Friday, May 9, 2008

Book Ideas: True Stories Edition, Part 1

Sorry for dearth of blog posts. What can I say? I've been lazy!

It occurred to me that after a run of novels, we might be ripe for a nonfiction tale. Here are some ideas, all available in paperback!

Something to plug us into the eco-friendly trend: Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." Time magazine named it one of its top 10 nonfiction books of 2007. Cribbing from its review:
When Kingsolver and her family moved from arid Tuscon, Ariz., to verdant Appalachia, they upped the ante by deciding to eat only food they grew themselves, or which grew locally, for a full calendar year. They're not the first to try it, but they may be the funniest. Kingsolver and her family — who chip in on the writing — are never shrill or scoldy about their project, just quietly convincing, and they make the food in their agricultural epic practically vibrate with seductive organic intensity.

Hungry for the great outdoors? We could take on "Into the Wild" or "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer. The former follows the adventures of Christopher McCandless, who was born in Annandale, took off after college and ended up in the Alaskan wilderness, where he died at age 24. You no doubt know about last year's movie adaptation by Sean Penn -- we could do a DVD screening as a tie-in! "Into Thin Air" is another wilderness adventure tale that details Krakauer's ascent of Mount Everest. He survived (obviously), but let's just say things did not go well. A good friend recommends both.

I know I don't have to sell this once, since we were all excited about reading it at the first book club meeting: "Kabul Beauty School" by Deborah Rodriguez. Amanda has even bought the book already! Tie-ins include a documentary, "The Beauty Academy of Kabul," and an NPR report.

Want any of these to be a book club pick? Host a meeting! (Hint, hint.)

I've got a few more nonfiction suggestions that I'll try to write up soon. Stay tuned! And if you have your own, let us know in the comments!

1 comment:

1993 GJHS Reunion said...

I like the idea of any Krakauer book. "Under the Banner of Heaven" doesn't have the survivalist bent of the other two Angie mentioned, but it's also very good. (Definitely steer clear of the movie version of "Into Thin Air," tho. Its movie-of-the-week production values detract from the overall story.)

Mary Roach is good for bringing science out of academia and making it fun.

We could also go a foodie route with Ruth Reichl, Anthony Bourdain or Mark Kurlansky.