Cartoon: Bloggers Without Book Deals
Click to enlarge
Even though I mock the concept, I've found myself reading and enjoying quite a few of these "one-year blog project" blogs—even the ones with book deals. Such as:
- Julie Powell's The Julie/Julia Project, which became Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen and eventually Julie & Julia: The Movie. If you haven't heard of this one you've been under a rock, and I admit to picking up the edition of Julie & Julia with Amy Adams on the cover and the edition of My Life in France with Meryl Streep on the cover (I was at a train station news stand, ok?). I have to admit the movie half about Julie Powell's blog project left out most of the fun bits—her self-deprecating humor, her friends' romantic mishaps, her rants against Republicanism, the flies and maggots. But whatever, I generally enjoyed the movie and there were no celebrations of high-heeled shoes to be found. I even made cassoulet before going to see it.
- Colin Beavan's No Impact Man blog, about to be launched as a book ("No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet...") and a documentary. It's about a New York family who tries to reduce their carbon footprint to as close to zero as possible, even eschewing public transportation, elevators, toilet paper and packaged goods from the farmer's market. It's educational and inspiring, but I worry that the focus is too much on individuals choosing to reduce. Still, at least he rejects green consumerism and silly half-measures and I love the anti-consumption message.
- Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.Another inspirational tale about a family, in this case a family on a small farm in Virginia, attempting to eat as locally as possible for a year (including growing and preserving their own produce and raising chickens and turkeys for eggs and meat). Just a book and website, not so much a blog, but it's a similar type of project, and quite eye-opening. I even ordered the 30-minute mozzarella cheese-making kit she mentions. My only gripe was the random rant against vegetarianism, which seemed odd coming from someone who rejects CAFO meats. Even Michael Pollan (guilty of a similar weird treatment of vegetarianism in The Omnivore's Dilemma) has come to the conclusion that it's not enough help to the environment to just eat free-range meat—Americans need to eat WAY fewer meat and dairy products.
P.S. I have nothing against tripe or offal (if you're going to eat meat—which I do—might as well make use of every bit) though I doubt they would be palatable in cereal form.
P.P.S. I am quite myopic and did once (accidentally) get the wrong glasses prescription. I went around with what Kurt Vonnegut would call a "whanging headache" all day, bumping into all sorts of fun walls and whatnot. No fun! But not particularly blog-worthy.
P.P.P.S. I got so caught up I forgot to mention the other reasons I loved Kingsolver's book--my grandparents had a farm in Maine, and when I was a kid, my family had a huge vegetable garden and fruit trees and kept ducks and chickens. We had fresh duck eggs for breakfast on weekends and made homemade applesauce, peanut butter, pickles, canned stews, the works.