Collection of Good Human Book Reviews

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Over the last three months, I have been trying to read one book a week, with my focus on environmental and political issues. Those of you who know me know that I am not a fiction reader; instead I want to read about the companies ruining our environment and about corrupt politicians. Some would say I am a glutton for punishment! I have written reviews of some of the books I have read and have posted them here at The Good Human occasionally. I just assembled all of them here in one post for a sort of mini collection before moving on to the next batch of books. I currently have 3 books going; 2 political ones and 1 about Wal-mart. Until I can get those finished, hope you can enjoy this collection of book reviews from the past 3 months.

Better Off by Eric Brende.

Eric and his wife got rid of their car, running water and anything else “modern” in life and moved to a remote community to see if people are indeed “Better Off” without modern conveniences. This story is a great read and I couldnt put it down….Click HERE for the rest of the review.

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The UNTIED States of America by Juan Enriquez

I just finished this book this weekend, and well, I was impressed. The writing style was completely foreign to me, as the entire book was broken up into snippets of information, all leading into the next little piece. It was hard to read at first, but once I got going, it flowed easily. Enriquez explores the downfall of civilizations, both past and present, and writes about how so many countries disappear and/or combine into other countries, and how the United States might be headed towards the same fate…..Click HERE for the rest of the review.

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The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler

This one I read a lot about before picking it up. Some people said it was a bible as to what will happen when the oil runs out, others said it was too over the top to be realistic. I tend to think its a combination of both. He knows what he is writing about, no doubt, and he makes MANY valid points. We need oil to make everything we use, from the obvious (gasoline) to the not so obvious (solar panels). Thus, his point….all the people talking about how some scientist will come up with a replacement for oil are dead wrong, as we need the oil to make a replacement. We need it to make food, make goods, make the cars themselves (never mind the gas), build roads, make clothes, buildings, houses, etc etc. So unless we start TODAY making a replacement for oil while we still have some, we wont have the ability to maintain our society in the future. Suburbs will die out, people worldwide will starve (anyone know the percentage of food that we eat that comes from foreign countries?), and we will return to a horse and carriage lifestyle. As much as I would like to think this was all fiction, I tend to believe a majority of the information in the book. Check it out if you have been reading about “peak oil” and what might happen when it runs out.

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Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

I read this one a few months ago, and I still recommend it to my green friends. Published with recycled resins and plastics turned into pages, with soy as an ink, the entire book is recycleable. This is the main point of the book, that we dont need to settle on the way things are now, but rather that most things we use can be made with materials that start off as “environment-friendly” and end up being used as something else, or better yet returned to the earth. Thus the title, “Crade to Cradle”. What we are doing now is “down-cycling” which just produces inferior products down the line, as materials break down. They make some great points about what we can all do, along with pointing out projects they have built (one is an architect and one is a chemist) that are so green they make grass jealous. Highly recommended for anyone looking to learn about true sustainability.

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Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics by Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga

I just finishedCrashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics by Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga. This has got to be one of the best political strategy books I have read in a long time, and its written for the normal person like myself who wants to know more about how the Democrats and Progressives can take back the White House and Congress. The writers both run very popular political blogs; Jerome runs mydd.com and Markos runs dailykos.com.
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Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All into Patients by Ray Moynihan & Alan Cassels

This book, although containing some information I had known about before, is quite a stunning expose on the pharmaceutical industry. The authors investigate how drug companies have “reclassified” diseases in order to include many more people that may need their drugs, and how doctors that have ties to the different companies give lectures to other doctors about how great these drugs are, sometimes without letting on that they are being paid by the companies to do so…. HERE
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The Good Life: Back to the Land by Scott and Helen Nearing

I had read a few things about this book and then set out to find a copy, as we often contemplate a move out of the big city and into the country. There are so many reasons why we think about this…traffic, smog, housing prices, the state of the public school system, general cost of living, and the stress that one has while living in an overcrowded city. Both my teacher wife and I grew up in rural areas (the midwest and the east coast) and though we have lived in Los Angeles for 10 years, we talk almost daily about what it would be like to live in the country, possibly on a small farm…. HERE

If anyone has any good books they can recommend, I would appreciate it!

technorati tags:pollution environment green off grid depression peak oil books daily kos pharmaceuticals cradle to cradle

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