Ah, summertime is here. As summer approaches, families begin planning vacation trips to the beach and other fun places, and more often than not, making a list of books to read during the hot lazy days of summer. Young kids and teens are out of school and parents do their best to find fun things for their kids to do to keep them busy and entertained throughout the summer break.
Even though my kids are all grown up and on their own now, I still remember the summer reading programs, book clubs and book reading lists handed out by school teachers of all the books kids had to read over the summer. Even adults create their own summer reading lists of a variety of books they wish to read on topics of interest to them, and I’m no different. However, I am rarely ever without a book to read.
Summer Reading Lists of Books to Read
It doesn’t matter to me if it’s spring, summer, fall or winter, I am always reading a book of some kind and my Amazon wish list includes numerous books to order once my current stockpile is reduced. Friends, family and acquaintances often make suggestions and recommendations of “must read” books of one kind or another for me to read, including some great books from Oprah’s summer reading list or books on the New York Times bestseller lists.
Of all the many types of books there are to read, my personal favorites are those that teach me something I didn’t know, or books that expand my existing knowledge even further. I love to learn new things all the time. I tend to stay away from reading “sappy” romance novels, celebrity “tell all books” or science fiction/fantasy books, opting instead to read books about real life issues: social, economic, political, nutritional, natural health and healing, history etc, which can be considered by some to be “controversial”.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know…until you do.
“Tell all books” and documentary films about health and wellbeing, nutrition, alternative medicine, homeopathy, men and women’s health issues, psychology, American history and economic/political and many more subjects have been and still are part of my ongoing list of books to read and films to watch.
Mention to someone that you’re watching food documentaries or reading books on “controversial” subjects like genetically engineered foods (GMO’s), vaccines, health issues including Autism and others, the Fluoride controversy (water fluoridation) and where fluoride comes from, you’re likely to receive a whole variety of positive and negative responses – along with a bit of heavy sighing and rolling of the eyes. That’s perfectly fine with me.
“People are very open-minded about new things – as long as they’re exactly like the old ones.” – Charles Kettering
Several months ago, I received an email from a reader with a list of links to websites, articles and book recommendations discussing a range of subjects including the “anti fluoride” and “anti water fluoridation” movement, as well as links discussing the “genetically engineered (GM) foods” debate, asking me to check them out and see what I thought about the controversies.
One of the many links included in the email pointed me to the fluoridealert.org website, where there is currently a “professionals statement” listing 3700+ medical, scientific and environmental professionals calling for the end of fluoridation worldwide. Hmm. Previous to that email, I had on rare occasions seen a few very brief online articles discussing the “dangers of fluoride” and similar titles, but with no corroborating details or links to back up the claims being made.
To be completely honest, I didn’t pay much attention to the controversial debate about fluoride in toothpaste, fluoride in water supplies etc until I saw and read about the many doctors, dentists, scientists and other professionals fighting against the use of fluoride. Having been in the dental profession for most of my career life, although I’m not a dentist, the controversy surrounding fluoride use is highly personal and I take it very seriously.
Of course, the controversy and debate about fluoride is highly personal for anyone and everyone, children and adults alike. Considering the sheer volume of information, articles, books, documentary films, research studies etc talking about fluoride and where man-made fluoride comes from and so on, I am nowhere near ready to make any strong, convincing conclusions or judgments on what I’ve read and seen thus far. Plus, I wouldn’t want my readers to take my word for it anyway, so research and read about these subjects yourselves and come to your own informed conclusions.
There is still so much information for me to go through, including books about fluoride to read and carefully review and more documentaries to watch, but I’m reading and watching as much as possible as fast as is humanly possible. To say that I’m concerned and bothered by what I’ve read and seen so far would be an understatement, but I’m keeping an open mind about it anyway until I’m confident of making a fully informed decision for myself and family.
The same is true regarding the issue of genetically engineered foods, aka GM foods, and the growing list of BBC documentary films about GMO foods and the hotly contested controversy surrounding them. Many people are familiar with the “Food, Inc” documentary, and maybe even the “Food Matters” and “The Future of Food” films, but there are many more than just those to see.
Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
Since I don’t believe that you’re ever too old to learn something new, it’s important to me to remain open-minded and willing to listen to both sides of the issues, including the so-called “controversial”, “anti”, “conspiracy theory” arguments presenting opposing views. I believe very strongly in making informed decisions and informed choices for ourselves, our children and families, so researching and reading the positive and negative sides of any topic no matter how controversial it may appear to some is a vital part of informed decision making.
Reading books, magazines and articles discussing the pro’s and con’s, positives and negatives on any topic, asking a lot of questions that often leads to more research and more reading, helps further and deepen ones understanding and comprehension of topics to expand the mind. An open mind is a mind of curiosity, wonder, learning, infinite possibilities and a beautiful desire for understanding. That includes careful consideration of topics and subject matter that may make us very uncomfortable in one way or another. Controversial or not, the reading, researching and studying continues.