I just read Flat-Broke in the Free Market: How Globalization Fleeced Working People by Jon Jeter. He argues that globalization and especially the "neo-liberal" free-trade regimens imposed on developing economies by the IMF and World Bank have destroyed local, regional, and national economies by flooding them with cheap foreign goods. Sound familiar? Jeter's antidote: government investment in infrastructure, worker education, and research, regulated trade, higher taxes, and...Hugo Chavez (!?)
Then I read The New Mediterranian Diet Cookbook, which has really yummy sounding recipes, but I still found it annoying because of that tone which people adopt when they live in farmhouses in Cortona, Italy and they like to rub your face in it. And then they want you to have all these different cheeses and olives on hand to sprinkle everything with, as if everybody has time for hunting down ricotta salata.
Ka'u has amazing things to eat and they just kind of show up, if you've lived here long enough and been reasonable civil to everyone. Like pink and red mempachi (squirrelfish) with their big black eyes, to salt & fry crispy or make into soup with ginger, onions, and tomatoes. Just as ravishing.
Now I'm reading Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations by Brian Fagan (so far, amazing.)