Annie Dillard’s Nonfiction: Teaching a Stone to Talk & An American Childhood

Reading Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek last year was one of those infrequent, world-altering reading experiences for me. Exciting, then, to realize what a back catalog of nonfiction Dillard has. I read Teaching a Stone to Talk, an essay collection, last year as well. I find her writing worlds apart from any other author I... Continue Reading →

New Essay Collections: The National Road & A Woman, A Plan, An Outline of a Man

Two new essay collections out this month, both with weird, different looks at aspects of Americana. First, Tom Zoellner's The National Road: Dispatches From a Changing America, which "attempts to paint a picture of 'American place' in this uncertain era of political toxin and economic rearrangement. These are observations collected from thirty years of traveling... Continue Reading →

A Little of Why We Love Dolly

She Come By It Natural collects author Sarah Smarsh's four long-form essays about Dolly Parton and the beloved singer's connections to feminism through her roots in rural poverty in Tennessee (it's better than I'm setting it up, but that's the basic premise). These essays were the result of a Freshgrass Foundation journalism fellowship Smarsh won,... Continue Reading →

The First Book from The Last Podcast on the Left

The Last Book on the Left: Stories of Murder and Mayhem from History's Most Notorious Serial Killers (Amazon / Book Depository) Marcus Parks, Henry Zebrowski, and Ben Kissel of The Last Podcast on the Left, the long-running, make-you-laugh-til-you-cry comedy podcast covering stories of crime, the macabre and supernatural, conspiracy theories, alien abductions, high strangeness and general... Continue Reading →

Writing on Loss and Solitude From the Rockies

Rough Beauty, by Karen Auvinen (Amazon / Book Depository) March was thick with anticipation—the pendulum between winter and spring, between dormancy and growth—the month of hope, the month of change. Its arrival meant winter was certain to end. By then, I’d had nearly four and a half months of cold and isolation. And although I... Continue Reading →

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