Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Review: Fasionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes



Dana Thomas

Fashionopolis is a well-written and researched book that looks at the cost of fast fashion in terms of labor relations, environmental damage, and changing forms of production. It asks, “is the current trend of quick output and rapid turnover in shops like Zara sustainable?” Not surprisingly, the answer is no.

Many are probably well aware of new reports about labor exploitation in the garment industry, but there is also an environmental impact that has been gaining attention. For example, a large amount of water is consumed to grow cotton to produce items such as t-shirts and jeans. Not to mention the vast amounts of pesticides and chemicals needed to grow the crops and process clothing. And what happens when we are tired of wearing these items? Throwing them in a landfill is not the answer since many fabrics are not biodegradable.

The author focuses her attention not just on the history of production but also on how businesses and researchers are seeking new ways to help the industry change to a model of production and use that is better for consumers and the environment. But will customers be satisfied with the idea of buying less but paying more for quality? I'm not so sure but, after reading this, I will be thinking more about the real cost of the garments I'm wearing.

This review was written by me originally for City Book Review.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Review: The Quiet Side of Passion

The Quiet Side of Passion (Isabel Dalhousie #12)

The Quiet Side of Passion

Alexander McCall Smith

Isabel Dalhousie is a busy woman. As editor of The Review of Applied Ethics, wife to Jamie, and mother to Charlie and Magnus, she hardly has time for herself. In an attempt to simplify life, she decides to hire an au pair and an assistant editor for the journal. Unfortunately, this doesn't have the desired effect. Life only becomes a little more complicated with the addition of two employees to the household.

On top of that, Isabel's found a friend for her son Charlie, a little boy being raised by his single mother, Patricia. Isabel can't help but get entangled in this woman's questionable lifestyle. But it's all in the name of trying to do good, even if things don't turn out the way she expected.

I'm always drawn to McCall Smith's stories. I love the feeling that I'm having an intimate chat with his characters, and Isabel is no exception. Her philosophical musings are thoughtful and often amusing. Her privileged and charming Edinburgh life creates the perfect atmosphere and backdrop to this series. It's the common questions and dilemmas that she must come to terms with that keep this tale both subtle and all-consuming. This is my first book in this series, but it certainly not my last. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Review: The Whispered Word

 The Whispered Word (Secret, Book, & Scone Society, #2)

The Whispered Word

Ellery Adams

Nora, a book store owner in Miracle Springs, North Carolina and, several other women in the town, have formed a group known as The Secret, Book, and Scone Society. They extend help where help is needed in the form of surprise gift bags to locals in need of kindness or assistance. When a strange girl named Abilene shows up in Nora's bookstore, she knows that the girl needs a friend. But when another woman in town is found dead, Nora wonders what the mysterious girl is hiding. It will take time and effort to help Abilene. And discovering a killer may not be easy, but Nora and her friends are always up for a challenge.

The Whispered Word is a terrific story about a strong group of women helping each other and the small town they love. This cozy mystery was like a warm blanket. When I started, all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and read it straight through. The focus on comfort food and books was a delight. With wonderful characters, a mystery to solve, and a little romance on the side, this book was more than a good read. By the time I finished, I felt like I belonged in Miracle Springs as well. It will come as no surprise that I'm hoping to read more in this series.