What I’m Reading

My personal, virtual librarian, Leslie, and a few other friends are chatting about books today.

I’ve been working on hand quilting a queen-size quilt, so the books I’m reading this week are both audio books.  My son tells me that I don’t really pay attention to the books when I’m quilting, but it’s a chance to get lost in a story and in my hand quilting.  Maybe it’s that I just don’t pay attention in general.

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Rita prefers to lay on quilts rather than crawl across book pages.
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Big quilt. No time for books.
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Productive reading and quilting time.

I typically get into a history book rut.  However, I do get a little distracted between what I think I want to read and what I actually decide to read.  I shook things up a little bit this week and used two of my Audible credits to download books I’ve been talking about with my kids.  My son is a fan of stories with an adventure in them, and my daughter has strong opinions about food, politics, the environment, and sustainability.  So my two choices this week were based on finding things I could share with each of them.


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The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke

I just got my copy of this book, and I haven’t seen the movie, so I’ll just give you the publisher’s details on this one:

A thrilling tale of betrayal and revenge set against the nineteenth-century American frontier, the astonishing story of real-life trapper and frontiersman Hugh Glass

The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is among the company’s finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts him face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two company men are dispatched to stay behind and tend to Glass before he dies. When the men abandon him instead, Glass is driven to survive by one desire: revenge. With shocking grit and determination, Glass sets out, crawling at first, across hundreds of miles of uncharted American frontier.

Based on a true story, The Revenant is a remarkable tale of obsession, the human will stretched to its limits, and the lengths that one man will go to for retribution.


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The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food by Dan Barber

Barber explores the evolution of American food from the ‘first plate,’ or industrially-produced, meat-heavy dishes, to the ‘second plate’ of grass-fed meat and organic greens, and says that both of these approaches are ultimately neither sustainable nor healthy. Instead, Barber proposes Americans should move to the ‘third plate,’ a cuisine rooted in seasonal productivity, natural livestock rhythms, whole-grains, and small portions of free-range meat.  

My kids (and anyone who really knows me well) would agree that I could probably survive on a limited diet of coffee, buttermilk biscuits, jam, and salted butter.  I stumbled across a Wall Street Journal review of The Third Plate a couple years back and tucked the title away as a book I’d like to read.

The Third Plate caught my eye because it approaches the discussion about sustainable food with emphasis on food production and farming, as opposed to discussion of how we eat.

The published reviews for this book run the gamut, but as with any text that discusses the politics of food, there are a number of varying opinions.  I saw mention of “elitist,” “food trends,” “poor science,” “biased,” and “pretentious.”  As I listen to this book, I can hear some of the bases for such opinions when I hear the author refer to “McMansion,” but  I’ve just started the book, and I’d like to think I wasn’t closed-minded about learning more.

I’ve always enjoyed learning about seed banks and seed breeders, especially heirloom varieties.  When I was a teenager, I worked on a project raising Coho salmon and tried to pay more attention to food choices and sustainability, even before I really understood much about mega-corporations, politics, lobbyists, and big business.  I studied anthropology, sociology, and Native American studies in college, and loved learning about cultures and food traditions all over the world.  Maybe I could just sum that up by saying: I’m just food-motivated.  
The focus on seasonal foods is something that is a very natural inclination, especially when I’d love to serve my family fresh, delicious food, and put up food for the more dreary winter months.  The discussion of free-range meat and livestock production is not anything I’ve ever learned too much about, so I’m looking forward to finishing up this book.


If you’ve got the time, I’d encourage you to stop by and see what everyone else has on their summer reading list today.

My Summer Book Shelf

Quilty Joy Joy * Making the Most of Every Day * Out and Back * r Squared

*Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After * She Thought She Could

* The Mishaps and Mayhem of a Solitary Life

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  • Joy, my friend, you have been so busy. I hope this translates that your health has also been good. Your blog is lovely and trim with lots of white space and little clutter. I love it. Everything looks so pretty. I like the way you can see the intros to earlier blog posts, too. I need to give my blog a serious face lift. I appreciate your copyright and disclosure statements and need to do that, too. Not sure when you have had the time to do all of this but well done!!!

    Now onto your quilting and reading. That quilt is one of my all-time favorites of yours. And seeing Rita lounging on it make it even more special. She is a cutie pie. You are into some heavy-duty reading this month. We did see the Revenant movie and it was interesting. A little brutal for my tastes. The Third Plate is an interesting concept. Makes total sense to eat what is available when it is available in the way of produce. Had to check out your putting up article (love the graphics), too. Would love to see where you live. I can envision a log cabin with a huge stone fireplace.

    I love to listen to books but tend to let my mind drift when I do. I used to listen to them on my drive to and from work. I should try listening when I am crafting. Thanks for the notion!

    And thank you for joining up with us. XO

    • Leslie, I can’t listen to books while I’m driving, or during my work day. I get distracted and miss a lot of what is going on (in and out of the book).

      I’m glad you like the white space. I’m slowly trying to get the quilts and fabrics to stand out a little more! I get my site templates from Station Seven (for this site and Wild Prairie Design Studio) because I like the minimalist look. I seem to be getting a lot done these days simply due to insomnia and some late projects that need to get finished up.

      I’d love a log cabin and a big stone fireplace. That’s my kinda home. I’m working on getting my house in order after my daughter moves out and takes all her boxes with her. Maybe I’ll share some pictures as things start to come back together. Thanks for hosting another great link up!!

  • My Darcy looks a lot like your Rita, and she LOVES to help with projects too! Aren’t they funny! Thanks for sharing your books. I may have to scope out The Revenant. Sounds like it could be a good one! I got tickled when you italicized the word “reading” in reference to your listening to it. I, too, struggle with saying I “read” audio books! When I record books I’ve read in my bullet journal I feel obligated to note which ones are audio books. But then I also note if the narrator is really good.

  • That quilt is looking amazing! Books on tape are where it’s at, but like you when I”m quilting I tend to tune things out and just focus, maybe it helps me focus a little more. So awesome that you’re hand quilting it, I don’t think I would have the patience. So glad that you’re feeling up to the task.