Posts tagged Jonathan Safran Foer
Posts tagged Jonathan Safran Foer
Eat the City: A Tale of the Fishers, Foragers, Butchers, Farmers, Poultry Minders, Sugar Refiners, Cane Cutters, Beekeepers, Winemakers, and Brewers Who Built New York, by Robin Shulman
Lately, as I begin to move towards growing my own food and becoming less dependent on factory production to sustain myself, I have been gravitating towards books on the subject, like Jonathan Safran Foer’s eye-opening Eating Animals and Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. Robin Shulman’s new book Eat the City, which focuses on the local food production of New York City, might be my new favorite in this genre.
In this extensive and entertaining ode to the food producers of NYC, Shulman weaves a colorful portrait of a city brimming with sustainability. I had never thought of a major city as a place that would be conducive to farming or brewing or keeping bees, but I was clearly incorrect. After all, as Shulman points out, food is culture, and where can you find more culture than New York? From the vacant lots-turned-vegetable gardens of Harlem to the rooftop empire of beehives in Brooklyn to the crab fishing of Coney Island, New York is filled with a host of characters who work hard for what they eat. Just as the city alters the way that these people produce their nourishment, so too do they have an impact on the history and landscape of the city, changing the way we eat day by day.
Shulman has a great writing style that draws you into the narrative with ease, entertaining while still informing. Each chapter brought lots to love, and I’ve already filled a notebook with the names of different places that I want to check out the next time I take a trip to the Big Apple. I highly recommend this well-researched, conversational book—it’s certainly an appealing read. (Careful, though, it’ll make you hungry!)
Day 24 - A book that you wish more people would’ve read
Honestly, it’s whatever I’ve just finished reading at any given time. I always want to talk about what I’ve read and desperately seek out other people who know what the heck I’m talking about. Many times, this just involves me happily reading through the book reviews on Amazon to find other kindred book spirits.
Day 25 - A character who you can relate to the most
I’ve always really identified with Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, Leslie from Bridge to Terabithia, and Hermione from the Harry Potter series. What can I say—I adore precocious spunky girls who love books.
Day 26 - A book that changed your opinion about something
Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer. This book is an in-depth look at the food industry and the ways that we treat our animals. What makes humans revere and keep dogs as pets but slaughter pigs, who are just as intelligent? What happened to make us decide to remove dignity and rights from the lives of the animals we choose to eat? Why do we eat them at all?
As the granddaughter of a farmer, I have always understood where food comes from, or so I thought. I thought all farms were like my grandpa’s—the kind where the animals all roam free and eat what they want to eat and live good lives before giving themselves to us for consumption. I was wrong. I had no idea the extent to which factory farms have taken over food production, and this book opened up my eyes. I’ve always tried to get food from local farmers, but I would also buy from grocery stores when it was convenient. Not anymore. All of my meat exclusively comes from my farmer uncle or the Amish community who live near me. If I want some other meat and the market isn’t open, I come up with another plan for dinner. I am appalled at how the factories treat animals and I don’t want to be a part of it any more. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to be more aware of what they eat—it has certainly made a positive impact on me and my husband, and I hope that more people become aware of the gravity of the situation we as consumers have put the environment in.
On Display: Go Green
In honor of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day and of the fact that my pretty flowers are starting to bloom, I’m going GREEN this month!
Try books with green covers, like Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer.
Or maybe books about the environment, like The Sustainability Handbook, by William R. Blackburn.
Or books by Irish authors, like Dancer, by Colum McCann.
Have fun, and remember to wear green on Thursday!
This past year, I managed to read 90 books (not up to my usual 100, but not too bad considering my new status as grad student), and a lot of them were absolutely marvelous. Here’s my top ten list, hard though it was to choose between them all (and yes, I’m counting series as one item on the list…):
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
Scout, Atticus, and Boo, by Mary McDonagh
Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, by Jordan Sonnenblick
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein
This Book is Overdue!, by Marilyn Johnson
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, by Rick Riordan
Honorable mention also goes to the Harry Potter series, which I reread for the umpteenth time this year to prep for the new movie. I’ve read it over and over several times, but it still resonates with me powerfully and sweeps me up in the world and makes me cry like a schoolgirl. Well done, J.K. Rowling.
What were your favorite reads last year?
On Display: Light Bright
Happy December! While stores and houses are starting to put up their annual holiday lights and displays, shed some light on your bookshelves too.
Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer
Burning Bright, by Tracy Chevalier
Take One Candle Light a Room, by Susan Straight
Bright Shiny Morning, by James Frey
The Light of Other Days, by Arthur C. Clarke
The National Book Festival is happening this Saturday, September 25, 2010 on the DC Mall!
Some authors I’m really excited about this year are Suzanne Collins, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jonathan Franzen, Jeff Smith, and Katherine Paterson, but there are tons more too! They’re all listed here on the Library of Congress site.
I’ll be there—will you?