Thursday, June 26, 2008

Have you read .....?

Last month Green Bean asked if anyone wanted to continue her Bookworm Challenge to read and review an ecologically relevant book for a second month. I had no idea that when I answered, I could do this every month, she would take me up on it.

I'm glad she did. I love talking about books but these days find my closest friends don't share the same enthusiasm to read about gmo seeds or the rapid depletion of the oceans. It's all I can do to not tap other bus passengers on the shoulder and read them a passage about salmon farming or the collapse of cod populations as we head home from work. I want to talk about what I'm reading, gather other viewpoints to expand my own. They want to sleep.

Green Bean's original challenge though, with every one's participation, has cultivated the space for all of us to tap our neighbors on the shoulder, to jump up and down about what we're reading or huddle up and cry and know that we aren't alone (check out that side bar). There are some hard reads in our library but they are balanced by inspiring and informative books too.

I've been reading through the reviews and found thoughtful, thought provoking and stunning reviews. People I would like to sit next to on the bus and have tap me on the shoulder.

How do you generally share the information you read?

Do you belong to a green book group?

Do you only talk about what you're reading if you are sure the other person is interested?

Do you stand on the book like a soap box and preach about it?

Do you hit people over the head with the book until they agree to read it?

Do you buy ten copies of your favorite book and gift it for every conceivable occasion?

Do you bring the subject of your latest ecological read up lightly and let it go if the other person isn't interested?

Do you tap strangers on the shoulder?


ruchi said...

Mostly online through my blog.
Only if you count this one.
It depends on the other person and if they are required by tight enough emotional bonds to listen to me.
No!! no!!! standing on books is totally totally forbidden by Hindu culture and even though I'm only a cultural Hindu it still gives me the heebeejeebees even THINKING about it,
No, I prefer to smack people's asses instead of hitting on the head.
Sometimes, but usually prefer to do this with fiction.
If I'm loving the book, I'll bring it up so enthusiastically that it's hard for someone not to take an interest in the book. (At least that's what I tell myself.)

Unknown said...

I agree with Arduous - I try to write good book reviews on my blog and then send the links to everyone I know. I also leave recommendations at my local public library and the wonderful librarians suggest these recommendations when people ask for certain types of books.

I also get enthusiastic if I'm reading a GREAT book; my friends sometimes get annoyed if all I do is talk about books, but they will usually give a book a try. I can be very persuasive!

Unknown said...

I read a good beginner book last night with eco-friendly and money saving tips. It's called The Green Book and it's great for anyone wanting to learn more about tips they can implement at home. I just thought I'd share!

Anonymous said...

I write reviews of books and films on my blog. I teach AP Environmental Science, so I pass my recommendations on to my students, and I show films that are appropriate.
I give books to my mom and coworkers, and we have discussions at work over lunch. You should see science teachers argue over books. It's really interesting.
I also have my students do book reviews on green books. It's one of my favorite things to do because I can really decide which books I want to read, and sometimes I borrow them from my students. We've almost got a green book swap going on.
(PS- My book review for Plenty isn't on the side bar...

Joyce said...

When I wax lyrical about a book, my husband just gets an amused look on his face and tells me he doesn't have to read it because I've just told him everything it says. Then my daughter says, "Mom! Read some fiction! For fun!" So, I'm not too successful at persuading others to read things. I think reviewing books on my blog will have to do, and maybe there they will be found by those with similar interests.

Green Bean said...

1) Mostly on my blog. I tend to write posts inspired by books rather than reviews of books but I'm trying to work on the latter for this blog. :)

2) Yes. It's all local moms interested in living a greener life. We have a great time discussing books. This week we made jam and in September we're doing an overnight retreat to tour a sustainable, organic farm and taste some wine from organically grown grapes. I recommend starting one in your area. I started mine last November and have met some really great women through it.

3) Pretty much. I might throw out something here or there but if no one bites, or I know they aren't interested, I *try* to refrain.

4) Again, I *try* not to. People seem more likely to "listen" if they read it themself (in the actual book, in a blog, an article - I may forward stuff like that). Books are wonderful but they aren't always the right medium for everyone. Movies can be a great alternative - especially for guys who like to watch TV! My husband would never read Omnivore's Dilemma - in large part because he's very busy - but he did watch the King Corn flick. After that, he stopped cold drinking soda and really thinks twice about consuming anything with corn syrup in it.

5) No. I just sulk. ;-)

6) No. I do lend my books out if anyone shows interest.

7) Yes. I don't want to be so obnoxious that no one wants to listen to me. Hopefully, I'm succeeding.

8) In the right context . . . like the farmers' market.

Great questions, Katrina!

Green Bean said...

Abbie - got your review up. I'm almost decided that I'm up for trying jam with honey instead of sugar. Anyone try that?

Anonymous said...

I keep telling myself I'm going to make jam with honey... But the strawberry season is almost over here so I'd better do it quick. I've got 6 quarts on my counter right now, but they're for strawberry shortcake for my grandmother's birthday tomorrow night. Maybe this weekend if there are still berries. I'm sure I can scour the fields and find enough for one batch.

Green Bean said...

Post if you do, Abbie. I'm dying to know but just a little to chicken to try. Though I may also give it a shot over the weekend, in which case I will post.

Sam said...

Usually I babble at my husband about whatever I'm reading. If a book is compelling enough I'll bring it up with my friends. Generally the response I get to most books I read is "that's too extreme for me."

No, I don't belong to a green book club.

Hmm...yes. I usually need a good introduction before I bring a book. So if I'm talk about x subject and have read a book about it, I'll discuss x.

I am not very expressive in person. And I have enough trouble keeping people interesting in all the topics I find passionate. Somehow I have a tendency to bore people about whatever topic excites me.

Generally I don't ask people to read books I really like. Not sure why. I don't know anyone who is as fascinated by suburban culture as I am. Nor anyone who is interested in permaculture or peak oil or really anything I blog about. Which is why I started the talk about things that bore people I know.

I have yet to buy 10 copies of any book for anyone. I usually strongly advocate using the library.

The way I try to introduce environmental topics to my friends is by action. So instead of babbling about compost worms and its many benefits, I just casually gestured toward it at one party. So when the questions came I was prepared.

I just realized something. There is one topic that I get really hot and bothered about: Food! I complain about crappy food ALL THE TIME. If a restaurant doesn't warm its roll I'll bitch about it for hours. If the meat isn't cooked the way I asked for it to be cooked I'll complain. If a side dish consists of something that isn't in season I am all over the thing. If the meal isn't marinated or spiced like its supposed to be, I'll go on and on and on about it. My friends seem interested to hear about what I say.

I HATE being tapped on the shoulder. Bugs me to no end. And since I follow: do unto others as you would have done unto you....I don't.

Robin said...

I love to read, and I love to talk, and I love to talk about reading...and everyone I know has learned to tune me out. That's why I love blogging, because it's out there for anyone who's interested, and if they're not, well, they can run away without hurting my feelings.

Donna said...

Great post!
I talk about it to anybody who I think may actually listen and I write book reviews on my blog.
Only this one.
Or if I think I could interest them in what I'm reading!
Not usually.
I prefer badgering to hitting them over the head. :) Sometimes it works.
Probably more like 5 copies.
Yeah, that's pretty much my style.
No, that's definitely not my style. Instead I blog about the book and hope someone answers!

Kale for Sale said...

arduous - I'll never smack anyone in the head with a book again. And I suspect when you are enthusiastic about anything, people take an interest.

bbn - That's a good idea to leave recommendations at the library. I've never heard of it before. It's a persuasive idea!

Will you do a review of The Green Book? Let us know and we'll link to it.

abbie - That's so awesome you're recommending and assigning green books in the classroom and giving them away. And even better, that you have people reading them so you can have discussions afterwards. Lively discusions, from the sound of your comment. Thanks for the review on Plenty. I especially liked your line that food has become primarily anonymous. I nearly clapped when I read that.

joyce - It's the same thing at my house. I didn't have to read it, he tells everyone. She read it to me. All exaggeration! But it's hard to not talk about what you're reading sometimes, isn't it? Especially when the book has urgent information.

green bean - That's a great twist to write posts inspired by a book instead of a review of the book. I like it. I'm with you on the *try*. Sometimes the seams break loose and I spill. And I try not to. Movies are a great idea. Abbie brought that up too. And I have a friend that 'read' Omnivore's Dilemma by listening to it on tape. She loved it.

And yes, your greener life Mom's group sounds like way too much fun. Can we all just join yours?

beany - You're in good company. We all seem to be interested in peak oil, suburban and perma - culture. And you are brilliant to point to action as an opening to more conversation. I'm moving my worms to the living room so I can casually gesture to them the next time we have company. I can't wait! Kidding aside, you are quite wise. Thank you.

robin - Nicely put. Those are the same reasons I have a blog too.