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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

When Spring is Coy and Reluctant

It’s been “good reading weather” lately, so that’s what I’ve been doing. Now the sky is clearing, and the sun is out, just as I told George Twine over at the Drive-Thru BBQ it would be today. I put a lot of trust in short-term weather forecasting. One day out, and the predictions are generally pretty accurate.

Now nearing the end of Elizabeth Buzzelli’s Dead Sleeping Shaman--I’ve been mentally living not in Northport the last couple of days but in fictional Leetsville and the nearby ghost town, Deward, over in the Kalkaska-Gaylord part of northern Michigan--I put the book down for a while because I hate to get to the end and have it be over. My curiosity is burning: what is in store for Deputy Dolly? for Emily and her editor and/or Emily and her maddening ex-husband, Jackson? for Eugenia’s genealogy projects? Emily claims to be cynical, but a self-deprecating sense of humor is just as strong a character trait. She is an entertaining companion and has brightened the last couple of chilly, grey days for me. I’m happy that her creator, good companion Elizabeth Buzzelli, has agreed to come to Northport on Friday, June 11, to make us all laugh and sign books for Dog Ears customers. More fun in the future!

Besides the new Buzzelli book, I have received a box of the Fall 2009 issue of Michigan Quarterly Review and am eager to introduce readers to this publication in general and this issue in particular. Why it caught my eye will be immediately apparent: the theme of this special issue is “Bookishness: The New Fate of Reading in the Digital Age,” and the cover photo shows a big GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE in the window of Shaman Drum Bookshop in Ann Arbor. Naturally, I had to open and read further. I was fascinated by some of the essays, bored by one or two, but it was Benjamin Busch’s “Growth Rings” that held me spellbound, as I reported earlier in the year. And now—the reason I ordered a stack of copies—the good news is that Busch will be coming to Northport! A friend of his found my blog by chance and forwarded it to Ben, who e-mailed me over the winter. We haven’t set a date yet for his Dog Ears appearance (it will probably be sometime in June), so there’s time for Leelanau readers to get acquainted with his writing before meeting him. I said to one friend just yesterday, “Sit down and read two or three paragraphs.” She did and bought the journal. “Growth Rings” alone is more than worth the $9 price. Love books? Love the woods? Love beautiful writing that makes you think and feel deeply? Don't miss this journal, this essay, this writer. The journal is here now, and I'll give plenty of advance notice when the author and I find a date for his visit to Northport.


Anonymous said...

Oh you temptress you. I believe you could sell books for a living. Oh. Right.

You have me persuaded. I expect I must order both books and then make the trek to Northport to hear both writers. I wish the steamer that called on Northport and the old Antrim City back in the 1870s still plied the Bay.

The photos illustrate your post perfectly. I particularly admire the the meandering line of that middle one.

P. J. Grath said...

You know you are always more than welcome in Northport, Gerry! Steamer? I've been agitating for a car ferry for years now. It would probably have to run between Northport and Charlevoix, where there are harbors, though I can't help thinking Northport to Eastport (and back again, of course) would be a memorable description for the route.

I like the meandering line, too. Thanks for noticing.

Anonymous said...

The Michigan Quarterly Review is tempting, Pamela, very tempting...

And the news that Shaman's Drum is going out of business is just plain sad.

Part of me wants to take a road trip this summer and stay at my brother's cottage in Bellaire and come and visit you guys. To see Dog Ears book. To buy a book there. And to meet you. Will see if this can possibly happen!