Monday, June 30, 2014

Salt Sugar Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us

Investigative reporter Michael Moss outlines the rise of the processed food companies and the connection they have to the growing obesity epidemic. The book starts out with a meeting held by some of the largest food companies such as: Nabisco and Coca-Cola where they discussed the problem of obesity, and if they should do anything with their food products to help change this. The cause for concern was that salt, sugar, and fat which are used in great amounts in these processed food companies are being linked to problems with obesity. Moss shows how our food industry became more processed, and how the companies care more about profit than they do about what goes into the "food".

Salt Sugar Fat does not focus on how bad these ingredients are for us in large amounts(although that does come up in the book). Rather, it is about the food industry. How these processed foods are made, why we have largely shifted to eating huge quantities of processed food, and how the process has changed over the years. I really liked learning about the science behind some of these developments. How people making the food search for the "bliss point" that will make consumers love the food, and want more of it. It was a well researched book, and the information is presented in a clear engaging manner. It is very easy to understand the arguments being made.

The book is divided into three sections: Salt, Sugar, and Fat. There is information about how your body and brain react when you eat each of these, which I found very interesting. It is then explained how each one is important to the food industry, the quantities it is used in, and why they continue to use such high amounts when they know excessive amounts of these ingredients are very bad for people's health.

I did find it a little shocking to read how many of the heads of these food companies do not eat their own products for various health reasons. I think that was one of the eye-opening statements in this book. There is a lot of good information presented in this book, that will make you think twice about eating many of these overly processed food products.

I liked that this book was not about vilifying the food companies or defending them. It was about providing information to consumers so they can make informed choices about what they eat, or how they vote. It is important to understand what is actually happening with our food industry.

If you are at all curious about how your food is made, I recommend reading this book.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye

One day everything seems normal. Suddenly, the dead are rising and feeding on the living. The world falls apart in weeks, as the government and armies are overrun by the zombies. Not long after the zombies appear there is no government, no police force, no one growing food, no manufacturing--nothing that people need to stay safe and alive. It is everyone for themselves in this new horrific world.

Kirkman's series The Walking Dead is intended to be a social commentary on what happens to people when society falls apart and they are placed in impossible situations. How do different people react? How do they gradually change as anyone inevitably would when faced with an end of the world scenario such as this? The series focuses on Rick Grimes a police officer who wakes up from a coma in the hospital and finds the world he has known is gone. He meets up with other survivors while searching for his wife and son. It is through this group of survivors we learn how different people react to the zombie apocalypse.

Days Gone Bye is the first volume in The Walking Dead series. It introduces us to some of the main characters. Warning: do not get overly attached to people as characters die frequently in this series. If they live, you will see your favorites go through horrible things. Kirkman spares the characters nothing. I was surprised by how quickly things happened in this book. Do not expect great depth to the story or characters in this volume. It is the first book, and it followed the typical series opening where everything in the series is being introduced. Although it is an apocalyptic story, I hope that there will be more depth in the following books, and some of the questionable issues that have already cropped up with characters will balance out.

In comparison to the television series based off this graphic novel series, I would say so far, the show is better. I might be biased because I saw the show first, despite my friends trying to get me to read this series for years. I will read the rest of the series before final judgement, but that is my opinion for now. The show does a better job with character development, so you can see the changes as they are exposed to this world.

If you like zombie apocalypse stories, I would give this one a try.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Xing Xing is a potter's daughter who lives in a cave with her stepmother and sister. She helps care for her sister whose feet are being bound. When all of their money is spent, desperation seizes her stepmother as she races to find a husband for her daughter. She involves Xing Xing in her various plots by using her to try to get ahead. They receive important news that the Emperor will be at the cave festival, and the stepmother realizes this is her chance to get a very wealthy husband for her daughter. If Xing Xing wants to attend the festival she must do it in a way her stepmother will not find out. She will try to prove that she is not the worthless lazy one that her stepmother keeps saying she is.

It was interesting to read a retelling of some of the earlier written accounts of the Cinderella tale. Napoli sets her retelling of the Chinese tales in the Ming era, and incorporates elements of several different traditional Chinese Cinderella tales into her version of the story. It is a nice blend of tales and history presented in a decent retelling of these tales.

This was not my favorite book by Napoli, but I did like comparing elements of this tale to other versions of Cinderella I have read. The characters in this book were the stereotypical Cinderella characters, and I do not think that anything new was added to the understanding of them. Typically, Napoli develops her characters more, and will often provide new insight into the traditional fairy tale characters.

People who like retellings of fairy tales or the Cinderella tale will enjoy this book.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Triple Knot

Joan of Kent was the cousin of King Edward III of England. After her father is killed for his treason, she becomes the ward of the king, and he plans to use her as a bargaining chip in a strategic marriage. Joan dislikes his choice for her, and secretly arranges to marry one of the king's knights to thwart the plots that surround her. Unfortunately for Joan, this creates more problems for her. She must find a way to convince her powerful relatives of the validity of her marriage.

I enjoyed this novel about Joan of Kent. I thought Campion took an interesting part of history and made a very engaging story. The author based her book off several questions about the life of Joan. She mentions them in the author's note, and while I agree they are interesting, I will not mention them here so the ending will not be given away to those unfamiliar with Joan's story. The author used her questions to create a believable and engrossing tale.

I thought it was a well researched book, which I really like in my historical fiction. I appreciated the details that the author provided in the story. Campion did an excellent job incorporating the facts into the story, so the information was present, but did not slow the book at all. There was great balance between the story and facts included. Reading this made me excited to read the author's first book: The King's Mistress. I am now very curious about Joan's life, and look forward to finding some biographies about her to read.

I would have liked it if there had been more information at the end of the book about what was real, and if anything greatly deviated from what is known about Joan's life. I always appreciate that in historical fiction. The author mentions a bibliography that can be found on her website, but it would have been nice if it had been included in the book.

If you like historical fiction, I recommend reading this book.

**I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books for this review**

*Receiving a free copy does not change my review. It merely provides me with a book I would not have gotten to as quickly or heard about otherwise.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Prisoner B-3087

Yanek was a young Jewish boy living in Krakow Poland in the 1930s. As the Nazis invade Poland Yanek's freedom is taken away. His family is forced into a ghetto, and as they struggle to survive, they are slowly separated. Yanek soon finds himself alone, and on a transport to a concentration camp. The first of ten different camps he will be sent to during World War II. He struggles not only to live, but to retain his humanity as he knows his family would want him to.

Prisoner B-3087 is based off of Yanek Gruener's real experiences during World War II. It is told as ficton simply to speed up the timing and events. Gratz and Gruener wanted a middle grade to young adult audience to be able to read a book about the war and understand the scope of what was happening, and give a young audience a fuller idea of events.

This book came to my attention because my nephew Alejandro was reading it with his Mom, and they recommend I read it too. I thought it was a great introductory book to the Holocaust. It gives a younger audience an idea of the horrors of the ghetto and concentration camps. It also provoked interesting discussions as we read the book.

Q&A with Alejandro

Yanek and his family were forced to live in a ghetto, what did you think about that and what happened to them there?

I thought it was not right that they had to go there. I did not like it. I remember when he had to sneak to help his Aunt and Uncle bake bread at night in the ghetto. They should not have to sneak to make bread to eat. Also Yanek's Bar Mitzvah in the basement in the ghetto. It was important for him to have that special event. Yanek found a pigeon coop and had the idea to hide in it. I would not want to live in a pigeon coop to try to hide from people trying to kill me.

At one part, the Nazis said people should turn themselves in to be sent away. When no one did they threatened to kill people. Yanek's family fights because some want to turn themselves in and some don't. Because of what Yanek says they agree to stay hidden and not turn themselves in. I think I would stay hidden, but it is a hard choice. I know where they sent people, they didn't always know it was a bad place they were going to. If they stayed they also had danger, but maybe no food. I would stay where I knew what was happening.

Yanek is sent on a transport to a concentration camp. What do you think about his time in the ten different camps?

I was surprised he found his Uncle in the first camp he went to. At first he is like yea! My family survived! His Uncle helped him learn about the camp and how to live. It was so sad when his Uncle died. He was the last of his family. It was very sad. And Yanek didn't know where his Uncle hid the money, so he was sad and hungry.

There was a police officer from the Judenrat in one of the camps and people got very angry at him. It was sad that he died. But also confusing because maybe he was afraid or wanting better treatment for his family and that's why he was a police officer. But people that had family hurt or taken away by the police were angry. It is hard to know what think about him and why he died.

There was a zoo in one of the camps, and the animals were treated better than the humans in the camps. That wasn't right. Humans and animals should both be treated well.

Yanek gets sick and tries to go to a hospital, but it is more dangerous to go to the hospital in the camps than it is to be sick. He doesn't stay at a hospital.

Yanek was sent on two death marches as a way of moving prisoners to different camps. What did you think about what happened on the marches?

They weren't given very much food for the march, and had to walk a long way. Yanek helps a boy named Fred who was falling down. He would have been killed if he couldn't walk. Yanek saved him. Yanek could have died for helping him, and lost his bread. When Fred woke up he wouldn't share his bread with Yanek. Maybe he didn't believe he helped him? Yanek felt good about helping Fred, but also very weak and scared of dying. He was very brave to ask the mean guard Moonface for bread.

Some Czechs were nice and left bread by the road for the prisoners to have food. That was brave. Some people didn't leave bread, and I thought they were mean, but maybe they were just scared of the Nazis.

There was a bomb that destroyed the documents and Yanek tries to pass as Polish. But someone tells on him and he has to go back to the Jewish prisoners. I don't know why that man told on him. He should have let Yanek join them. I don't know if he was scared or mean.

How did Yanek feel about making it to the end of the war?

When the Americans came and the prisoners were freed and got to have a real meal a guy started crying and laughing when he asked to pass the salt. They were so happy to be saved and have food and be nice again.

Yanek found a cousin that lived. He was happy to have someone from his family live. Yanek went to America and got married.

What did you think of the book?

I thought it was a good book. I like to learn about World War II, and I got to learn a lot about what happened to the Jews in this book.

Was this your first time reading a Holocaust memoir?

Yes. I would be interested in reading more of them.

Is there anything else you would like to say about the book?

Yanek was ten when the war started, and he had to stop going to school and saw the synagogue burn. It would have been scary. I would have wanted to fight. I wondered why more people didn't fight when the Nazis started hurting people? I think it would have been harder as a prisoner to fight because they weren't given very much food, and soon didn't have any muscle. Also I think people were very scared and didn't want people they loved to get hurt.

Thank you Alejandro for telling me about this book and for reviewing it with me. I am looking forward to the next book we read together.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fables: Storybook Love

The Fables' secret has been discovered by a reporter who is now ready to reveal to the world what he knows. Unfortunately for him, his desire for a quote from the Fables reveals his story too soon. Bigby Wolf immediately gets a team together consisting of Flycatcher, Prince Charming, Briar Rose, Bluebeard, Little Boy Blue, and Jack to combine all their skills to go and retrieve the evidence that the reporter has. They must come up with ingenious ways to complete their mission when all does not go as planned.

This is the third volume in the Fables series, and it is a great one! There is more depth to some of the individual characters than the first two volumes, but the overarching plot still moves forward in a pleasing way. I really liked some of the main Fables setting aside their differences for the good of Fabletown. Willingham uses some of the classic fairy tale tropes to create an interesting plot for the series, but more specifically, this volume. There were some quite inventive uses of each character's "powers" in the plot to save Fabletown from exposure to the Mundys.

Storybook Love really pulls us into the Fable world. Now that we have the basic information who the Fables are from the first two volumes, and why they are hiding in the mundane world, we can explore who the characters are. Willingham enlightens us about some of our old favorite characters and stories with enough of the original tales we can recognize them, while still providing a fresh twist to the stories. There are some important series plot developments in this volume, so it is a must read for the series.

If you are interested in the Fables series I highly recommend continuing on and reading Storybook Love.

Friday, June 20, 2014

I Am Malala

Malala Yousafzai lived in Swat Valley in Pakistan. When the Taliban took over, they began to limit education for girls. Malala refused to quit school, and spoke out against such acts. She demanded the right for women to be educated. In 2012 she was shot on the school bus for voicing her opinions on the education of women. It seemed unlikely she would survive, and she was flown out of country for specialized care. She has since recovered and become a symbol for peace and women's rights.

There was a lot of background information about Pakistan and political situation there for people not as familiar with it. Although I thought it was a good idea to add the background information to help readers understand how a fifteen year old girl can get shot for saying women should be able to go to school, it was not always well integrated into Malala's personal story. Still, this should not prevent you from reading this book.

I have heard some criticism that Malala is simply parroting her father's thoughts on education, but I did not find that to be the case when I read this book. It is true her father is passionate about education, but it is a cause that she also feels strongly about. She began giving her own speeches on the topic of education, and when her own education was threatened by the Taliban, she became determined to preserve her right to learn.

I find it inspirational that despite being shot by the Taliban, Malala remains a positive person and is still willing to fight for rights for women, particularly the right to education.

I recommend reading Malala's book.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mistress Of The Monarchy: The Life Of Katherine Swynford, Duchess Of Lancaster

Katherine de Roet was born in the middle of the fourteenth century in Hainault. She traveled to England with Phillipa, who married Edward II of England. Katherine was brought up in the royal household, and was married to a knight--Hugh Swynford. She worked in John of Gaunt's household caring for his children. After she was widowed at twenty-one, she became John of Gaunt's mistress. During the Peasant's Revolt, John ended their personal relationship to repair his reputation with the public and with god. He continued to support her and their children even though the evidence indicates she was no longer his mistress at that time. Years later their relationship picks up again, and after John's second wife Constance dies, John and Katherine petition the Pope for permission to marry. They receive it and their children are legitimized. Their marriage caused great scandal, and ultimately, their children the Beauforts gain a foothold into all the noble families in England. During the War of the Roses the Beauforts come to power through the Tudor line.

The research for this book was incredible. Weir had to work very hard to put together information about Katherine's life. There is little documentation, and later generations tried to hide their connection to her as there were questions about the legitimacy of her children. She also had a bad reputation because she was John's mistress for a long time. It was interesting to discover how later generations tried to separate themselves from her, but during her life her family adored her, even John's children with his first two wives. The royal family welcomed her and ensured that she was taken care of after John's death.

Much of the book presents a history about what was happening during Katherine's life. There is also a lot of focus on John of Gaunt. I enjoyed the background information. It was interesting to learn about the politics of the time, and where the major sources of information we have from that time period come from. I wish there had been more certain information about Katherine, but I appreciate that Weir is clear about what information we have, and what we simply cannot know.

I was excited to read this book, as I knew very little about Katherine Swynford. I found it intriguing to learn how some major historical people and events can be traced back to Katherine. It is a very readable biography, and it held my interest to the very end. I liked the new understanding of historical events this book gave me.

I highly recommend reading this book.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Elemental Magic

A fantasy anthology of four stories, each one using one of the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Every story uses one of the elements as a focus of the tale. These elements are used to direct fate, as power sources, and to bring the characters together in unique ways. These are romantic fantasy short stories that provide a sampling of each author's style. Each author contributes a new story of theirs to this collection.

 For the element Air: Sharon Shinn wrote Bargain With The Wind.

This is a fantasy retelling of the Cinderella tale. It focuses on the sacrifices people are willing to make to obtain their greatest wish. This version of Cinderella focuses more on what happens after the central figures fall in love and get married. This version is only beginning where the traditional tale ends.

Sharon Shinn's short story was the reason I wanted to read this book. I really like her writing style, and when I discovered it was a Cinderella retelling, I was very excited. I greatly enjoyed the uniqueness of her Cinderella tale.

For the element Earth: Jean Johnson wrote: Birthright.

It is time for the heir to the kingdom to take their place as ruler. The problem is, the heirs are twins, and no one is certain who the rightful heir is. The twins work to discover which one is suppose to rule the kingdom, and have very different methods for finding the answer to this life changing question.

This was the first story I have read from Jean Johnson. I did not care for this story as much. It was very heavy on the romance, almost to the sacrifice of some more interesting plot ideas. I thought it was too much for a short story.

For the element Water: Carol Berg wrote: Unmasking.

Everyone in this world is tested at a young age to determine how best to serve their country that is battling to keep demons out. A search trainee and a farmer must find a way to work together to thwart the spy in their midst and end the war.

This was my first time reading anything by Carol Berg. I did not engage with this story. It took too long to gain momentum, which is not good in a full length book, but is essential in a short story such as this. For me, it was a forgettable tale.

For the element of Fire: Rebecca York wrote: Huntress Moon.

Very skilled with magic, a young noblewoman Zarah finds herself sold into slavery after her father is convicted of a crime he did not commit. She is sold as a spy, and must discover a powerful council member's secrets if she ever hopes to gain her freedom and protection for her family.

I believe this was my first time reading anything by Rebecca York. The language of the story was inconsistent. Sometimes it seemed like it was set in the future after the United States was destroyed, and other times it was more similar to a medieval fairy tale. I would have preferred that the story flowed together a little better.

Perhaps my biggest issue with this story was that a slave was bought for the sexual pleasure of their master, but having sex with her was not forced if her master took the time to pleasure her. I do not normally like to spoil the endings, but she marries him three days later because they are in love. A short story does not mean everything speeds up.

I would have liked these short elemental stories more if they had focused more on plot than romance. While I realize that these are fantasy romance, the romance took over the tales being told, and did not really balance with the other plot points. I liked Sharon Shinn's story, but that was it. I did not care for the writing style of the other authors. For these short stories it seemed that it was just a few romantic encounters and little else. Perhaps I would appreciate the other authors more if I were to read a full length book that had time to develop something other than romance.

If you can find the Sharon Shinn story elsewhere I would recommend that, because the other stories were not as good.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Tic Tac Tome

Do you love playing Tic Tac Toe? If you do, and are looking for a tough opponent to beat, Tic Tac Tome is the perfect book for you. You can go first, or you can turn the book over and let the book move first. You choose where to place the X, and go to the page number in that space to see where the book will go. You continue on this way until either you or the book wins, or the game ends in a draw. It is a fun choose your own adventure game, and more addictive than you would guess.

I received a copy of this book from Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review*. Tic Tac Toe seems like such an easy game to win. It turns out, the book is a great player. I have yet to win a round. I was determined to win. Having no luck with my quest, I decided to bring this book with me on my family vacation. I knew my family would have fun with it, and I wanted to discover how long it would take someone to win. Family members of all ages tried it. For some of the kids it was their first choose your own adventure type book, and they loved it! Any time we had down time someone had the book in their hands searching for the way to win(I also offered the book as a prize to the first person to beat it, which may also have fueled people's determination). My brother finally discovered the way to win. Yes, it is possible to beat the book.

Tic Tac Tome is a fun activity for any age. All you need to play is: the rules to Tic Tac Toe, and to know how choose your own adventure books work. All of this is explained at the beginning of the book. It was an entertaining challenge that everyone had a good time with. The small size of the book makes it easily transportable, so you can fit in time to challenge the book to a game whenever you have a spare moment.

If you like a challenging puzzle I suggest playing Tic Tac Tome.

*Quirk Books does not require a review or stipulate what kind of review should be given if you are inclined to review the book. It was simply part of a promotional event for their book. Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It merely provides me with a book I would not have read as soon, or found out about otherwise.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Grapes Of Wrath

We follow the Joad family as they are forced to move from Oklahoma to California looking for work. The dust bowl has limited their chances of making money from their land. The bank forcloses, on their property, and they must leave. They pack up what they can in their truck, and the family starts driving west to California. They have read a pamphlet that advertises work. Placing all their hopes on the notion of finding work, they leave everything behind on the slim chance they will be able to survive on what they find out west.

The Grapes Of Wrath is as applicable today as it was when Steinbeck wrote it. The exact problems might differ, but people still struggle to make payments to the bank, face foreclosures, struggle to find work that pays a living wage, and face prejudice because of their socioeconomic status. People still face hard realities as they struggle to survive.

The message in this book is mainly one of hope. How to meet the challenges life presents without the hope of something better, and will you be able to survive the challenges? On their way out west, some people try to explain that there are no jobs there either. Too many people have gone west looking for work. The Joad family refuses to believe people leaving California. They refuse to give up hope that they will be able to find a way to survive.

This was my first full Steinbeck novel, and I found his presentation style interesting. Steinbeck's writing has a complexity to it, that will allow for new realizations every time you read it. It is no surprise that this was a Pulitzer Prize winner. I think this is a book adults are more likely to enjoy reading, but anyone who is interested, should of course, try reading it.

If you like Steinbeck I recommend reading this book.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Call The Midwife

Jennifer Worth(Jenny) leaves her comfortable life at age twenty-two to become a midwife working in London's East End--the slums, right after World War II. She is based out of Nonnatus House run by nuns. Jenny learns more than helping to bring babies into the world. She learns about life, and as she gains experience, her prejudices are challenged and begin to fade.

I first heard about this book after I began watching the television show Call The Midwife. I think it was mentioned in the first episode that this was based of a book, and as I fell in love with the show, I knew I wanted to read the book. This was confirmed when one of my friends read it, and told me it was a must read. A couple years later, I finally got to it. I am happy that I did, because this was an excellent book.

The experiences related in this book are in vingette form. The short stories are of Jenny's experience as a midwife in East End of London. The narrative between the stories is not always connected, because they are chosen to show the variety of experiences and are not meant to be continuous. Some of the stories are happy and uplifting, and some relate the difficulties of poverty and birth. I like that there was a balance between the good and the bad experiences. I thought this was a very interesting book, and I liked how the information was presented. You will experience humorous, uplifting, and tragic situations.

If you like the television show Call The Midwife or are interested in real stories about birth and social situations I recommend reading this book.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Fall Of Arthur

This is Tolkien's version of how King Arthur meets his end. Arthur is campaigning and about to cross into Mirkwood when he receives the news that Mordred has betrayed him. Arthur returns to face Mordred and defeat his army of mercenaries. Arthur has also recently found out that Guinevere has been unfaithful to him with one of his most trusted knights Lancelot. It is with all these recent betrayals that he faces a great battle without many of his faithful knights to help him fight.

This is an excellent poem. I wish Tolkien had finished it. He began this poem early in his career, but set it aside while he wrote The Hobbit and other projects. Most of the book is written by Tolkien's son Christopher explaining the material, and filling in the story where Tolkien did not have anything written or left clear notes about what his plans for that part of the poem were. While it is informative to read Christopher's notes on this poem, I would have preferred more of the actual piece. Unfortunately, there is nothing to be done about that.

This is a great edition to the lore of King Arthur. Read it aloud if you can find a place you are comfortable doing so, because it really makes you more involved in the story. I love the rhythm of The Fall Of Arthur. It intensifies the reading experience. It is a moving poem, and even though I am familiar with what happens to King Arthur, I still found it to be gripping.

If you like reading about King Arthur, you should not miss this poem. I highly recommend reading this book.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Shadow Queen

Claudette is from a family of poor actors that roams France as part of a troupe of actors. Her mother becomes one of the greatest actresses on stage working with famous playwrights such as: Moliere and Racine. Although society honors actors for their acting abilities, society shuns actors. Through chance, Claudette meets Louis XIV's mistress Athenais, known as "The Shadow Queen". Claudette seizes the great opportunity to become Athenais' personal attendant. The position is more dangerous than Claudette anticipated, and she must try to protect herself and her family.

I won a copy of this book in the Goodreads First Reads Program*.  I was excited to read this book, as I find the affairs of the poison to be an interesting part of history. The Shadow Queen is not strictly about that, but is more about the events that lead up to it. This book did not disappoint. I quickly became engrossed in the story, and could not put it down. I really liked that this story was from Claudette's perspective. I liked reading about the events from the viewpoint of someone on the fringe of what was happening. Some of the events at court are mentioned, but are not given in great detail. I liked this because the main character would not have been directly involved with these events.

It was also interesting to learn more about players(actors) in this time period. I did not realize the extent of the disdain and rejection of actors by society. It was intriguing to read how adored actors were for their performances, yet they were considered evil and not allowed to take communion or be buried in sacred ground without repudiating their acting career. This added another interesting layer to the story.

I thought this was an exceptional historical fiction book. Gulland takes historical people and events and creates an incredible story. The characters are so real you will want to keep reading to know what happens to them. It was a beautifully told story. I am looking forward to reading more books from this author.

If you are a fan of historical fiction you will not want to miss The Shadow Queen. I highly recommend reading this book.

*The Goodreads First Reads program does not require winners to give a review. Winners are encouraged to review the book, as the authors and publishers offering the books for free are trying to get the public interested in their book. If a review is given, it is not stipulated that it should be positive or negative, only an honest review. Winning this book does not change the nature of my review, it merely provides me with early access to this book.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Seeds Of Hope

Jane Goodall is probably best known for her work chimpanzees, here we are again reminded of the variety of information she has to offer us about nature and food sources. In Seeds Of Hope, Goodall explains the vital role that plants have in our individual lives, and in the world. The book begins with her early experiences with nature and follows her continual interactions with plants throughout her life and travels.  

I won a copy of this book in the Goodreads First Reads Program*. This book is an excellent introduction to the importance of plants. While reading this book, it feels as though you are sitting in a garden or forest discussing plants with Jane Goodall. The importance of plants and their future is presented in a very personal way. The horrors that have been done to nature, and the hope that we can do our part to fix it is clearly conveyed.

I enjoyed reading this book. Not only was the information presented in an engaging way, it covered a variety of topics so that almost anyone would be able to discover something that is important to them in nature. If you like history, there is information about people that have gathered and preserved plants, the discovery of different plants, and the history of farming. If you care about how your coffee, tea, produce, or other plant products are grown different methods of farming are discussed. If you want to know how to take an active role to protect plants and nature, there are different programs mentioned that you could get involved with. There is something for everyone in this book.

If you like history, science, or activism you will find something in this book that will interest and inspire you. I highly recommend reading this book.

*The Goodreads First Reads program does not require winners to give a review. Winners are encouraged to review the book, as the authors and publishers offering the books for free are trying to get the public interested in their book. If a review is given, it is not stipulated that it should be positive or negative, only an honest review. Winning this book does not change the nature of my review, it merely provides me with early access to this book.