Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lightweight Summer Reading

Planning on spending the summer by the pool with some romance novels or the latest self-help book? Dandy. But while you're at it, throw these into the beach bag also.

Want to know what would happen to the world if there were suddenly no people left on earth? What about the animals? The buildings? Radioactive waste? Plastics? Etc.? Would the earth be able to heal itself from the damage humans have inflicted on it? Check out Alan Weisman's The World Without Us. Fascinating read.

Are residents of New York City "greener" than an unshaven man sitting in a cabin by the lake? Most definitely according to David Owen, author of Green Metropolis. Pretty much comes down to high use of public transportation. Really, this book is not as dry as it sounds.

Every time I travel to a destination worth the purchase of guide books, one of these purchases is always written by Rick Steves. Yeah, I used to think he was a bit of a goober, but now he's pretty much one of my heroes. According to Mr. Steves' in Travel as a Political Act, travel can help to change the world for the better. Not just by lounging on the beach, but meeting folks from different countries and seeing how they really live. You could travel to the center of crowded Indian cities, across your own country, discover how content citizens of those "socialist" countries are, meet the folks in the beautiful but war-torn cities of Eastern Europe or just hang out in the public squares of any city or village in the world. His idea is to learn something new about the people of the world.

And, on the lighter side (really) there's Mike Leonard's The Ride of Our Lives. A fun book whether or not you've ever thought about putting three generations of family in two RVs and traveling over a large portion of America. Worth getting a sunburn to read.

Any advice for me as I sit by the pool "watching" my daughter and her friends play this summer?



looks like some good reading - especially the first mentioned.

summer by the pool...oh to dream!

i'll probably be hanging out by the black fly swamp.

layers said...

all these books sound very good-- and I agree with Steve's travel books and advice-- I agree that when one travels, and gain understanding of other cultures and peoples in the world- there might be less wars and less ignorance and misunderstandings-- just saw a piece in the news about a school that is teaching Chinese language and culture to young children and some parents are upset because they think it teaches communism...

Susan said...

Kim, these books sound great.

A fun read for me was "The Big Over Easy: A Nursery Crime" by Jasper Fforde.

red-handed said...

Oh ... we need some fiction in here!