Weekend Reading

October 19, 2007

Weekend Reading: Fair Trade: A Beginner's Guide

Fair Trade beginners guide.jpgSpeaking of Fair Trade Month, why not pick up a copy of Fair Trade: A Beginner's Guide by Jacqueline Decarlo. Here's the description from Amazon:


Grounded in the inspiring power of Fair Trade as a positive alternative to poverty, environmental destruction, and human exploitation, this enlightening book explains how we can make a difference. Providing an accessible explanation of the principles behind the movement and tracing its development into the powerful economic and social justice tool it is today.

Available at Fair Trade: A Beginner's Guide.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

October 12, 2007

Weekend Reading: Building the Green Economy

Building-Green-Economy.jpgEarlier this week, we mentioned Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grassroots. Written by Kevin Danaher, Shannon Biggs and Jason Mark, the book includes essays and interviews describing how community groups, families, and individual citizens have taken action to protect their food and water, clean up their neighborhoods, and strengthen their local economies.

AlterNet's excerpt of an interview with Anuradha Mittal of the Oakland Institute has me intrigued to read more.

Available at Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grassroots

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

October 5, 2007

Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food

Art of Simple Food.jpg

Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Alice Waters' new book The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution.

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Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

September 28, 2007

Weekend Reading: How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

Bittman-how-to-cook.jpgWe've said it before - vegetarianism is the new prius. (Well, actually, the folks at Treehugger said it, but we totally agree.)

In another sign that eating less meat has become mainstream, Mark Bittman, author of The Minimalist column for The New York Times offers up How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

We're big fans of Bittman's How to Cook Everything cookbook, which features tasty recipes using minimal ingredients and prep time. Bittman offers up simple recipes and easy-to-follow instructions, followed by numerous variations. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian includes more than 2000 recipes and variations.

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian ships October 15th. We can't wait to pick up our copy.

Order How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

September 7, 2007

Weekend Reading: Adventures of an Italian Food Lover by Faith Heller Willinger

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Admit it. Summer's over. Time to head back to school, back to work, back to everyday life. But that doesn't mean you can't dream about being somewhere else.

Personally, I'm headed to Italy, with a copy of a beautiful cookbook and set of stories from Faith Heller Willinger called Adventures of an Italian Food Lover.

Willinger, a contributor to Epicurious who lives in Florence, has compiled stories and recipes from friends across Italy into a sophisticated and highly readable book that pays tribute to warm, talented people, fresh local ingredients and the meals you can enjoy when you bring them together. With listing information for restaurants and buying information for products as well as recipes, it comes off as part cookbook, part guidebook, and part love letter to a country that Willinger has gotten to know through its cuisine.

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Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

Weekend Reading: The Costs of Green Architecture

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Inhabitat has a great article on how much it costs to create those amazing green buildings we all know we want around. Though green buldings are more expensive - isn't it worth it? Find out.

One of the key issues that plagues green architecture proponents worldwide is how the cost of green building compares to conventional construction. After all, if a green building is more expensive than a standard one, what incentives do the developers and moneymakers have to go green? Despite what you may think, thanks to a new study by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, we can safely say that building an environmentally-friendly building is not as expensive as commonly thought.

Read the entire article at Inhabitat

Blogpire Productions at Permalink social bookmarking

August 3, 2007

Weekend Reading: The Diaper-Free Baby

41Rlb8awvqL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA240_SH20_.jpgFor our baby shower, Nicole gave me a copy of The Diaper-Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh. I've been reading through it while I'm feeding him, and I have to admit I'm intrigued.

The book's premise is that babies are aware from birth of their need to go to the bathroom, and that they give off certain cues - just as they give cues when they want to eat or need to be burped. By learning those cues, and responding to them - a process called elimination communication - parents can toilet train their kids at a very young age (even as infants).

Practicing elimination communication takes a lot of work and a lot of patience. But the book argues that there are benefits (financial, ecological and emotional) to using it even just periodically -- and offers advice for full-time, part-time and occasional practitioners.

Buy The Diaper-Free Baby.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

July 6, 2007

Weekend Reading: Whole World Books and CD

She's got the whole world in her hands,
She's got the whole world in her hands,
She's got the whole world in her hands,
She's got the whole world in her hands.

Hey, why not? Whole World, the popular children's song, released as a book and CD set with singing by Fred Penner and illustrations by Christopher Corr.

The book includes tips on making the world a better place. A portion of proceeds benefit global environmental conservation.

Buy the Whole World book and CD set.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

June 29, 2007

Weekend Reading: Paul Hawken's Blessed Unrest

512-IvTliCL._AA240_.jpgPaul Hawken, author of Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, has a new book out about the history of the environmental and social justice movement. It's called Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming. We haven't read it yet, but it's on our list.

From the Publisher's Weekly review on Amazon:


Hawken traces the formation of the environmental and social justice movement from the beginnings of natural science across years and continents in this rousing and "inadvertently optimistic" call to action. Though it's argued that globalization; extinction of species, languages and cultures; and economic policies advantageous to the rich have degraded quality of life worldwide and engendered large scale feelings of fear, resentment and powerlessness, Hawken remains surprisingly hopeful. Strength, he contends, lies in the many thousands (if not millions) of nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to environmental protection and social justice that collectively form a worldwide movement geared toward humanity's betterment.

Available at Blessed Unrest.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

June 8, 2007

Weekend Reading: Vegan with a Vengeance

51TFFjknAVL._SS500_.jpgRuss and I are not planning to become vegans. But we're always looking for ways to eat more healthfully and "lower on the food chain." Vegan with a Vengeance : Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the perfect introduction to eating vegan-style without giving up good tasting foods.

Moskowitz, whose most recent book is called Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, is the queen of re-making non-vegan favorites as vegan dishes. Recipes in Vegan with a Vengeance include vegan versions of Spanakopita, Matzo Ball Soup, Glazed Orange Scones, and Seitan-Portobello Stroganoff. And, obviously, her vegan dessert recipes totally rock.

Buy Vegan with a Vengeance.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

June 1, 2007

Weekend Reading: Greening Your Cleaning by Deirdre Imus

51b4dNyoX5L._AA240_.jpgRuss and I spent time last weekend cleaning the house from top to bottom, preparing for our "new arrival." I wish we'd had a copy of Green This: Greening Your Cleaning by Deirdre Imus.

According to the description on Amazon,

Deirdre shows how cleaning house the environmentally responsible way can be as effective and often cheaper than the more traditional, toxic, means. This volume includes:

* Simple, efficient cleaning methods for every room of the house

* Spotlights on everyday products (all purpose cleaner, glass/window cleaner, laundry detergent) and the toxic ingredients you should be wary of

* Summaries of the latest research on the toxic effects of ordinary chemicals

* Resource lists of widely available "green cleaning" products and retailers

Filled with tips and testimonials, Greening Your Cleaning will show you how to streamline your cleaning products and practices, and how easy it is to make "living green" your way of life.

Buy Greening Your Cleaning by Deirdre Imus.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

May 25, 2007

Weekend Reading: HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method

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As folks know from previous posts, we're reading all we can about natural childbirth methods. (Check out our recommended reading list and also our post about Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.)

The latest book on our bedside table? Marie F. Mongan's Hypnobirthing Guide. Taught in classes around the country, HypnoBirthing is gaining in popularity as more and more women try to reduce their chances of having an unnecessary C-section by trying for a natural childbirth. Developed by Mongan, a mother of four, the HypnoBirthing method is designed to help women and their partners get through (and escape) the pain of childbirth through self-hypnosis.

HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing
includes a full introduction to the HypnoBirthing concept, the science and history behind the movement, how it should be practiced, and practical instruction for pregnancy, labor, and the birth itself. It's not meant to take the place of Mongan's classes and tapes, but it provides an excellent taste of the HypnoBirthing Method, and a great introduction to useful techniques and exercises that any woman interested in natural childbirth can employ.

Buy HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie Mongan.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

May 18, 2007

Weekend Reading: Amazon's Green Life Blog

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Looking for products and practices you can adopt to make the world around you a little greener? Amazon's Green Life Blog is a great source for the latest in eco-friendly products.

Recent entries include a post for recycled melamine dinner plates (pictured above), a review of Slow Food Nation by Carlos Petrini and Alice Waters, and a link to Steve Jobs' letter describing A Greener Apple.

Read 'em all at Amazon's Green Life Blog.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

May 8, 2007

Natural Childbirth Recommended Reading

pregnancy2.jpgWe went to our first natural childbirth class today at Isis Maternity. Susan, the teacher, was terrific. A midwife by training, she'd planned a homebirth for her own child, but , after three days of labor, had ended up delivering at the hospital and having a C-section. (Oddly, I found her story incredibly reassuring - further confirmation that babies come out in all different ways despite the best planning, training and intentions.)

Anyway, here are Susan's recommendations of some of the best natural childbirth books. Some -- like Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and The Thinking Woman's Guide -- were familiar to me; others were new. We'll have to check 'em out.

The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin - So many of the books on pregnancy and natural childbirth are focused on the mother's experience. This book is written for her partner -- spouse, significant other, friend -- and focuses on preparing for the birth, helping labor get started, early labor, the stages of labor, strategies for special situations, the medical side of childbirth, and ways to assist after the birth.

Birthing from Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz - England is a registered nurse and certified nurse midwife. She developed the "birthing from within" approach in a series of birthing classes to help mothers reclaim and celebrate the spiritual, emotional, and psychological aspects of birth as a rite of passage. Her book is a collection of methods that have been used for class participants. A lot of folks recommend this book in conjunction with Ina May.

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin - I blogged about Ina May last month and am so grateful to Julie for telling me about her. The first half of the book is dedicated to women's birth stories -- positive, empowering stories -- the exact opposite of what you're probably getting from well-intentioned friends and family and depictions of birth on TV. If you're at all worried about what childbirth will be like -- what it's actually like -- and want to read something that will give you positive images to inspire you, get this book immediately.

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Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

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