Friday, June 24, 2005

Fast books

Still my funny tummy lingers on so I decided yesterday to try a 24 hour juice fast to see if that would help. While I was at it I fasted on all electronic media: no radio, no computer, no DVDs or CDs... I slept, I meditated, I channelled healing energy to my stomach, I sat by the fire (not eating makes you feel the cold more) and read two fantastic books.

Wild Card Quilt: Taking a Chance on Home by Janisse Ray is a collection of personal, ecological essays about returning to the Georgia farm where she grew up, returning to the farm with a hunger for wilderness and a longing for community. It was a struggle to find and recognise both and she writes beautifully about how rural areas have been, are being transformed... in both negative and positive ways. This genre of non-fiction used to be a favourite of mine, and I'm glad to have rediscovered it through such a skillful and honest writer.

Air (or Have Not Have) by Geoff Ryman is a speculative novel about the impact on modernisation on one of the most isolated and undeveloped communities in the world. Despite this, it is not a bit depressing but filled with hope and useful hints for how the even the most disenfranchised people can, with resourcefulness and compassion, bridge the digital divide and hold a good place in the world for themselves and their culture. This is the kind of science fiction that can be embraced by people who aren't interested in sci-fi.

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