m-bruncommunityread-012309 Community Read to focus on food, good and bad

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BRUNSWICK — The eighth annual Midcoast Community Read will give participants a lot to chew on this year.
The 2009 edition of the collaborative effort between libraries will focus on two books about food, particularly the joys of eating local and the perils of fast food.
The event will be held throughout February and March. People interested in participating can begin picking up copies of Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” (Harper Perennial) and Eric Schlosser’s “Chew on This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know about Fast Food” (Sandpiper) at the Curtis Memorial Library between 10 a.m. and noon on Jan. 26.
Each winter the Midcoast Community Read gathers libraries in the Mid-Coast region to encourage their patrons to read the same selected titles during the month of February. In March, participants come together for discussions, presentations and activities related to the selected books.
A full schedule of events for the 2009 Midcoast Community Read will be available at a later date.
Kingsolver’s book chronicles the author’s family’s year of eating home-grown food in southern Appalachia.
According to a review by Publisher’s Weekly, it establishes the author as a peer of Michael Pollan, author of the widely read and critically acclaimed “Omnivores Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals.”
According to the review, Kingsolver’s “tale is both classy and disarming, substantive and entertaining, earnest and funny.”
Schlosser’s book is an adaptation of the previously published “Fast Food Nation.” “Chew on This” covers the history of the fast-food industry and explores the agribusiness industry that supports it, including conditions at slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants.
Schlosser also chronicles how fast-food companies study childhood behavior in order to tailor their advertising and marketing campaigns.
The Community Read will be followed by panel discussions with local farmers and chefs, a folk dance workshop, cooking demonstrations, farm tours, films and programs for children.
Participating libraries include the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Patten Fee Library in Bath, Freeport Community Library, Topsham Public Library and Wiscasset Public Library.
For more information on the book selections and a schedule of events, contact the local library or visit midcoastreads.com.

Steve Mistler can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 123 or smistler@theforecaster.net.