Her new book is Squeezed: What You Don't Know About Orange Juice.
Recently, I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
It's summertime, the season for a great romance, thriller, or mystery, whether read between covers or viewed on the big screen. And yet all I seem to be reading these days is non-fiction, the film equivalent of the documentary, which you might think is more fall/winter appropriate. Think again. Docs can be entertaining: remember March of the Penguins, when the two pudgy penguins too impatient to wait their turn get momentarily stuck, Abbot and Costello style, in the hole in the ice on their way fishing?Visit Squeezed's home page at the Yale University Press website, to view reviews, an excerpt, and more.
Similarly, Non-fiction can be gripping. I'm going to take a chance and pick Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life as proof. I confess I have not read this year-in-the-life, but it's on my shelf, next in line. Kingsolver, who appropriately made her name writing delicious fiction (The Bean Trees was her first novel), begins Animal, Vegetable, Miracle with an elaborate drawing of an every-vegetable-plant followed by the evocation:
Picture a single imaginary plant,
bearing throughout one season all the
different vegetables we harvest...
we'll call it a vegetannual
With a start like this, I'm confident it won't disappoint. Especially since squash, which may be my single most favourite vegetable, crowns the drawing.
If you're more in the mood for a thriller, I recommend A Question of Intent: A Great American Battle With a Deadly Industry, by David Kessler, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Kessler was largely responsible for exposing and cracking down on the tobacco industry. Although the book was published in 2001, it is timely given a recent article co-authored by Kelly Brownell, Yale psychologist and author of Food Fight: The Inside Story of the Food Industry, America's Obesity Crisis, and What We Can Do About it, and Kenneth Warner, tobacco researcher and Dean of the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, about the similarities in the marketing tactics used by the food and tobacco industries.
Hot docs for what I hear is going to be a hot summer.