The Eating Instinct by Virginia Sole-Smith
Discusses all the different ways eating can sometimes be anything other than a simple, pleasurable, nourishing experience. The impetus for the book was the author’s baby born with a congenital heart defect, which required surgery and for her to be put on a feeding tube as an infant; Violet then refused to eat for many months, even after the tube should no longer have been needed. It was an arduous journey getting Violet to eat. This drove the author to examine other ways and reasons humans may not or can not do such a simple act as eating; she discusses babies with adverse reactions to milk, anorexics, severely “picky” adult eaters, people too poor to eat properly, and of course just plain women born and bred to this diet-crazy, thin-obsessed culture. It was absorbing. I’m not usually into “kid stuff,” but she told Violet’s story and the other baby/kid/parent stories in such a way that made even me interested.