Thursday, December 18, 2008

Recent reading list

We're leaving tomorrow to head west for my PhD graduation, then back east to visit several different sisters over the Christmas break. I have a pile of books to return, so here's what I've been reading recently:

Breastfeeding-related books:
Pregnancy & Birth:
Food & Culture:
Top recommendations: Sisters on a Journey, Having Faith, and The Omnivore's Dilemma.

History of the Breast
was a fun read: it looked at the breast in Western culture from seven different perspectives: the sacred, erotic, domestic, political, psychological, commericalized, and medical breast. You don't have to read it in order or all at once--each chapter is mostly self-contained. Milk, Money & Madness was a great overview of the politics and culture of breastfeeding. I was very impressed with Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth for a comprehensive yet concise guide to pregnancy and birth choices. In Defense of Food should have been a long article, not a book--but its main advice was right on: Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.


  1. I read "At the Breast" extensively to write my senior thesis and I really appreciated her insights, although I know her conclusions (that in developed countries, breastfeeding's value lies in how it can empower women rather than for what it provides to babies) would not be popular among most breastfeeding supporters. What did you think of it?

  2. Good traveling to you, have a nice trip! And congrats again doctor!

    I've been meaning to read the Eater's Manifesto, after reading the Omnivores Dilemma. I enjoyed the book Harvest for Hope, by Jane Goodall, but I really like her as a writer and a speaker.

  3. Wow Rixa this is a delicious list, I'm jealous for all your apparent time to read? Someone asked me today for a recommendation for weekend reading. I didn't know what to say. Embarrassing. Especially if imagine me standing behind a library circulation desk... ouch!

    I used to read. Milk, Money and Madness is one of those books I'll never forget! And I'll have to check out the Nuland book. I read his How We Die, and found it really intriguing. Plus, he's a local... teaches at the med school here :)
    Pollan did publish a longish article version of his book in The New York Times magazine I think? So you're right! But I'm sure he could make more money on book sales... and hey, I hope he's rich, it's great stuff. The article version is a darn near perfect! His 'Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.' caption has become my mantra.

  4. It's amazing how much time I have to read now that I am done with my dissertation! It's like a feast after a very very long famine.

  5. I loved Steingraber's Having Faith! Several of the books you mention are on my "to be read soon" list - especially the Our Bodies Ourselves Pregnancy & Birth.

  6. Thank you for this list! I am eager to read many of these books. I am curently nursing my toddler while pregnant, so the nursing book you listed is now on order and will be read in one sitting when it arrives! Thank you again.


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