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Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Good Reason For A Break

The past month and a half have been a complete whirlwind.

I began a new job as the Events and Outreach Manager at 826 Seattle, now known as The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas. We hosted three parties to celebrate the change and completely revamped our website. All of the news-breaking finally wrapped up yesterday and I'm able to think about things other than work.


But I'm not really complaining. This is a big change for us. After 9 years as 826, we've broken away from our National organization so we can continue growing and serving Seattle youth in the best ways we know how. For those of you unfamiliar with what we do, we're a non-profit writing and communication center for kids 6-18. And all of our services are free. We're very, very excited that our big secret and wonderful new name are now public knowledge.

Anyway, now that we've launched the new site and spread the word, I'm really, truly hoping I can get back to reading. I can't remember the last time I picked up a book, which is sad, especially since I have a pile just waiting to be read.

I'm also looking forward to posting again. I always feel like my life is a little off-balance when I take these steps away from the book world.

PS. To learn more about The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas, visit fearlessideas.org

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Chain Exposes the Fate of our Food

I've been carrying around Ted Genoways' The Chain: Farm, Factory and the Fate of Our Food in my purse for quite awhile now, reading it just a a little at a time. It is quite a lot to process.

I mentioned in August that I had started reading The Chain. Back then, I shared I had learned that I never ever wanted to try Spam, and we feeling really great about becoming pescatarian. I also said that although I've always felt pretty educated on the food world, I loved learning more.


Which is all still totally true.

In a Q&A with Genoways, the author explains the title of his book:
In meatpacking plants, the speed of processing is set by a chain conveyor system. The chain determines everything about how a day in the plant goes. During times of high demand, the company will try to push the speed of the chain to get more output. When it gets to running too fast, injuries occur and food can be processed improperly. Workers often talk about the chain as if it were a living thing, something to be feared. This book is really an examination of what happens when the chain is allowed to run unbridled. 
Probably the best summary I've found of what I read.

What Genoways does so well in The Chain is he makes it about people, not about pigs. Although he seems to tell a lot of similar stories, each story still held my attention and had me flipping through pages. More importantly, it made me want to talk about what I read. In my opinion, that's what makes a non-fiction book a success. If I want to share what I've read and have discussions that could possibly teach a friend or peer something new, that's wonderful.

Basically, The Chain, is really great journalism.

Also, the cover is so nice. So nice and simple.


Forward, but not being grotesque. And of course, can anyone really go wrong with red, white and black? I hope they keep this as the official cover and not just the proof! That's always a disappointment.

The Chain is out on October 14 (so soon!) but you can pre-order it on the Harper Collins site. If you want a little sample of Genoways' writing, you can read his related articles.

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more wonderful food writing

this AMAZING cookbook just arrived

my Tigers lost today, and I'm feeling homesick

Monday, October 06, 2014

Harper Perennial 50th Anniversary Olive Editions

Back in 2008, Harper Perennial selected a handful of their modern classes and reissued them as limited editions. Designed by Milan Bozic, these beauties sold as $10 trade paperbacks. It became an annual tradition through 2011 and has been brought back this year to celebrate Harper Perennial's 50th anniversary.


My wonderful friends over at the Olive sent me a box of the eight books they released this year and holy moly, I am in love!


Seriously, the best delivery in the world is a box of brand new books. 



I'm almost ashamed to admit I haven't read any of the eight titles I was sent, but on the positive side, I now have so many wonderful things to read!


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey


Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry
The Financial Lives of Poets, by Jess Walter


Telegraph Avenue, Michael Chabon
Native Son, Richard Wright
State of Wonder, Ann Patchett

I love the style of these. After looking through Bozic's portfolio, I realized I own quite a few books that he's designed as well, including Bottom of the 33rd, Ugly Man, and Out of the Woods

And I love this quote on the back of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

"From that time on, the world was hers for the reading."
You can see the Olive Editions from previous years over on Harper Perennial's Tumblr page

Sooo good lookin'!

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