Books, Family

Weekend Reading Notes: March 18

Monday through Friday were spent in the hospital, waiting for my daughter to heal enough from her spinal fusion surgery (for aggressive scoliosis) to come home. And come home, on Friday, we did! There wasn’t much opportunity for in depth reading, between medicine dosages, walks and exercises, and sleep, blessed sleep. I mainly read comics, the first 3 volumes of Saga by Brian K. Vaughan to be exact. She has made a lot of progress, with a lot more to go.

Since we got home, I have been giving The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats by Daniel Stone all my attention (what little is free). I first heard about this book on an episode of the Smithsonian’s podcast, Sidedoor (america’s first food spy). I could not hear of the existence of a food spy without wanting to read the book. It just pushes all my buttons; food, history, and espionage. Do you know where avocados came from? Mangos? The wheat and cotton and kale and lemons and grapes and pomegranates and hops we use? That we now take for granted? THEY WERE NOT ALWAYS HERE. Do you know where the came from? And what (mainly) one man did to get them here?  You may think it’s not exciting, but it is.

Especially the seedless grapes. I just love that story.

Just a small tidbit:

In 1876 at the World’s Fair in Philadelphia, a delicacy called a banana, originally a crop of the Malay Islands, made its public debut in the United States, selling for a dime apiece and wrapped in tinfoil to prevent its phallic shape from offending the crowd’s Victorian sensibilities. How else to eat one but with a fork and knife?

How great is that?

One night in the hospital, when I couldn’t sleep, I read quite a bit of Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu. A shy, introverted teen named Vivian, with a former Riot Grrl for a mother, is fed up with the gender bias of the faculty and staff at her high school and the harassment from the asshole guys in her school. Struggling to find a way to protest and blow off some steam in a way her introverted self can stand, she starts a feminist zine called Moxie. I haven’t read a lot of Young Adult lately and I am appreciating the writing and the story, even if it feels a little predictable. I can’t wait to see how the story resolves.

On that note, I’m going to go read some more while my daughter rests. Have a lovely Sunday!