05 September 2016

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts: Sound Recommendations & a Reading Experiment

2 Audiobooks to Listen to right nowHappy Labor / Labour Day to my American and Canadian friends. We did our grilling out and lazing about yesterday, though I'm not planning to work a full day today. If you're celebrating the holiday weekend, I hope the weather was as beautiful where you are as is/was for us.

What I Listened To: I've managed to squeeze in quite a lot of listening time lately as I've increased my time in the kitchen and am back to my daily walks. Thank goodness the temperatures have moderated here in central Pennsylvania. I love that hint of fall and the cool evenings.

Real Food Fake Food by Larry OlmstedFirst up was a nonfiction book that has changed the way I buy and consume food. Real Food Fake Food by Larry Olmsted was an eye-opener. Don't be thrown by the title, this book is not another treatise on buying fresh food or nonprocessed food. It's actually about the shockingly lax food laws in the United States (and other countries). Some things you may know about: the big olive oil controversy and the sawdust in so-called Parmesan cheese. But I had no idea that the labeling and regulation of fish, other cheeses, honey, red meat, and wine was so, well, almost nonexistent. Let's just say that I don't think I'll be ordering fish in a restaurant ever again. Fortunately, Olmsted provides buying tips, so you can probably find some good sources for some of the questionable food items. Yikes! The audiobook (Highbridge; 12 hr, 5 min) was read by Jonathan Yen, who was expressive, impressive with the accents, and kept my interest. More on the audiobook in AudioFile magazine.

The Fortunes by Peter Ho DaviesThe Fortunes by Peter Ho Davies is, I suppose, historical fiction, but  it's really a look at the Chinese American experience during four critical times over the last 150 years or so. The first part looks at an orphan who was sold by an "uncle" in China to another "uncle" in America with the order to get rich and send gold back home. He eventually becomes involved with building the cross-continental railroad. The second part looks at a half-Chinese woman and her experiences in the early days of Hollywood. Next we meet a young Chinese American man who witnessed a hate crime in Detroit as the auto industry started to collapse. Finally we journey to China with a half-Chinese man and his white wife who are on their way to adopt a child. Circumstances and fortunes may change, but family duty and the limbo experience of being a first-generation Asian American remain eerily the same through time. The novel is especially interesting in light of the current Muslim American situation in American. The audiobook (Brilliance; 10 hr, 38 min) was read by James Chen. His accents and characterizations combined with his subtle emotional performance worked for me. Again, see AudioFile magazine for more.

The Book of Joy by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond TutuWhat I'm Reading: I have a ton of books on my list for September. This month is traditionally crazy full of new releases, and I hope to work my through a bunch! Top though on my list is The Book of Joy by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (with Douglas Abrams). I'm approaching this book in a unique (for me) way. I plan to read one chapter a day throughout September and record my thoughts in the companion journal I was given by one of my favorite marketing people at Avery Books (Hi, Farin!). I'll be sharing a quote, a thought, or an inspired photo every day in September over on Litsy. The book won't be out until later in the month, but I can't wait to get reading. I hope I succeed at this experiment.

From the introduction, I learned that the conversations captured in this book are not about being a Pollyana, are not about embracing one religion or another or any, are not about forgetting science or the world's troubles or your own stresses. Instead it's about altering your reactions to the negative -- not pretending they don't exist but trying to respond in a way that can change "the very quality of human life on our planet." Can I do it? Can you do it? Even if the answer is no, I want to see what these two men have to say.

What are you reading or listening to?


Kailana 9/5/16, 7:49 AM  

Your project sounds great! I am still waiting for Litsy to come out on Android. Hopefully soon!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 9/5/16, 8:44 AM  

I'm very interested in The Book of Joy, as happiness is one of the things I am constantly reading about. I love how you've planned to stretch out your reading of Book of Joy over September on Litsy. I will watch for these posts.

bermudaonion 9/5/16, 8:54 AM  

I've got to get my hands on Real Food Fake Food. It sounds like something everyone should read.

Mae Travels 9/5/16, 9:02 AM  

"Real Food / Fake Food," as you say, is an eye-opener. When I read it I found the discussions of the "real" foods and how they are made just as interesting as the descriptions of the fake foods. Examples: real Parma ham and Parmesan cheese and how they are created with such intense care and labor.

My review here: http://maefood.blogspot.com/2016/07/real-foodfake-food-reading-book.html

The book about Chinese Americans has an interesting approach: sampling a few lives aat a few times in history. That might go on my list. I've been convinced to try audio books not just ebooks and old fashioned print. Maybe that would be a start.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Jackie McGuinness 9/5/16, 9:03 AM  

The Fortunes sound interesting.

As for food, one thing I learned is never to eat sushi from any chain/fast food joint. Spend the money and go somewhere reputable.

I just finished Every Last One - very sad.

Kathy Martin 9/5/16, 9:35 AM  

The Book of Joy sounds intriguing. Come see what I accomplished last week here. Happy reading!

Bibliophile 9/5/16, 10:26 AM  

Real Food Fake Food sounds like something I would like to read. Putting it on my list of books to check out.
Happy reading!

Laurel-Rain Snow 9/5/16, 11:37 AM  

The food book sounds like one I should read....and as for The Book of Joy, I am in favor of anything that helps us alter our reactions to negative things. After all, our reactions are just about the only things we can change. Other people's behavior, not so much.

Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your week. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Lindsey 9/5/16, 1:51 PM  

Real Food Fake Food sounds like an important read. Books like that tend to make me a bit mad. I'm trying to improve what my family eats bit by bit, but I often feel like the food industry is making it very difficult!!

Have a great week and I hope your beautiful weather continues. :)

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 9/5/16, 3:07 PM  

The Fortunes sounds intriguing! I've had good luck with stories about US immigrants recently (Shelter, Everything I Never Told You).

Iliana 9/5/16, 6:11 PM  

Happy Labor Day! I'm really interested in The Fortunes so looking forward to hearing more about it. I've been making progress on some of my reads this weekend so I'm happy about that!

JoAnn 9/5/16, 7:48 PM  

Real Food Fake Food sounds like it will be both an eye-opener and infuriating... hopefully an effect similar to Salt Sugar Fat. It's going to the top of my audio wish list!

Heidenkind 9/6/16, 1:16 AM  

I have Real Food Fake Food on hold at the library. I stumbled across it while I was searching for something else in the catalog and I'm 9th in line! I have a feeling it's going to be a best seller.

Poof...books! 9/6/16, 6:55 AM  

As a chapter reader, an often one a day, I look forward to your THE BOOK OF JOY experience. It does allow for savoring a book and its contents and these two gentlemen and the message within seem to be a perfect place to try this.

rhonda 9/6/16, 7:22 PM  

Real food fake food shocked opened my eyes every consumer should read it.The Fortunes is on my tbr pile.

Daryl 9/7/16, 8:00 AM  

not my cuppa, but they do all sound interesting .. thanks!

Jane @ www.raincitylibrarian.ca 9/7/16, 10:27 PM  

Oh dear, Real Food Fake Food sounds kind of terrifying - educational and enlightening, but terrifying...!

(Diane) bookchickdi 9/9/16, 8:00 PM  

Your Book Of Joy project sounds so intriguing, I wish your luck with it.

Deb in Hawaii 9/10/16, 12:15 PM  

All three of these soud interesting--especially Real Food Fake Food which I am definitely going to look for. I will be looking for your joy posts on Litsy too!. ;-)

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