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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: An Apple a Day by Caroline Taggart

Release Date: March 3rd, 2011
Publisher: Reader's Digest
Page Count: 176
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publicist, FSB Media, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

From Old Testament proverbs to modern phrases like "the best things in life are free," An Apple a Day takes a fun look at expressions that "have stood the test of time." Read through from start to finish or search through the list of hundreds of the most common proverbs, arranged from A to Z for easy reference. You'll learn about each proverb's surprising origins, why some are valid and others are not, the derivation and meanings behind them, and their relevance in today's society. Includes entries like: 

Two heads are better than one: Like the less-familiar "Four eyes see better than two," this proverb extols the benefits of having someone else help you make up your mind-and it's a view that goes back to at least the fourteenth century. But while it is always useful to have a second opinion (A sounding board? Someone else to blame?) it might also be worth bearing in mind the disadvantages of design or decision-making by committee: something that really pleases no one. So whereas two heads may well be better than one, three could be a crowd.

Laughter is the best medicine: This idea is an ancient one and is found in, appropriately, the book of Proverbs: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." It has prompted a surprising amount of research, with the result that some scientists claim that laughter has the same benefits as a mild workout-it stretches muscles, sends more oxygen to the tissues, and generally makes you feel healthier. One study even claims that laughing heartily for 10-15 minutes burns 50 calories. But let's pause for thought here. The world may laugh with you over a joke or a rerun of Seinfeld, but if you make a habit of laughing heartily for 10-15 minutes for no apparent reason, the world is going to think you are nuts and cross the street to avoid you. It may be worth striving for a happy medium.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away: A common British folk saying, this is one of the few proverbs that can be taken at face value. All it means is that apples are good for you. The Romans knew this and so did the Anglo-Saxons, who listed the crabapple as one of the nine healing plants given to the world by the god Woden. They probably didn't know, as we now do, that apples contain fiber, antioxidants, and sundry vitamins and minerals that help to prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, and various forms of cancer. But they did know that they were cooling, cleansing, and soothing, whether taken as a natural diuretic or applied externally to inflammations. An anonymous medieval text called The Haven of Health recommended eating an apple to "relieve your feelings" if you were going to bed alone, while Ayurvedic medicine says that apples cure headaches and promote vitality. So the jury is out on whether or not apples are good for your sex life, but they are certainly good for pretty much everything else.

Guaranteed to amuse and inform, this is the perfect gift for any language lover. Make this and all of the Reader's Digest Version books a permanent fixture on your eReader, and you'll have instant access to searchable knowledge. Whether you need homework help or want to win that trivia game, this series is the trusted source for fun facts.
What Stephanie Thought:  Ever wonder what classic proverbs, such as "out of sight, out of mind" mean and where they came from? They're petty little phrases that automatically come out of my mouth, but I've never really stopped to think what their literal definitions are.

Presented, are the origins of each phrase, the definitions, and appropriate usage examples. So next time you say something like "silence is golden", it won't be in the middle of a genuine moment of silence.

An Apple a Day not only defines these universally acknowledged words of wisdom, but also tells you how they came about, who uses them, when to use them, and their significance. There's no point in saying something you don't mean, and certainly no point in saying things you don't know what mean. We have begun to take the beautiful English language for granted because of how naturally it's thrown around, but this book helps reevaluate the importance of our sociable phrases and the history behind them.

Stephanie Loves: "Out of sight, out of mind  The idea that something is easily forgotten or dismissed as unimportant if it is not in our direct view." — one of the proverbs that defines my life.

Radical Rating: 9 hearts: Loved it! This book has a spot on my favorites shelf. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥