Tuesday, May 15

Book Review: Plenty

I started reading Plenty on Sunday and finished it up this morning over breakfast. It has been touted as a variety of things, but it is the autobiographical work of a literary couple as they embark on a food experiment -- discovering what grows within 100 miles of Vancouver B.C.. It is a story of food, but more than that it is a story of the people who make food and the people who consume it.

I was worried by the attribution to two authors, by the order of "One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally" in the sub-title. Was this another exercise where a man gets a wild hair and his long-suffering partner goes along for the ride? Was this another book where two writers attempt to subsume their voices into a whole? Whose voice would be dominant? Who would I really be reading? I breathed an audible sigh of relief at the start of the second chapter. This is the work of two authors who each bring their own voice to the project... each taking a month/chapter by turns and talking about what he or she experienced in that month and where she or he was observing radical underground shifts in thinking about the world.

The book is written with the kind of intensely personal detail that makes it fascinating reading, whether or not you ever intend to eat locally. It is not a how-to manual... which makes sense because folks living in Vancouver, B.C. do have different foods available than folks living in Des Moines, Iowa; or Charlotte, North Carolina; or Boulder, Colorado... but a delightful, intimate look into lives on a journey.

1 comment:

Mrs. Pivec said...

Cool! Glad to hear you liked it! I've been wanting to grab this one. I think I'll check at my library.

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NotSoBigLiving is the story of a woman inspired by Sarah Susanka, Bill McKibben, Airstreams, Tumbleweed houses, Mennonites, Jimmy Carter, hippies, survivalists, Anasazi, Pema Chodron and Joko Beck, Scott Peck, Buckminster Fuller, and Al Gore to see what she can do to reduce her carbon footprint in her mid-80's suburban townhome. Strategies include roommates, alternative travel, organic eating, planting a victory garden, mindfulness, and a belly full of laughter.