Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Readz: What I'm Into

Well kids,

As my period of fun-employment continues, let me tell you, I pretty much spend a majority of my time reading, and crafting (with occasional marathons of watching mind-numbing useless television).

I have a fairly hefty reading list (I just bought two books today--thank goodness for gift cards.  You have to careful when you have no income, and it turns out the public library is sub-par.  I miss the Noah Webster Library in Connecticut!), as well as some recommendations, just in case you need one!

Summer Reading List:
1. Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion: Elizabeth L. Cline.  As the title implies,  a look into the cheap fashion industry (i.e. Forever 21, H&M, Target, etc) and the impact it has
2. The End of Food: Paul Roberts  (Echoing food experts such as Michael Pollan, Roberts explores the food industry and its impact on the planet and our bodies, and where we're headed)
3.  Marriage: A History: Stephanie Coontz (WARNING: I anticipate that this book dispels any preconceived notions that you have about marriage--I read the sample.  Sociology always manage to rip anything you believe to shreds...its the nature of the beast)
4.  The Year of Biblical Womanhood: Rachel Held Evans (to be released Oct. 30).  (I loved Held Evans book "Evolving in Monkey Town" about her journey through faith, and hers is a blog that I follow regularly.  She always provides insight, and spends the year following the "letter of law" as the Bible outlines for women--such as covering her head, submitting to her husband on all matters, wearing her hair long, etc.  Her question is "What does it mean to be a 'biblical' woman?"  I'm a sucker for year-long experiment books!
5.  Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays vs. Christians Debate:Justin Lee  (to be released Nov. 13)  (Rachel Held Evans recommended this book on her blog, and from the title it sounds like a fascinating and extremely necessary conversation to have).
6.  Plastic: A Toxic Love Story: Susan Frienkel  (Frienkel follows the history of different household products such as a comb, grocery bag, plastic bottle, etc. and discusses their various impacts)

Woo!  I can't wait to read these!

Books I've Read and Love...(as an aside, I tend to stay away from fiction as a personal preference...so you'll have to check out someone else's list for fiction suggestions.  I've heard Harry Potter is cool...)

Memoirs/Books Written By People Who Inspire Me In One Way Or Another:

1. Bossypants: Tina Fey (She needs no introduction.  I love her.  I want to be like her.)
2. Blue Like Jazz: Donald Miller (I read this book 8 years ago and its still one of my favorites and deeply influenced the way I see my faith.  It was one of the books that taught me that things are not very black and white, and I began to see that I could be liberal and a Christian too.  I guess you could say it had a heavy influence in helping me to get the proverbial stick out of my ass for lack of a better term when it came to understanding that faith does not equal legalism.  I like to read this one in small bits every now and again)
3. Anything by David Sedaris: This guy is a freaking hoot.  And he's funny in person too.  A guy I hope I can write like some day
4.  Traveling Mercies: Anne Lamott: Similar to Blue Like Jazz, when I read this book years and years and years ago it taught me that there's more than one way live out faith, and you can not have your life together (i.e. hot mess) yet still find beauty in the fact that you have no clue what you're doing.  I would say that Donald Miller and Anne Lamott laid the foundation for helping me to think about how justice and faith go together, and how things are not black and white.  These books prepared the way for me to understand things later on when I went through a very transitional faith period (read: crisis) my senior year of college.

Justice/Sociology Books:

1. The Working Poor: David K. Shipler  A look at the myths that dictate the ways in which we think about the poor, and the ways in which those ideas shape the way that we form our policies and politics
2. White Like Me: Tim Wise  Examining the reality of White Privilege
3. The Second Shift: Arlie Hochschild  Through her research, Hochschild examines disparities between working men and working women's contributions to household labor
4. The Tipping Point: Malcolm Gladwell  I guess you could qualify this more as a "social psychology" book, but this is a fascinating read on what it is that makes certain phenomenon catch on (actually, anything Malcolm Gladwell writes is extremely interesting).
5. Full Frontal Feminism: Jessica Valenti  (Just a warning, this book contains some graphic language/imagery, but in my opinion totally worth it).  Valenti explores the question "Why do we need feminism" and the different social structures that still reveal inequalities for women--really easy, funny read.
6. I Am America (And So Can You): Stephen Colbert: I'm not really sure if this REALLY fits in this category to be honest, but Colbert covers a lot of different facets of American culture and through political conservative satire points out the lunacies of it all.  SO FREAKING HILARIOUS.  I literally was laughing out loud to the confusion of people at the airport.

Books that Changed the Way I thought About The Environment and The Food Industry:

1. The Ominvore's Dilemma: Michael Pollen  Probably one of the most important texts as related to the food industry, Pollen examines the current state of the industry and explores such issues as the attack on biodiversity, carbon footprint in terms of food transportation, eating locally, etc, and how these all impact our health and the environment.
2. Eating Animals: Jonathan Safran Foer  A look into the ethics behind eating meat and the food industry
3. Food Rules: Michael Pollan  This really tiny, easy-to-read, super accessible little number is one of the foundations for my understanding of how our diets should look
4. No Impact Man: Colin Beavin  About a NYC guy's attempt at living off the grid for one year

Well, that's a start I guess!  Happy reading!

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