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Nancy's Notes March 6, 2008

FAFSA forms, tax forms, "Paying for College Without Going Broke", “Does the Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?” by Peter Walsh, “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan,

Believe it or not another school year is close to an end and the seniors are making college plans. We have the FAFSA forms available for students so they can get their funding in order. You may find “Paying for College Without Going Broke” helpful if you are trying to put together a financial package. It gives readers strategies to improve their chances of receiving financial aid, helps them to calculate their aid eligibility, shows them how to complete financial aid forms, how to negotiate with the financial aid office, and to learn about educational tax breaks.

            The library also carries a limited number of tax forms. We have federal long, short, and EZ forms as well as the Iowa long form.  Miscellaneous federal forms are available to be copied at a small charge. If you have a computer you can type in irs.gov to find federal forms and type in Iowa Department of Revenue for state forms. Some can then be filled out online. Remember, if you are looking for forms, we are only a distribution point. We are not qualified to advise you on tax forms so you need to know what you are after when you come in.

            One book that has caught the eyes of many readers is “Does the Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?”. I imagine the title entices readers as much as the content. It is written by Peter Walsh who helps people clean the clutter out of their lives on TLC’s Clean Sweep. He believes the secret to successfully losing weight is to forget about calorie counting and weekly weigh-ins. Instead you need to focus on how, why, and where you eat. Peter addresses how the clutter in your kitchen and your home is directly related to the clutter on your body and negatively affects your ability to lead a full and healthy life. The book shows you how to clean up not just the spaces where you eat, but the routines around them: from planning meals and shopping to dinnertime rituals.

            As long as I’m talking about diet we have another book that ties into the one above. Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food” has a similar ring. He believes what we’re consuming today is not food and how we’re consuming it , in the car and in front of the TV, is not really eating. Pollan believes we are consuming edible foodlike substances. He believes the more we worry about nutrition the less healthy we seem to become and that   thirty years of official nutritional advice has only made us sicker and fatter. Pollan hopes to show readers that we need to relearn which foods are healthy, develop simple ways to moderate our appetites and return eating to its proper context.

            This week’s article is filled with rather heavy content. Don’t forget we have plenty of fictional stories that may also be of interest. Come in and see: Monday through Wednesday between noon and 8:00 p.m. or Thursday through Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.