Books I like.

You want to know a little bit more about me? This is what I am reading right now.

1. The BIG Necessity, The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why it Matters by Rose George.

Chances are, the last time you read about excrement was back in the days of Everybody Poops. Yes, this book is about poop, and where it goes once you are done with it. It is a fascinating look at the underworld of the sewer systems and how disease would quickly spread were it not for these systems. And, guess where you can read this little gem?

Fun fact: 850,000 cell phones are flushed down British toilets a year.

I believe it. I almost drop my phone in the toilet a few times per day.

2. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon w/Mary G. Enig PhD

If you love chemistry or food science, you’ll love this book. This book is pretty in your face about the politicalization (is that a word?) of food and is all about da fat in your diet. I’m a high-fat diet kind of girl. 60-70% of my food comes from fat, and no, not sugary or processed fats, but nuts, avocados, cold-filtered oils. I’m mostly plant-based, but this is a great book that not only has tons of recipes, but a lot of fun info – especially for those interested in the history of food culture.

Favorite recipe: How to make your own coconut milk. This lacto-intolerant lady loves plant-based milk. How cool to make it in your kitchen!

3. The Barefoot Book, 50 Great Reasons to Kick Off Your Shoes by Daniel Howell, PhD.

Reason number one is not because Katy Says So. Can you believe it? There is lots of interesting stuff on bare feet (the author is a bare foot runner). Some stuff I agree with and some I don’t — and I know he feels the same way about my book (he read an early edition of mine and was kind enough to do a blurb for me. His basic premise is excellent – human feet were not designed to wear shoes. Right on. My bigger issue is (as with many) is what starts out as science-based material turns into opinion quickly. Pet peeve: He feels that flip flops are better alternative than fully attached shoes. I’m guessing this is because he doesn’t thoroughly understand the biomechanical changes that come with toe gripping (really bad for wanting to keep healthy nerve conduction to feet) and what *natural gait* really is. It’s ok. He’s a biochemist, not a biomechanist. I don’t hold it against him and I’m hoping when my book comes out later this year, we can talk about it via blogging for y’all to benefit from. If you are wanting to go totally barefoot, this is a great resource.

Cool stuff: As a biochemist, he has a lot of info on the *real facts* behind what diseases you can catch walking around barefoot. Hint: Nothing.

4. Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

This is my favorite book of all time. Don’t know what else to say, but go and get it. In a nutshell, this book looks at what happened to people once we stopped hunter-gathering and started farming. Hint: Guns, Germs, Steel. But you saw that coming, right?

It’s a little text-book-y, so if you don’t like to read your facts straight from the professor’s mouth, then read this book instead:

5. ISHMAEL by Daniel Quinn.

This book is essentially Guns, Germs, and Steel in a nice bed-time story. In fact, start with Ishmael and get to G,G, & S next year.

Best quote: “Any species that exempts itself from the rules of competition ends up destroying the community in order to support its own expansion.” Heavy. But, the story features a talking Gorilla, which softens the info a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

6. Euclid’s Elements (all 13 books in one volume!)

In case you didn’t know, the Geometry class you took in HS that seemed boring, was really the life’s work of Greek mathematician Euclid. If you like math and love philosophy, you’ll love reading how Euclid wrote out his books more like poetry and less like “if A, then B”.

If a unit measure any number, and another number measure any other number the same number of times, alternately also, the unit will measure the third number the same number of times that the second measures the fourth.

I know, right?

7.Baby in a Car by Monica Wellington

I can’t tell you how captivating this book is. See, there’s this baby in a car. What does baby see? Taxi Cabs. Garbage Trucks. Flags. Fire Trucks. This is obviously a baby in a car in Manhattan. And, there’s a plot twist too. I won’t give it away, though I will say it has something to do with an Umbrella and a Dog.

8. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard P. Feynman

KB+RF. There, I said it. I love RPF. He is smart, funny, and cool. I love science. Real science — not biased results from data collection by people who have forgotten to stay open minded.ย  My favorite Feynman story: It doesn’t matter what things are called. There is nothing important about what things are called. Science is not memorizing what things are called — that is classification. Science is understanding how nature works. Knowing the word photosynthesis doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t understand that this word means that plants are able to grow by getting their mass from the air. (Yes, they do!)


So, what are YOU reading this summer? I’m noticing a trend in my books after writing this. Can anyone recommend a novel or something? (I like those too!)

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31 thoughts on “Books I like.

  1. Any chance you’re on goodreads? I’d love to follow you there. Nourishing Traditions is on my shelf waiting for me to finish Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine. I’m trying to increase my fiction reading, too, but the current one is a total snooze fest (Son of a Witch… Wicked part 2).

      1. GOODREADS IS AWESOME! I am totally starting a science-health bookclub! Thanks for the head’s up Jen!

  2. Wow. I think everytime you open your mouth -er- type on your keyboard, I <3 you more. Gotta get reading the ones on this list I haven't read, now.

    I've been reading "deep nurtition"….

  3. Oh lovely – thank you for this (we need another bookshelf n our house anyway) – I am reading Women Who Run With the Wolves – all about fiinding and celebrating your ‘wild woman’ self.

    Snail and the whale is one that bubs and me enjoy

  4. I have to tell you, the first 2 people I asked “Where do trees get their mass?” knew the answer- 1st try! One was my husband…so I guess they get to hold your baby…

    I’m gonna download as many of these on my Nook as are available on the Nook!

    1. That’s because your husband is a genius ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, he can hold my baby. And so can you. He’s not that discriminating.

  5. some interesting reads there!

    if you want a novel, i’m [re]reading “love in the time of cholera” for the umpteenth time. it’s kind of polarizing — people seem to either love it or hate it, and i’ve done both — but, i think, enjoyable…

    1. It will be coming off the presses the first week of November! I can’t wait — I am super excited ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Going to make one correction about barefoot diseases. Young children can and do (rarely) in the SE part of the US pick up round worm infections from going barefoot. Especially wet skin and barefoot. The answer of course is to pick up your dog poop when your dog poops and don’t go barefoot where a lot of dogs’ poop. Theoretically immunocompormised adults could have this issue as well although it has to do w/ skin thickness as well. So a good callus from being barefoot a lot would prevent the issue.

    1. Yah, I’ve heard that. But am I wrong in understanding that there’s nothing about foot skin that makes the foot more susceptible – meaning, if they touched it with any other part of their body they would get it, right? And if their dog at home has it, they can get it this way too, no? Not through the feet, but from sitting on furniture, lying on the carpet, etc. I think this was his bigger platform — we don’t walk around with gloves and I bet there are lots of things we pick up this way, yet we don’t forsake the health of the body to prevent something that is highly unlikely. I can see both sides…

  7. Thanks for sharing these. I think I’m ready to graduate from Everybody Poops and try The Big Necessity. I love goodreads too – I’d love to see what you put on your list!

  8. Hey, Katy, thanks for sharing your reading list. All of them sound interesting, and Guns, Germs and Steel sounds especially interesting… think I’ll start with that one! That is if I have time, as I just ordered four of your DVDs & they are on their way!

  9. Here are a couple of book suggestions for you to enjoy with your little man, “I Love You Forever” (get a tissue box) and for when he’s a little older, a fun and practical book “Joshua and His Potty”. Thanks for the great info on ALL of your Blogs, I truly enjoy reading them!


    RE: roundworms and barefooted-ness, check the above web link for a life cycle diagram and description of the hookworm (a type of round worm). People are susceptible to hookworms found in dogs. I don’t think you would get hookworm from a dog in the house unless you let your dog poop in the house and don’t clean it up (gross). In third world countries, spitting phlegm is common and thought to be done because larval roundworms can only get into the gut after being coughed up from the alveoli and swallowed (gross again). So you see people spitting where roundworms (including hookworms and the most common Ascaris sp) cause disease. Spitting appears to be a cultural practice (whether known to the population or not) that has a health benefit of reduced worm burden and disease pathology.

    As for a fictional book recommendation: try the 7 volumes of Diana Gabaldon, beginning w/ Outlander. Its a great story and a historical novel, with a bit of a love story thrown into the mix. I loved all 7, and blasted through all in record time, even though I am a slow reader.

    1. You guys are smart. I like that. And, P.S. I rarely go barefoot in the urban jungle. Actually, I just thought I’d do a quick 10 min baby-carrying walk and had to spend 15 minutes picking a teeny bit of glass out of my heel. Time-friendly? No. I like my Vibrams. They keep me puncture (and round worm) free ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Love your recommendation on Nourishing Tradition, need those recipes since my Dr. put me on a high-fat /low carbs diet due my high insulin and out of balance blood chemistry. I need to expand my vegetarian recipes.

    I just finished “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book by Miguel Ruiz”, loved it. In case you haven’t read it yet, it’s about the belief system and the domestication of humans.

    I’m currently reading “Understanding Our Mind: 50 Verses on Buddhist Psychology by Thich Nhat Hanh” and loving it too. The author is one of my favorites.

  12. hey, katy:

    i was looking at the Barefoot Book and suddenly it hit me: ask katy what to put on my kid’s feet! why did this not occur to me before? well…

    she has a pair of vibrams, but they’re not good for all the time. oh, they might well be, but her feet get too hot and whatever. plus, we live in boston. so, when an 8 year old isn’t wearing five fingers, what is a good option? (ps, i’m not at all adverse to handmaking leather moccasins for her, if that’s the ticket!)

    thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Katja,
      Did you read the post (a couple posts back) Barefoot, not just for kids? Your answer is there!

  13. Galileo’s Dream is a great novel–a bit of sci-fi plus real science (physics, your favorite ,Katy), history, and a thoughtful exploration into what made the great man tick. I highly recommend it and anything by the author Kim Stanley Robinson.

  14. I don’t have any novel recommendations (sorry, I read crap novels mostly) but if you want more science-y food-y books to read, I thoroughly recommend “Kitchen Literacy” by Ann Vileisis, which will blow your mind, and as you’re already a Jared Diamond fan, “Collapse” shouldn’t be a tough sell ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And if you’re at all interested in agriculture and food production, “Meat: A Benign Extravagance” by Simon Fairlie is a tough slog but entertaining and thoroughly worth it.

    Ooo! Just thought of a novel you’d probably like: “Prodigal Summer” by Barbara Kingsolver.

    1. Prodigal Summer – Read it, loved it. Collapse – Read it, loved it. Kitchen Literacy! Winner! Will put it in the queue. Thanks!

      1. Oh, no, I mean like REAL crap. Like the $0.99 romances on Kindle crap. I can burn through one a night and a week later I don’t remember that I read it. Brain candy – no, not even that good. Brain marshmallows.

        The “Game of Thrones” series by George R. R. Martin was good though, if you like fantasy. I just finished that and it kept me away from the crap for a few weeks. The HBO series based on the first book totally rocked, too, if you’re in need of some escapism TV.

  15. I just finished “The Help” and would highly recommend it. So good! Entertaining, tragic, heart warming, dramatic, and full of truth. In a nutshell it’s about the lives of black maids and the the white women they serve in Jackson, Mississippi.

  16. if you’re lact-intolerant you might want to try the GAPS diet. being HG type you might not care to drink milk, but if you have leaky gut you could develop other intolerances and GAPS can help with that. if you do want to have dairy products, you could try raw milk as some lacto-intolerant people are ok with that but not pasteurized dairy. and/or find milk from cows that are A2 casein type.

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