Archive for May, 2012

American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan

Friday, May 25th, 2012

This title is an examination of the way we eat and what it would take to eat well. The author works undercover as a laborer in the field of Central Valley, California, as a stock clerk in a Detroit area Walmart, and as an expediter in a Brooklyn Applebee’s. As she works for two months in each job she lives as her co-workers do on meager wages and with little access to affordable and healthy food. During her time in these jobs she comes ‘to think of the intrticate linkages from farm to plate not as a food system, but as a foodscape, a lush, living, breathing world through which our meals travel. Farmers and chefs are the most visible of its inhabitants, but farmworkers and produce managers and stock clerks and prep cooks live there, too – and they are no less important to our meals. At the human end of the food chain, eating is not just an agricultural act, but a profoundly social one as well.” p.234 I found this to be an eye-opening investigation of the American food system. It’s an informative look at the workers who have a hand in putting food on our plates. The narrative is entertaining to read but the author also includes numerous footnotes, almost 40 pages of endnotes, and a 23 page bibliography so the book is scholarly as well. If the topic of food and eating well is appealing you might also like Plenty: one man, one woman, and a raucous year of eating locally by Alisa Smith/J.B. Mackinnon and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a year of food life by Barbara Kingsolver.

Blind Date with a Book in Review

Friday, May 11th, 2012

As promised, here is a little follow up dish on the blind dates:

“Our date did not go well.  We spoke different languages that made it difficult to understand one another.  I would not recommend this date unless you like sci-fi.”- The City & the City – China Mieville 204.4487

“What a fantastic little book.  I really picked a winner!  If you live in New Jersey this is a must read about people, places, signs and wonder.  Everybody knows somebody or something from our state.  Good writing, too!”
– Fresh Jersey: stories from an altered state – Mike Kelly 115.7277

“If you ever had the desire for adventurous hiking for the entire summer with two young children, this book is a must read.” – Scraping Heaven – Cindy Ross 917.8

“In the spirit of a blind date – I went for fun, rippling muscles and romance! While not my normal genre by a long shot this was quite a fun romp.  While you know the ending, the trip there has some unexpected turns, seduction and fun.  My husband appreciates the way I address him (mimicking the book) but thankfully has refused to go shirtless in a leather vest.”- The Devil Wears Plaid – Teresa Medeiros  F MED

“This book was a little young for me, I would recommend it to a teenager.”- What Boys Really Want by Pete Hautman    YA HAU

“Easy reading, interesting plot.  Love the main characters especially the Superintendent (Jury).  This mystery had some twists and turns, lots of reference to famous movies and interesting characters both human and non-human.  I got lucky in my pick as I love mysteries!!!!” – Black Cat – Martha Grimes F GRI

“Excellent discussion of religion and animals.  My date was a great storyteller.  I couldn’t put the book down.  A definite page turner.  I would go on another date anytime.  I must read.” – The Life of Pi: a novel -Yann Martel F MAR

“Extremely interesting story.  What a life Bob has had!  Trooper, undercover agent, mob follower, NBA referee.  He has done it all.  We had a lovely time and I would try another blind date.”- Covert: my years infiltrating the mob – Bob Delaney 364.1

“Being a Twilight fan, I was a little disappointed by The Host.  While the plot was intriguing, the meat of the book doesn’t come until close to the end.”
The Host: a novel – Stephanie Meyer F MEY

“I found the experience to be so much fun.  I loved choosing from all the beautiful wrapping and reading the little insight that when with it.  The book was very unique as it told how one painting affected so many lives throughout time.  I so recommend the book to someone who enjoys many different stories tied together with a common theme.”
Girl in Hyacinth Blue – Vreeland, Susan F VRE

 Thank you to everyone who dared to try a blind date during April 2012 @ your library!


Blind date details @ your library

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Blind Date with a Book turned out to be more fun that we expected.  Enclosed in each wrapped book was an optional half-sheet book review form which read as follows:

Briefly tell us how your date went and if you would recommend the book to others.

Here are a few of the responses we received:

The date started out well in the beginning, but fizzled out after a bit, (like most of my dates).  It was a good read to begin with but didn’t keep my interest and I never got to the end.

A nice date.  It was a little slow in the beginning.  Not really my kind of date.

I may not recommend this book to others because it it too old and it smells a bit.  I cannot read recently, sorry.

This book was a quick read.  It kept you guessing the entire time.  Even though it’s a teen novel, adults will find it enjoyable as well, especially if you like to try to figure out the ending before you get to it!

Tomorrow, we’ll add a few more with titles…