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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Still Here, Still Reading

Time constraints and technical difficulties have conspired to keep my posting to a minimum lately. Now at least one of those problems has been resolved (hint: time is still full and fleeting!), so here I am again. Still reading Still reading Leaves of Grass, but other things, too. One is a fast-paced action novel from Botswana from Australian writer Tony Park, but unfortunately for the rest of you, Park’s books (the one I’m reading is the seventh, and he has a new one out since then) have not yet been published in this country.

We in the U.S. and here in Michigan do not want for exciting words on paper, however, as the new issue of Michigan Quarterly Review makes abundantly clear. You won’t want to miss this special issue entitled “The Great Lakes: Love Song and Lament,” its title taken from one of two essays by Jerry Dennis that make up part of this remarkable compendium of prose, poetry and photography that opens with two poems, in original Anishinaabemowin on one page and in English translation on the facing page, by Margaret Noori. There is so much in this beautiful, slim little volume, every page moving and every line quotable, that I must urge you to get out and find it for yourself. If you’re near Northport, naturally I hope you will stop in at Dog Ears Books....

The new MQR another reminder, too, that the Jerry Dennis essays inside are only a preview of his new book due out this fall, The Windward Shore, which will have its Leelanau launch party at Dog Ears on Friday, October 7, from 5-7 p.m. I’d say “I can’t wait,” except that before then we’ll be hosting Dee Blair, whose garden column many of you have enjoyed for years in the Record-Eagle. Dee will be signing the first of her books of collected columns (there will be one book for each gate in her lovely Sixth Street garden), The View From Sunnybank, at Dog Ears on on Friday, September 9, from 1-3 p.m.. Gardeners—from wannabe through negligent to expert—please take note and mark your calendars.

Between Blair and Dennis, David and Sarah and I will be squeezing in a little “summer” vacation time, making our usual September jaunt up to the U.P., so if you’re coming to Northport and want to make sure we’re open, you might want to call first. Bruce will probably cover the shop for part of the time that I’m gone.

Great Lakes. Michigan, September almost here. What more could anyone ask? Only time outdoors to enjoy it! Okay, so my time outdoors today starts off with stalking tomato hornworms. Sound like fun? "How do you kill them?" David asked. "I let Nature do it," I told him. I collect the little beasties and relocate them to the dusty driveway, far from the garden. There they can (1) dessicate, (2) starve, (3) eat something else, (4) be eaten by birds or (5) be run over by an orchard tractor. I don't care. Just so they're not eating my tomatoes. And meanwhile, on today's shopping list are apples, cider vinegar and golden raisins, so I can chop up green tomatoes to make green tomato "mincemeat" to can for fall pies. Yum!



7 comments:

Karen Casebeer said...

Good morning from Grand Marais...I'm guessing we're in one of your favorite UP places now. Hope you have a much deserved rest from your busy summer. I can't wait for the Jerry Dennis book launch. Almost as excited as waiting for Ellen's book. Safe travels...Karen

P. J. Grath said...

Karen, you are in our VERY favorite U.P. place, our home away from home. Our travels are a few weeks in the future yet, but summer feels like it's beginning to wind down. Have fun up there! I know there will be plenty of "Nature in Abundance" left for us when we arrive.

Dawn said...

Ahhh...the last days of summer feel so special if only because they are the last days. Fall is pretty spectacular too. Can't wait. But don't want to move too quickly or I'll miss something.

Gerry said...

This is the time of year when I am content to "just be" every single day. I like what's here, I like what's in store for me the next few months--no hurries, no worries. Of course, I am not trying to get children ready for school either!

P. J. Grath said...

Neither outfitting kids for school or slaving over syllabi, I do have all those bitten-into green tomatoes to carve up and can. To everything there is a season.

tonypark said...

Hi from Australia (and heading back to Africa this week).

A friend found your post and forwarded me a link. Hope you're enjoying my book and thanks for the mention!

P. J. Grath said...

Omigod, Tony Park himself! Friends, it's seldom that I read a book so action-packed, so full of suspense and intrigue and double-dealing and plot twists, not to mention sex, love, politics and scenery! The book I just finished, THE DELTA, is incredibly cinematic reading. Hard to believe it's the author's seventh adventure novel (his eighth just released in Australia and ???), and there has yet to be a movie made of any of his stories. That's to come, I'm sure of it. David would say approvingly (half-kidding me about what I call "guy" themes), "Plenty of gunplay!"

Thanks for stopping in, Tony!