Book Reaction: Lawn People

December 18, 2007

Tim Rosendaul

 

I really liked this book. I got to see the author of this book one on one, when he came to my World Cities class to discuss his book. From reading this book I could get a sense of what kind of guy he was. It was very interesting to learn about the history of the lawn in the United States and how it’s become a national symbol for an American suburb home. So many people put so much time and effort in keeping their lawn green and perfect. But in fact these people are the sole responsibility for all the chemical run-off in to are local water supply. This book was really enjoyable to read and sparked insightful discussion in class. I think this book should always be a part of the course because it gives you a unique way to look at the lawn as being a place of nature and wilderness.

 

 

 


Book Reaction: Breakfast of Biodiversity

December 18, 2007

Tim Rosendaul

 

This book was one of the better reads for the course. It always is interesting to learn about such a unique ecosystem that provides the world with so much diversity in such a tiny space. This book gives us better understanding and grasp on how important rainforest are to our world. Rain forest are becoming so little and completely wiped out by human activity. Human impact in and around the rain forest needs to be stopped. We must come up with better solutions of agriculture in the nearby areas of the rain forest. This book offers thoughtful insight of what can be done to change or alter people’s old agriculture styles of farming. I defiantly learned a lot more in this book and enjoyed it a lot and think it should be a main stay in the course.


Book Reaction: Unsettling of America

December 18, 2007

Tim Rosendaul

 

I didn’t really enjoy this book at all and was probably one of the worst books we had to read too.  I would say you should get rid of this book for a more interesting book about wildernesses.  I don’t have anything else to say besides it was very painful to read this whole book and that I have nothing else to say about it.


Book Reaction: How to Be Idle

December 18, 2007

Tim Rosendaul

 

This book was really cool.  I enjoyed it a lot.  It was defiantly a change a pace for the class and thoughtful way to think about life.  This book gave me a lot of insight about the precious time of relaxing.  It’s been cool to read a book in college of how to be chill.  At times we forget that were always on the move and we don’t appreciate the time we get to relax.  I also enjoyed the part a lot when the author was talking about the most exhilarating moment in his life was when he was high on ecstasy and listening to music.  Even though I can’t relate to this truly, I do sense what he was talking about. I would defiantly keep this book for the course and continue to have this class at your house.  It ties the books theme perfectly into how we have class that week.


Book Reaction: Nature: Western Attitudes Since Ancient Times

December 18, 2007

Tim Rosendaul

 

I didn’t really care for this book.  It was very boring and very difficult read.  Brought a lot of outside information and tied it was nature.  At times they would be talking about one thing and then would jump to a different subject quickly.  Though this book brought very good discussion in class, I thought it was difficult to understand.  Everybody in class pretty much interpreted everything differently so class discussion was all over the place during the two weeks of reading this book.  Even though this book was tough, I would suggest keeping it for the course.  It defiantly helped spark thoughtful discussion in class and if I had to go through reading this book, I think others should too.

 


Book Reaction: Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert

December 18, 2007

Tim Rosendaul

 

I didn’t really enjoy this book as much as Desert Solitaire.  This book was little more out there and boring.  I could have been just satisfied with reading just one book on deserts instead of two.  This read was just a different way to get you thinking in another direction about deserts.  I would of rather read a different book at this time, something that dealt with a different ecosystem than a desert.  After talking about deserts for two class periods, it eventually got boring and people kept bringing up similar thoughts and questions.  Overall I can understand why this book was a part of the course this semester but I would suggest replacing with a different book about a different ecosystem.


Book Reactions: Desert Solitaire

December 18, 2007

Tim Rosendaul

 

I enjoyed this book a lot.  Desert Solitaire was one of my favorite reads this semester and for the class. Before I read this book I thought desert as being just a place with extreme temperatures and little bio-diversity.  But after reading I took on a totally different perspective of deserts.  Hearing from someone’s first had experience while living in the solitude of the desert, changed my thinking about deserts.  I thought deserts of being a place with extreme bio-diversity and place where every plant and animal depend on each other for survival.  After this book opened my mind of what can be considered a wilderness, I took on a total knew perspective on other natural habitats that could be considered wildernesses.


Book Reactions: Meadowlands

December 18, 2007

Tim Rosendaul

 

A very interesting book that I enjoyed a lot.  It’s interesting to talk about the Meadowlands being a place of wilderness when it’s been polluted on for years by the local industry from New York City.  Some people call this place a wilderness because of the diverse life it supports in its unique habitat.  I think this book should be a main stay in the class because it gives people a glimpse that wilderness is not always something that you perceive it to be.  This book opens your mind to a wide variety of places that could be considered a wilderness.


Nature, The Unsettling of America, Breakfast of Biodiversity and Lawn People

December 6, 2007

Nature:

This book was necessary for the course syllabus because of its historical perspective on nature. Coates develops the history of the environment from early culture hearths to present Western ideals. It is very comprehensive on different theories and time periods that affected human’s use and view of nature. It was a hard and slow read, but helped connect themes from other books to one another and understand the background behind other novels perspectives read in this semester.

The Unsettling of America:

I enjoyed reading this book. Barry is very passionate about he small farmer’s lifestyle and disproves of the newer way of life. He goes in detail about the historical change or shift from one form to specialization. He develops the agricultural development in America and how it has changed with the influence of the economy, technology and the government. It is interesting to hear how this change has affect society, in negative ways, like economically and how it has changed society’s view on the small farmer like Barry.

Breakfast of Biodiversity:

When people set out to “save the environment” they are generally talking about preserving what they still consider wilderness, ie: the rain forest. Reading a book about the rain forest and the current problems at the time is therefore crucial for a class like this. There is ongoing destruction with multiple culprits and this book I feel gives a sense of hope, unlike some of the others. It concludes with possible solutions for change and ends on a positive note.

Lawn People:

This book takes a look at what suburbia has done to our culture. It has examples of people that remain using lawn chemicals to produce a green front yard, even though they are aware of the dangers it could cause to their family and the environment. Unlike some of the other books, this novel addresses issues that we all face on an everyday basis. Most houses have lawns accompanying them and this novel shows how the maintenance of lawns and the use of lawn chemicals is a question asked by most residents of the U.S.

-Julia F.


Meadowlands, Desert Solitaire and Red

December 6, 2007

Meadowlands:

The Meadowlands was a great book to start off the semester. It shows that one person’s wilderness is another person’s swamp; Robert Sullivan finds his own wilderness and freedom in NYC’s dump yard. Wilderness is dependant upon your perspective. I was unfamiliar with the area of the meadowlands, so personally learning about the massive territory the meadowlands takes up, just miles outside of NYC was interesting on its own. This was a fun read, with various excerpts from the quirky people Sullivan meets and befriends during his journeys.

Desert Solitaire and Red:

Edward Abbey and Terry Tempest-Williams both observed the same wilderness of the Utah desert, but were written in completely different ways. Abbey remarks on his experiences alone in the desert and his love for the nature around him and describes how he becomes one with the nature by the end of his summer. He is very negative toward everyone that visits the land and possible ruins its beauty. Much of his novel is written in this negative tone and he continues by describing American’s disrespect for the land they live on and nature as part of the “American culture”. Tempest-Williams is written in a more passive and abstract way, filled with imagery. She examines the meaning of “red” the color and the spirit of the people and animals living near Moab. However, she also fully discusses the government involvement with the land and the need to protect this wilderness. Overall, I enjoyed both of these novels, especially in comparison to one another and thought they individually added different qualities to the class.

 

– Julia F.