Both heartening and a splash of cold water, this book reads a little like a professor's lecture--which it is, in some respects. Some parts make you wa...moreBoth heartening and a splash of cold water, this book reads a little like a professor's lecture--which it is, in some respects. Some parts make you want to scribble down every word; other parts will make you want to be the annoying student with the contrary questions, your hand waving in the air before she can say another word. It even includes a syllabus-like book list ("Books to Be Read Immediately"), some of which are difficult to find (and there's no university bookstore). An aside--forthcoming editions of this book would be much improved if the book list could also function as a sort of index, including, where possible, the chapter and page where it was referenced in her book.
I'm glad that someone has written this book, because there's a lot of awful writing out there. Prose doesn't stand for any guff. While demonstrating masterful writing that doesn't adhere to a set of absolutes, she exhorts the reader to pay very careful attention to the craft. If the writer has to break one of the "rules", she must do so in order to serve the purposes of her work. Prose thus sends her readers to scrutinize those writers who have gone before, broken rules, and still made art.
The close reading she prescribes opens wide the pages of any great book, and this reader would apply them first to more traditional literary classics before tackling some of the more advanced reading in her list.(less)
Modest reading for the beginner, and not too complicated. Outdated in respect to diseases, but otherwise gives the new beekeeper an uncluttered overvi...moreModest reading for the beginner, and not too complicated. Outdated in respect to diseases, but otherwise gives the new beekeeper an uncluttered overview of the whole affair. Pay a visit to your local beekeeper to round out the experience before pursuing further reading.(less)
The author points out some important facts about living in story that we often take for granted. A good read, but one that makes you want to stop read...moreThe author points out some important facts about living in story that we often take for granted. A good read, but one that makes you want to stop reading and start doing. Good.(less)
If you love a book with an openhanded measure of perspective (as I do) this book will resonate. It's a reminder that we're human creatures. We live in...moreIf you love a book with an openhanded measure of perspective (as I do) this book will resonate. It's a reminder that we're human creatures. We live in dwellings, we take nourishment from food, we rest, and we understand the order provided by a family unit. It's a reminder of the pleasure and contentment we find when these needs are met with predictability. And so the work it takes to meet these needs, even if the benefit of the work disappears within the day (i.e. a meal prepared and then eaten), is worthwhile work, much to the contrary of the pervading insistence of our culture that we are ultimately minds rather than bodies.
Many readers will say that this book handles the mundane. I can't disagree, but I must add that it more than approaches the radical, that is, that which is deep-seated, intrinsic, and essential to humans.(less)
What could be subversive about a vegetable garden? Simple leaves, roots, fruits and seed doing as they were created to do in your backyard before you...moreWhat could be subversive about a vegetable garden? Simple leaves, roots, fruits and seed doing as they were created to do in your backyard before you bring them into your kitchen--how could this wholesome exchange of energy unsettle an established institution?
Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a muse's song, reveals with vivid beauty and piercing truth what has been hiding in plain sight.
It calls for the citizens of the United States to collectively compose an epic hero and finally recognize the abuse of mealtime, food culture, food animals and animal husbandry, agricultural biodiversity, small farms, local economies, and planet earth and its inhabitants for the sake of a convenient daily life and the siren song of "efficiency".
But is not the lifestyle of modern America bloated with abnormality? Either out of ignorance or apathy we filed for divorce from the land that sustains our breath and claimed independence from the communities that shelter us. We forgot that nourishing a patch of green for one's own nourishment is an activity for survival, political or no.
We are the hero, but our heroism is not in transcending our human scale to slaughter a juggernaut. It's precisely in submitting to the bounds of our humanity.(less)
There's a good feeling you get when you read a book that accurately criticizes something that needs it. If you've ever felt like watching TV was a was...moreThere's a good feeling you get when you read a book that accurately criticizes something that needs it. If you've ever felt like watching TV was a waste of time, this book will impart such a feeling.
Not to mention, providing an arsenal of reasons why TV is a general waste of time.
Why, just two days ago my 3rd grade students asked me why the 4th graders at our school always get to watch videos in class and we don't.
With Postman's support in my back pocket I explained that TV was nothing more than entertainment. While there may be a great deal of programs on TV from which something might be learned, TV makes it appear as though all learning is or should be fun, when in reality a true education is wrought through critical thinking and some honest hard work. TV demands neither of these, and those who become accustomed to it exhibit similar behaviors when either TV or education (or perhaps anything else displayed on the telly-bunkum-box as just entertainment) becomes less than pleasing: switching off.
Entertainment is one thing, and that's fine. But education, news, politics, courts, science, and religion are another. TV, by its natures, rolls everything into show-business, and culture follows suit.
If reading books was ever important to you, read this book.(less)
At least ten times a day, this thought occurs to me:
"There's got to be a better way."
Usually, because I'm a teacher, it concerns some minor widget of...moreAt least ten times a day, this thought occurs to me:
"There's got to be a better way."
Usually, because I'm a teacher, it concerns some minor widget of elementary classroom logistics and passes within 3 seconds of its awning. But other times it occurs over and over again about things that matter, like education as a whole, or food, or the communities we live in, or cars, or the political party I kind of stand for but can't stand. I don't even know what we mean by "conservative" anymore when I hear it on the radio or read it in the newspaper.
Did it have a meaning at one point? And what would our nation look like if we recognized that meaning?
This book makes a hopeful, possibly doable, if idealistic offering toward a "better way", focusing on the stuff that matters. And even if you're not looking to take back America for the Republicans by walking to work and shopping at co-ops, it's a book that matters.(less)
'Pilgrim' will require a second reading before I can write anything cogent about it. Speaking nebulously, however, this book is a luscious waterfall t...more'Pilgrim' will require a second reading before I can write anything cogent about it. Speaking nebulously, however, this book is a luscious waterfall to both gather scattered conclusions and smash them to pieces again. File under: nature, theology, things you think about during lone walks in the outdoors.(less)