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Book talk

January 17, 2008 - Diane Speer
When I first started this blog, I mentioned I was reading my way through Ernest Hemingway's "The Nick Adams Stories" in conjunction with Alpena County Library's particpation in The Great Michigan Read. It's been a little slow going, mainly because I have several books going at the same time and a host of other commitments on my plate. But I will say this: having just completed his 62-page story, "The Last Good Country," I get his connection to the land and the places of Northern Michigan. I'm still not a big fan of his short, declarative sentences, but I also understand how, in a groundbreaking manner for his time, he changed the style of writing English prose.

One of my other current reads is "The Worst Hard Time" by Timothy Egan. It's my book club's latest pick, and must be finished by next week in time for our January gathering. Where John Steinbeck's masterpiece classic, "The Grapes of Wrath" gave voice to those who fled the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, Egan's story is about those who stayed and survived. It is also non-fiction as opposed to fiction. The author, a national enterprise reporter for the New York Times, is a Pulitzer Prize winner. He did much research for his book and also relied on the memories of a number of Dust Bowl survivors now in their eighties and nineties to provide a cautionary tale about the dangers of trifling with nature. A very interesting read, for sure.

Just anybody else out there currently reading anything of interest? And one final quick reminder: The Great Michigan Read activities continue Saturday with the showing of the Hemingway movie, "For Whom the Bells Tolls," this Saturday from 1-4 p.m. at ACC's Besser Tech Center, Room 126.


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