Monday, March 03, 2008

On the Nightstand

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals - Michael Pollan

I'm almost done with this one, and have been enjoying it immensely. Pollan does a great job of laying out the way food production has become so heavily industrialized, and the hidden impacts of that change. The opening chapter, in which he delves in exhaustive detail into the history of corn, and how it has become the omnipresent force it now is on grocery shelves, is the most compelling, but each chapter has its own highlights to recommend it (be forewarned, though, after the chapter on the Saletan farm you will be really hungry).

Y: The Last Man - Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra
Thanks to the glories of the inter-library loan system (thank you BCCLS!), I have been reading most of the run of this comic, which just ended last month I think. I'm liking the story and characters a lot, and you can definitely see the Lost connection in (which way it runs, I'm not sure though) the pop culture references and sense of pacing and story structure. I have found myself wishing for a broader scope at times - the global story of all males dying instantaneously is a huge one, and yet this is a very focused story, concentrating on on one group of characters - but on the whole I don't mind. I just got the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th collections, and am hoping the 10th (and final, I'm guessing) comes out soon.

The Best American Magazine Writing 2007
I absolutely love these collections, and this was a great one, featuring compelling, engrossing stories about the history and secrecy of Scientology, the brutal and horrific school hostage crisis in Chechnya, a candid profile of Christopher Hitchens, and a beautiful, tragic tale of a white farmer and black minister in Africa.

Until Whenever

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