Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Roundup

It's Monday. It's nearly October. It's nearly that time of year when the harvest is done. The furious, festering days standing over a boiling canner are nearly over. The winter garden seedlings will soon be planted. Then I'll find more time for reading, doing puzzles, trying to knit something . . . anything.

For now, I'm thumbing through The Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture after being blown away listening to it's editor, Andrew Kimbrell, speak on a Slow Food Nation panel. The book is monstrous in size and comprised of essays from Wendell Barry and other vibrant thinkers. It is also packed with photos - industrial agriculture juxtaposed with agrarian agriculture. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I'd say the book is worth borrowing from your local library for the pictures alone. They will make clear which is the better way to grow food.

What are you reading? Are you finding time in this busy harvest season to read? Are you planning your harvest of winter books?


Going Crunchy said...

I'm reading _The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America_ by Katherine Newman and Victor Chen. It isn't exactly "green," but ties into thought of consumption, wealth, and the disparity of resource distribution in our nation. Shannon

Anonymous said...

I was finally getting to Collapse but then The World Without Us arrived from the library. Neither is absolutely riveting from the 75 or so pages I've read, but I will continue on, as I think both authors have interesting points to make.


Anonymous said...

I've been reading Gaia's Garden. It was highly recommended to me, and I agree -- great stuff on approachable home-level practical permaculture. This is one that I'll eventually want for my home bookshelf. And I need to finish up Pro and Cons of Organic Gardening as it's officialy overdue. But what I really need to do now that the rain has stopped is to stop reading about gardening and actually get the fall planting in.
Crunchy Chicken is doing a book club (and a lending giveway) on Sharon Astyk's book, Depletion and Abundance, a thoughtful and fun read about living in an imperiled world with less for all the right reasons.

Anonymous said...

Megan, I found Collapse to be a really slow read. What kept me going was I had seen a PBS program (series?) about Civilization Collapse that covered a lot of these cultures, featured Jared Diamond, and may have been related to book (I don't remember), but having a pictoral recollection of some of the material helped. Also I found the subject fascinating and had prior exposure to many of these cultures at an earlier state of academic knowledge. For me it was worth slogging through but it took two months of on and off reading. The stuff on Greenland is really long and detailed but utterly frightening and gothic in the end. The book's payoff is in the last couple of chapters, by which point if you are like me, you will only remember highlights of the cultural focuses. When I got to the end, I thought (for one brief moment) that maybe I should reread the book. You might consider reading the conclusions/summary chapters at the end first. If you decide not to read the whole book, I'd recommend you read those chapters at least.

Green Bean said...

Shannon: Sounds interesting. I find so many things tie into a greener life (okay, I couldn't quite justify the Other Boylen Girl enough for a book review). Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

Megan: I had the same thought about World Without Us and never actually finished it. I would like to but . . . Hopefully, you will and I'll live vicarously.

Susan: Oh, I loved Gaia's Garden so much, I bought it. Great reference for easy permaculture ideas. I saw Crunchy's book review and actually picked up a copy of Sharon's book. Like it so far - it reminds me of her blog. Easy to read and filled with doom. ;-)

Unknown said...

I finally finished Last Child in the Woods! For such an important topic, I was disappointed with how it just goes on and on. Review here:

Green Bean said...

Thanks Kellie! I couldn't agree with you more. Extremely important topic - book could have been much more readable.