Attention, Readers! Are you wondering what to read next?
My favorite used-book store, Better World Books, put out an interesting 2017 Reading Challenge. Instead of them assigning you some books to read, you pick your own from their prompt. They started the first of the year, so they are well ahead of us, but we could start now and see how many of the 25 challenges we complete before the end of the year..! I have tried to link you to the list, but the best I can do is to link you to the blog and you’ll have to dig a little for it here
Let’s get started! I’m headed to the library to choose a book to fulfill the first challenge:
Read a food memoir…
Ideas? Suggestions? What are You going to read?……
The food memoir I chose:
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
by Barbara Kingsolver
with Steven L. Hoff and Camille Kingsolver
With Barbara Kingsolver as our guide, we live out the year that she took her family from Tucson, AZ to a farm in Virginia to homestead, specifically eating only from their own garden or from local growers. Kingsolver preaches quite a bit about the evils of the agriculture industry, but she writes so well that you don’t mind the manipulation..at first. I think she could have cut the diatribe short, and her husband’s contributions were pretty technical and dry. Kingsolver was at her best as she took us through her year of growing and learning from the land and its seasons. Her daughter, Camille, provides little journal-type entries that include interesting and doable recipes. They have some funny moments with their animals (they raise turkeys, chickens, cows), and overall the family seems to just delight in their project. It’s not only their story, but also has a huge amount of information about topics ranging from organics to lactose intolerance, to bad attitudes toward food.
I’m inspired to become totally locally sourced…but…I can’t imagine not having my blueberries and strawberries in winter. We can’t let them go to waste… When I walked by the asparagus at the grocery store today, I felt guilty for the longing I felt.
What the author and her family did is out of reach of most, if not all, of us (they are obviously well-off and living on a family farm in Appalachia). They planned this for years, knew exactly what they wanted, and the 2 daughters are remarkably well-adjusted. I can really appreciate the work, and their love of it, but I’d make a terrible farmer…too lazy.
Overall, I thought this book was just okay. It is good for reference. I like the recipes, and Kingsolver’s prose is seductive. As mentioned, she’s a little preachy. The book has a website (click here) with recipes, farm tours, and book info that I highly recommend.
When I was a visiting nurse, my “route” was up in Warrick County farmland, worked by the 80-year-olds who had spent their lives turning that earth. They were the most inspiring folks I’ve ever come across and I started gardening because I wanted to be like them. I do my best, and I’m planning a bigger, better garden this year, so this lovely book has reinforced my commitment to growing. I’m also determined to meet more local growers and am looking forward to Farmers Market season in my area.
Next up on the challenge:
Read a collection of Short Stories…
Oh, good, that’s an easy one…
One thought on “Remember the Book Challenge?”
We have a group of devoted locavores here, and more power to them. But if I get a yen for asparagus or strawberries, I know I’m going to give in. And no shellfish in Kansas. Sounds like an educational read!
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