Monday, January 29, 2007

Reflecting Reading

Just bouncing a couple of really good links along. The first, via Arts and Letters Daily, is a first-rate essay by Joseph Epstein about turning 70. It's smart, and often funny -- I read it out loud to my wife, and it performs very well. The most wistful part, at least for me, is when he lists the books he hopes to re-read before he dies. (He's already knocked out Tolstoy'sWar and Peace, and hopes to give Proust, Cervantes, Herodotus, and Montaigne one more go.)

The other, via Snarkmarket, is Michael Pollan's essay on "Nutritionism" from The New York Times Magazine. Calling it an essay on "nutritionism" is potentially misleading -- that strange word is one of at least a dozen terrific ideas, observations, and arguments Pollan makes about the history of our eating habits before it's all through. This is perfect long-form journalism -- too short for a book, way too long for a story, op-ed, or blog post. In addition to making you think, it just might make you change your life. It also makes me think that I should give Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma a whirl. After all, the vagaries of my diet aside, I'm still only 27 -- Herodotus can wait a little longer.

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