New Atkins book shares how to use, not abuse, carbs

“The New Atkins Made Easy. A Faster, Simpler Way to Shed Weight and Feel Great — Starting Today” by Colette Heimowitz. Simon & Schuster, 2013. $16.99.

I never tried the Atkins diet, but I knew that I needed to try a low carb food plan. I am starting a half-marathon training program in September, so I’m hoping to drop a few pounds before I began working with my trainer. Carbs are important for runners, but I needed to learn how to eat them in a healthier manner.

The first phase in this book, called Induction, is relatively strict. It includes proteins, lots of vegetables, fats and cheese. This phase lasts two weeks. I have to admit, as a carb lover, this phase about killed me. However, during phases two through four, more carbs are added to the maintenance level which shows you how to maintain your weight loss.

There are really great explanations about how to increase the carbs and integrate them without abusing them in daily eating.

Included in this book are meal plans, shopping lists, and descriptions of how to use the Atkins food products in this plan. It’s easy to read and understand. I did lose weight and feel better. Note: I also walk regularly and take yoga classes a couple of times a week. You should always consult a physician before beginning health or diet plan.

— Anna Guerra, Denham Springs

“The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling). Little, Brown and Co., 2014. $28.

“The malignity of what had been done there had been almost orgiastic, a carefully calibrated display of sadistic showmanship.” So J. K. Rowling, writing under the name “Robert Galbraith,” describes the murder at the heart of “The Silkworm,” her second book of crime fiction. Unfortunately, the words might also be applied to her own pages.

Cormoran Strike was once a member of the Royal Military Police’s Special Investigation Branch and lost the lower quarter of a leg to an IED in Afghanistan.

He is now a private detective specializing in cases involving sordid sexual transgressions. This time, he is looking into the disappearance of a second-rate writer, Owen Quine, best known for lurid novels. Quine has, in fact, been killed in a manner entirely consonant with his fascination for bondage and domination.

The possible suspects include various writers, agents, editors, and publishers, who are all impossibly repellent, and his put-upon wife, who is impossibly simple.

London’s Metropolitan Police are impossibly dull. Strike’s assistant is impossibly worthy; his former fiancée is (almost) impossibly wanton.

Nothing about “The Silkworm” rings true.

— Ben Martin, Baton Rouge

“The Painter” by Peter Heller. Knopf, 2014. $24.95.

Jim Stegner is a complicated man. He is a successful Santa Fe artist, fly fisherman, recovering alcoholic, grieving father and nature lover. He also has one heck of a temper. After nearly killing a man and serving time Jim moves to the mountains of Colorado where he hopes to find redemption and peace through his artwork and fishing.

But his temper catches up with him when he kills a man after witnessing the man beat a horse.

The police know he is guilty, but lack evidence, so they trail his every move, waiting for a slip-up. The victim’s brother wants revenge; he stalks, taunts and tortures Jim to near ruination. im learns there is no escaping one’s actions.

“The Painter” is a story of suspense, forgiveness and acceptance. It is also a poetic and vivid description of both human nature and nature’s landscape.

— Laura Acosta, Baton Rouge