There was a milestone of sorts reached in that 300+ mile trip. It was the first time I've ever gone away without a physical book accompanying me! And I gotta say ... being bookless felt weird. Like I was missing an appendage or something. Of course, I had my Kindle, so I really wasn't bookless, but being without a physical book was odd. It was only for two nights (one of which was spent at the event), so I knew that the 305 books that I have on my Kindle (mostly freebies and a lot of classics) would suffice.
(I wound up reading - via Kindle - the first chapter of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, which is one of my currently overdue library books and one that I don't want to return. And of the five audiobooks I had with me, I only listened to the first CD of That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo before deciding that this one wasn't holding much magic for me. Into the DNF pile it goes.)
Anyway, it almost doesn't matter that I missed last week's Salon because I've been reading the same book for the past two weeks. That's not to say it isn't a good one, because it absolutely is. I'm engrossed in Jonathan Bloom's American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half Its Food (and what we can do about it). I know, it doesn't sound like all that appetizing of a book, does it? But it is absolutely fascinating and sobering at the same time. I knew we, as Americans, waste a considerable amount of food, but I had no idea of the magnitude of the problem nor of its impact.
The first sentence of Bloom's book is the eye-opening "Every day, America wastes enough food to fill the Rose Bowl. Yes, THAT Rose Bowl - the 90,000 seat football stadium in Pasadena, California." He gives more statistics and backs up his meticulous research with an engaging narrative that is making this a really interesting read. The jacket copy proclaims "after reading American Wasteland, you will never look at your grocery list, dinner plate, or refrigerator the same way again." That's the absolute truth. On Thursday night, neither Betty or Boo finished their plate of spaghetti. "I'm too full," Boo said. "That's fine," I replied. "It can be your dinner tomorrow night." He looked at me like I'd sprouted another head. But when you've just read that the average family wastes $2,200 a year on food that is discarded (and that is a conservative estimate), then dammit, that spaghetti is making an encore appearance.
I'm hoping to finish American Wasteland today, although I'm not sure that will happen. This move is taking a toll on my reading progress (and my blogging, and my aching back), I'm sorry to say. I'm at the point where I need to pack up some of my books (have been putting this off as much as possible) and return some of my library books.
Hope you're having a great Sunday!
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