I have a fantastic book club. We meet once a month and have been getting together for seven years--so far. It is a group of lovely and diverse women. We read with the intent to broaden our horizons and explore our spiritual lives through a variety of topics and genres.
February's read was Survival of the Sickest by Sharon Moalem. It was a fascinating look at why we may have developed some of the diseases we have throughout the ages. Delving into evolutionary process and adaptation, the author explores how some of the diseases that plague us may have come about as responses to other illness or environmental factors. And while I am not a true evolutionist, I do believe that there is an evolutionary process--I just happen to think God is the author of it and I don't know how all He decided to unfold it. Anyway, as I read this book, I was fascinated by how everything on this planet, from humans to micro-viruses, have a drive for LIFE. While this was not Moalem's point or perspective at all, I walked away from the book with a great appreciation for God as the author of all life and amazed at the ways that beings adapt in order to pursue life. Very fascinating read, one I recommend no matter your take on evolution as a whole.
April's read is The Honey Trail by Grace Pundyk. It is a travel journal of the author's trek to explore the world's honey. I like sociology more than I like honey and I enjoyed the book for its look into various cultures. Pundyk travels to Yemen, Indonesia, Tasmania (her home), China, Turkey, Russia, the US, England, New Zealand...following local beekeepers and engaging with government officials in charge of trade regulations and purity standards. She details the politics of honey, bees, and issues of colony collapse and disappearing bees. Not knowing much about honey except that I think it is sticky and not all that appealing, I enjoyed the book a lot. It even made me think that perhaps the reason I don't like honey is that maybe I have never had good honey (or even worse, that what I may have eaten thinking it was honey might have been basically corn syrup). I'm looking forward to exploring some local NC honey to see what I really think. And while I really did enjoy it, I do have to say that learning about the bees in peril added a little to my list of things that I worry about but have no control over (for example: dolphin meat being sold in Japan, BPA in can linings, antibiotics and other drugs in our ground water, genetically modified crops, the biodiversity of the rainforest , the coral reefs shrinking, etc.). I recommend this read if you like social commentary, travel writing, or honey.