Monthly Archives: October 2010

#37 Forest Farming

There’s nothing like finishing off a book one evening and then finishing off another the next.  This is the only way I’m going to read another 14 books.  I have another couple books half way completed, so maybe I can finish them off and bring that number of books left to a reasonable amount to read in 2 months.  As it is, I think Kris is right.  There’s no way I’m going to be able to reach my goal by Jan 1.  I did give it a good college try though.

 

Any ways, Forest Gardening….or Forest Farming.  One of those.  Yeah, good stuff.  Interesting reading, although a little heavy on tree varieties.  I mentioned both those topics as I had both going at the same time.  Same topic, but a bit different.  So whatever one I just finished, was great.  It’s all about 3 layered agriculture.  Trees providing food, understory (like berry bushes) providing food and then maybe some perennials.  I’m quite interested in it as a means of providing a sustainable food source for humans and animals alike.  Monocultures will disappear in the next 50 years.  They don’t work.  They require too many petrol products.  They can’t be sustainable.  We’ve got this incredible heritage of putting so many plants use in many different ways.  I think the only way we’re ever going to make this planet a place to live is to go back to what we’ve known for thousands/millions of years.

Any ways, a good read.  Has really changed a lot of neurons in my brain.  I love going to class everyday and learning something new.  And more than ever, I love the shite out of trees.  I look forward to finishing off the other book.  So, 13 to go……

 

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#36 On Guerrilla Gardening

I read the Guerrilla Gardening manifesto.  It’s actually not what I expected at all.  Very engaging and really just a call for people’s involvement in their own community.  Yes, the focus is on gardening, but it can be much bigger than that.  And it gave me lots of ideas for my research project.  I’m glad I picked it up at the library last week.

I did participate in one guerrilla gardening project.  It was back in May in London to plant sunflowers.  It was really great to see people actively engaging to change their environment for the better.  It’s all very selfish and selfless at the same time.  It would be great to do some work here in Preston before I go, but if not I look forward to doing some GG when I get down to London.

Gonna keep on chugging on 50 books.  2 months, 14 books to go.  Oh boy…….

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#35 Deathly Hallows

Oh yes, this is a repeat book, but it’s Harry Potter!  I could re-read the series all the time.  Too bad life and other books get in the way of me doing so.  And I know I’m not the only one out there.  You know who you are.

Yes, so the 7th movie is about to come out (at least half of it) in theaters here in another month or so.  Paula was reading it two weeks ago and I thought I better do the same.  I’ve always tried to re-read at least a few of the books before one of the Harry Potter movies comes out.  Time is crunched these days with school, so this time it’s only book 7.   Although, now having re-read number 7 makes me want to go re-read the whole series again.  Damn you JK Rowling!

This was only the 2nd time I read the 7th book, so I really did not remember very much of it at all.  Good times.

I think this will be my last real leisure book for a bit.  I just checked out some really good forest gardening books from the library which I will be reading in the next few weeks.  They are somewhat related to what I will be writing about for my dissertation.  Forest gardening is a new subgroup of urban forestry that’s really fascinating to me and I want to learn a lot more about.

Ok, I need to get back to doing stuff.  Bye bye.  15 to go!

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#34 The Image of the City

Who doesn’t love reading a classic urban planning book in their free time?  I for one do love it.  Hence I read Kevin Lynch’s The Image of the City.  Either I didn’t pay close enough attention in my urban planning class, design history classes or they never brought this guy up.  Either way, I’m dumb for not reading a book by him until now.  The book was brilliant.  A quick little read about how humans look at cities and what makes a well designed cities.  1960s LA didn’t do very well but 1960s Boston did alright for itself.  All the bits of the city were broken into parts like paths, nodes, landmarks, edges and districts.  Great stuff.  I doubt any of you will get around to reading it, but I’m glad I did!  Next up is a previously read book, but it is imperative to read it again.  Yup.  Good evening friends.

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#33 The Green Belt Movement

I’m making an exception to the rule I put into affect for this 50 books in 2010.  The stipulation to including books was that they had to be a minimum of 200 pages in length.  That not so much happened on The Green Belt Movement book.  It is a paultry 136 pages.  But since I have read a few books which were way more than the 200 baseline, I am letting this scoot in.

I have wanted to read this book for about 6 months, but am finally getting around to it just now.  I was looking for some inspiration for my dissertation topic from it.  I think there may have been some found, but I’m still up in the air about it.  That is really neither here nor there for this book review.  Something tells me most of you won’t like this book.  It is the story of the Green Belt Movement by Wangari Maathai in Kenya.  She has helped plant millions of trees in Kenya through the organization she created.  Really remarkable work to have accomplished.  It also gives some guidelines on how the movement is structured and works day to day. Wangari Maathai is also the winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for the work she has done.  She is no slouch.

Good stuff.  I’d check out the GBM website.  There’s a lot more information about the projects they have going on and you can also donate if you feel so inclined.
Also, it doesn’t look good for me finishing 50 books by January 1st.  I’m a bit gutted.  It’s not that I’m not reading, trust me.  It’s just all in the form of journal articles by the dozens.  Maybe I should start counting whole journal volumes towards my total. Or maybe I should just shoot myself.

The only glimmer of hope is that classes are finished on December 11th so I have about 3 weeks to read whatever I want.  We’ll see. I may have to make some concessions and count a few more sub 200 page books to make it work.  Nothing ridiculous like cat in the hat, but some books in the 150 page range.   It’ll be a real race to the finish.  Wish me luck, friends.

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#32 How Soccer Explains the World

Interesting read I guess.  Foer looked at the affects of globalization through the world of soccer football.  I learned some stuff about my new national past time especially about Chelsea hooligans.  Damn those Chelsea fans.  They are no good.

If you like football, give it a read.

In the end, I’m really just proud of myself for finishing this book way before my sister Kris finished it.  She started it this last winter/spring.

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