Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Review: Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

Michael Moss's absorbing, well-researched book Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us will cause you to look at your Lunchables, Oreos, and Kool-Aid in a brand new way. This book doesn't lectures about the value of leafy greens or call for the abolishment of Twinkies. But it does provide fascinating insights into the processed food industry: how companies carefully select the most appealing proportion of salt, sugar, and fat, and then advertise their products to reach their target audience. What makes ice cream so delicious? Why is it nearly impossible to eat just one potato chip? What happens to our bodies and inside our brains when we too frequently indulge in sugary, salty treats? Salt, Sugar, Fat will inspire concerned curiosity about the way the processed food industry has come to monopolize our palettes, and opens up the possibility that there might be a better way to eat.

~Queen of Books

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: The Good Food Revolution

The Seed Library Book Club recently met to discuss Will Allen's The Good Food Revolution. Will Allen is the CEO of Growing Power, a nonprofit organization dedicated to growing healthy food and building stronger communities. Allen's Milwaukee farm is a model of urban food production that inspires people around the world. The Book Club met at the perfect location for the topic - Tucson Village Farm, a working urban farm dedicated to reconnecting young people to healthy food by teaching them how to grow and prepare fresh produce.

The Good Food Revolution is part memoir, part history lesson and part social commentary. Allen sets his family's story in the context of historical events, revealing how experiences and opportunities were shaped by social and political realities. Allen's resume is strangely varied: professional basketball player, salesman, fast food manager, and disco entrepreneur. Over the years, the pull of his agricultural roots proved stronger than any corporate ties. Eventually, Allen dedicates all of his considerable energy to an urban farm. The book raises many issues for discussion, including food justice, health disparities, race relations, and poverty. A reader must be impressed with and inspired by Allen's drive, perseverance and commitment to improve the health of his community.

The next Seed Library Book Club is August 23, 2014 @ St. Gregory's Community Garden. We will read Animal, vegetable, miracle: a year in food by Barbara Kingsolver. You might enjoy previous book club selections including Farm City: the education of an urban farmer by Novella Carpenter and Seed To Seed: a growing revolution to save food by Janisse Ray.

Please check the catalog for many more titles available as a Caboodle for your book club.

~ Susannah

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

More Books About Bikes

I try to read a variety of books, but sometimes my brain just gets stuck on a topic and those books just leap to the top of the list.  Of course, it also helped that there was a display of books at the Main Library about bikes for an entire month - oh the joy!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Walter Dean Myers: 1937-2014

Last week, the YA world lost one of its greats, Walter Dean Myers. He wrote poetry and prose. he wrote books about war, about love, about drugs, about growing up African-American in America. Most of all, he wrote books that didn't shy away from difficult or harrowing topics.

Just a few of his over 100 books:
Monster - about a 16-year-old boy on trial for murder
Fallen Angels - Ricky signs up for the Army because he can't afford college. Little does he know that the Vietnam War is ramping up.
Sunrise Over Fallujah - explores the invasion of Iraq from the perspective of another young Army private, Robin, who is the nephew of Ricky from Fallen Angels
What They Found: Love on 145th St - Short stories in verse format pull you into the world of Harlem and all the complex family, friend, and lovers' relationships there.

Myers started publishing in 1968 and was still writing at the time of his death. We will miss him, but we still have his books.