“Upstream” by Mary Oliver- Book Review

upstreamI can’t read Mary Oliver’s poetry (which I have been doing a lot lately), without considering her process.  Not knowing anything else, I imagined long walks and lots of quiet pondering.  Early mornings.  But also late nights afterwards.  At a desk.  With a warm lamp. Writing, drifting, thinking.  I imagined a dog with her, maybe, on these walks or by the fire. Sometimes. Lots of quiet.  Upstream, a collection of her essays, filled in some, but not all, of the blanks. Continue reading

Ann Patchett- This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

ann patchettThis Is the Story of a Happy Marriage is the first Ann Patchett I have read.  Without reservation, I loved it.  While reading, I think I may have developed just the tiniest bit of a crush on her, as is often the case, I am almost embarrassed to admit, with many of my favorite authors.  But most of her stories/essays read like a deep, intelligent conversation you would have with a brilliant friend, perhaps late at night.  Over coffee, maybe.  How could I not be enchanted?

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The Braindead Megaphone

braindead megaphoneGeorge Saunders is predominantly known for his short stories.  And make no mistake, he is the master.  But he is also exceptional at shorter non-fiction stuff, and his collection The Braindead Megaphone is a shining example.  For me, this is because the qualities that make him a good fiction writer carry over into his nonfiction.  Because, for me, all good writing is about the human perspective, and the ability to see and convey perceptions in a unique but still relatable way.  Saunders is one of those talented writers who could make any topic fascinating. Continue reading