Books ⋅ Podcasts ⋅ Events



I grew up a voracious reader as a kid, spending hours at the local library searching for one book then stumbling into other genres, always hungry to learn more of the world. I’ve been trying to get back to more book-reading, as it offers a deeper level of thinking beyond regular multimedia. It also seems to improve my sleep quality with even a few minutes’ reading before bed. Here’s a few references for you to chew on. I’ve also been listening to podcasts since 2005-ish –a good way to learn while commuting, to have a shared experience while road tripping, or to pass time while waiting in hospital rooms as loved ones are ailing/being born/&c. See the podcast section for more on that.

Thanks to Kylie for the nudge to get this page I’ve had in draft finally shipped! Publishing this is my proof of concept for “just ship it, you can go back later to refresh and improve.” Plans are in the works for building this out with organizations, notes on other blogs, &c. so stay tuned for more.

Reading Right Now:

The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty

I’m still in the middle of this book, but so far it’s been riveting, insightful, and inspiring. When I started it I thought, “oh, here’s a black fella I probably have nothing in common with, therefore I will read it to learn about Southern foodways.” So far he has proven me very happy to be wrong, and spurred me to consider new perspectives on my own heritage as well. If you want a sound bite preview of the author, see Food without Border’s interview of Mr. Twitty.


Up Next:

Cocoa by Kristy Leissle

I got a chance to hear Dr. Kristy Leissle speak at the US launch of her book Cocoa in Seattle. Her remarks there on how politics flow throughout the value chain of cocoa-to-chocolate production were a delicious preview to the book. I’m looking forward to getting into this book, and learning more about her conclusions so far in her lifework of studying the global chocolate industry, especially given my academic background in public policy, global history, and social justice issues. Dr. Chocolate’s Book Tour Dates (March 2017).

Recommended for Practical Creatives:

Big Magic by Elizabeth GilbertBig Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Over our first meet up, Kylie and I were waxing nostalgic over our how much we both loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things, which made a great segway to my perennial recommendation to my fellow creatively-inclined folks to read Big Magic (thanks to Annie Fitzgerald for getting me to read it in the first place). It’s one of those books I had to make myself keep going through a few sections, but  I find its ideas and concepts returning to me in times of challenge and flow.


More food books with a social justice bent?

Try Civil Eats’ Favorite Food & Farming Books of 2017