‘Righteous Porkchop’ is 2012 selection for Linn Area Reads program

An acclaimed investigation into the conditions and effects of factory farms has been selected as the 2012 title for the community reading program known as Linn Area Reads. “Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms” by Nicolette Hahn Niman will be the centerpiece of this year’s programming. Linn Area Reads is a program of the Metro Library Network, which is made up of the Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha Public Libraries.

Serving as the senior attorney for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s environmental group Waterkeeper, Hahn Niman was quickly immersed in the world of factory farms. Horrified by what she found, she began a passionate fight to reform the industry. “Righteous Porkchop” is an account of the troubling practices of industrial animal operations. Hahn Niman also offers alternatives for more sustainable livestock farming and recounts her personal love story along the way.

Hahn Niman will give a presentation on Friday, May 11, at 7 p.m. at the Hotel at Kirkwood as the finale of the Linn Area Reads program. The presentation will also be part of the 2012 edition of Out Loud! The Metro Library Network Author Series. Prior to her visit, a series of events will be held to encourage community participation.

On Thursday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m., each library in the Metro Library Network will host a collaborative book discussion kick-off party. A limited number of free copies of “Righteous Porkchop” will be available at each site. Book discussions will follow on each of the next four Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Cedar Rapids Barnes & Noble.

On Saturday, April 14 at 2 p.m. at the Marion Public Library, The Gazette will host a panel discussion entitled “Beyond Factory Farms.” On Sunday, April 22 from 1 to 5 p.m., a “Farm to Market” vendor fair will be held at Westdale Mall, offering attendees the opportunity to learn more about local food production.

Seven of the Linn Area Reads organizers will be participating in an ongoing blog conversation about the book and the issues it raises. The blog can be found at http://linnareareads.blogspot.com.

Linn Area Reads is supported by Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Friends of the Cedar Rapids Public Library, Friends of the Hiawatha Public Library, Friends of the Marion Public Library, The Gazette, the Giacoletto Foundation, the University of Iowa’s Hancher, and the Metro Library Network.

More information about the Linn Area Reads program can be found at www.metrolibrarynetwork.org. More information about Nicolette Hahn Niman and “Righteous Porkchop” can be found at www.righteousporkchop.com.

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