24 June 2011

Mark Richard. House of Prayer No. 2: A Writer's Journey Home. New York: Nan A. Talese, 2011.

photo from The New Yorker

Say you're reading a book; the story is one that you think you’ll know before you’ve even started reading. In nearly every review and description of the book, authors illustrate that the memoir will detail the life of a "special child" growing up in tobacco-loving Southside Virginia during the 1960s. You might assume that the book will be rather self-congratulatory on the part of the author, Mark Richard, and that you will not be able to relate to him or to his experience at all. On those points, you will be wrong and then most likely right. Richard does not at all seem to be patting himself on the back for the success he has created after an undoubtedly difficult childhood complicated by deformed hips. However, you will probably find it hard to relate to his unbelievable and varied experiences.

20 June 2011

(Almost) Summer greetings!

My apologies for the gap in between posts, but I hope that you have had a delightful spring and are ready for summer tomorrow! Although we seem to already have plenty of dog days under our belts with record-high temperatures, cookouts, and baseball (Wahoowa!), the summer solstice will make it official. And maybe that means that you are looking for some Southside Virginia gems to add to your summer reading list!