Too fast food

Fast Food NationI finished Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal last week. It describes the influence the fast food industry has on aspects of our society: food quality, labor laws, eating habits, animal production. It seems to be well researched and it’s easily digested (haha); I read it in less than a week. In his afterword added for the paperback edition, he defends critical reviews of the book when it was first released, noting that his critics have failed to point out any factual errors. His extensive Notes section details where he gets his facts, admiting he used his own opinion in many cases, but the notes don’t reference directly back to where he wrote about it earlier, making them difficult to appreciate. It would have been engaging if he formatted the notes as footnotes instead. I’ve read some reviews say you’ll want to become a vegetarian after reading it. That’s not the case with me, although I am more conscious about what I buy now.

I’ve never rated a book before and it’s about time I started, goddamn it. I have to come up with a rating system similar to games, though. I’m thinking ratings based on: Appearance – how attractive the book is with its cover and illustrations, whether it’s easy to read (font size, etc.); Style – is it like a text book (low rating) or informal and clear (high rating); Rereadable – whether it’s worth reading more than once; Literate – how well it’s written (grammar, spelling, etc.). Any suggestions?

The scissors have no edge

Running With ScissorsI’ve stopped reading Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs; it’s a memoir about a young boy growing up in an odd environment, with lots of unusual, often sad events that illustrate what’s influenced the boy’s perception of himself and the world. I grew tired of it, not caring about him or his mother. The writing seemed forced, as if the memoir was painful to tell; maybe that was the author’s intent, but it didn’t work for me.

I’m going to tackle The New Oxford Guide to Writing by Thomas S. Kane and A Shortcut in Time by Charles Dickinson next.