Some Personal Book Recommendations from Michelle

I'm a very eclectic reader. I like to read well-written works by folks with very different views from me and enjoy noting the common ground among us all. In this list you'll find strident vegan works as well as a foodie book by an extremely omnivorous person tired of all the "low fat, low salt, low flavor" stuff. There are very liberal works (such as Jonathon Kozol's works) and a strange book by a very liberal feminist lesbian journalist who found common ground on sexual terms with a right-wing Christian men's group. Although they're not listed yet, I've also enjoyed novels by staunch capitalist and virulent anti-communist Ayn Rand. You'll find irreverent Zen books here as well as some by mainstream, but liberal, 1950's preacher A. Powell Davies. The book Moving Violations is an extremely well-written work by a paraplegic who tells you what it's really like living disabled in our world, the world over (he worked as a journalist in the middle east) and how he views the world's reaction to him -- don't expect consistency, expect honesty.
Health and Cookbooks:
Please to the Table by Bremzen and Welchman
A non-low-fat and non-vegetarian Russian cookbook. I have had a number spectactular successes adapting recipes in this book to low fat vegetarian ones. You have to be inventive, but the strong spicing ideas and combinations can inspire the creative cook.
Dr. Bob Arnot's Revolutionary Weight Control Program by Bob Arnot
This book is an interesting mish-mash of ideas. Not particularly vegetarian in focus, but promotes highly fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains. Also discusses possible problems with low-fiber foods such as breads and pasta. I find this a very motivating book, one that got me to change my diet to focus on nutrionally dense foods.
The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet by Bob Arnot
While I think Arnot vastly overstates the case for dietary factors in the prevention of Breast Cancer, I also found this book helped motivate me to eat more nutrient dense foods rather than junk.
Just Jerky by Mary Bell
Comprehensive jerky cookbook, including vegetarian jerky
Nonna's Italian Kitchen by Bryanna Clark Grogan
Vegan italian cookbook.
Antioxidant Power by Dolores Riccio
Non-vegetarian cookbook focusing on high nutrition foods. A large number of vegetarian recipes. Riccio is also the author of the now out-of-print book Superfoods for Women.
Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman
An ex-cattleman's description of the cattle and dairy industries. After Lyman appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, a group of Texas cattleman filed a lawsuit against him and Oprah Winfrey. Although you may not agree with everything he says, support the right of free speech and hear what he has to say.
Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating by Erik Marcus
Excellent, up to date, discussion of the many reasons for becoming vegan. Covers health, ethics, and ecology. Also covers how to eat a healthy diet as a vegan. Probably the best vegan book of its kind.
Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry by Gail Eisnitz
Graphic, sensationalist book about the meat industry. Photos. Do not read while eating. Although much of this book is anecdotal and not representative, it is important to know some of the worst that goes on just to put steak on the table. Even if one does not want to give up meat, we don't have to be excessively inhumane to get it, there are other ways.
The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten
If you are a foodie like me, you'll love this book.
The Color of Water by James McBride
A jaw-dropping autobiography/biography about James McBride's mother. I read it in one night it was so interesting.
No Contest by Alfie Kohn
A persuasive survey of research on the superiority of cooperation over competition in individual and small group settings.
Rachel and Her Children by Jonathan Kozol
Kozol interviewed several NYC homeless families for this story. Moving.
Savage Inequities by Jonathan Kozol
A detailed look at the worst of America's schools.
Moving Violations by John Hockenberry
Autobiography of NPR journalist and paraplegic. He lost the use of his legs as a teenager. Here's a chance to get a first hand view of how the disabled person is treated by the rest of society and what it's like to get around in a wheelchair.
Ferocious Romance by Donna Minkowitz
A left-wing woman journalist disguises her self as a young man and infiltrates the right-wing Christian men's group Promise Keepers.
Without Apology by A. Powell Davies
A collection of short sermon excerpts by A. Powell Davies, late pastor of the All Souls Unitarian church in Washington DC. Although written in the 50s, these liberal christian writings seem very contemporary. Inspiring.
Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls by A. Powell Davies
Also by A. Powell Davies, it's a pity that more of his work isn't available.
Thank You and OK by David Chadwick
Humorous autobiographical story of one man's encounter with Zen in Japan. I loved it.
Ambivalent Zen by Lawrence Shainberg
This books very similar in flavor to the above, but this one focuses mostly on the American Zen experience. Also very funny.
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