RDN Emeritus

Food and Nutrition Expert

Sharon Sass, RDN

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Books I've Read - 2021



The Plague Year by Lawrence Wright, 2021

The Premonition by Michael Lewis, 2021

The Way Out by Alan Gordon 2021

Good Anxiety by Wendy Suzuki, 2021


The Deep Places: A Memoir of Illness and Discovery by Ross Douthat, 2021

Too Famous: The Rich, The Powerful, The Wishful, The Notorious, The Damned by Michael Wolff, 2021

Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show by Jonathan Karl, 2021


I'll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House by Stephanie Grisham, 2021

You Can Talk to God Like That: the Surprising Power of Lament to Save Your Faith by Abby Norman, 2021

World War C: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic and How to Prepare for the Next One by Sanjay Gupta, 2021


Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life's Greatest Challenges, Second Edition, Steven M. Southwick and Dennis S. Charney, 2018

The Reckoning: Our Nation's Trauma and Finding a Way to Health by Mary Trump, 2021

Ordinary Heroes: A Memoir if 9/11 by Joseph Pfeiffer, 2021

Hatchet Man: How Bill Barr Broke the Prosecutor's Code and Corrupted the Justice Department, 2021

Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, 2021


I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, 2021

Preventable by Andy Slavitt, 2021

Frankly, We Did Win This Election by Michael C. Bender, 2021

Hope Happens by Catherine DeVrye, 2004


Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency by Michael Wolf, 2021


Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration's Response to the Pandemic That Changed History. by Yasmeen Abutalaeb and Damian Paletta, 2021

This Too Will Pass by Helen Exley, 2020


On Location: A Theology of Place by Kenneth Larkin, 2003

Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 2021


The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the. Last Words of Jesus from the Cross by Jon Meacham, 2020

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May, 2020

Authoritarian Nightmare: Trump and His Followers by John Dean and Bob Altemeyer, 2020

Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess by Rachael Hoffman, 2017


Bagman by Rachel Maddow, 2020

The Promise of Winter: Quickening the Spirit on Ordinary Days and in Fallow Seasons by Martin Marty and Micah Marty, 1997


Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker, 2020


Living Faith by Jimmy Carter, 1996

Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right by Cynthia Miller-Idriss, 2020

Fiction and Poetry


Judge's List by John Grisham, 2021

Muse of Fire: Approaches to Fire by H.Edward Richards and Frederick Shroyer, 1971


State of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penney, 2021


Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson, 2018

Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon, 2019


Ronia, The Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren, 1981

Change Sings: A Children's Anthem by Amanda Gorman, 2021*


Unfinished Business by J.A. Jance, 2021


Kindest Regards: New and Selected Poems by Ted Kooser, 2018. 

Credible Threat by J.A. Jance, 2020.

The President's Daughter: A Thriller by James Patterson and Bill Clinton, 2021.

The Devil May Dance: A Novel by Jake Tapper, 2021


The Hellfire Club by Jake Tapper, 2018.

While Justice Sleeps: A Novel by Stacey Abrams, 2021. 


Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon, 2004

The Bell in the Bridge by Ted Kooser,  2016*

House Held up by Trees by Ted Kooser, 2012*

The Blizzard Voices by Ted Kooser, 2006

Wherever You  Are, My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman, 2010*

While Justice Sleeps: A Novel by Stacey Abrams, 2021

Stargazer by Anne Hillerman, 2021


The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country by Amanda Gorman, 2021


The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (pages 3-136), 1960 

Missing and Endangered by J.A. Jance, 2021


Poems of Robert Frost (Mountain Interval pages 105-156, In the Clearing, pages 411-428)

Truly Like Lightening by David Duchovny, 2021


The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson, 2019

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, 2020

The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren, 2014*

The Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Miscellaneous, pages 667-728, Paul Revere's Ride, page 275-279)

*Children's Book

What I am doing in retirement ...

An ongoing series about my retirement ...

Retired for Six Months ...

February 8, 2021

It is hard to believe that I have been retired for six months! Of course, the Pandemic continues to make this time unlike any other as Bert and I stay strictly isolated.  

Here are the goals I set six months ago and an update on how I am doing:

  • Plan to read more books - Read 34 books. Check out my  "Books I've Read" lists. 
  • Spend more time in my kitchen trying new recipes - Have tried LOTS of new recipes. One of the bright spots of the Pandemic is that we continue to enjoy a wide array of colorful and delicious foods.  
  • Connect (virtually, for now) more often with friends and family - Enjoyed a monthly get-together with my Barnes Intern friends, holiday celebrations with family, and virtual coffee dates with friends. 
  • Twirl my batons - Have twirled in the backyard but not as often as I might in the coming year. Play "Stars and Stripes Forever" while I twirl. 
  • Write more letters and send more cards - Have done well with this one and keep the postal carrier busy almost every day picking up the mail we send. 
  • Learn new things - Watched a You Tube video and learned to cut Bert's hair. Went to the virtual FNCE. Participated in a number of webinars from AND DPGs, AARP, and the Arizona Historical Society. 
  • Organize my cookbooks - Have all my new cookbooks in one place and received two boxes of my Mom's cookbooks. Still have work to do on this goal.
  • Play my flute/Practice on my piccolo - Located both my flute and piccolo but will need to have them checked to see if they need new pads once I can go to a music store. 
  • Go to my virtual yoga class - Only went once! 
  • Pick one of my cookbooks each week and make something new - Have used more than 15 different cookbooks but find I go back to ones with my tried and true favorite recipes.
  • Use my juicer - Only did this once!
  • Take naps - Don't do this often but have enjoyed a few naps.
  • Go swimming - Was able to go swimming often in August and until the end of September because our weather stayed hot.
  • Create my own website - Done.
  • Sit on my patio to drink coffee and read my morning papers - Still need to do. 
  • Learn to use my library card to get books for my Kindle - Still need to do.
  • Take more time to reflect on all I am grateful for as I retire - Do every day. 

All in all, I think I've done pretty well and look forward to making more progress and picking new goals in the coming year. 

Books I've Read - 2020


December 2020

Running Against the Devil by Rick Wilson, 2020

Inspired: Slaying giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans, 2018

Everything is Beautiful in Its time: Seasons of Love and Loss by Jenna Bush Hager, 2020

Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter, 2020

Daily Gratitude: 365 Days of Reflection, Photos and Wisdom to Enrich Your Spirit by National Geographic, 2014

November 2020

Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus by Michael B. Curry, 2013

The Alphabet of Grace by Frederick Buechner, 1989

The Plot to Betray America by Malcom Nance, 2019

October 2020

Rage by Bob Woodward, 2020

Disloyal by Michael Cohen, 2020

Our Hope for Years to Come: The Search for Spiritual Sanctuary by Martin Marty and Micah Marty, 1995

September 2020

Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump, 2020

Melania and Me by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, 2020

August 2020

The Mourner's Dance: What We Do When People Die by Katherine Ashenburg, 2002

The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir by John Bolton, 2020

Fiction and Poetry

December 2020

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, 2006

Poem a Day, Volume 1 edited by Karen McCosker and Nicholas Albery, 1994

November 2020

Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd, 2020

October 2020

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, 2020

They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell, 1937

A Time for Mercy by John Grisham, 2020

September 2020

Sea of Memories by Fiona Valpy, 2018

The Lake Wobegon Virus by Garrison. Keillor, 2020

Anxious People: A Novel by Fredrik Backman, 2020

August 2020

The Lager Queen of Minnesota: A Novel by J. Ryan Stradal, 2020

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by  Amy E. Reichert, 2015

What I am doing in retirement ...

An ongoing series about my retirement ...

Getting ready for FNCE ...

October 10, 2020

Being retired is great! This week I am getting ready for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE). It is a virtual meeting this year and the rate for retirees was just $89! A true bargain. 

While working, I was only able to attend FNCE one time as the opportunity generally went to the Bureau Chief or leaders for programs like WIC. The year I was able to attend, the meeting was in Hawaii! I was serving as Nominating Chair for the Public Health and Community Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group and they paid my way. I was able to visit Nicole Dragisics at Hawaii Pacific University during the conference. My son, Chris Sass, joined her at HPU a few months after the conference. 

This year's meeting offers many opportunities to learn more about topics like nutrition and wound healing, food insecurity, and more. I have "built" my agenda on the online FNCE platform and already started earning "badges". For those of you that know me, you know I am a huge proponent of "gamification" to promote behavior change. 

What I am doing in retirement ...

An ongoing series about my retirement ...

Retirement Gifts ...

September 26, 2020

My colleagues from the Dairy Council of Arizona, Inc., gave me a wonderful array of retirement gifts. Cookbooks, a great red cooler, dairy-themed kitchen utensils. and more were included. Perhaps, best of all, were the WIC cookbook and the DASH diet materials that we worked on together as special projects. 

Thank you, Terri Verason, Tammy Baker, and Pat Johnson for these amazing and thoughtful gifts. 

What I am doing in retirement ...

An ongoing series about my retirement ...

Labor Day ...

September 6, 2020

Loving retirement. My first Labor Day since 1977 without a paid holiday. My thanks to the workers who went before me to make paid holidays and pensions possible. Hats off to all the essential workers making life easier for us during these Pandemic times. Thank you to my sister, Sandra Johnson, for this wonderful coffee cup. I drink from it every Monday morning! 

My "learn something new" this week was how to post a video to my website. Check out the link on my Homepage to see the amazing retirement gift that I received from Chris Sass and Nicole Dragisics! 

What I am doing in retirement ...

An ongoing series about my retirement ...

Retirement  So Far ...

August 15, 2020

 So far in retirement, I have read more books, spent more time in my kitchen trying new recipes, connected (virtually, for now) more often with friends and family, twirled my batons, wrote more letters,  sent more cards, went swimming, and took two naps. 

For something new to learn, I ordered hair clippers and "professional" scissors, watched a YouTube video, and learned to cut Bert's hair! I thought I did an okay job and so did he!

Also, with Chris's help, I learned to create this website! 

What I am doing in retirement ...

An ongoing series about my retirement ...

My Plans for Retirement

August 8, 2020

 In retirement, I plan to read more books, spend more time in my kitchen trying new recipes, connect (virtually, for now) more often with friends and family, twirl my batons, write more letters and send more cards, learn new things, organize my cookbooks, play my flute, go to my virtual yoga class, pick one of my cookbooks each week and make something new, use my juicer, take naps, go swimming, create my own website, practice on my piccolo, sit on my patio to drink coffee and read my morning papers, learn to use my library card to get books for my Kindle, and take more time to reflect on all I am grateful for as I retire.

When the Pandemic is further behind us, I look forward to spending time in Hawaii with Chris and Nicole, walking to the park, going hiking, seeing friends and neighbors in person, traveling to Nebraska to be with family and friends, going out to eat, taking day trips all around Arizona, go walking at the Zoo, getting my hair cut at the salon, visiting the Heard Museum and Phoenix Art Museum as well as having lunch at each place, enjoying a long weekend with my friends from my Barnes Hospital Dietetic Internship, and having a margarita while enjoying Mexican food at a restaurant.