Mar 31, 2017

What I Have Been Reading

My reading goals for 2017 were extremely lofty and somewhat unrealized so far.

My goal: 100
Currently finished: 13

While 13 is not a shabby number, it is half of what I am expected to have done to meet my goal this year. Despite a number of changes in my life this year, one of which going back to school fully time, I am stubbornly hoping I will find the time to make up the numbers of books read. Perhaps over the summer?

Books completed in 2017:
1. Sugar - Jewell Parker Rhodes
2. Sweetbitter - Stephanie Danler
3. Food, Genes, and Culture - Gary Nabhan
4. Chew, Vol. 5: Major League - John Layman
5. Ink - Amanda Sun
6. Underground Airlines - Ben Winters
7. The American Way of Eating - Tracie McMillan
8. Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer
9. Authority - Jeff VanderMeer
10. Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste - Bill Best
11. Farmacology - Daphne Miller
12. Sleep Donation - Karen Russell
13. High on the Hog - Jessica Harris

Currently reading:
My Southern Journey - Rick Bragg
Vibration Cooking - Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor
Flight - Sherman Alexie
Good to Eat - Marvin Harris
Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollan
The Culinary Imagination - Sandra Gilbert

Hope to read soon:
The Unsettling of American - Wendell Berry
In Search of Authenticity - Bendix
Culinary Tourism - Lucy Long

I have a few trends in my reading:
  • Food
  • Diversity/Multicultural/PoC
  • South Carolina
  • Slavery & African American History/Cuisine
  • Dystopia
I am fitting in less and less novels I get more in depth with my research. Some of these books are for research projects for school. One of the papers I am writing is about the role of authenticity in ethnic food. I am looking forward to exploring it more. One of the themes I may be addressing in this paper is the way that ethnic cooking can be seen as a kind of folk art, especially when the person cooking lacks a certain type of training. Experiencing ethic food as a transformative folk art experience is often represented by putting a bit of the self, often in the form of love, into the food. Though ethnic cooking is not the only vehicle through which food can be an expression of love.

Part of my blogging goals in the near future are to share aspects of these type of projects. Possibly even in their final format pretending on the assignment.

What have you been reading lately? What do you like the best about it?
Are any book recommendations for me immediately jumping to mind?

I find it mildly unfortunate that I am not more deeply read into very many of my currently reading titles. I don't have many I am expected to finish within the next day or two. I know in part I am going to help my numbers out by looking at a few comic books/graphic novels.  Especially the graphic novel Chew. Have you read that? I am planning on talking about it briefly as I get started on another writing project over the summer. But we will save that for another month or so to explain.

Mar 29, 2017

A Story

I want to tell you a story.

Hi, my name is Megan. I am mildly willing to admit I may have a problem with books. Problem is probably not the best term for it. I have an obsession, a mania, a philia. Some might call it a Gentle Madness.

In my home I have over 5,000 books. Books that I have never read. Waiting in piles for me to find time and energy for consumption. These piles around me used to be piles of guilt, but it was fairly recently that I discovered, even on the day I die, I want plenty of books to choose from. There is a certain sadness in thinking about only having one book left to enjoy in this mortal world.

But these piles of books are not my story.

Or not the story of today. Once, in my dark past, I used to be a person with lots of piles of books and a blog. These things were the entirety of my book passion. I was silent in my love for books until I was able to start describing them with poorly chosen sparse words. It was through my blog and twitter that I was able to connect with  other passionate book lovers. It was through these connections that I was really able to hone down what type of books I loved to read and talk about.

There is something a little hipster about it, but I loved dystopian fiction before it was cool. Before anyone even knew the term as a concept or genre. And that was how Lenore and I "met". Lenore Appelhans is a dystopian reading, cat loving, book person. We blogged about LOTS of books and read and discussed a few together. But Lenore lived in Germany, so opportunities for our physical lives to cross paths were slim.

One day I up and bought a bookstore, and one day she announced a book deal.

The way the world converges is just fascinating to me. My bookstore has at least 15,000 books piled up around me. The guilt is gone and the hope that these books will go to homes where they will be enjoyed, loved, devoured, consumed fills my daily life.

The special honor of  selling the books by friends who weren't published when we first connected. As it happened Lenore's first book was a dystopian young adult novel (these are my favorite kind of books) AND I now owned a bookstore where I could push it upon the masses. In a nice synchronicity of it all, Lenore's book came out on my birthday.

And one weekend in Vegas I had the opportunity to meet Lenore.

And that is my poorly written, meandering story. The way that life can be kissed with kismet and that the form of realty can have completion like that of a fiction.
Bibliophile Exploring Dystopia | Food & Community | Utopian Projects