A celebration of cooking and why it matters: Bittman succinctly discusses the health, economic, and societal benefits of cooking your own food. It's a...moreA celebration of cooking and why it matters: Bittman succinctly discusses the health, economic, and societal benefits of cooking your own food. It's a great primer for someone new to food politics. (less)
Highs and lows: some essays were quite brilliant, and others did nothing for me. That seems to be the nature of every essay collection I read, but thi...moreHighs and lows: some essays were quite brilliant, and others did nothing for me. That seems to be the nature of every essay collection I read, but this one felt particularly uneven. The bookend essays - those few at the beginning and end of the collection were my favorites.
Sullivan does his best writing when he engages the reader with personal stories - that's what drew me in. I really enjoyed his camp out with the evangelicals at the Creation music festival, as well as the story of his brother's electrocution and rehabilitation. I really enjoyed his meetings with Bunny Wailer in Trench Town.
The strongest essay, and my favorite of the whole lot was "Violence of the Lambs" at the end of the book. As Sullivan looks into the future of humanity, he researches a tangential topic of animal attacks on humans and throws in facts and a good dose of existentialism. Very worth the read.
This book is a gem. Something that any reader will hold close to their heart. The essays are translated from the original French work by the educator...moreThis book is a gem. Something that any reader will hold close to their heart. The essays are translated from the original French work by the educator Daniel Pennac. The book is full of amazing quotes. Some of my favorites:
"Time to read is always time stolen. Stolen from what? From the tyranny of living."
"By making time to read, like making time to love, we expand our time for living."
I particularly loved Part 3 - "The Gift of Reading" where he describes a classroom of high school students - the stereotypes of "the loner", "the prep", "the goth", etc. and how when the teacher [him] decides to read aloud to them for the entire class. It is his experiment to get them hooked. He chooses Süskind's _Perfume_ with its lively descriptions, and the teens, all of them, instantly become hooked.
The last few essays are also great, where he discusses the "Rights of the Reader" (the book is named after this series of essays). He outlines 10 Rights that each reader inherently possesses. He goes on to write short essays about all of them:
1) The right not to read. 2) The right to skip. 3) The right not to finish a book. 4) The right to read it again. 5) The right to read anything. 6) The right to mistake a book for real life. 7) The right to read anywhere. 8) The right to dip in. 9) The right to read aloud. 10) The right to be quiet.
A perfect book for a literature class - or a continuing education course. I highly recommend it.(less)
This book is profoundly beautiful. I bought my own copy of this in paperback after reading a library copy. That alone should tell you how much this bo...moreThis book is profoundly beautiful. I bought my own copy of this in paperback after reading a library copy. That alone should tell you how much this book moved me - I don't like to hold on to books, but this one is an exception. This book will travel with me and I will read it over and over.
While the entire essay is not more than 100 pages (in the 30th anniversary reprint edition), there are three sections: the first contrasts Fowles and his father and their views on nature, order, and chaos. The second part is a treatise on nature as art and science, but also a criticism on how nature is seen and "encapsulated" by humans. This was my favorite part of the book because it had so much substance. Nature philosophy and transcendence. The book ends with a walk around the English moors and meditations.
A small book, but so heavy in content. Initially I read the book cover to cover, and now I want to re-read and take it in chunks. It needs to be pondered. That's why I bought my own physical copy - which doesn't happen much anymore. It is just that good.