E-books/audiobooks review: non-fiction
Diet for a Hot Planet
by Anna Lappe
(read by Lori Blanchard)
You probably already know much of what Anna Lappe has to say, but it doesn't hurt to reinforce the reasons you might be shying from industrial-farmed food and cutting back on meat, turning vegetarian or buying organic produce. Lappe, whose mother, Frances Moore Lappe, is the author of Diet for a Small Planet, shows how the food on our tables is contributing to global warming. She tackles why the relationship between agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions has been downplayed for so long. And she gives readers Hope, a section in which she tells about how some farmers are producing food that regenerates rather than degenerates soil. Lappe presents her views as an enlightened consumer who has done the legwork to bolster her arguments - against contract farming, land grabs and so on. For example, her visit to Shexian, in Anhui province, allows her to see "methane digesters" at work. Lori Blanchard reads in the steady tones you would expect from a book that won't change your life, but will remind you of why you should choose certain foods ahead of others.
Growing Up Weird
by Karen Crumley
Purple Sage Publishing
Karen Crumley should contact the James Randi Educational Foundation, which offers a US$1 million reward to anyone who can prove paranormal abilities. That should be adequate payment for this and her first book, a novel which she plugs in Growing Up Weird. That volume, Weapon of Jihad, apparently foretold the September 11 terrorist attack ("that the enemy would use our own planes against us") and warned that Iraq and Iran would form a coalition and attack the US. Only 500 copies of that book have sold, she writes; hopefully her latest work will attract fewer than that. Chapter after chapter describe the many odd experiences Crumley says she has had since childhood: she "sees" people dying; a Ouija board (brought out, of course, during a girls' slumber party) informs her she will marry someone with the initials JC (she eventually meets and weds James Crumley). And then she has a grandson, Derrick, who is born with her "gifts". The boy, at four, starts talking to his twin, who died in the womb. Crumley is already planning a sequel. We won't be buying it.