Let's Talk About Books Baby!

August


Books Bought:

Books Read:
Food Rules: An Eater's Manual: by Michael Pollan
Persuasion: by Jane Austen
Hard Choices (audio): by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Orange is the New Black: by Piper Kerman

Goodness, I'm behind!  Well... August was a pretty balanced reading month I'd say: a book that's good for me, a classic, a current event/relevant nonfiction book, and an entertaining non-fiction book also with it's own claim to relevancy.

Let's just start at the top... Food Rules... this was a super quick read!  While it didn't have anything earth shattering in it, it was still one of my favorite health books I've ever read.  It just laid out the rules we should try to follow and really it's all very do-able.  I don't own this book, but I can't imagine it would cost much, might be something that I pick up later just to use as a reference or a refresher.  Seriously, you can read it within an hour and then feel a sense of rejuvenation and re-commitment to the betterment of yourself.

Miss Austen, oh Jane, how you slay us!  I seriously don't know how people can claim that they read all of Austen in middle school and loved her!  What?!?!  They must be far superior readers than I!  I'm not trying to boast, but I do consider myself a fairly intelligent reader and I try to imagine myself drinking up Austen at an early age of 12 and I just can't picture it!  Yes, Austen's themes are immature in nature, but with a more serious look her books are actually quite complex,  Yes, there are the grand romantic gestures... but there are heavy topics too, like missed opportunities, regret, and there are definitely glimpses of the ugliness in some people.  Of course it's all made to be quite charming through stories filled with fiddling, neighborly gossip, and love unrequited.  What can I say?  I may be late to the game, but I am a fan of Austen!

Future President Clinton (fingers crossed), as I mentioned in a previous post I bought this book for a book signing with the one and the only Hillary Clinton.  Since my copy is signed, I did buy and audio book too so that I could take a break from NPR and listen to the book on my drives to and from work.  It was delightful!  I love this book for many reasons:  one, it is obviously the lead in to her announcing her run for President; two, she talked at length about the country Burma/Myanmar and the leader  Aung San Suu Kyi (who I had been wanting to learn more about); and three, her chapter on Libya was flawless.  Why people insist on beating that sad event to death is beyond me!?  I also loved her opening (which was read by Hillary herself), it started with the Democratic primaries and a strong candidate from New York pitted against a strong candidate from Illinois (a la Seward-Lincoln); the comparison between Obama and Lincoln in their selection of a "Team of Rivals" has been thrown around so much but I hadn't even thought of the comparison between Lincoln & Seward and that of Obama & Clinton.  So great, the way she weaved history and her momentous decision to accept the position of Secretary of State offered to her by her then political foe.  God!  This is the stuff Washington is made of!  History, Politics, Power!  I love it!

So, I love the show Orange is the new Black so I was hesitant to read the book.  But the opportunity to try out a new book club arised with this book and so I figured what the heck, two seasons in I figured the show has to be taking some civil liberties with the story and so I didn't think the book would ruin my viewer watching pleasure so I delved in.  The book came highly recommended on the cover by NPR, and two authors that I love: Dave Eggers and Elizabeth Gilbert.  I have to say, I like real life Piper a lot more than the TV version.  Also, it is nice to see what her experience was really like and to see that she was a person that made mistakes and that she learned from them and acknowledged how her role affected the bigger picture in society.  I also like that she is actively trying to make people aware of how desperately we need a criminal/justice reform in this country.  It's not a topic that I'm passionate about and so I do feel like I learned a lot and it gave me lots to think about.  I'm not sure where I stand on every issue when it comes to these matters but at least I feel a little more informed that there is a broader conversation that needs to be had.

So, that's August... now that September is practically over... I'll be writing again in just a few days!
Toodles!