Notes From Self-Imposed Siberian Exile

Book review: The Consolations of the Forest, by Sylvain Tesson (Amazon / Book Depository) I’d promised myself that before I turned forty I would live as a hermit deep in the woods. I wanted to settle an old score with time. French author Sylvain Tesson felt an itch familiar to many: to escape the stress of modern city life, to retreat to the middle of … Continue reading Notes From Self-Imposed Siberian Exile

Poet Ross Gay Writes His Delights

Book review: The Book of Delights, by Ross Gay (Amazon / Book Depository) It didn’t take me long to learn that the discipline or practice of writing these essays occasioned a kind of delight radar. Or maybe it was more like the development of a delight muscle. Something that implies that the more you study delight, the more delight there is to study. A month … Continue reading Poet Ross Gay Writes His Delights

Art and Anecdotes from One Year in Paris

Book review: A Paris Year, by Janice MacLeod (Amazon / Book Depository) Bonjour Bonjour Ça va Ça va Ça va Ça va Bonjour Bonjour. It’s really that easy to have an entire conversation in French. There is no waving hello. This is not the French way. When you wave hello their eyes follow your hand like a litter of kittens. Non. They prefer words. Janice … Continue reading Art and Anecdotes from One Year in Paris

A Mind of Winter: Chronicling Seasonal Darkness

Book review: The Light in the Dark, by Horatio Clare (Amazon / Book Depository) The struggle is intensifying. It is like being sealed into a grey snowball which keeps gathering defeats. However much I wash, I seem to smell of dirty winter trains and exhaust… Winter is a miser at the moment, giving nothing but bills. The result is inarticulacy… The words and the lightness … Continue reading A Mind of Winter: Chronicling Seasonal Darkness

The Complicated Necessity of Solitude

Book review: Journal of a Solitude, by May Sarton (Amazon / Book Depository) I am way outside somewhere in the wilderness. And it has been a long time of being in the wilderness. Writer May Sarton retreated to a cottage in New Hampshire for one year, where she holed up and wrote and confronted the seasons, both of the year and of her life. Journal of a Solitude is the diary … Continue reading The Complicated Necessity of Solitude

Jane’s Life in Poetry, Through The Eyes of Her Niece

A southwest view from the shoreline of Lake Michigan in Muskegon, Jane’s hometown, by Darwin Smith Jr. [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons Book review: Jane: A Murder, by Maggie Nelson (Amazon / Book Depository) “You know, for a world that demands direction, I certainly have none. Will I be a teacher? Will I go to France?”  An excerpt from law student Jane Mixer’s … Continue reading Jane’s Life in Poetry, Through The Eyes of Her Niece

Behind-the-Scenes Glimpses into the Mind of David Sedaris

Book review: Theft by Finding, by David Sedaris Book Depository “In order to record your life, you sort of need to live it. Not at your desk, but beyond it. Out in the world where it’s so beautiful and complex and painful that sometimes you just need to sit down and write about it.” David Sedaris, beloved humorist and essayist known for his dry, witty takes on … Continue reading Behind-the-Scenes Glimpses into the Mind of David Sedaris

“He who lives will see.”

Book review: War Diaries, 1939-1945, by Astrid Lindgren, translated by Sarah Death (Amazon / Book Depository) Astrid Lindgren, the beloved author of the Pippi Longstocking series, lived through the Second World War with her family in Stockholm, Sweden. She was just beginning her writing career, and in wartime got a job in the censorship office. Lindgren began recording daily life with “Oh! War broke out today. Nobody could … Continue reading “He who lives will see.”