If you didn't notice, there was no "Bookbag" in March. I didn't read. I skied quite a bit, but I didn't read.
April has been an entirely different matter all together. I have read voraciously, probably to make up for lost time. And the things I have read - WOW have they made me think. Some have even begun to change my life.
The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Have you been watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? Shame on you if you haven't. If you have been watching it and want to take the next step in your personal food revolution, then this is the book for you. It will change the way you think about your meals. The first sentence of the book asks a fairly simple question - What should we have for dinner? He answers the question, but leaves us to ask and answer bigger questions about our food. This is the book that has changed my life. I'm a big thinker to begin with, but now I have added thinking about my food to the list. Thinking about my relationship with it, not just what it will taste like.
Food Rules by Michael Pollan
This is the book to read if you don't have time for Pollan's larger work. Pollan breaks eating down into 64 simple rules that can have you eating better than you ever have before in you life. Some of my personal favorites, "Eat only foods that will eventually rot," and "Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself." Simple easy solutions to our food crisis. My grandmother would be proud. Jamie Oliver would cheer.
The Complete Guide to the National Park Lodges by David and Kay Scott
We are visiting Glacier this summer and Big Bend next year. Then we plan to hit Yellowstone, Yosemite and The Grand Canyon.
Brave Companions by David McCullough
This was my favorite book this month. It may rank as one of my favorite books of all time. I always learn from Mr. McCullough and this book is no exception. It is a collection of articles and pieces that came from his larger works and from speeches. He writes near the end, "there is nothing inevitable about history." I don't think it is a lesson we have quite learned as a country. He shows, so eloquently, that one man can make a difference and that we can be the change. I learned that the truisms are, well, true. Unfortunately, he has also added to my TBR pile. There may be 50 books he referenced that I must now read.
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Chris Cleave's Little Bee was wonderful. Fiction has bored me lately. Most of the works I have picked up (especially some of the best-selling popular ones) have given me absolutely no reason to turn the page. So many have been the same story told with different words. I have found nothing original, until I picked this up at the bookstore the other day. One of my daily blog reads had done a small "chapbook" entry on it and I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did. As much as I have travelled, I have never been to Africa, but I am connected to the continent one week a month while my husband is there on business. Often protected by bullet proof cars and men with machine guns as he is driven to work (yes, he is in the oil business), he looks out and sees the desperation and tragedy that is life over there. He has often said that I couldn't imagine what he sees and what life is like for the people of Nigeria or Angola. Yes, I can. Yes, I can.
I also participated in Girl Detective's 15 Books in 15 Days Challenge. Here are the links to those posts:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Time Pirate
Profiles in Courage
Nikon D90: Guide to Digital SLR Photography
The Emperor's Code
With The Old Breed
Touch the Dragon
Looking at Pictures
The Girl Who Threw Butterflies
Ruined by Reading
The Mother Tongue
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
The LIttle Prince