Ok, I realize that it is now almost the middle of June but I think I’m a little late on choosing this month’s Tasty Books & Film Club selections because I just couldn’t make up my mind! I know from Facebook that several of you picked up a copy of at least one of the books either at the library or purchased through my site here. If you did and you’re not on Facebook, let me know in the comments what you thought of last month’s selections.
I found the The American Way of Eating to be a bit longer than I expected and had trouble reading it all. But it was interesting to see the author’s experience living and working in and around the food production industry that so many of us probably take for granted. My whole family watched the film and they found it to be a little sad to learn of the growing decline of the bee and it’s impact on our food supply. I heard recently that scientists now think it is attributed to a virus. Still much research to be done and hopefully help them recover.
Now on to this month’s selections! As usual, I’m going to include a little bit about what I thought about the book or film and then the publishers description for a general overview. Now that summer is here, I hope some more of you and your kids will have a little extra time to read some of the fiction books.
The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick – And What We Can Do About It by Robin O’Brien
I have been wanting to read this book for a couple of years now and once I started it I knew I must choose it for the book club! It is truly eye opening. The author, also a mom of four, has done some serious research into how our food system is possibly linked to the rise in health issues like asthma, food allergies and even ear infections! It is really easy to read and I can’t wait to hear your feedback!
Amazon Book Description:
Robyn O’Brien is not the most likely candidate for an antiestablishment crusade. A Houston native from a conservative family, this MBA and married mother of four was not someone who gave much thought to misguided government agencies and chemicals in our food—until the day her youngest daughter had a violent allergic reaction to eggs, and everything changed. The Unhealthy Truth is both the story of how one brave woman chose to take on the system and a call to action that shows how each of us can do our part and keep our own families safe.
O’Brien turns to accredited research conducted in Europe that confirms the toxicity of America’s food supply, and traces the relationship between Big Food and Big Money that has ensured that the United States is one of the only developed countries in the world to allow hidden toxins in our food—toxins that can be blamed for the alarming recent increases in allergies, ADHD, cancer, and asthma among our children. Featuring recipes and an action plan for weaning your family off dangerous chemicals one step at a time The Unhealthy Truth is a must-read for every parent—and for every concerned citizen—in America today.
A Slice of Murder (Bk. 1) by Chris Cavender
What is it about food and mystery that makes for a good read? It’s one of my favorite genres for sure! This one is centered around a pizza shop owner—delish!
Amazon Book Description:
Not too much happens in the sleepy little town of Timber Ridge, North Carolina – which is fine with pizza-purveyor extraordinaire Eleanor Swift. The spunky owner of A Slice of Delight is trying to mend her broken heart and could use a little quiet time. But when a late night delivery customer turns up dead, she’s in for just the opposite in this delicious mystery series debut, featuring pizza as the prima character.
The Locavore’s Kitchen by Marilou Suszko
Summertime seems to be prime time for farmer’s markets in most areas so eating local is easier than ever! When I saw this book at my local library I snatched it up and I was not disappointed. The author includes recipes for not only the expected fruits and vegetables but also for farm fresh eggs, grass-fed beef and more. What makes the book unique is the many details and descriptions of the ingredients as well as tips for choosing quality ingredients.
Amazon Book Description:
More and more Americans are becoming dedicated locavores, people who prefer to eat locally grown or produced foods and who enjoy the distinctive flavors only a local harvest can deliver. The Locavore’s Kitchen invites readers to savor homegrown foods that come from the garden, the farm stand down the road, or local farmers’ markets through cooking and preserving the freshest ingredients.
In more than 150 recipes that highlight seasonal flavors, Marilou K. Suszko inspires cooks to keep local flavors in the kitchen year round. From asparagus in the spring to pumpkins in the fall, Suszko helps readers learn what to look for when buying seasonal homegrown or locally grown foods as well as how to store fresh foods, and which cooking methods bring out fresh flavors and colors. Suszko shares tips and techniques for extending seasonal flavors with detailed instructions on canning, freezing, and dehydrating and which methods work best for preserving texture and flavor.
The Locavore’s Kitchen is an invaluable reference for discovering the delicious world of fresh, local, and seasonal foods.
The Healthy Body Cookbook: Over 50 Fun Activities and Delicious Recipes for Kids by Joan D’Amico and Karen Eich Drummond
With the kids out of school for summer, what better time to get them into the kitchen and cooking? This book not only includes many easy-to-follow recipes but also tips and ideas for including more healthy food in kids’ diets.
Learning about health and science has never been so fun –and delicious!
What does a heartbeat sound like? How strong is my hair? Why do my eyes blink? What’s in a sports drink? With more than 50 safe and easy recipes and activities to try, you’ll discover the nutritious answers to these and tons of other scrumptious mysteries. And best of all, you get to eat the results when you’re finished! You’ll make carbohydrate-packed Blueberry Power-Snack Turnovers, protein-boosting Crunchy Chicken Fingers, calcium-rich Creamy, Dreamy Yogurt Orange-Banana Frozen Pops, and much more.
The Healthy Body Cookbook is a delightfully clever smorgasbord of hands-on lessons about the crucial role that diet and exercise play in the development of heart, blood, bones, muscles, skin, teeth, and the nervous and digestive systems. All activities are kid-tested and require only common ingredients and kitchen utensils. There’s also a helpful list of safety rules, an explanation of tools and skills, and nutritional values for each recipe.
MIDDLE GRADES/YOUNG ADULT BOOK:
The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
With the feel of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this is a modern twist on that classic tale. This book is a big one, but I figured it would make a great summer read for the kids. Or it would be a good one to read together. It’s geared towards grade 4-8, so be sure to check out the link to see if it’s right for your kiddo if they are younger.
Children running amok in a candy factory, immortalized by Roald Dahl, is one story line that bears repeating. At the Life Is Sweet factory, four 12-year-olds gather to create new goodies for the annual Confectionery Association Conference. Logan, the Candymaker’s son, dreams of winning his family’s respect. Miles’s parents hope the experience will help him forget a tragic accident he couldn’t prevent. Daisy is fascinated by the factory, but for what reason? And Philip scribbles in his secret notebook, determined to win at all costs. When the factory’s secret ingredient is stolen, the children find a common purpose: to foil the plot by creating the best candy ever. The tidy conclusion has a few contrivances, but none that will bother children. Mass has crafted a solid mystery dipped in sweet candy-making details. Character development moves a lengthy story forward in smooth increments. As each child’s story emerges, the mystery becomes one bit clearer, making this a real page-turner. The characters are intricate, flawed heroes with whom readers will identify. The book’s subtle message of teamwork over greed and growth through friendship will resonate with readers and educators alike. A magical setting filled with conveyor belts, chocolate jungles, and beehives makes it clear what the youngsters are attempting to save.
CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK:
Pie’s In the Oven by Betty G. Birney
What a cute book for children to learn about not only pie making but the generosity that goes into sharing it as well.
Amazon Book Description:
A young boy and his grandfather bring home apples from the orchard. But most of the morning is spent with Grandma as she prepares and bakes sweet and spicy apple pies. Soon a variety of friends, neighbors, and family members gather to share the sweet treat hot from the oven. Just when it appears that the pie will run out before the boy can get a piece, Grandma comes with a small pie she made for him alone. The narration offers the exuberant younster’s perspective on the events. Although the text is not rhymed, it maintains a steady rhythm, with a cadence reminiscent of square-dance calls. Meade’s collages reinforce the country feeling. Leaves falling in many scenes remind viewers of the season, and the flat patches of color in clothing establish individual differences even in the crowd.
No Reservations (starring Catherine Zeta-Jones)
So I’ve discovered there are TONS of films and documentaries about food! How to choose—it’s so tough! This time I decided to choose an entertaining film rather than a documentary. I borrowed a copy of this movie, but I noticed Amazon has a download option or you can also check your local library (ours has a pretty extensive selection of movies it seems!)
Achieving balance in one’s life can be a difficult process, but master chef Kate Armstrong (Catherine Zeta-Jones) leads a regimented, very ordered existence running the kitchen of an exclusive restaurant and revels in the sense of power and control her career affords. When Kate’s sister is unexpectedly killed in an automobile accident and her 9-year old niece Zoe (Abigail Breslin) comes to live with Kate, Kate’s life is turned completely upside down and she is suddenly forced to split her focus between work and family. Enter a newly hired, fun-loving, opera-singing sous chef Nick Palmer (Aaron Eckhart), whom Kate perceives as a serious rival, and thus begins an impassioned struggle on Kate’s part to rein in Nick’s exuberance and maintain control over her kitchen staff. Even as they clash, Kate is inexplicably drawn toward Nick, eventually coming to the realization that Nick offers something that she needs both in her restaurant kitchen and her new life with Zoe. Based on the screenplay for Mostly Martha, Catherine Zeta-Jones carries the lead well in this romantic comedy and there’s a nice chemistry between herself and Aaron Eckhart as well as a poignant performance by Abigail Breslin. And, of course, and the food looks simply scrumptious.
I hope you’ll find one of these selections to strike your or your children’s fancy and read and watch along with the rest of us!
Disclaimer: I have received no compensation for this post however I am an Amazon Associates Affiliate. What does that mean? Well, if you decide to purchase any of the titles shown above and click through using the links here, I’ll receive a very small percentage of that sale. And I thank you!