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I'm reading Food Politics these days. It's a bit of a slog, dense with statistics and surveys and U.S. nutritional history, but it makes a fascinating companion read to Fast Food Nation. It's not just the fast-food industry that's fucking with the food supply and gradually killing us. I picked the book up at the magical fairy-land of Powells on the honeymoon. (Did you know that we picked the Pacific Northwest for our post-wedding vacation in large part so that we could go here and here? We are nerds, the boy and I, although apparently I'm only 11% nerd -- even with the 25 extra points I got for taking the test on a Mac!)

I've also been reading Samuel Johnson is Indignant, though I haven't yet read enough of these odd little stories to know quite what to make of it yet.

Read any good books lately?

Replies: 13 Confessions

I read The Lovely Bones. All of it is good except the end.
I reread Chaim Potok's In the Beginning. All of it is great. Too bad he's dead.
I read Myra Bluebond-Langner's two ethnographies about dying children and their families. They're fantastic but very sad.
I'm reading Shadish, Cook, & Campbell's Causal Inference. It's terrific but I would only recommend it to people who make causal inferences for a living.
Do you think I need to get out more?

elavil @ 08/04/2002 06:49 PM CST

Yes -- you should come to Chicago to visit us!

I've heard good things about The Lovely Bones. Is it worth reading, despite the ending?

amyc @ 08/04/2002 08:15 PM CST

I will be in Eagle Hills on August 17, teaching NUD.IST in Aurora (film at 11). You should come to Eagle Hills and eat Indian food that night, I think.
Yes, The Lovely Bones is worth it, The Bee Season, a big hit from a couple of summers ago, is better; have you read that? It also has one not fatal flaw, in my opinion. But the winners of my Best Book by a Woman Author in North American Award are Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye and Lynn Sharon Schwartz's Disturbance in the Field. I will even loan you those.
You know, you could also come and see me. . . .

elavil @ 08/04/2002 09:02 PM CST

I loved "The Bee Season",also "Fall on Your Knees" was a good book. One of the best books was "A Fine Balance". I need some info on other good books.

MomC @ 08/04/2002 09:39 PM CST

Note to MomC: You might like author Kaye Gibbon - fine prose and interesting characters. Margaret Atwood is wonderful -- in addition to Cats Eye, try Edible Woman, Lady Oracle, and Alias Grace. I didn't care for The Handmaid's Tale, her big hit single in the charts. A great summer book is Bailey White's Quite a Year for Plums. Try that first.

elavil @ 08/05/2002 07:00 AM CST

I loved Bee Season, too! As a former school spelling bee champ my own bad self, I thought Goldberg's descriptions of what happens in Eliza's head, where the letters talk to her and fall into place, was right on. I would have read a whole book just about that, although the freaky family stuff was a nice bonus.

If you like the dead-girl-tells-her-story-from-beyond thing, you might like Hotel World, elavil. It's a quick read, but it's lovely. Winterson-esque. And if you're interested in young women with OCD, there's always An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender. I liked her short story collection (Girl in the Flammable Skirt) a lot and thought the novel was a little slight. But I read it right around the time I read Bee Season and they complemented each other well.

Mom -- you might like Niagara Falls All Over Again. It's the "memoir" of one member of a fictional vaudeville-era comedy team similar to Abbot & Costello or Laurel & Hardy. Very well-written and entertaining, yet shot through with sadness, like all good comedy.

amyc @ 08/05/2002 08:17 AM CST

Somehow "young girl with OCD" reminded me of all the illness memoirs I am collecting for my students to read this fall. Two great ones about women who are disfigured at an eary age are Autobiography of a Face (Lucy Grealy) and Road Song (Natalie Kusc). Grealy is angry and ashamed, Kusc is not.
But my favorite illness memoir, if that's what it is, is David Sedaris' short story "A Plague of Tics."

elavil @ 08/05/2002 08:35 AM CST

I love that story! His mom's line to the teacher, "Is this about the tiny voices?" always makes me convulse with laughter. It would make a great movie.

amyc @ 08/05/2002 08:50 AM CST

I just finished _Lamb_ by someone Moore. It is the story of Christ from 2 to 33 told by his best friend Biff. funny in a witty 15 year old boy kinda way: word play and wanking jokes.

shechemist @ 08/05/2002 09:05 AM CST

Ooo, the author of Lamb has apparently also written this, which I think I simply must purchase. Thanks for the tip, shechemist!

amyc @ 08/05/2002 09:26 AM CST

Of all of Christopher Moore's books, Lamb is the most boring. Island of the Sequined Love Nun and Practical Demonkeeping are unparalleled. Christopher Moore is a national treasure.
Warning: Graphic genital injury in Love Nun. NOT for the squemish.
Oh, and you should also read Coyote Blue, which is the cheez.

elavil @ 08/05/2002 02:04 PM CST

Is "Niagara Falls All Over Again" a new book? Who is the author?
I'm reading "A Beautiful Mind",does it get more interesting after chapter seven? Too much info on how Princton became a great mathematic school.

MomC @ 08/08/2002 09:21 PM CST

Mom, the author is Elizabeth McCracken. I think it's still in hardcover, but she has another great novel called The Giant's House from a couple years ago.

amyc @ 08/10/2002 10:03 AM CST

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