Showing posts from August, 2015

Review of Best Canadian Essays 2014

A couple of weeks ago, local artist/director/activist/writer/arts-supporter Michael Sobota reviewed Best Canadian Essays 2014 for the Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal . Theoretically, the review will appear online, but who has that kind of time? It's impossible to read the whole review in the photo above, so I'll pull out some important points. "I read the entire book in two days."   (Not a trivial undertaking--16 essays on many different topics.) "The collection is full of challenging ideas, reflective memoirs, political and sociological examinations of current subjects and some really, really fine writing." He cites Naomi K. Lewis, and her reflection on anti-science policymaking in Canada, and Sarah De Leeuw's examination of film festivals as particularly relevant and engaging pieces. And yes, he says nice things about my essay, "Words," as well ("beautifully structured, vulnerable and wise"--wise? I wish!). Thanks, Mich

More Reading: Clay and At Hawthorn Time

From the “I don’t review books, but I have some things to say about these books” department. Takeaway: I really liked Clay and At Hawthorn Time . You might, too. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about nature, the environment, and climate change. I’ve been reading mostly nonfiction, because I need to know THINGS, from policy and promises to deadlines and measurements to definitions and examples. But I also read personal essay collections—some focusing on the writer’s relationship to one plot of land or geographic region, others about a specific subject (such as trees or moss). The fact-and-policy nonfiction is interesting but often hopeless; the personal essays are lovely and helpful, even if the writer’s reality doesn’t mirror mine. Recently I’ve been thinking beyond nonfiction to fiction—specifically, about the ways writers of fiction show relationships between their characters and the natural world. From long-ago literature classes, I dimly r