With the over proliferation of diet books and "food wisdom" suffocating our culture Michael Pollan's books are a breath...moreCommon Sense and Food...Finally
With the over proliferation of diet books and "food wisdom" suffocating our culture Michael Pollan's books are a breath of fresh air. Written as a follow up to The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual is a collection of common sense eating guidelines for people who want to remove themselves from the industrial food chain and move towards a more traditional way of eating actual food. Pollan breaks down his philosophy of eating into seven simple words, "Eat food, not too much, mostly vegetables." The three sections of this book are structured around this statement and offer the reader bits of advice and simple practices to help them change the way they eat. Not all of the 64 pearls of wisdom are Pollan's alone. Many of them come from people he interviewed or from his readers who submitted advice via a website created by Pollan. The advice in this book is extremely easy to understand and to put into practice. If you desire a different way of eating and relating to food this book is essential reading.(less)
I originally picked up this book after hearing an interview with the author on NPR. At first I figured that...moreSurprisingly reverent and thought provoking
I originally picked up this book after hearing an interview with the author on NPR. At first I figured that this would be more of a puff piece or light hearted look at Judeo-Christian religious beliefs. While those elements were present in the text I was pleasantly surprised at how thought provoking A.J. Jacobs's writing was and how gently he handled delicate or divisive religious issues. This book has inspired me to be a better person. Highly recommended.(less)
This book is required reading for anyone who calls them self a soccer fan. Granted a good majority of the book focuses on England and Engli...moreA Must Read
This book is required reading for anyone who calls them self a soccer fan. Granted a good majority of the book focuses on England and English football however there is still much to learn even if you've never seen an EPL match. Kuper and Szymanski's insights on the changing nature of international football and international economics make for an informative and thought provoking read. While I am still a fan of "going with your gut" when it comes to making decisions in sports this book has helped open my mind some more to the value of statistical analysis in sports. This book is equal parts Freakonomics, Moneyball, and primer for the 2010 World Cup. No matter if you've been following soccer all your life or if you're completely new to the game there is something here for you. So much more than a sports book, Soccernomics will lend you a greater understanding of the world in which we live. Highly Recommended.(less)
This book came to me as a recommendation from a science teacher I work with and the premise of the book was too unique to pass up. In...moreOne Strange Trip
This book came to me as a recommendation from a science teacher I work with and the premise of the book was too unique to pass up. In the late 1970's the post-Vietnam U.S. Military went through an identity crisis and started looking for different ways of achieving their goals. The idea was that whatever they had tried in Vietnam had obviously not worked so they needed new, fresh ideas and approaches to military engagements. What one man brought to some of the Special Forces top brass was the growing New Age/Self Improvement movement from California which was essentially a hippie-chic philosophy of love and mysticism.
Twenty-five years later journalist Jon Ronson stumbled across stories of psychic spies and bizarre interrogation techniques and he attempted to verify these rumors. What he found is that the New Age ideas from the late '70s had evolved and been adopted into modern day Military Intelligence practices.
Humorous, strange, and disturbing all at the same time Ronson's style lends itself to a quick read. Recommended.(less)
This book should be required reading for any American who is even remotely interested in politics and/or the current political and social...moreA Must Read!
This book should be required reading for any American who is even remotely interested in politics and/or the current political and social climate in the U.S. Working from a thesis that Richard Nixon provided the framework and language for modern political discourse and partisanship Rick Perlstein does an incredible job documenting the rise of arguably the most influential and divisive president of the last 20th century. Interwoven with this tale are the stories of major cultural events and figures in American life from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. This book is a tour de force. It provides not only an excellent history of postwar America but also a context in which to place and analyze current political events. Highly recommended. (less)
Sitting somewhere between a history text, a travelogue, and personal memoirs this book takes an especially unique appr...moreAmerican History From Left Field
Sitting somewhere between a history text, a travelogue, and personal memoirs this book takes an especially unique approach to American History. Unlike the typical history book which can read like the transcript of a college lecture reading Assassination Vacation feels more like sitting in a coffee shop having a personal conversation with Sarah Vowell. Vowell does an excellent job bringing the pathos she is know for from This American Life the the subject of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley assassinations. As a history teacher I found this book to be both informative and entertaining. However, Vowell's repeated criticism of the Bush administration wore on me after a while and seemed to detract from the otherwise engaging text. Overall, a quick read well executed. Recommended. (less)
Given the recent outbreak of swine flu and the national reaction to the virus's spread The Ghost Map seemed especially...moreHighly Relevant and Entertaining
Given the recent outbreak of swine flu and the national reaction to the virus's spread The Ghost Map seemed especially appropriate to add to my reading list. What I discovered is an absolute gem of a read that maintains the tension and pacing of fiction writing yet does not sacrifice the solid scholarship and detail of a good history text. The story follows Dr. John Snow and Rev. Henry Whitehead and their roles in the cholera outbreak of 1853-4 in London. Johnson makes a strong case for the his thesis that each man's individual contributions during the outbreak had much greater, long-term effects on modern medicine and epidemiology. The only criticism I have is that the final chapter and the Afterword seem so stylistically different than the rest of the book. While the majority of the book reads like a novel the last fifty or so pages feel much more like an essay or research paper. Johnson uses this last part of the text to tie in the London outbreak and its after effects to the current day and modern urban life. When I got to this part in the text there was a mental changing of gears required for the reader that I felt could have been avoided by a writer of Johnson's caliber. All that aside, this book is a wonderful, quick read and should maintain its relevance and allure for the intelligent reader for years to come. Highly recommended. (less)
A Curious collection of stories and musing drawn from the life of David Sedaris. This book is equal parts biography, social commentary, and comedy. Ea...moreA Curious collection of stories and musing drawn from the life of David Sedaris. This book is equal parts biography, social commentary, and comedy. Each story is couched in Sedaris's dry, occasionally biting humor which make the book extremely readable and profoundly human at the same time. Funny, poignant, sarcastic, and contemplative; this book refuses to be categorized and never fails to entertain. I look forward to reading more from Sedaris in the future. A quick read...well worth the time. (less)
I picked this book up because it was the required reading for the '09 UIL Social Studies competition and was blow away. I knew next to nothing about t...moreI picked this book up because it was the required reading for the '09 UIL Social Studies competition and was blow away. I knew next to nothing about this period of African/European colonial history. Hochschild does an excellent job at taking the reader through one of the saddest and least remembered pieces of African colonial history. This book many times elicited such a gut reaction from me that I had to pause and collect myself before continuing on. Highly recommended.(less)
Excellent book on the politics of eating. Eye-opening and informative, this book got me to think deeper about the food choices I make and the impact o...moreExcellent book on the politics of eating. Eye-opening and informative, this book got me to think deeper about the food choices I make and the impact on both me personally and on the world at large. Highly recommended for anyone who desires a deeper understanding of the food chains that we all participate in.(less)