November 5, 2009: The Graphic, Pepperdine University

Alumna’s book explores the art of overeating

Pepperdine alumna Leslie Landis plans to inform students how to overeat.

Payson Library is hosting a book reading and signing by the author Thursday afternoon.

Landis’ book, “The Art of Overeating: A Bellyful of Laughs About Our Food-Phobic Culture,” came out Tuesday, and the signing is a part of Landis’ launch this week.

The book, which includes food facts, quotes and pictures, is a visual and literal exploration of American’s obsession with food and eating.

“It is really a satire on our food-phobic culture, really the diet industry,” Landis said.

The book offers several tidbits of satirical advice, including “The more food you consume, the more you fill yourself with love.” On her Web site, Landis warns readers to only take the book’s advice literally “if they want to weigh 900 pounds.”

Landis received a master’s in clinical psychology from the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology in 1999 and has found in her work that humor is often a good way to address issues such as overeating.

“Humor can help us no matter what [the problem] is,” Landis said.

Landis was inspired to write the book by her husband, whom she described as “an amazing overeater.”

Landis began writing down the things that her husband did, and then, she said, “My imagination took over.” Eventually, Landis decided that she had enough material to write a book.

Landis is excited to return to Pepperdine and share her unique sense of humor with students.

“It’s a thrill for me, you know, an absolute thrill to come back to the school,” Landis said. “I’m excited to be able to interact with students in any way possible.”

Landis said that she was proud to say that she graduated from Pepperdine, and excited that Pepperdine has invited her back.

“It’s a very unique feeling to think that the school wants me and feels proud of what I’ve accomplished,” she said. “Everybody has been so great to me from Pepperdine. I feel like I’m coming home.”

Amy Adams, director for library development and public relations for Payson Library at Pepperdine, said that Pepperdine was excited to host Landis as an alumna and a member of the Malibu community.

“We are looking to establish a relationship not only with our alumni, but also with the Malibu community,” Adams said.

Students are interested to hear about the topic and from an alumnus.

“It’s a very interesting topic to write about,” said freshman Gabrielle Otero. “I would be interested in reading this book.”

Otero also thought it was good that Pepperdine University had chosen to bring Landis back in.

“It’s nice to come back to your alma mater,” she said.

The book signing will be held in the Kresge Reading room of Payson Library from 4 to 5 p.m. Landis will read excerpts from her book, and afterward students will have the opportunity to purchase the book, watch an interview and talk to Landis about her work.

By Renata Sweeney