On the Book Trail

I’ve recently added these books to my to-read list. Definitely worth checking out. -Stephanie

The Man Called Red: An Autobiography of a Guide and Outfitter in Northern British Columbia by N.B. Sorensen

“Red” Sorensen tells his life in The Man Called Red with the characteristic reserve and understated humor typical of men seduced by the great outdoors. One likes him almost immediately, both for his character, his honesty, and integrity and for his singular, unbending self-accountability.

He gets on well with almost everyone he meets – becoming the bane of those who cheat and lie and steal – and marries a woman he deserves and appreciates as much as he does the land that he explores and worships.

From the early 1900s until the present day, “Red” Sorensen recounts with exquisitely detailed descriptiveness his wilderness adventures and all-too-frequent brushes with mortal danger, whether from ubiquitous mountain predators, natural catastrophes, foolish fellow men, or his planes that seem to crash too often.

I find myself in awe of this man, and I admire his wife who kept up with him; It takes a special kind of women to love a man extraordinary as Red. If you sign up for his ride, prepare to be awestruck by the country he guides you through, and the quality of this man called simple “Red.

Rescued from the Ashes: The Diary of Leokadia Schmidt, Survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto

by Leokadia Schmidt

The diary of a young Jewish housewife who, together with her husband and five-month-old baby, fled the Warsaw ghetto at the last possible moment and survived the Holocaust hidden on the “Aryan” side of town in the loft of a run-down tinsmith’s shed.

A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression by Jane Ziegelman

From the author of the acclaimed 97 Orchard and her husband, a culinary historian, an in-depth exploration of the greatest food crisis the nation has ever faced—the Great Depression—and how it transformed America’s culinary culture.

The decade-long Great Depression, a period of shifts in the country’s political and social landscape, forever changed the way America eats. Before 1929, America’s relationship with food was defined by abundance. But the collapse the economy, in both urban and rural America, left a quarter of all Americans out of work and undernourished—shattering long-held assumptions about the limitlessness of the national larder.

In 1933, as women struggled to feed their families, President Roosevelt reversed longstanding biases toward government sponsored “food charity.” For the first time in American history, the federal government assumed, for a while, responsibility for feeding its citizens. The effects were widespread. Championed by Eleanor Roosevelt, “home economists” who had long fought to bring science into the kitchen rose to national stature. Tapping into America’s longstanding ambivalence toward culinary enjoyment, they imposed their vision of a sturdy, utilitarian cuisine on the American dinner table.

Through the Bureau of Home Economics, these women led a sweeping campaign to instill dietary recommendations, the forerunners of today’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. At the same time, rising food conglomerates introduced packaged and processed foods that gave rise to a new American cuisine based on speed and convenience. This movement toward a homogenized national cuisine sparked a revival of American regional cooking. In the ensuing decades, this tension between local traditions and culinary science have defined our national cuisine—a battle that continues today.

A Square Meal examines the impact of economic contraction and environmental disaster on how Americans ate then—and the lessons and insights those experiences may hold for us today.

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