Another Book Review

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and time for another installment of “Hey, Don’t Forget I Wrote A Book and It’s Still For Sale.” About a month ago I was doing some ego-searching and came across a review I hadn’t seen before. It’s always cool when people I don’t know at all write something good about me. It really makes dealing with the annoying paparazzi every day worth it.

The original review is here. I have reproduced the text here, just to save you a mouse click.

Why Your Last Diet Failed You:
And How This Book Won’t Help You On Your Next One

November 7, 2008
by Michelle Kerns, Book Examiner

Mark Twain once wrote that “the secret source of humor itself is not joy, but sorrow.”

He never spoke a truer word, particularly in relation to dieting: has there ever been a human endeavor fraught with more heartache, self-deprecation, and pure misery than the quest to lose weight?

It’s no wonder then that Charlie Hills’ book, Why Your Last Diet Failed You: And How This Book Won’t Help You on Your Next One is a riot of hilarity—combine the infinite sorrow of the perpetual battle of the bulge with Hills’ easy, humorous style and you’ll be weeping tears of laughter all the way to the fat farm.

Hills is not one of those annoying people who braggingly write tomes about how they lost 100 pounds in 7 days and how it should be only too easy for you to do it too. No; Hills’ book records his own reenactment of the age-old story of weight lost and weight regained in painfully honest detail, even to the addition of date versus weight charts that show the little black line climbing inexorably higher and higher like a sherpa crawling up Mount Everest.

While many people attempt to explain their failed weight loss attempts with various ridiculous excuses, Hills lets it all hang out in an incredibly refreshing way.

For instance, does this excerpt of Hills’ regular diet-go-round sound familiar to you?

Every time around it was the same sad dance:

  1. I’d reach some new weight.
  2. I’d get frustrated over it.
  3. I’d screw myself up for another go.
  4. I’d lose a few pounds.
  5. Something bad like donuts would happen.
  6. I’d have to start all over.

Hills is not a hot guy from an infomercial trying to sell you some new-fangled machine for your abs; he’s a regular guy, struggling to control weight that yo-yos repeatedly between 170 to 239 pounds over a dozen years.

In addition to his personal experiences, Hills writes about various topics of diet-related interest, such as types of diets, the basic facts of nutrition, artificial sweeteners, and the recent surge of “frankenfood” in a readable, personable way that is easily accessible even to someone who thinks trans-fat is a type of sports car.

Hills’ humor is what makes Why Your Last Diet Failed You stand out from the rest of the ravening pack of nutrition/diet books. From his Physical Laws of Dieting (law number one being “Weight returns at five times the velocity at which it was lost”) to his tongue-placed-firmly-in-cheek tips on how to start your own diet craze, to his critiques of the Jenny Craig weight loss system (“1.The pre-packaged meal approach doesn’t work well when you’re on the road or entertaining guests. 2. It’s easy to grow dependent on them and not properly learn how to fend for yourself in the wild. 3. You run the constant danger of having to appear on Oprah in a two-piece.”), Hills makes the touchy subject of weight loss positively delightful.

Why Your Last Diet Failed You may not help you get down to 120 pounds; it may not stop you from running out and trying the next fad diet, be it the Peanut Butter Diet, the Detox Diet, or the Hay Diet; it may not give you the magic formula you need to live happily ever after; however, it will give you hours of pure, unalloyed enjoyment as you plod along on the road to weight-loss—what higher praise can a book get?

What to drink with Why Your Last Diet Failed You:

If you’re firmly seated on the weight-loss wagon: water.

If you’re contemplating disembarking the wagon: a light beer, well-chilled (preferably to a temperature only just shy of absolute zero) to shield it’s yacky taste.

And if you’ve fallen off the wagon completely? A six-pack of your favorite, joyously full-calorie lager, followed by the pizza of your choice (just to keep the beer company in your stomach). Hey, tomorrow is another day, right?

If you liked Why Your Last Diet Failed You, try:

Half-assed: A Weight-Loss MemoirJennette Fulda

About Charlie Hills

Why Your Last Diet Failed You is Mr. Hills’ first trek into literary territory; let’s hope it isn’t his last.

17 Responses to “Another Book Review”

Mara said
January 7, 2009 at 5:10 am

Note to self: order Charlie’s book.

Fattygetsfit said
January 7, 2009 at 5:16 am

i will have to check out your book when i’m done cramming my last semester of grad school into my brain and ready for pleasure reading 🙂

Brandi said
January 7, 2009 at 7:30 am

You should definitely be pleased 🙂

Jennifer said
January 7, 2009 at 8:09 am

Excellent review Charlie! And I have to agree its a great book, and I laughed all the way through it!

MaryB said
January 7, 2009 at 8:34 am

Hey this time it really IS the first Wednesday of the month!

Charlie said
January 7, 2009 at 8:40 am

MaryB: Yes, I think The Season haze is finally beginning to clear. (Still not sure how I thought the 10th of a month could actually be the first of any kind of weekday.)

Deborah said
January 7, 2009 at 9:10 am

Okay, you win, you talked me into it. I just gotta have one of those books.

flaprabbit said
January 7, 2009 at 9:32 am

Eh, why buy the cow when I can get the milk for free. Thanks for the blog Charlie!

Charlie said
January 7, 2009 at 9:58 am

Because the cow might die if milked too much and never fed. 🙂

Meg said
January 7, 2009 at 10:26 am

Great review! Your book sounds awesome!

Tom Rooney said
January 7, 2009 at 11:12 am

OK, Amazon should have it here next week.

johngl said
January 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Wow, that is quite a review. I think I will buy that book…again 🙂

I wanna read the sequel: Butt weight, there’s more…

Charlie said
January 7, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Or Butt Weight: There’s Less!

Nicole said
January 7, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Nicoles can’t read but will buy Charlie’s book because he asked nicely.

Charlie said
January 7, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Maybe I should make an audiobook?

Nicole said
January 8, 2009 at 8:36 am

Don’t enable. Nicoles need to keep their brains sharp.

Tuscanystone said
January 11, 2009 at 9:01 am

I’m not buying it again Charlie 🙂

Great read, buy it!!

Tusc 😀