As this is my afterthought for August, the title isn’t quite accurate. Although it’s sunny and warm (hot, even, by Salish Sea standards—the high today is expected to reach 76°) as I write, summer is nearing its end. And I have yet to do nearly the amount of reading many of us hope for in this season.
There’s still some time until the fall equinox, and I’m ready to fill these last, long hours of daylight. Here’s what arrived in the mail this week, now transferred to my quivering “to be read” pile.
“With language that freshens and lends intrigue to the familiar, Amy Nawrocki makes a sacrament of life’s ordinary rituals from gardening to shoveling snow to waiting at the DMV. Whether it’s a walk in the woods, a meal, or the travails of illness, readers are in the moment with her.” David K. Leff
Imagine walls could actually talk as a New England factory community faces closure of its signature mill due to environmental contamination and foreign competition. These prose poems of politics, family life, competing redevelopment schemes, gossiping locals, and a mother fiercely protecting her children is told in the voice of common objects―from the church steeple clock to a Bridgeport milling machine to an umbrella. They witness a bit of drinking, sex, a suicide, and the hopes and dreams of the human beings around them. How did these everyday things find their voice? Readers may never again look at the ordinary objects around them the same.
“The Colorado River speaks,” Will Falk insists in How Dams Fall. Written while Falk was involved in the first-ever American federal lawsuit seeking personhood and rights of nature for a major ecosystem, the Colorado River, this essay, at once lyrical and analytical, explores the American cultural, and his personal, relationship with one of the world’s most famous―and most misunderstood―rivers.
Thanks, Homebound Publications, for easing me from summer to fall reads.
*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers and refrigerator magnets.