As part of GreenBean's Bookworm Challenge I chose to read a couple of books this month.
First, I borrowed Barbara Kingsolver's book, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" from my daughter-in-law Traci. I can see why Traci liked this book. She's a dietitian, and a farm girl, so all the discussion of gardening, cooking, and nutrition was right up her alley. I liked the book mostly for Kingsolver's writing style. Having at one time had a very large vegetable garden of my own, it brought back memories of the hard work, seasonal business of putting up the produce, and some of the frustrations of that life. Actually, not enough of the frustrations, in my opinion. She doesn't seem to have had her green beans annihilated by bean-leaf beetles, or her zucchini plants killed by squash bugs, or her sweet corn raided by squirrels and raccoons. Maybe I'm just a pest-magnate, and maybe working with a bunch of small children underfoot was another distraction, but my experience was not as idyllic as hers seems to have been. I don't really do the vegetable garden thing any more.
I also felt the additional material inserted by her husband broke the flow of the narrative she was writing, and I wound up skipping those parts as I got further into the book. However, her visit to the Amish farm in Ohio was a lot of fun to read about. All in all, I found the book to be a pretty good read.
Next, I read "Serve God, Save the Planet" by Matthew Sleeth. This book was highly recommended to me by Donna. Sleeth is a physician who became alarmed at the increase in asthma cases he was seeing, as well as the uptick in cancer diagnoses. He could see their correlation to the increase in environmental pollution, and felt it was time to sound the alarm about what was happening to our health. He also comments on mental health issues that he attributes to lifestyle. He and his family chose to radically simplify their lives by reducing their material belongings, and , eventually, moving into a house that was comparable in size to the garage of their original house. He left the practice of medicine and began to speak at churches about the need for Christians, motivated by the command to "Love one another", to take seriously the care of God's Creation.
Sleeth's reasoned arguments, under girded with Scripture, as well as his appendixes that outline his methods of changing his lifestyle, outline for group study of the issues, and quotes from famous Christian thinkers about the subject of Creation Care, made this book valuable.
One of my favorite quotes from this book: "Love is not part of the rhetoric of global leaders, power brokers, or conglomerates. It does not make the evening news. It does not appear in medical journals". In contrast, he points out, "love one another" supersedes all of Christ's commandments except the command to love God. A Christian's motivation to live simply is to share wealth with those in need. The motivation to live an environmentally responsible lifestyle is to prevent harm to others and honor God's beautiful creation. I related to these motives far more easily than Kingsolver's. I recommend this book highly.
I appreciate the push from this challenge to read these books, which I might not have done otherwise. Thanks, GreenBean!!