First, at present, because a couple of long-anticipated bookstore events are now, at last, firmly set on the calendar. On Friday, July 16, from 4-6 p.m. we will host a book launch for Al Bona (Northport) and his new book of poems, Sand. The following week, on Thursday, July 22, also from 4-6 p.m., Anne-Marie Oomen (Empire), author of the recent American Map (as well as several other plays, books of essays and poetry) will be at Dog Ears Books with Benjamin Busch (Reed City), whose essay “Growth Rings” appeared in last fall’s Michigan Quarterly Review. That’s three outstanding Michigan writers in a single week, one a week from Friday and the other two the following Thursday, all three whose work I admire enormously. How could I not be excited?
On a much lesser note, Monday offered me a 3-hour break from the bookstore (Bruce manning the counter for me 1-4 p.m.) and a chance to get out into the lovely, foggy landscapes of a soft Leelanau day.
Third (if I need another reason), my radishes are gorgeous! Can’t you just smell that sharp, peppery taste and feel the fresh crunch?
The list could go on and on, but I”ll stop here for day.
--No, no, I can’t stop without putting in a few sentences from a book I fell into after dinner last night, Praying for Sheetrock, by Melissa Day Greene. This is early in the first chapter, as the author is describing the coast of Georgia going south from Savannah:
In Byran and Liberty County, commerce dwindled to the occasional peach or Vidalia onion stand. In midsummer, corn filled the fields and laundered sheets and overalls stiffened on clotheslines outside the sharecropper shacks. One last bit of trade before the road rolled south into the deep country that was Mama Harris, Palm Reader. Then Highway 17 dove into the great dark pine forests of McIntosh County.
Are you there? “...McIntosh County, where the forests grew, the water tasted like cold stones, and the air was clean and piney”?