Anyhoo, here are my recommendations for the week! Here are a few things I've been loving lately:
This book was recommended to me by a friend and fellow musician who has taken a particular interest lately with the cultural history of the Midwest. The author, Debra Marquart, grew up in a large farming family in North Dakota. Her family history is remarkably like mine: ancestors of German origin living in the Russian steppes in the late 1800s who fled for America to avoid being drafted into military service for Russia, then had lots and lots and lots of babies and farmed in the American Midwest through most of the 20th century before education took the latest generation elsewhere. Marquart is a beautiful writer, and she demonstrates that only someone who has grown up in a place like North Dakota can write about it with both wry cynicism and dignity at the same time.
- Why America's Obsession with STEM is dangerous. This article is spot on, in my opinion. Obsessing about STEM whether American students are performing well enough in these subjects pushes aside the importance of creative thinking and how that is fostered in literature, art, music and other areas of the fine arts. I only wish the author had gone a little farther and pointed out the great cultural value in support of these fields on their own merit, not just for the sake of enhancing science and technology.
- From Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography by Helene Dujardin.
I recently checked this book out from the library, and I'm enjoying reading it more than I thought I would. I know basically nothing about photography, but I want to get better at it on an amateur level, and for some reason I decided to focus on food photography. I had been waiting for this one for a while, but I think back when I first requested it I had just started the Tuesday Night Fun Cooking! series and was looking for ways to take better pictures of the food we're eating. I guess I'm just kind of a geek and like to read up as much as possible about everything I do. I haven't read the whole book, but so far it's accessible language and author doesn't assume you own a DSLR, though there is a lot of useful technical advice in there. I figure knowing how to take good photos of food will translate to other subjects, like my kids and garden and crafting projects, you know, all those outside interests I've got.
What about you? What have you been reading lately??