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Bloggers’ Alliance of Nonfiction Devotees (BAND): November Discussion: Reading for a Cause

November 8, 2011 22 comments

BAND is a monthly discussion group of book bloggers who love nonfiction!  If you’d like to join us, check out our tumblr page.

I am super excited to get to host BAND this month!  Because, well, who doesn’t love talking about something they love, right?

I firmly believe in knowledge being power.  This is how my dad raised me, and I am forever grateful for that.  The more knowledge you have the more strongly you can support your cause.  This idea was further developed in me when I went to Brandeis University for undergrad.  Brandeis is built around the concept of social justice, and in all of our classes we learned that you can change the world one mind at a time.

Even though I’m out of Brandeis now, I’ve done my best to apply this concept to my reading.  I seek to constantly attain greater knowledge in areas that matter to me.  Pick your cause and read all about it, essentially.

My very first cause was the health and obesity crisis in the US.  I was unhealthy.  My family was unhealthy.  Most of Americans are unhealthy, so I started reading about alternatives to the way I was raised (the SAD–Standard American Diet).  I read a wide arrange of information including excerpts from The China Study, The Blood Type Diet, Vegetarianism for Dummies, and many many more from back before my book blogging days that I unfortunately did not keep good track of.  I still have a section of my tbr pile about addressing the health crisis in the US.  It matters to me.  And I hope that even just by seeing me read the book or seeing a blog post about it, it’ll help to start engaging others into changing their lifestyles.

This reading naturally led me into reading about animal rights, which is something I am incredibly passionate about today.  I love nonfiction science books about the inner life of animals, the social networks of dolphins and elephants, and the cruelty of factory farms.  I wish I could get one of these books in a week, but for right now I’ll settle for as many as possible, haha.

More recently I’ve become interested in the history of racism in the US and how that history impacts social interactions today.  This is what spurred me on to ask Amy to do The Real Help Reading Project with me, and I hope that our presence online discussing these books will help to broaden and change some minds.

Maybe it’s a bit idealistic to think one can evoke social justice and change purely through what you read, but it’s something I can’t help but believe in.  I guess Brandeis taught me well.

What about you?

Do you read nonfiction to help support a cause(s)?

Leave links to your posts in the comments!  (I have issues making link collectors work for me).  Thanks!