.03 What I'm Reading
This week I consumed two books on opposite spectrums. One was a non-fiction book on the current-day addiction crisis. And, the second was all about the love of food (and wine)—two of the addictions mentioned in the former book. I enjoyed both books and can’t wait to share my thoughts with you.
As always, let me know what you are reading in the comments!
BOOK: The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business, David Courtwright (audio)
The Age of Addiction, written by David Courtwright in 2019, chronicles how businesses use an individual’s neural pathways for profit. According to his biography, Courtwright is a “Presidential Professor Emeritus at the University of North Florida and the author of Dark Paradise: A History of Opiate Addiction in America and Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World (both from Harvard).”
WHAT I LIKE
Okay. This book was AMAZING. I didn’t like this book; I loved this book.
Courtwright does a phenomenal job of first presenting the histories of addictions—ranging from heroin to marijuana to screen time to fat and sugar. He then reviews the impact of those addictions on society (of the past and today) using logical reasoning that allows the reader to come to their own conclusions.
This book helped me think critically about the addiction epidemic we face and how we can, as a society, work to help those currently suffering from addiction.
I believe everyone should read this book. Everyone. Addiction impacts just about every family I know, and I think we would all benefit from understanding the causes and traps of addiction.
BOOK: Kitchens of the Great Midwest, J. Ryan Stradal (old-fashion book )
Kitchens of the Great Midwest was written in 2016 by Minnesota native, J. Ryan Stradal. This was Stradal’s depute novel and was a New York Times bestseller.
Kitchens of the Great Midwest details the life of Eva Thorvald, the incredible chef of a pop-up dinner club. The story is put together like one of Eva's menus. Each chapter reads like it was written by a chef—like you are getting a behind the scenes view of how the ingredients were sourced, from seed to harvest. And as the story advances, the reader begins to realize the most important ingredient in Eva’s food is the people and their influences (known or unknown) in her life.
WHAT I LIKE
The style of this book is endlessly fascinating. I have never read a book where the main character is sometimes written in like a tertiary character, but that is what Stradal achieves without losing focus on Eva.
I also adore food memoirs, and while this book isn’t technically a food memoir, it does read like one.
I loved the style of this book. However, I loathed some of the characters. And, as life goes, the ending is somewhat unresolved. This book deserves a spot on my bookshelf as a style reference, but I probably won’t read it through again anytime soon.
Now, it's your turn! What are you reading?
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