Monday, April 27, 2009

Book catch-up

I am sort of behind in my book postings. You're thinking: bitch, pleeease.
No, really.

Gary Panter
by Robert Storr et al

These art books were a Christmas present from my brother. More precisely, he gave me an amazon gift certificate, and I used it to expand my future amazing collection of illustration, art, and children's books. Gary Panter seems to be kind of a big deal in graphic art and design circles, and he's won awards for his set design of Pee-Wee's Playhouse. I thought that this two-volume collection of his works would be a formidable addition to my collection.

The books are filled with pages such as this:

Aquarium from

My plan of attack at this point is to allow the tomes to hang out on the bookshelf for a bit, maybe break them out when we have guests over and those said guests want to feel like they're on LSD. Really though, these books should be kept away from women and children.

3 out of 5

Annie Leibovitz at Work
by Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz muses about her career in this book, which is also peppered with some of her famous portraits. I almost wished that there was less musing and more photography, although one of my favorite parts of the book was her discussion of her session with the Queen of England, as I vaguely remember some controversy and gossip surrounding it.

4 out of 5

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

by Michael Pollan

Maybe you remember my obsession with Omnivore's Dilemma. Yes, I still harbor deeply intense feelings and thoughts about grass-fed cows and the role that corn plays in our society. This is Michael Pollan's follow-up. The message this time is: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Really the take-away is that you should not be eating anything that your great-grandmother would not have eaten. You know, Twinkies. And Cheez-It crackers. Items that are masqueraded as "food" at the grocery store because technically you can digest them, but that have little nutritional value, give you cancer and diabetes, and have ingredients that you cannot pronounce.

The first two-thirds of the book are very scientific -- nutrients this and nutrients that. And as I am not even positive that I ever passed my high school chemistry class, most of that information went over my head. The last third of the book talks about common sense healthy eating habits, which unfortunately get pushed aside in favor of Lean Cuisines and 100-calorie packs of Pringles during tax busy seasons. Ideally you should be taking more time to prepare fresh foods and more time eating them. Fortunately for me, I have time to go the farmer's market every day to whip up a delicious and wholesome lunch and dinner. Oh wait, no I don't. To make matters worse, I don't think my great-grandmother had much of anything to eat in Soviet Russia. So basically this book does not even apply to me.

3 out of 5

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