts are contrasting each other, giving the plain reader a wrinkled brow as to which of the stated facts they should be following now. Entertainment value aside, there is so much data in this book, that it gets tiresome to read at times to the point of page flipping. Which of course is why the author recommends in the beginning of the book to look at the chapter index, read only the first few mandatory and then flip forward to whichever head line looks interesting to the individual reader. Want to lose weight? Already basically covered but keep reading here___ Want to put on muscle? Keep reading on page___ Better sex? Page____.
That is a recipe for information overload obviously; and for the mentioned differences in facts as a) you have to do things differently to lose weight than to put it on (though only marginally) and b) many different specialists are quoted and case studies summarized to account for alternative approaches to the covered themes.
This book is intended to be a recipe for total overhaul, but not all of us want to be good at everything or plain don’t have the time or means to even attempt to. And speaking of time: Obviously it takes time to read this big a book and after the initial fun of reading the first chapters one runs out of time, patience and interest in pursuing the remainder of the book and finds one selves flipping through it, loosing momentum and possibly the spark that gets lit in the first chapters.
This not a bad book makes! As just with the disclaimer, if one sticks with Ferriss’ reading instructions (only to cover the mandatory chapters and then flip to those of interest to the individual reader), this issue is easily avoided. One can always pick up the book later and go back to a chapter that sounded somewhat intriguing.

I did not like the diet for a few simple facts: No fruit(!?), too many supplements to get to that “superhuman” state, too repetitive in its initial stages and conflicting messages about grains (so they are not good for you but on your cheat day you eat a few chocolate croissants?).

Interested in a summarized cheat sheet: www.scribd.com/doc/52738660/4-Hour-Bo….
You will see all the tiresome tricks it takes plus the numerous supplements I am talking about…

Not the non plus ultra; so self experimentation (which is -by the way- a huge part of the book and the authors life)and trial and error it will be to find out what works best for everyone.

But once again: NO GRAINS!!!

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Bane, Trish Milburn (Coven #2)

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Bane (Coven, #2)Bane by Trish Milburn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In BANE Trish Milburn continues the story of Jax who has fled her dark witch coven to escape and find out if she is what she thinks: A white witch. At the end of the first book she fought her coven and won, but took into her a force that she explores in this book; and the influence of which on her are questionable. She and her sidekick Egan, who is in the same situation as her, hide out in Salem, refraining from using magik as that might alert their covens as to their whereabouts all the while trying to find a way to turn the darkness of the covens around.

They meet a kind of witches they didn’t know existed and their hope to find a solution rises as these newfound allies try to aid them as much as possible.

The book is exciting, enticing and ends in a cliffhanger that makes you want the third book right away… what more can an author hope to accomplish?

Well written and four stars!

Thanks to NetGalley for the preview of this book. It is much appreciated and I cannot wait for the next book, as this one ends in such a cliff hanger.

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/351579159

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Kendra Leigh Castle, Shadow Rising (Dark Dynasties #3)

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Shadow Rising (Dark Dynasties, #3)Shadow Rising by Kendra Leigh Castle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In Shadow Rising Ariane, a Grigori vampire, leaves her clan’s settlement in the middle of the desert, when her one and only friend in this group of “watchers”, feelingless vamps disappears and she is not picked to go into the world to look for him. She has been trained for centuries and Sam was the only one displaying a semblance of affection in her longtime home that felt more like a prison to her.

She finds herself enjoying the real world, but cannot seem to find traces of Sam. When she is going to meet a possible lead she meets Damien, a vampire and Shade from the House of Night. Immidiately it is clear that there is a chemistry between the two of them that is palpable… and this is the most interesting part of the book. The tension and their attraction to each other is described really well and keeps you gnawing your nails. On occasion the action scenes are fun to read too, but they are mostly too rushed; and where the words for the sparks between Damien and Ariane are chosen to perfection are lacking some depth when fights occure.

So I enjoyed the new (to me) world of vampires Castle developed (although a lot of the terms she used ring memories of books and series written before (such as Hause of Night, Shade etc.)but found myself sometimes longing just for that little bit more.

Still I give it three and a half stars and would pick the next book in the series up as well to see what happens next. And what more do you want?

Thanks to Grand Cantral Publishing and NetGalley for this preview.

Also published on goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/348940449

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E.L. James, Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3)

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Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3)Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this third and final book of the Fifty Shades series, Christian and Anastasia once again go through the ups and downs of their relationship. Yes, I wrote almost the same sentence in the review of book two, because it is slighty exasperating.

This may just be a very clever way to make us feel -once again- the way Ana is feeling, because one thing is constant throughout the series, the telling of the story is so eloquent that one cannot help, but feel what Ana is is feeling. Since exasperation is one of the feelings, it is well conveyed, as are hurt, insecurity, deep love, and a host of other feelings, amongst them dependency, which once again blurrs the line a bit between what is allowed and what is not in their sexual relationship; and therefor putting out the question if when she is asking for what was done in Christian’s past to be done to her although she wants to save him from his past, doesn’t make Ana just a little bit of a hypocrite…

The other characters from the earlier books evolve more and are well characterized and really enjoyable. They take a greater role in the story, which also has more flesh (pun). This again contributes to describing the relationship of Ana and Christian as they find their place within their world and have to overcome some major obstacles to get to where they want to be. Be ready for some nail biting action…but

unfortunately -as much as I enjoyed this series and the ending- I found myself skimming over the sex scenes in the end as they became to repetitive; which is kind of sad, as they were originally rather inspiring…

Still an enjoyable a read, so keep reading!

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/309270015
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E.L.James, Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2)

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Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2)Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So in this second book of the Fifty Shades trilogy (which you should have on hand right when you finish the first book, or you’ll rip apart inside) Christian and Anastasia go through the ups and downs of their relationship again. They go through some (quote) kinky fuckery (unquote) and some tender sex and everything in between…again! And again! Again, again…again… we get it! They are trying to meet in the middle or something and -don’t get me wrong- it is exciting to read and it’s still mostly as heartwenching as in the first book. But…I also read the third book and with just a few of those -sometime repetitive- sex scenes removed or at least abreviated this could have been a two book series.

The innocent girl trying to save the (quote) fucked up (unquote) guy gets a little old, I am sorry to say. Especially as she succumbs to some of his sexual preferences and the lines become wishy-washy between what is to be considered acceptable and what is not…

However, there was enough story line in between to make this a satisfying (!) read…

And of course because now you’re hooked and there’s a few open ends hanging loose you’ve got to read book three to tie them up…(no pun intended;)

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/309269503

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E.L. James, Fifty Shades Of Grey (1)

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Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW!

So this is supposed to be fanfiction following Twilight. Smart move by the author to ride on that wave, but totally unnecessary as this book is so strong (without any paranormal tendencies) on its own account…

Anastasia replaces her roommate and best friend Kate to conduct an interview for the school newspaper and finds Christian Grey, CEO of a huge company he has founded. She’s inexperienced, he’s got lots af baggage. Two worlds collide!!!

These two main characters couldn’t be on more different ends of the emotional spectrum and yet from the first look and touch there is an electric current between them that makes sparks fly whenever they get together… to write more would be a spoiler…and this is not a book you want spoiled. It’s not a book that can be summarized, only vaguely outlined. Partly due to the fact that the story line is slim, which doesn’t mean there is no action… on the contrary: There is lots of action!!!

Sexual tension will pull you through this book. Even if you have read that there is some SMBD in it and it isn’t your personal preference you cannot help feeling exactly what Anastasia is feeling, because it is written so amazingly well from her POV. Her inner turmoil is depicted so well by her “inner goddess” and her “subconcious”, that it is easy to find yourself being her, going through what she’s going through; and, boy, does it touch your heart and often other places, too…

And it hurts…

Read it and you know what I mean!

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10818853-fifty-shades-of-grey

Fred A. Strutman, The Case of the Unwanted Pounds

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The Case of the Unwanted Pounds: A Weight-Loss & Fitness MysteryThe Case of the Unwanted Pounds: A Weight-Loss & Fitness Mystery by Fred A. Stutman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ok, so this book is very repetitive. It repeats the facts about five times or more, I didn’t count. It was repeating everything about five times… yes, just in the same fashion as I have done just here. A fact is picked and then presented over and over again. And then for good measure in a later chapter again and again.

It’s clear very fast, that the author want the attempting dieter to eat 35 grams minimum fibre per day, eat 35 grams of fat maximum per day and exercise 35 minutes a day plus a strength training twice a week during the walk. You got that 35 and 35 and 35. As if these numbers themselves aren’t memorable enough we have to endure reading them over and over again. Almost as a byline the counting and relevance of calories is mentioned, convoluted amongst information about nutrients, dietary benefits of certain foods and shortcoming of others, all the while failing to make this “case of the unwanted pounds” any clearer or even solving it.

I am sad to say, that after reading the 35/35/35 formula yet again, I had to put the book aside as I believe if this book was better organized and less repetitive it could be half the length it is and much easier to receive.
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/299801009

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