#StayHomeStaySafeReads: Gigi Berardi on Harper Lee

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Continuing our #StayHomeStaySafeReads series, author Gigi Berardi recommendeds To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. You can also learn more about her recent book, FoodWISE: A Whole Systems Guide to Sustainable and Delicious Food Choices, through the links below. 


As we are looking for a way to uncover and identify with human goodness and compassion, why not read a good book? Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is full of questions (and answers) regarding connection. There is a reason why the classic is on so many must read lists (before, during, and after coronavirus realities, although it hasn’t always been on those lists: read more here)

For one, the major theme is compelling—a question regarding people as basically good or basically evil Further, the book is full of iconic figures. For me, the most memorable is the clever, perceptive, inquisitive Scout. I see the small town, the front porch, the difficult people in her life, the racial slurs and racist crimes—all through her childhood lens. The principled and gracious Atticus Finch was, effectively, the real-life father of Harper Lee, and her love and admiration for his character shows.  

Harper’s key themes are universal, and although it may feel good for some of us older, white folks to throw ourselves behind, well, the older, white folks in the story doing good (read: Atticus)— really, the novel suggests that all of us are culpable in constructing a society that otherizes, demonizes, and privileges one over another. Lacking much critical literary review, this beautiful work is nonetheless remarkable narrative and memorable reading.

Gigi Berardi


Gigi Berardi is a professor at Western Washington University and teaches food and geography classes domestically and internationally. A free-lance writer, she maintains the popular food blog “FoodWISE” and has written numerous articles for general and scientific audiences alike. Her work has appeared in outlets including the LA Times and BioScience among others. She holds a PhD from Cornell University in Natural Resources Policy and Planning.

FoodWise is the definitive food lover’s guide to making the right choices amidst a sea of ever-changing information

We live in a culture awash with advice on nutrition and eating. But what does it really mean to eat healthy? FoodWISE is for anyone who has felt unsure about how to make the “right” food choices. It is for food lovers who want to be more knowledgeable and connected to their food, while also creating meaningful dining experiences around the table. With more than thirty years of experience in farm and food studies, Gigi Berardi, PhD, shows readers how to make food choices and prepare meals that are WISE: Whole, Informed, Sustainable, and Experience based. She offers practical guidance for how to comb the aisles of your local food market with confidence and renewed excitement and debunks the questionable science behind popular diets and trends, sharing some counterintuitive tips that may surprise you—like the health benefits of eating saturated fat! FoodWISE will revolutionize how you think about healthy, enjoyable, and socially conscious cuisine.

To Kill a Mockingbird Cover Image
$6.98
ISBN: 9780060935467
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - July 5th, 2005

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Perennial Deluxe Editions) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780061120084
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - May 23rd, 2006

FoodWISE: A Whole Systems Guide to Sustainable and Delicious Food Choices Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781623173913
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: North Atlantic Books - January 14th, 2020