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2016 books: 46-50 - Hemlock B. Bootsalotta [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta

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2016 books: 46-50 [Dec. 12th, 2016|01:59 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
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Floreana: A Woman's Pilgrimage to the Galapagos by Margret Wittmer
In the early 1930's the Wittmer family packed up kit, Kind and kaboodle and moved from Germany to Floreana, an island in the Galapagos chain. Margaret Wittmer kept a diary, and the book is a retelling of her recollections about their lives there.

It's not a heavy read, but it manages to be a really entertaining one. Wittmer puts most of her focus on the day to day lives of her family, but there are some really odd events that take place while they are there. Her children still live on the island, now part of a protected natural area.


    


Pioneer Women: Voices from the Kansas Frontier by Joanna L Stratton
This book is based on the oral histories of 800 Kansas women collected by Stratton's grandmother. The author found the notes hidden in a family attic and turned them into this book.

Each chapter is devoted to a different topic; early settlers, daily life, schools, up to the Temperance Movement. It's interesting reading, interspersed with small snippets of the womens' own words.



    


The Hunger Machine: The Politics of Food by Jon Bennet
During the height of the famine in Ethiopia I read an article which asked why people never wondered how the reporters who were in the country to do stories managed to eat while they were there. The answer of course, was that there was lots of food in Ethiopia - if you could afford to buy it. That one paragraph stuck with me for a long time, and it's probably the reason I originally bought this book.

The authors explain how food worked in the '80s when it was written, how sharecropping cash crops, treating food like a commodity and localizing land into the hands of a few have created hunger in places that used to be able to support themselves. Now of course we can add agribusiness and fuel crops to the list. Depressing, if necessary reading.


    


Essential McLuhen by Marshall McLuhan
A collection of McLuhan' essays. I struggled with this for a few chapters before I gave up. There's a lot of jargon in here and my brain is just not up to the task to putting the work in right now. I'm a bit dissapointed in myself, but I might try picking it up again when I am not trying to deal with learning All The things at work.



    


Walden Two by B F Skinner
I originally got this as part of a course at University. It's a fictionalized account of what Skinner saw as the perfect society. A group of people visit a utopian communal living project called Walden II and are lectured at about how it all works. As a story, it's pretty much just a bunch of talking heads. As a place to live it sounds bloody amazing and it actually served as a model for a lot of real-life intentional communities.


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[User Picture]From: dark_phoenix54
2016-12-13 02:09 am (UTC)
I have 'Walden Two' - have had it since the 70s- but have never gotten around to reading it. I think if I read it now I'd just get more depressed, looking at how far from utopian our world is.
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