One of the coolest experiences I get to have as a storyteller is when one of my books gets used as a common reader in a community or as part of a first year experience on a campus.
When I started to get invites to common reading programs, I couldn’t believe it:
“You want me to visit with and speak to a few hundred or a few thousand folks who’ve read my book?”
That’s like the best day of an author’s life, right?
I enjoy diving deeper into a discussion with folks who’ve read my work, and exploring larger takeaways from multiple disciplines and perspectives. Participating in common reading programs has enhanced my understanding of my work. I’ve had the chance to talk with historians, philosophers, economists, and freshmen across the…
This was one of the thoughts racing through my head as I straddled a shivering coffee tree on a steep, crumbly volcanic mountainside in Colombia’s Narino district. However, mostly I was thinking: “Don’t die! Don’t die!”
The “grande Gringo” as I became known to my coffee farmer hosts did not fall to his death, but, following my visit, coffee prices did.
In 2012, while I traveled to Honduras and Colombia researching my latest book Where Am I Eating? An Adventure Through the Global Food Economy, the global price for a pound of coffee beans stood at $1.60 . By November of 2013, prices fell to $1.00 per pound a six-and-a-half year low.
I’ve signed thousands of copies of my books over the past few years. I’ve also signed a few arms, shirts, posters, and even a Kindle once. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to folks wanting my scrawled signature in their books.
But since I love having autographed copies of books myself, and I’ve had a few recent requests for books for the holidays….
How to get an autographed copy of EATING or WEARING for Christmas!
Send me a copy of the book you want signed. Please include what you’d like me to write in the book and to whom I should address it. Also include the address where I should mail it. If you have the book sent directly from the book buyer, leave the address info in the comments section.
Marion Nestle author of SAFE FOOD: The Politics of Food Safety writes that the American food system is “breathtaking in its irrationality: 35 separate laws administered by 12 agencies housed in 6 cabinet-level departments.” She calls the fact that more of us aren’t dropping over with food borne illnesses “nothing less than miraculous, a tribute more to our immune systems, the benefits of cooking and food preservation, and plain good luck than to federal oversight.”
In 2001, the United State’s Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) inspected less than 1 percent of imported foods. After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, they doubled the amount of imported food inspected. But still in 2004 Tommy Thompson, the then…
(While traveling from Burkina Faso to Ghana in search of the parents of Solo, the slave I met in Ivory Coast, I spent the night conversing with a group of teenage gold miners. I included the experience in an early draft of WHERE AM I EATING? but space was tight, and it just didn’t fit. It seemed more like a sidebar. So, following this morning’s post on when child labor is necessary, I’m sharing it here.)
The bus ride that took me from Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, ended at a flooded road and a trip in a tiny dugout canoe where the oarsman joked about crocodiles. From the canoe I got in a cab that didn’t have brakes. The driver stopped the car using the “Fred Flintstone” method…
Stephen Terrell is the author of Stars Fall, a lawyer, and one of the many writing friends I’ve made through the years at the Midwest Writers Workshop. He’s also a the host of JUST US at Indiana Talks.
I recently joined Stephen to talk about how my label chasing adventures began and my new book EATING.
Shortly after I landed in Valledupar, Colombia, I was abducted by the indigenous Arhuaco.
Over the previous few week I had been in contact with them and must’ve asked, “Do I need a translator? My Spanish stinks,” ten times. They never answered. They never told me if they were going to pick me up at the airport. They never told me that I was going to be whisked away into the mountains down treacherous roads to the heart of their spiritual world. They never told me that I was about to have an amazing experience witnessing the most preserved indigenous culture I had ever seen.
Of course, I did use Google Translate for all of my emails, so maybe they thought my Spanish was better than it actually is.
I had a blast talking about travel, food, and WHERE AM I EATING with Sean Keener of Bootsnall Travel yesterday.
Sean is a busy guy with three kids three and under. In fact, in the video he confessed that his kids and work keep him so busy that, “Sometimes I have to wait hours to take a dump!” I so appreciate him taking 55 minutes of prime pooping time to ask some great questions and getting pretty deep into EATING.
After I met Solo on a cocoa farm in Ivory Coast, and learned a bit of his story, I asked if we could talk somewhere where we wouldn’t have an entire village listening to us. We sat in his bare room, and he shared part of his story. At times he was speechless. We were constantly interrupted by his master. This is what he said…
There are about 160,000 Solos (Forced Adult Laborers) in the Ivory Coast cocoa industry. The cocoa farmers themselves have trouble making a living, let alone paying workers, so they hire guys like Solo. One farmer told me that if he earned about one-half of one penny more per chocolate bar he would be able to provide his family…