4 February 2021

February book recommendation

Annie Bell: Eat to Save the Planet

Simple, tempting, eco-friendly recipes that support the environment and don't make you feel like you're missing out.

If the way we eat globally continues, the world is at risk of failing to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. From extreme weather patterns to wild fires raging in Australia, it's little wonder that more of us than ever are worried about the environmental impact of our food decisions.

Annie Bell, award-winning recipe writer for Mail on Sunday's YOU magazine and registered nutritionist. The easy, family-friendly recipes in Eat to Save the Planet follow recommendations from the Lancet-EAT commissioned Planetary Health Diet, written by an international group of scientists. This flexitarian reference diet is so simple, easily accessible and tempting that it’s hard to believe you're helping to save the planet as you eat.

The mainstays of the Planetary Health Diet are plant-based foods, but while these ingredients are central to its recommendations, the diet doesn’t go as far as being vegetarian or vegan. Recipes in the book include modest quantities of seafood and poultry, with a small amount of red meat being optional – making this new approach to eating achievable and realistic for everyone.

Whether it's Spinach, Nut and Goat's Cheese Pie, Aubergine Stuffed with Lamb and Buckwheat, or Speedy Cauliflower, Lentil and Watercress Risotto, these comforting, filling and delicious dishes will quickly become the day-to-day favourites in your kitchen.

Rutger Bregman: Humankind: A Hopeful History

Dutch historian-writer Rutger Bregman’s international bestseller provides new perspective on the past 200,000 years of human history.

Ancient thinkers and modern ones have all taught us that human beings are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest. The roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought: it is reflected in newspaper headlines and guides the laws that shape our lives.

But what if it isn’t true?

Humankind provides many examples of how we are actually more inclined to cooperate than to compete. From the real-life Lord of the Flies and the famous Stanford prison experiment, Mandela’s compromise with the followers of apartheid, to the frontline friendships woven between enemies all prove that humans are inherently good and friendly. The fact that we were made to believe just the opposite had serious consequences: if we assume the worst, we really bring out the worst in each other in politics and in other areas of life. But if we believe in human kindness and altruism, we can create the opportunity to achieve a radical transformation of our society.


János Háy: Ne haragudj, véletlen volt

Dear reader, this is the book of János Háy and about János Háy himself. Not about the world, just a small piece of it, so to speak, for which he and he alone is responsible. Of course, the fact that János Háy reveals something about himself every day in this text can be misleading. Perhaps the phrase epidemic diary will come to mind. And that the diary is personal, and if it is personal, you might think it is even more about its author than books whose characters are not called by the real name of the author. So, the author who wrote this book, and whose occupation is also a topic now, offers insight into his life and thoughts on his own behalf. Now, now! When. After all, this is an extraordinary situation, even an epoch-making period, after which nothing can go as badly as it has been so far. The country, the world. And that now the writer tells you not only what he cooked yesterday and what he will prepare today, but also what he thinks will happen after. In the post-viral future. If true. 

But that's not for sure. The author of this book does not want to say what will happen next. Maybe something will change and then it doesn’t. However, he is not primarily concerned with the world, but with a small piece of the world. He must report exactly to who writes, so (so) he tells the truth. Not about the surface, not about the news, not about the prospects, not about the virus. Unless what it would be? Proof of God? Enemy? Whose agent? 

In any case, whoever wrote this book is telling the truth. About you, dear reader, that is himself of course. Of course, it's about himself. Also, about what he dreamed of and that in his dream someone who is no more asks him not to be angry.

János Gát: They Have an Insatiable Thirst for Infinity

Judit Reigl (1923-2020) passed away this year, who was an outstanding painter of the 20th century and was, in her own words, "a woman who thought and painted like a man, even though she knew that everyone was both at the same time." Reigl never took notice of the boundaries. In 1950, the daring and self-contained career entrant left Hungary through the minefields. She settled in Paris but consciously remained in "no man’s land" for the rest of her life. Reigl was not interested thus she could not be affected by the avant-garde infighting. Renewing her painting every ten years - painting on both sides of the canvas and thus going beyond the "one-sidedness" of modernism - she became the one who finally managed to resolve the contrast between the abstract and the figural. Reigl's peculiar oeuvre is now recognized worldwide: her impressive canvases are preserved in the most significant museums.

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