The Seattle City Council was sworn in last month, and we here at ShelfTalk thought asking them about books would be a great way to learn more about our councilmembers. We asked them to tell us about books they’ve read (or almost read), books they want to read, books that inspired them, books they feel guilty about not finishing, or books that they think people should read. We’ll feature their responses as we receive them. Next up is Councilmember Mike O’Brien for District 6.
I am currently reading Mia Alvar’s In The Country: Stories. The short stories have been amazing so far, each very different, but all touching on different aspects of the vast Filipino diaspora. I am in awe of how the author can describe in such vivid detail so many different life experiences. Each story I feel must be autobiographic, but there is no way a single person could have these vastly different experiences.
A book that you often recommend to other people
For folks who are interested in environmental policy, I often recommend Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner. It focuses specifically on water policy in the west, and as a former river guide I have spent a lot of time thinking about our rivers, but it also tells a story about how environmental policy has been shaped in the Western United States.
A book that changed your life
My wife started a traditional food company and in our household food, how we get our food, and what food is good for us is a constant topic. Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma is a book that completely changed how I think about our food system and the food choices I make in my daily life.