Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Want a (Green) Summer Read?

Like any mother and daughter, my Mom and I have a lot in common and plenty of differences. One of our commonalities is our love of books and one of our differences is the books we read. I like to read quirky books that make me think and hopefully laugh—like A. J. Jacob’s The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World—and my Mom likes to read what I’d describe as sappy love stories.

To give my Mom credit, these books are her guilty pleasure. She runs an Emergency Room and works just shy of 100 hours a week and easy-to-read books help her relax after a busy day of, well, saving lives. That’s fine. Good for her. Except . . . she always passes her books on to me when she’s done. I hope my Mom’s not reading this because I’m going to make a confession: I pass them on to Goodwill without ever cracking the spine.

That is, until now.

On Friday, my Mom handed me a copy of Dorothea Benton Frank’s The Land of Mango Sunsets and something about the cover (a low country beach house with a view of a spectacular sunset) made me want to read the story. Against my better judgment, and my aversion to the horrible name, I started to read it.

It’s not Shakespeare (it’s not even A. J. Jacobs) but there is something worth noting: One of the main characters is an environmentalist. The author provides just enough background information on certain green issues to—hopefully—influence some people as they read the book.

My one complaint is that the character has a goat and smokes pot, as if those of us in the green movement always have to be different in some way. But, still, I’m happy the message is getting out there. Now please excuse me: My goat needs to be fed.

Question of the blog: Are you generally happy with the ways green is becoming mainstream?

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