Tag Archives: Reading

“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants…” advises author.

pollan3In Defence of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan is a welcome and long-overdue addition to the myriad of books available on food issues. Its greatest appeal will be to those people who are tired of trying to explain why they don’t drink pop, why they spend a lot of time in the grocery store reading labels on food products, and why they cook “from scratch” instead of using food that comes in boxes.

These people, like me, will like this book because it will let them know that they were right all along – – that the longer the list of ingredients on a food product the further it is away from being real food, and, the more likely it will make them or their children still hungry minutes after eating it, or, worse, tired, irritable, or sick.

A journalist who first examined food issues in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Pollan in this, his latest book, puts the Western diet under a microscope, discovering that “food has been replaced by nutrients and common sense by confusion”. Delving deeper into the history of “nutritionism” and the industrialization of eating, Pollan attempts to explain why Western society, with supposedly the means and knowledge to eat well and thrive, somehow isn’t.

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Title announced for next book in Eragon series

BRISINGRChristopher Paolini has released the title of the next book in the Inheritance series which began with the popular Eragon. In announcing the title on his website, Paolini explains:

“Brisingr is an Old Norse word for “fire.” As you may remember, in Eragon, Brom uses the word brisingr to start a fire. This is the first time Eragon hears an ancient language word, a word of magic. Later, when Eragon is cornered by Urgals in Yazuac, he shouts “Brisingr!” to great effect (see Eragon—chapters “Revelation at Yazuac” and “Admonishments”).”

Despite the announcement of the title, anxious readers still have to wait until Sept. 2008 for the next installment in the series and even longer for the recently announced fourth book. For more information visit Alagaesia.com.

Free-running through the mall…

freerun2Just finished reading Two Foot Punch by Anita Daher and the biography A Lion’s Tale by Chris Jericho (see post below). Both books are excellent.  The two students who have so far borrowed copies of Anita’s book from my library have given Two Foot Punch two thumbs up as well. Reading my own copy, I especially enjoyed the inclusion of locations from Winnipeg’s downtown area and the descriptions of the fascinating sport of Parkour.  At Anita’s book launch last week, a video of Parkour and Free-running played in the background while Anita gave an interesting and witty talk about the history of the sport. This was followed by her reading which left the audience wanting more, and, a chance to meet the members of Winnipeg Parkour whose activities Anita studied as part of the research for her book.  You can find out more about the group and how to take part in Parkour and Free-running here.  Another cool link is www.parkour-videos.com. (Flickr photo courtesty Lewis Hodgson )

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Lest we forget…

InFlandersFieldsMy school’s Grade 9 Drama class performed an amazing shadow play as part of our Remembrance Day services today. As Don Maclean’s mournful tune The Grave played, the students acted out the words of the song in silhouette behind a white background backlit by an overhead projector. The effect, with the students acting out the story about a recruit signing up for military service, a battle scene, and the soldier ultimately dying and then being mourned by his family at a grave, was very moving. The service also included an original poem by one of the students (which I hope to obtain a copy of), performances of O Canada and God Save the Queen by our band students, an address by one of the veterans in attendance,  the traditional reading of In Flanders Fields and a lone bugler. In the library, I displayed information from the Royal Canadian Legion’s website about Remembrance Day which you can find here.  What I forgot to display was an excellent book we have in the library called In Flander’s Fields The Story of the Poem by John McCrae. As the veteran visiting our school pointed out, a former student from the school was severely wounded during a recent tour in Afghanistan which saw the death of four of his friends. Meanwhile, another young soldier with relatives in the school is set to depart on a tour of duty. Suddenly, even with the number of veterans of World War I and World War II dwindling, the reason why we observe Remembrance Day has been brought closer to home… More excellent reading suggestions surrounding war and Remembrance Day here.

Lest we forget… 

They should make a film about this book…

thefilmclubJust finished reading The Film Club by David Gilmour. Disinterested in his studies and possibly poised to spiral into a life of depression and addiction, Jesse Gilmour is given an unusual option by his father – to drop out of school. The conditions are that the teen stay away from drugs and watch and discuss three films a week with his father who selects them, he hopes, with the care books might be selected for a high school curriculum. Gilmour is the award winning author of A Perfect Night to go to China and a former film critic for the CBC. His sparse yet poetic style is a delight to read.  The best moments in the book involve Jesse experiencing some of the over 150 films referenced, everything from cinematic classic films like Citizen Kane to popcorn flicks like Pulp Fiction. I love the way Gilmour captures the delicate balancing act of reeling your teen into learning something important about life while trying not to lose them or turn them off by going on too long. But, more than just a book about movies, The Film Club lets us look in on the pains experienced by an adolescent boy trying to deal with loves gained and lost and ultimately, with the pain of learning to become more than just his father’s son.

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