I tried reading Thomas Pycheron's Inherent Vice but it didn't work out. Pynchon's one of those quality writers and so I felt obligated to give his book a try. And Colette Bancroft, the book editor at the St. Pete Times said this was his most accessible book and one of her favorite books of 2009. But sadly, I just couldn't get into it. It's kind of a cross between a classic detective mystery and a stony-beach culture, 1960's sort of scene. Cool enough concept but it didn't work for me.
So I moved on to Novella Carpenter's City Farm-The Education of an Urban Farmer thereby continuing my trend of reading food-based non-fiction, which is a very strange trend for me. And oh man, what a book, what a woman. Carpenter lives in the ghetto of Oakland. Drive by shootings, prostitutes on the corner, homeless men as "neighbors". She has to deal with a 13 year-old who pulls a gun on her to steal her bike, with police raids across the street, the highway visible and audible just a few yards away. In the middle of all this, she takes the vacant, weed-chocked lot next to her apartment and turns it first into a huge vegetable garden. Then she adds a small flock of chickens. Then a bee hive. And then finally in a burst of madness, she raises two pigs to slaughter and turn into bacon, salami, prosciutto, and ham.
She also raises and slaughters a turkey for Thanksgiving and sweet little bunny rabbits for stew. I have some major respect for this woman.