Good Reads: Books Considered by the Selection Committee

Detroit: An American Autopsy, by Charlie LeDuff
If Detroit is America's vanguard in good times and bad, then here is the only place to turn for guidance in our troubled era. While redemption is thin on the ground in this ghost of a city, Detroit: An American Autopsy is no hopeless parable. LeDuff shares an unbelievable story of a hard town in a rough time filled with some of the strangest and strongest people our country has to offer. Detroit is a dark comedy of the absurdity of American life in the twenty-first century, a deeply human drama of colossal greed and endurance, ignorance and courage.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo
The even-handedness that stems from Katherine Boo's natural and abundant empathy is one of the many appeals of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, her gorgeous book on one of Mumbais slums, Annawadi. The book contains a particularly important message for those who have monopolized the ear of the Indian governments key leaders, and who place their hopes for the poor in financial handouts and empowerment through legal rights.

The Good Food Revolution, by Will Allen
Despite financial challenges and daunting odds, Allen built the country's preeminent urban farm-a food and educational center that now produces enough produce and fish year-round to feed thousands. Employing young people from the neighboring housing project and community, Growing Power shows how local food systems can help troubled youths, dismantle racism, create jobs, bring urban and rural communities closer together, and improve public health. Today, Allen's organization helps develop community food systems across the country.

Food and the City, by Jennifer Cockrall-King
This book examines alternative food systems in cities around the globe that are shortening their food chains, growing food within their city limits, and taking their "food security" into their own hands. This award-winning food journalist sought out leaders in the urban-agriculture movement and visited cities successfully dealing with "food deserts." What she found was not just a niche concern of activists but a global movement that cuts across the private and public spheres, economic classes, and cultures. She describes a global movement happening from London and Paris to Vancouver and New York to establish alternatives to the monolithic globally integrated supermarket model.

Junkyard Planet, by Adam Minter
When you drop your Diet Coke can or yesterdays newspaper in the recycling bin, where does it go? Probably halfway around the world, to people and places that clean up what you don't want and turn it into something you cant wait to buy. In Junkyard Planet, Adam Minterveteran journalist and son of an American junkyard ownertravels deeply into a vast, often hidden, multibillion-dollar industry that's transforming our economy and environment.

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds For The Better, by Clive Thompson
It's undeniable,technology is changing the way we think. But is it for the better? Amid a chorus of doomsayers, Clive Thompson delivers a resounding "yes." The Internet age has produced a radical new style of human intelligence, worthy of both celebration and analysis. We learn more and retain it longer, write and think with global audiences, and even gain an ESP-like awareness of the world around us. Modern technology is making us smarter, better connected, and often deeper both as individuals and as a society.




The Good Food Revolution

good food

Smarter Than You Think

behind the beautiful