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Friday, March 26, 2010

Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

Author Michael Pollan presents an examination of the four different types of meals that we Americans eat, and the consequences it has for our health and our ecosystem. Pollan is a journalist who has written several books and articles about food and agriculture, and now is a journalism professor at the University of California at Berkeley. For this book, he investigated the differences between the industrial corn-reliant agricultural system, the organic or alternative food system (both small and large-scaled), and food foraged through hunting and gathering. Pollan appeals to the reader’s interest with his eloquent, fact-based text and a full character assessment of each of the individuals he meets on his journeys. He also reflects upon the moral issues of eating meat.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Nanny

This is a fictional account of a true-to-life situation, written by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. Our heroine actually is named Nanny, and she is looking to supplement her income while attending NYU as a child development major and sharing a minuscule Manhattan apartment. She has worked as a nanny before, and can describe the typical characteristics of the children and parents. But this job is different! The X family consists of three separate units that rarely interact: Grayer is the four-year-old son who is precocious, demanding and longing for maternal love; Mrs. X lives for herself and whatever benefit and bauble she can grab; Mr. X is involved in his business and an affair and has little or no time for his wife and son. We also get to examine relationships between the sexes as Nanny becomes romantically involved with Harvard Hottie.
This satire of the upper class and of life in the early years of the
21st century will amuse most readers. The book was made into a movie in 2007, and the book’s sequel, Nanny Returns, was recently published.