Books, Health, Healthy eating, Latina writer, Non-fiction, water footprint, Water sustainability, WoWW, Writing

How We Can “Eat Less Water” And Help The Environment

“Eat Less Water” releases Nov. 1, 2017, by Florencia Ramirez

When the well is dry, we know the value of water- Benjamin Franklin

For thousands of people in Flint, Michigan and East Porterville, California, the well dried up. For 800 million people around the world, the well is dry.

There’s a new book arriving on November 1st, 2017 titled “Eat Less Water.” The author and researcher, Florencia Ramirez, state experts predict two-thirds of people living on this planet in 2030 will experience water scarcity, a situation expected to result in the deaths of millions and an unprecedented rise in military conflicts.

Can we as individuals hope to have any effect on the global scale of water misuse?

The answer is “Yes,” if we change some of our lifestyle habits. The author states, “THE MOST FAR-REACHING,  effective strategy to save water is to eat less of it.”

This book gives the reader an eye-opening education on how much water is used in food production:

1 pound of beef has a “virtual water footprint” of 1,851 gallons.

1 pound of pork = 631 gallons of water

1 pound of lamb = 398.8 gallons of water

This is not a book against meat, it’s a book describing the benefits of organically raised water sustainable livestock.

“Food grown without chemicals saves fresh water more than any other water-saving strategy.”

There are sixteen chapters ranging from Wheat and Water to Eggs and Water; Beer and Water; Coffee and Water, and other major food groups. Each chapter ends with a recipe for an organic, water sustainable dish or beverage.

 

The author traveled over 16,000 miles across the USA and took seven years to research and interview farmers and food producers who illustrated the very best in food cultivation. The food is grown with farming systems in sync with their surrounding environment, “working to replenish rivers, not pollute them,” and methods used to regenerate the soil, “keeping more water in the ground…”

Written in an engaging narrative, the book is non-fiction and several footnotes cite studies which back up the research. The book encourages families and the household shopper to be selective in what they buy and consume. The recipes encourage you to shop for locally grown organic products.

“What we choose to put on our dinner tables can rewrite the story of water scarcity touching people around the world.

Be part of a change that will make a difference in creeks, rivers, groundwater, and oceans across the planet. Start tonight at your kitchen table.”

Check out the Vimeo book trailer:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/240210963

Eat Less Water Book Trailer from Nueva Vista Media on Vimeo.

This book can be found at:

Indie Bound  

Barnes and Nobles

Amazon

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Note: Florencia Ramirez is a personal and professional friend. She co-founded the writing group: WOmen Who Write (WoWW) in Ventura County. I am a member of this small group and this in no way detracts from an honest review. I’m delighted to participate in Florencia’s writing journey and see the fruition of all of her very hard work.

To find a reading visit Florencia’s website at EatLessWater.

Books, Inspiration

A Time to Dance- Book Review

 

Classical Dancer in the style Bharatanatyam- gettyimages.com by elkor
Classical Dancer in the style Bharatanatyam- gettyimages.com by elkor

 

Can you believe it? We’re in the middle of summer already. Days shoot by like the unseasonably hot temperatures recently experienced in Southern California.

A lack of air conditioning and a very warm house makes for evening reading on my porch swing while I occasionally swat at mosquitos or my dog, Chip, who tries to jump up to join me. His 35 pounds of muscle sway the swing enough to give me vertigo. When that happens, I take my book inside and read from 10 p.m to midnight, when it’s cooler.

This is my summer reading list and I’m two books into the pile with one, “The Ice Cream Queen,” a third of the way read.

Research for a current work in progress had me digress into three other books, so my ambitious 10 books to read in 12 weeks of summer has suffered a bit.

But on to the first book: 

A Time To Dance by Padma Venkatram. YA/Adult Fiction

This is the author’s third book. Her critically acclaimed novels Climbing the Stairs and Island’s End were both ALA/YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, NYPL Book for the Teen Age, Kirkus Best Book of the Year, among several other awards.

My skin tingles as I step into the music,

give in to the icy thrill of pleasure

that spreads through me whenever I dance,

the pleasure of leaping into a cool lake on a 

sweltering day.

Veda is a teenager passionate about Bharatanatyam, an ancient classical Indian dance. She wins competitions, lives dance and sees a bright future following this passion although her parents want her to chose another occupation, which causes her some conflict and mimics the conflict that her romantic interest faces.

After an accident, Veda’s leg is amputated below the knee. Adjusting to a prosthetic is not only painful and humbling, but emotionally crushing. When she struggles to dance again, she faces ridicule from schoolmates, stumbles, and physical pain. An opportunity, as an instructor of dance for young children, illustrates the development of Veda’s resilience, character, and her adaptation to a new reality.

The main character’s are likable, realistic in reactions, portray traditional parents and a gentle, inspiring grandmother. What I especially enjoyed were the inclusion of traditional dress, foods, and the prayer rituals.

Each chapter is constructed as a poem, some one page others three or four pages. The writing is poetic, filled with imagery and as rhythmic as the classic dance which Veda studies. If this novel had been written in narrative, it would have been much shorter than 300 pages. It is a quick read and worth the time.

This book is under $10 on Kindle.

Recommendation: Add it to your library.

Authors, Book Review, Books, Boycotts, Cesar Chavez, Family, Latinos in film, Uncategorized

América and Anthony Quinn

America's Dream

Ever since I figured out how to use the Goodreads widget I’ve been posting reviews on books I’ve read.

Either the widget is dead, malfunctioning or my brain is on overdrive and I’ve forgotten how to use the darn thing, but the widget is not working. Hence, here are reviews on the two latest books I’ve enjoyed in the last month.

América by Esmeralda Santiago

América Gonzalez is a hotel maid at an island resort off the coast of Puerto Rico. She cleans up after wealthy foreigners who look past her as a non-entity. Her married boyfriend, Correa, beats her and their fourteen-year-old daughter thinks life would be better anywhere but with América. When a wealthy, too busy, family asks her to work for them in the United States, América plans her escape from Correa and her old life.

Domestic violence, family dynamics, fear, and choices are themes in this novel. The ongoing violence that América endures is sometimes difficult to read. One feels like yelling at her to drop the bastard and make better decisions, however the author illustrates that this is no easy task. 

Reading about a character who makes poor choices can often be a turn-off, however the author engages the reader by describing the protagonist and her backstory effectively.

Beautiful descriptive prose keeps you reading but the redundant descriptions on setting is sometimes too much and the eye wants to scan for the forward movement in the story.

I love the dialogue, the emotional reactions, and interplay between the maids. I loved how the author gave us the dialogue between the mother and protagonist. The villain in the story was well played.I learned some things about Puerto Rico, the culture and language which is a plus in my opinion.

I didn’t like the way the daughter’s character was written. She had the same extremes of reaction over the entire book.

These glitches may be because this is the author’s first novel (1996). I would definitely read Esmeralda Santiago’s other books.

one man tango

One Man Tango by Anthony Quinn and Daniel Paisner

Description from publisher:

“While bicycling near his villa in Ceccina, Italy, veteran actor Anthony Quinn begins a remarkable journey of self-discovery through a varied and colorful past–and delivers one of the most fascinating star biographies ever written. Resonating with Quinn’s own passionate voice, an infectious zest for living, and a wealth of juicy anecdotes, One Man Tango is by turns resilient and caustic, daring and profound. It is a memoir as bold as the man who wrote it. Includes a 16-page photo insert. HC: HarperCollins.”

Anthony Quinn was a hero of many Latino’s, being that he was a well known actor in the ’40-’70’s when few Latinos were on the big screen. Not only did he come from Mexico, but he grew up in East Los Angeles. He was associated with the Kennedy’s, Catholics, Cesar Chavez, laborers, and California politics which further endeared him to the Mexican American community.

I couldn’t help loving this book.When I read the memoir it was as if Anthony Quinn himself was in my family room recounting his memories. He lived as passionately as his many love affairs.

Remember Zorba the Greek? Well, Anthony Quinn had that enthusiasm for living. His early life was one of extreme poverty in Mexico, with his Mexican Irish father who fought in the Mexican Revolution, and his Mexican Indian mother. 

The memoir is as fast paced as his bicycle ride through the hills of Ceccina, giving the reader an insight into the hills and valleys of the actor’s life, which is fascinating. Besides being an actor he was a laborer, boxer, artist, vintner, writer and philanthropist.

His memory of the movie stars, producers, and directors that he worked with is fascinating, juicy and very entertaining. He worked with Marlon Brando, Laurence Olivier, Mickey Rooney, Carole Lombard, Maureen O’Hara, Rita Hayworth, and numerous other memorable actors. His memoir reads like a Who’s Who of Hollywood and the world, with all the side dishes that go along with these characters.

Particularly interesting was his experiences and conflicts with mobsters, politicians, and movie moguls, including his father-in-law, Cecil B. De Mille. Their family dynamics were extremely interesting.

Anthony Quinn often reminisces about his poor choices, the emotional turmoil he put his wife and family through, and looking back it seems he regrets some of his decisions. But what also comes through the memoir is that he loved his family like a ferocious lion.

This memoir is one of the most well-written, insightful, and candid story I’ve ever read. There are many beautifully written phrases and visuals that make you feel you are on that bicycle ride through the towns and cities of Mexico, East Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Italy.

as Eufemio Zapata with Marlon Brando's Emilian...
as Eufemio Zapata with Marlon Brando’s Emiliano Zapata in Viva Zapata! (1952) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)