Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Recollections of a Past Life.

I am an unabashed bibliophile. For those unacquainted with the term, allow me to enlighten you with my deteriorating knowledge of Greek, which is, none the less, sufficient to parse out the meaning of this term. Biblios - book. Yes, Bible really does just mean 'book.' Phileo - to love. Bibliophile - a lover of books. That's me. I'm obsessed. I love reading more than just about anything else. I rarely enjoy going out with friends, although I often enjoy having dinner parties in my own home. I'm a homebody, I freely admit, and I'd rather spend my time reading a book than almost anything else that could present itself.

That said, I'm quite picky about my reading material. I don't like purpose-less fiction. I don't read for the purpose of escaping my life or anything like that. I rarely enjoy fiction, and when I do read it, it must be either a classical piece, such as Jane Austen or George Eliot; extremely accurate historical fiction; or something thought-provoking, such as the works of Ayn Rand, Jeffrey Eugenides, or Margaret Atwood. More than that, though, I tend to read nonfiction, in the form of specific types of biographies, including, but not limited to, A.J. Jacobs and Bill Bryson, and sociological or historical works such as Jared Diamond's books : Guns, Germs, and Steel; Collapse; and The Third Chimpanzee. I love books that educate me or make me question my established understanding of the world. I love books!

Top Reads, in no particular order:
1. Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid's Tale
2. Margaret Atwood: The Edible Woman
3. Bill Bryson: The Mother Tongue
4. Bill Bryson: A Short History of Nearly Everything
5. Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs and Steel
6. Jared Diamond: Collapse
7. Jared Diamond: The Third Chimpanzee
8. Barbara Kingsolver: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
9. Julia Child: My Life in France
10. A.J. Jacobs: The Know-It-All
11. A.J. Jacobs: The Year of Living Biblically
12. A.J. Jacobs: The Guinea Pig Diaries
13. Jane Austen: Persuasion
14. Michael Pollan: The Omnivore's Dilemma
15. Eric Schlosser: Fast Food Nation

As is obvious from the list, I'm not much for fiction, but I am very interested in food production. I am always concerned as to where my food came from, as I don't care to poison my person with unnecessary chemicals. The details of the industrial food chain seriously gross me out. If a apple came from New Zealand, I'd rather not eat it. I love farmer's markets and I'm a big proponent for supporting the local economy. I won't eat at a restaurant unless it is locally-owned. I believe that stimulating and supporting the local economy will benefit the national economy. However, pouring money into national chains does not support the local economy. The money I spend there, for the most part, travels far away, probably to California, to stimulate and benefit the economy there. No thank-you.

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