It's unfortunate that the first section of the book, about "industrial food" a.k.a. "corn" - as corn permeates everything in this section - is so tediIt's unfortunate that the first section of the book, about "industrial food" a.k.a. "corn" - as corn permeates everything in this section - is so tedious, as it may turn some off from the book entirely. Once one is through "corn," however, the book picks up. Reading about industrial organic was particularly enlightening, especially if one wants "true" organic rather than food that is really just organic in name. (If you shop at Whole Foods, you should read this section.) The section on small farm organic made me almost giddy with pleasure at the description of the circle of food life, all components working together in natural bliss. And I was intrigued by the final section, which juxtaposes vegetarianism with hunting. All in all an interesting and well-written book, with, of course, much food for thought....more
Certainly a quick read, and not a bad book, but not a particularly excellent book either. Something to pick up when you're just looking for somethingCertainly a quick read, and not a bad book, but not a particularly excellent book either. Something to pick up when you're just looking for something quick and entertaining. I realize there's a deeper subtext but I didn't find it as compelling or thought-provoking as I would assume the author hoped....more
I'm always surprised when I hear someone didn't like Bel Canto. I have to wonder: Was it the ending (admittedly quite jarring)? Or did they not believI'm always surprised when I hear someone didn't like Bel Canto. I have to wonder: Was it the ending (admittedly quite jarring)? Or did they not believe a hostage situation like this could last so long (it can and did - google "Japanese embassy Peru 1996")? Regardless, I really enjoyed this book. It presented an intriguing look at who people become when they are stripped of their titles and to-do lists. Who gets power and how, what role does each person take on, what really matters when everything is taken away, who do we love and why. The writing was beautiful. By far this is Patchett's best work. The one beef I have with it: Seriously, not one person ever, over the course of all those days, said "Enough with the opera! Just let the piano guy play for a while!" But maybe that's just me....more
This was a book that I looked forward to reading at the end of each day. I found myself reading "just a little longer" past my bedtime, as the story wThis was a book that I looked forward to reading at the end of each day. I found myself reading "just a little longer" past my bedtime, as the story was engaging and fun. The teenage drama is realistic, and the key characters are vividly drawn. I wished for a little more imagery of Scotland, but that's my own bias toward travel! The twists and turns of the tale intrigued, and the thoughts on cheating and relationships gave me something to chew on. Is history destined to repeat itself, or is there hope for those of us who make mistakes? For the sake of the main character in the book (whom I felt I came to know well), I hope there's hope. Forgiveness and compassion are at the heart of this story that explores the idea that all relationships - whether romantic or friendships - go through challenges, ebbing and flowing over time. The story rang true to lessons learned at that age, just out of high school, when suddenly young adults face the realization that actions have consequences, and they are fully responsible for their own lives....more
My book group read this ten or fifteen years ago and loved it, raved over it. Now, here we are, ten or fifteen years later, filled with ten or fifteenMy book group read this ten or fifteen years ago and loved it, raved over it. Now, here we are, ten or fifteen years later, filled with ten or fifteen more years of life's joys and dramas, of loves found and lost, friendships formed and fizzled, and we decided to read it again, to see how time changed our perspective on the book.
If only I could remember what I thought of the book ten or fifteen years ago! I'm sure, though, that this time was a more poignant experience. Reading the book in my 20s, aging was just a quaint hypothetical. Now, having aged and watched friends and family age, having seen friends' parents pass on (thankfully my own are here still, and for a good long time more, oh please, much more), having experienced more of both the quiet joys and quiet anguishes that build over time, having witnessed the complexities of relationships that succeed where you think they wouldn't, or failed where they shouldn't, having lived the gentle bittersweet poignancy of the passing of time, I saw this book as still beautiful but also in some ways painful. Through all the ways we love, we still fail. But then again, through all the ways we fail, we still love.
The title refers to a line from Robert Frost's poem, "I Could Give All to Time":
I could give all to Time except – except What I myself have held. But why declare The things forbidden that while the Customs slept I have crossed to Safety with? For I am There, And what I would not part with I have kept.
Got this on audio book and listened while I ellipticized. While it may not have had quite the upbeat energy I love to keep me going on the elliptical,Got this on audio book and listened while I ellipticized. While it may not have had quite the upbeat energy I love to keep me going on the elliptical, it nonetheless was constantly inspiring. I've seen reviews that say if you've read all of Seth's stuff, this book is just more of the same. That may be true; I haven't read all his work so I don't know. But for me, this book held so many truths and ideas. I changed my world four years ago when I decided to become a writer; the repercussions of this have been more far-reaching than I ever imagined. In The Icarus Deception Seth talks about how art is inherently risky, and how when we make art we can't do it for approval; we have to do it for the art. This, and so much more, resonated with me. Deciding to be a writer meant deciding to live with the risk of rejection *all the time*. It hasn't been easy, but Seth's book reminded me why I do it. He also talks about creating in the Connection Economy, about scarcity, ... so much good stuff! Just read it! Or listen to it!...more