‘Tis the season of abandoned New Year’s Resolutions. Like I said in my first post of 2018, the beauty of New Year’s Resolutions is that you have an entire year to procrastinate, as long as you get started on them by 2019. 🙂
Anyway, one of my resolutions was to add 10 books to my library from the AgBookClub reading list.
Want to know how those books end up on the AgBookClub reading list? That’s right. From the Amazon suggestion box right after I add a book that I really don’t need to my Amazon shopping cart. 😉
The problem is, nobody has time to read. There are so many things competing for our attention: Netflix, work, cooking, Hulu, your cat, Amazon Prime Video, Grey’s Anatomy, your other cat – you get the picture. It’s takes setting aside time to get through an entire 300-page book, and props to everyone who has stuck with us through any monthly discussion in AgBookClub!
I’m making time to read this year. While I’m obviously going to fit in 12 books through AgBookClub, I’d love to explore outside of the topic of food and agriculture some. Therefore, I present you with my 2018 reading list. This is a list of new finds, books that are on the schedule for AgBookClub, and books that have been laying around my apartment and collecting dust.
These are listed in no particular order, and I should tell you that the links included are affiliate links – if you’re interested in a book and buy it via my link, I might get a few cents back, which will go directly to my brand-new farmland fund. 🙂 If not, no worries – let it sit in your Amazon wish list for months, like I do, or find it at your local library and let me know what you think!
Gracie’s 2018 Reading List:
1. The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto About the Politics of Your Plate by Jayson Lusk
I’ll be honest, this book is up for discussion in February on AgBookClub. I bought this book probably four or five years ago and it’s been taking up space on my shelf ever since. It sounds interesting, and I’m excited to get a jump-start on my resolution by *having* to read it for book club.
2. Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller
If you knew me as a kid, you probably knew I was really interested in the Little House series. Borderline obsessed. As an adult, I still love the series, even though I haven’t read the books in more than 10 years. I bought this book when I ordered my textbook for this semester’s class a couple of weeks ago, and it promises the version from Caroline’s point of view, which is bound to be more age-appropriate than the original books, right?
3. The Quarter-Life Breakthrough by Adam Smiley Poswolsky
I’m a twenty-something, need I explain further? Actually, I should. The author of this book came to our annual meeting at work last spring and things started to click for me. I ordered the book on my phone under the table about 3/4 of the way into his presentation, and I probably should’ve started reading it when it showed up in the mail. Better late than never, right?
4. Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman by Miriam Horn
I attended an event here in St. Louis over the summer, around the time the documentary, Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman was released. We only watched two-thirds of the documentary, but it is phenomenal. (I really should go back and watch the rest now that it’s been released). Anyway, the author of the book attended the event and spoke for a bit, and, me being me, ended up with a copy of the book that’s been sitting on my shelf ever since. I will note, this is going to end up on the 2018 AgBookClub reading list. 😉
5. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
This purchase was a result of the suggestion box after I added some other book to my cart. Looked interesting enough to buy, and still looks interesting enough to read. I guess I’ll let you know what I think after I cross it off my list!
6. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat
I’m a sucker for a good cookbook. And I’d like to start cooking more. Most of my recipes come from the 4-H project books I still have around, my mom’s recipes, or from one of the five Pioneer Woman cookbooks I own, so this is probably going to be a change of pace given the title.
7. The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa
Here’s another algorithm-suggested book, but it’s always good to try new things, right? I love reading about history and will usually head straight for the historical fiction aisle in the book store, so this feels like a good fit.
8. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Another dust-collector. It’s won tons of awards and made it on several morning news programs and sounds like an excellent read, and I’m excited to read something outside of my typical go-to books.
9. Pet Food Politics by Marion Nestle
I’ll admit it, I’m a cat lover (shocker, right?) and have two of my own. There was a great The Farmer and The City Girl podcast about this subject a few months ago, and this feels like the next logical read in that conversation. You’re looking at another future AgBookClub pick here, in case you want to get a head start.
10. Prairie Fires: The American Dream of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser
Another “real version” of the Little House story. Of course, I *had* to have this for my collection. And of all of the books on this list, I’m probably most excited to read this one. I wonder if I could somehow relate this enough to agriculture to get it on the AgBookClub reading list?
11. Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America by Michael Ruhlman
Currently reading this book (it’s 2018, so no arguments that it doesn’t count towards my 15 books will be dismissed), and let me tell you, it is a fantastic look into the grocery industry. We’re reading this one in AgBookClub this month, and have two more discussions left (#AgBookClub Twitter chat – Wednesdays, 8pm CST). Highly recommended.
Here’s another book that I bought on my phone under the table during a speaker’s presentation. The author had a lot of interesting theories about how our lives will radically change in the coming years because of big data – and it’s already happening.
13. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Have you seen the movie? Make sure you do that this weekend. It’s an awesome story about the space race and the important role black women working at NASA had in getting a man on the moon. It’s incredible that a human was capable of doing the math of a computer, and it’s a story that needs to be heard. Makes me wish that my K-12 education would’ve taught me history past WWII, but I guess I’ll have to start doing that myself.
14. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
I should be honest. The reason this book is on my list is because they talked about it a lot on morning TV news (so I had heard about it), I thought the cover was pretty and recognized the title from those TV appearances, and I happened to have a free book offer from Target when I saw it perfectly placed at eye-level on the shelf. AKA, the impulse book-buying trifecta. And who would ever turn down a free book?
15. Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza by Ken Forkish
This is my most recent purchase. Another cookbook, but this time all about the art of bread making. I was hungry for bread when I added it to my online shopping cart. I started reading it over the weekend and it made me crave bread badly enough that I stopped reading it and made a batch of egg bread (which is actually not one of the recipes in this book). I see more carbs in my future.
And this concludes my reading list. Of course, there will be more books read over the course of 2018, but I’m going to make an effort to read some of those books that have been laying around for a while and books I might not otherwise pick up. Maybe I’ll learn something or pick up a new skill. Maybe not. I only hope that these were good picks since it was incredibly difficult to narrow down my list to the realistic-sounding number of 15.
What books do you have on your reading list this year? I’d love it if you would drop your book suggestions in the comments. Maybe they’ll make it onto my 2019 reading list! 🙂