This is probably one of the scariest books you'll read this year. Sure, it is also inspiring and energizing, but it's mostly a testament to4.5 stars.
This is probably one of the scariest books you'll read this year. Sure, it is also inspiring and energizing, but it's mostly a testament to how quickly and devastatingly this new administration is moving. Many of the essays in this collection were written during the time of President-elect Trump, and in these essays the authors speculate about what horrors could happen post-inauguration. As of the time of my reading, nearly all of the could-be horrors had already been actualized. Beyond this, the two most jarring subjects explored here are the current and future states of the free press and our climate. Trump's utter disregard for civil rights is obvious; the subtle dismantling of the press and the irreversible harm that may soon come to our planet, however, are not getting enough attention from the general public.
This collection isn't all doom and gloom, however. There are patches of hope to be gleaned from this collection. Since the inauguration, many of the authors from this collection have stepped up in exactly the way that they advocated in their writings. Their resistance is real and extends beyond the pages of this book.
Side note: It seems whoever had the job of editing this little baby was a bit sloppy in the haste of getting it to the printers. The chapter headings don't always align with the material and typos abound....more
There's certain some beautiful Zadiesque language in this one, but just not enough to make it great. This novel felt a bit off balance with a3.5 stars
There's certain some beautiful Zadiesque language in this one, but just not enough to make it great. This novel felt a bit off balance with a mix of characters who are alternately engaging and blasé. The jumps between time and space weren't as effective here as they were in her work in White Teeth, which sometimes resulted in a lack of clarity. ...more
Shortly after moving to Canada from the US a few years ago, I read Eating Animals by the incomparable Jonathan Safran Foer. Much like him, I had beenShortly after moving to Canada from the US a few years ago, I read Eating Animals by the incomparable Jonathan Safran Foer. Much like him, I had been struggling through an internal debate for years: to meat, or not to meat?
I've always loved animals, but I haven't always particularly loved meat. The thing is, though, it's just so easy to be a carnivore. When you eat meat not only are your menu choices vastly expanded, but eating meat also often appeals to modern human laziness. Too tired to cook? Just drive through McDonald's. Don't want to make your own special meal when eating at home with family? Just eat whatever mom's putting on the table.
Anyway, back to Foer (and, eventually, Project Animal Farm). I read his book and was enlightened. The enlightenment didn't leave much of a lasting mark, though, and I think I know why. Somehow I thought that, being in Canada, the contents of his book just simply did not apply to me. Because, hey, isn't everything just nicer in Canada? At the time of reading his book I couldn't find any similar books on the Canadian meat/dairy culture (not that I tried too hard). But now I have, and of course I was wrong.
Through Project Animal Farm: An Accidental Journey into the Secret World of Farming and the Truth About Our Food, I have learned that the Canadian meat industry is far from nice. In some cases, Canadian farmers are actually permitted to use practices outlawed in parts of the US. And it isn't just animals for slaughter that face the worst of it; egg-laying hens and dairy cows are still forced to live in abominable conditions. And, actually, it isn't just those animals either - it's everyone involved in modern factory and industrial farming as well as the planet as a whole. The statistics of the amount of toxic waste created by this system is depressing and almost unfathomable.
I don't want to use this review as a synopsis of book, so the last thing I'll say is that beyond convincing me that I cannot continue to support Canada's wayward meat industry, it has also shown me that many other countries have a long way to go. Sonia traveled to Asia, the Middle East, and all across North America to investigate. Her book shows the massive faults with the global meat industry, but also offers some hope.
Note: 4 stars out of 5 because I didn't 100% dig on her writing style....more
I truly went into this with high hopes. I have not read Gilbert's (in)famous book Eat, Pray, Love, so I had no prior opinion of her. This entire bookI truly went into this with high hopes. I have not read Gilbert's (in)famous book Eat, Pray, Love, so I had no prior opinion of her. This entire book summarized in a single quote:
"In order to be creative, you need to be creative! So be creative! I wrote a really popular book a few years ago!"
Of course I'm paraphrasing here, but I've just saved you a lot of time if you have decided to read it instead of reading the actual book. To be fair, I only read the first three quarters of the book; I just couldn't justify wasting anymore time on it past that. While reading the first few chapters I was waiting to get past what felt like an unusually long introduction. After 175 pages, I was still waiting. The entire book is a string of anecdotes illustrating how magically creative the author's life has been, and how you should just, you know, do it too. How inspiring.