Saturday, March 2, 2019

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch is the acclaimed author of over sixteen picture books and novels. Her earlier picture books include Enough, Silver Threads, Daughter of War, Aram's Choice and The Best Gifts.

In 2013 she won the Silver Birch Fiction Award for Making Bombs for Hitler and the Red Cedar Award for Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan's Rescue from War.

Skrypuch's new book is Stolen Girl, the latest volume in her WWII trilogy.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
Because I write historical fiction, I never read any fiction set during an era I'm actively writing in, and while in the throes of novel writing, I have to go on a bit of a fiction diet to stay on track. I read a ton of research material, and for pleasure, I am a little bit addicted to books about consumer fraud. They're informative and utterly different from what I need to read as research and they don't seem to get me off track from my own writing deadlines.

Here are three recent ones that I loved:

Marion Nestle's Unsavory Truth reveals how the food industry controls the narrative about what we hear about food and nutrition. She details the research studies that have been funded by food industry groups (Coca Cola, Nestle, fruit councils, dairy councils, POM, nut councils, Hershey and so on) and how the results invariably can be used for marketing by the funder. As an example, high-bush blueberries, pomegranate juice, and pecans being touted as "super-foods". There's no such thing as a super-food.

Larry Olmsted's Real Food/Fake Food is compulsively easy to read and it is oh so informative. I am on a quest now to find real and fresh parma-reggianno cheese and authentic, fresh olive oil. I am glad to know why ordering red snapper in a restaurant is a bad idea and why one should never ever dine in a sushi restaurant. It surprised me to read why Costco, Walmart and some of the other big-box stores are actually more reliable than restaurants and grocery stores when it comes to sourcing healthy seafood and meat. Much of what Olmsted relates is alarming but it's mitigated by the fact that he advises the reader on how to spot fake food and how to go about buying the real stuff.

Sandy Skotnicki's Beyond Soap is about how we're damaging the micro-biome of our skin by applying hundreds of ingredients by way of lotions and potions and make-up. How we strip off our natural oils only to spend a fortune on trying to replace them. And how we're giving ourselves dermatitis, eczema, rosacea and acne by irritating our skin from all these ingredients and also by over-washing. There are a couple of quotes that stand out, like, "organic and 'natural' is good for food but not for skin care", and "when showering, don't lather up all over, just wash your bits".
Visit Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch's website.

My Book, The Movie: Making Bombs for Hitler.

The Page 69 Test: Making Bombs for Hitler.

My Book, The Movie: Stolen Girl.

--Marshal Zeringue