This is a fabulous book. Everyone who will ever be part of a funeral, and everyone who will ever be part of making final arrangements for someone they...moreThis is a fabulous book. Everyone who will ever be part of a funeral, and everyone who will ever be part of making final arrangements for someone they love, should read this. It's an easy, fun read.
As a Quaker and a Witch, I was already dedicated to simple burial. Little did I realize the extent to which what I believed about even simple burial and memorial practices had been shaped by the funeral industry.
This book has prompted, among other things, excellent (and vastly entertaining) conversations in our family, as well as a re-writing of my will, with my wishes very clearly re-stated.
(Did you know that embalming is not only not legally-mandated, but retards decay for a few days at most? That sealed actually caskets increase the rate of bodily deterioration?)
This book will help shake up your thinking, so that you know that you're choosing what you truly want for yourself or a loved one -- not what you've been brainwashed into choosing by marketing. (less)
I am impressed with Cammermeyer's honesty as she chronicles her own journey from someone who thought like the majority of Americans in her age cohort...moreI am impressed with Cammermeyer's honesty as she chronicles her own journey from someone who thought like the majority of Americans in her age cohort when it came to homosexuality, to someone who's an out and proud lesbian. The thread of her integrity runs through the entire book.
I find the way in which she has chosen to tell her story very valuable; her story is accessible to folks from many backgrounds and ways of thinking. She's definitely not just "preaching to the choir."
I am reminded of the work of Bonnie Tinker of Love Makes a Family: changing hearts and minds. (less)
I also found this book tremendously helpful and positive in terms of figuring out what to eat in the face of so much conflicting, and often downright...moreI also found this book tremendously helpful and positive in terms of figuring out what to eat in the face of so much conflicting, and often downright bogus, nutritional advice. Very practical, down-to-earth, and no-nonsense. My grandmother would have approved of this book. (She also would have been puzzled by the need for it.)
And I have found myself asking, "Would my busza have recognized this as food?" While my grandmother grew up on a farm, she later worked as a cook at an institution that served lots of processed food. As Pollan suggests, the spirit of my great-grandmother (Busza in my family) might be a better guide. Or the spirit of my grandmother when she was a kid.
Another really interesting item is being able to put together when my family's diet changed with what was happening in food "science" in the 70s. My parents' choices about what we ate changed dramatically -- in accordance with radical revisions of government nutritional recommendations. I don't think this was for the best. Luckily, we had access to lots of fresh vegetables during many of those summers: we were cash-poor, but our yard was a quarter of an acre, so we grew our own veggies. And those veggies were amazing. I'm lucky, because this meant I learned as a kid that fresh, home-grown vegetables taste fabulous. I was the only kid I knew who was happy to go out back and pick a salad.
I find both Pollan's book and Plank's book (Real Food) help reinforce to me that what I actually want to eat really is what's usually best for me. As a feminist and as someone deeply involved with nature-based spirituality -- both of which include for me a committment to helping us learn to listen to our bodies better -- I find this a positive thing. (less)