Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More Titles

I do often wonder if I'll ever read all the books I own. It's nice to think that I will, but since I always seem to be 'saving' some and like to have lots of options on hand, I would say it's unlikely.

Here are a few more titles I've amassed lately; I'm embarrassed to write about all of them at once so this will continue in a few days.

From paperbackswap I have received:

The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West - A lovely VMC published by The Dial Press.

From Amazon, my recent Saturday night book buying spree:

Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book - I had not heard of Grigson until recently, when I was reading some other cookbook which referred to Grigson and Elizabeth David as sort of the 'mothers' of English food writing. Being a big fan of Nigella and Nigel I just knew I had to investigate these authors. I almost ordered a copy of this a while ago, which Amazon would have had shipped in from the UK in a convenient 4-6 weeks. As luck should have it, this was republished this month here in the US and I happily add it to my cookbook collection.

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser - I tend to avoid books that arrive on the bestseller lists and stay there. And stay there. My thought process is - if this appeals to the masses I can't imagine what I would like about it. Sometimes I end up reading these books, generally years after everyone else has; that seems to be the case with this book. I didn't think I needed to read this book - I don't really eat fast food anyway so I don't need to be convinced not to. Well, I've read a few books on this subject lately; The Omnivore's Dilemma, Alice Waters and Chez Panisse, Heat, The New English Kitchen (Rose Prince) and some essays, and I'm feeling really strongly about eating locally, eating sustainably, not eating mass produced food. I decided reading this book might give me some more information to use to encourage other people, even people very close to me, to consider another way of eating and buying food.

More to come.


nutmeg said...

I couldn't get enough of Fast Food Nation. It was alternately horrifying and thought provoking - I have never eaten in a McDonalds since and I read it about 3 years ago now. This is one of my pet topics and I have read a number of books in this area. I have Omnivore's Dilemma on my TBR pile - also Pollan's previous book - Anatomy of Desire - which is also supposed to be good.

I am currently entering all my books into - so I will know soon exactly how many unread books I have - I really don't think it's going to be pretty ;-) I will ultimately put tags on each book once I have them all in and if you enjoy Fast Food Nation I may have mine tagged by then and you could peruse some other books in that area if you are interested :-)

Just one question re your last post. I am a bit confused - the lady that was thought to not look "white" but was actually born to white parents - did they indicate anything suspicious about her conception or if her parents "really" weren't actually white or was it just nature working in mysterious ways?

Tara said...


Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I watched Morgan Spurlock's movie Supersize Me (also have read his book) somewhere between 3-4 years ago - like you I have not eaten at McDonalds since. My daughter does not even know what McDonalds is, she's never had a McNugget and she is 5. The Omnivore's Dilemma - it's difficult to say how amazing this book is, it just stunned me, and Pollan is an amazing writer. I highly recommend it. I look forward to seeing what other books you've read on the topic as it is a bit of a pet of mine, as well. I'm really looking forward to Barbara Kingsolver's new nonfiction book and it sounds like something you might also like. It will be published here next month and is titled Animal,Vegetable, Miracle. It is the story of her and her family living off the land, growing their own food and eating entirely locally.

I want to start getting my books on - I started once and never completed the task.

Regardng my last post; her parents were white- there were photographs in the book, and Sandra was born with much darker skin and the wiry sort of hair and facial features generally associated with those that are black. Sounds like a lot of people questioned if her mother had had an affair which seems unlikely, her parents were in favor of apartheid. Her father's family had been in S. Africa for many years. It is speculated that at some point in the past that one of his ancestors was black - according to the book that is the case with many people in S. Africa black and white, that there is other color in their background. The author explained the genetics, for example blue eyes decend from blue eyes x2, but that skin and hair color is not genetically determined that way and any gene you're passing on could show itself. Interestingly, Sandra's younger brother looked very similar to her, with similar hair but lighter skin but he never dealt with the problems she did. I don't have the book anymore, but there was some discussion about a blood or DNA test that was done which determined Sandra's father to be in fact her father or at least likely to have been her father. It's not the same sort of test we could do now, as this would have been in the 70's and I don't remember exact details. What a long winded response to your question! =)

nutmeg said...

Thanks for the explanation re: your last book. That makes it clearer - when I read your thoughts on the book all these questions just popped into my head!

Yes. My kids really have no idea about McDonalds - except my mum takes the eldest in occasionally for one of their icecreams :-( Oh well.

I have only just recently been made aware of the new Barbara Kingsolver book (Babelbabe whom you may have seen commenting on my blog has a great blog - you may like it too!) I have saved it onto my Book Depository watch list. It looks like it will be good.

Oh and I LOVE Morgan Spurlock's movie and I read his book too - all these similarities Tara - quite amazing! I regularly have flashbacks to Morgan vomiting in the carpack after his supersize McDonalds meal (not pleasant I know). Did you watch his TV series about living on minimum wage etc? If you did and liked it I would recommend Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed!

Tara said...

Nutmeg - so many similarities, it is amazing. Yes, I often do think about Spurlock vomiting as well. Did you see the DVD version? - and the 'extras'? The part that has stayed with me and I've told everyone about is when he puts the food from McD's under glass to see how long it takes to rot. Hugh UGH.

I think I only saw his TV show once, it was always on the evening that I work each week. Nickel and Dimed is one of those books I've know about for a long time, am interested in, and have never gotten around to reading. Seems I have a few like that! =)

Tara said...

p.s. Are you NutmegGirl on librarything?