Saturday, November 13, 2010
The best loved literary figure of his time as much for his personality as for his authorship of Treasure Island, Kidnapped and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Stevenson was born today in Edinburgh on 13 November 1850. He described his childhood in detail in his autobiographical essays and vividly recalled its emotions and pleasures in A Child's Garden of Verses (1885). Kidnapped was chosen by the Edinburgh City of Literature as their first "One City, One Book" title.
He wanted to become a writer at an early age; he compromised to study Law (instead of engineering at University of Edinburgh, as his family had been involved in building lighthouses for years). He was admitted Advocate in 1875 but never practiced. During these years he rebelled against the conventions of respectable Edinburgh society and there were bitter quarrels with his father (a devout Presbyterian) about religion.
In 1873 he met the critic Prof. Sidney Colvin who became his lifelong friend and literary mentor. With Colvin's help he began to achieve a reputation with his essays and short stories (collected in Virginibus Puerisque, (1881) and New Arabian Nights, 1882). Another close friendship was formed with poet and critic WE Henley, writing 4 unsuccessful plays (including Deacon Brodie, 1880).
The closest friend of his youth was his painter cousin RAM (Bob) Stevenson, and he spent much time with him in France. His early travels were undertaken so that he could write books about them. A Wand Voyage (1878) described a canoe journey, Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes (1879), Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes (1878; a classic account of the city whose climate he hated but which always haunted his imagination).
In the art colony of Grez (1876) he fell in love with Fanny Vandegrift Osboume, an American 10 years older than himself who was estranged from her husband. She returned to California in 1878 for divorce. In 1879 Stevenson followed, travelling cheaply by immigrant ship, then by train across America, recording his experiences in Amateur Emigrant (1895) and Across the Plans (1892). The hardships of the journey and the poverty wrecked his health and he suffered the first of the haemorrhages which plagued the rest of his life.
Stevenson and Fanny were married in May 1880, following a telegram from his father assuring them of financial support. They returned to Edinburgh. Stevenson's illness, diagnosed as tuberculosis, meant that he spent much time in bed, his life undoubtedly prolonged by Fanny's nursing. The next 7 years were spent in the vain search for health: two summer in Scotland, 2 winters in Davos, Switzerland, 18 months in the South of France, then Bournemouth for 3 years One rainy summer afternoon, Stevenson painted a map of an imaginary island to entertain his new stepson, and in a single month, he wrote his first great novel, Treasure Island(1883). He wrote it in Braemar (1882), one of the best children's stories. It's been in print for over 125 years.
He's also the author of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1885), about a scientist who invents a chemical that changes his personality from a mild-mannered gentleman to a savage criminal. Wider recognition came with this allegorical thriller on the dual nature of man, and then Kidnapped (1886) a skilful evocation of 18th century Scotland. He then produced The Black Arrow (1888), an historical potboiler for children. Stevenson made no claim to be a major poet, but Underwoods (1897) showed him to be graceful and original in both English and Scots. He developed a warm and lasting friendship with Henry James.
At the death of his father, the family traveled to America, spending the winter 1887/8 at Saranac Lake, Adirondacks. He wrote a series of essays and began his tragic novel The Master of Ballantrae (1889) set in 18P century Scotland and America. In June 1888 they chartered a yacht and sailed from San Francisco to the South Seas, describing the journeys in South Seas (1896), and The Wrecker (1892). The climate suited, he regained some health for outdoor activity so they settled in Samoa in 1890. However, Fanny had mental health issues and he overworked himself to earn money needed to maintain the estate.
Catriona (1894), the sequel to Kidnapped, was followed by work on the unfinished St Ives (1897) both set largely in Edinburgh during the Napoleonic wars. He was working at the height of his mature powers on his unfinished masterpiece Weir of Hermiston (1896), set in early 19th century Edinburgh and the Lammermuirs, its main character based on Robert MacQueen, Lord Braxfield, when he died suddenly and unexpectedly of cerebral haemorrhage on 3 December 1894.
The romantic legend created by sentimental admirers has helped obscure the recognition of Stevenson as a serious writer, and academic critics have largely ignored or patronized him. Those readers exploring beyond the popular works that made him famous will find a wealth of 'good things'.
The Works: Tusitala Edition, 3 5 vols. 1923 –4; Collected Poems, ed JA Smith, 1971.
Life. G Balfour, 1901; Voyage to Windward JC Furnas, 1952; RLS A Life Study, J. Calder, 1980.
Check out BooksfromScotland.com for additional information and titles.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), belonged to a group of Roman Catholic restorationists from England who planned the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Their aim was to displace Protestant rule by blowing up the Houses of Parliament while King James VI and I and the entire Protestant court, and even most of the Catholic aristocracy and nobility were inside. The conspirators saw this as a necessary reaction to the systematic discrimination against English Catholics.
The Gunpowder Plot was led by Robert Catesby, but Fawkes was put in charge of its execution. He was arrested a few hours before the planned explosion, during a search of the cellars underneath Parliament in the early hours of 5 November prompted by the receipt of an anonymous warning letter. This search is still performed over 400 years later before the opening Parliament. The conspirators were executed.
Guy Fawkes Night (or "bonfire night"), held on 5 November in the United Kingdom and some parts of the Commonwealth, is a commemoration of the plot, during which an effigy of Fawkes is burned, often accompanied by a fireworks display. The word "guy", meaning "man" or "person", is derived from his name.
In 18th-century England, it became a tradition for children to display a grotesque effigy of Fawkes, termed a "guy", as part of the Bonfire Night celebration. As part of the tradition, they would often stand on streetcorners begging for "a penny for the guy". The "guy" would be burned on a bonfire at the end of the evening. As a consequence, "guy" came to mean a man of odd appearance. Subsequently, in American English, "guy" lost any pejorative connotation, becoming a simple reference for any man.
Antonia Fraser's 1996 book The Gunpowder Plot is excellent!
There is also some fun/excellent poetry concerning this event, a tradition that continues to today.
B McIver (2004, in progress)
The 5th of November,
For Gunpowder, Treason and Plot......
Guy Fawkes, the offender,
Tried on evidence slender,
Was sent to the dungeon to rot.
His aim? To be sender
Of the message: "Surrender!
"King James and his troops will be shot!
"That Protestent bender
"Is doubtful of Gender,
"And the True King cannot be a Scot!"
But the erstwhile offender
To jailors was rendered,
And here are the orders they got:
"His body dismember
Then throw on the embers
Of a fire stoked up, burning hot."
So this 5th of November,
While in joy you remember,
By burning the effigy's bot;
The price you may render
To be "freedom's defender",
Is to burn in Hell if you're caught!
Monday, November 1, 2010
Halloween is one of the oldest CELTIC holidays (the festival of Samhain, original spelling Samuin, meaning end of the summer or light) in the Western European tradition. It is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year". The ancient Celts believed that the border between life and death became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits, ghosts, faeries, and goblins (both good and bad) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home (with food and wine at the doorstep) while harmful spirits were warded off by the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Halloween is not celebrated in all countries and regions of the world.
Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. Black and orange are the traditional Halloween colors and represent the darkness of night and the color of bonfires, autumn leaves, and jack-o'-lanterns. In traditional Celtic Halloween festivals, large turnips or rutabagas were hollowed out, carved with faces, and placed in windows to ward off evil spirits. In North America pumpkins are carved being available and much larger, easier to carve.
The name 'Halloween' and many of its present-day traditions have been expanded on from the British traditions with contemporary North American (USA and Canada) ingenuity. The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All_Saints/All Hallows Day (November 1st). Up through the early 20th century, the spelling "Hallowe'en" was frequently used, eliding the "v" and shortening the word.
American historian Ruth Edna Kelley wrote the first history in the US; The Book of Hallowe'en (1919), and references souling in the chapter Hallowe'en in America; "The taste in Hallowe'en festivities now is to study old traditions, and hold a Scotch party, using Robert Burns poem Hallowe'en as a guide; or to go a-souling as the English used."
Imagery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as Frankenstein or Dracula), and classic horror films (such as Frankenstein (1931 film) and The Mummy (1932 film), and local harvests (corn husks, pumpkins, scarecrows, straw, etc.)
Trick-or-treating is part of the celebration for children. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats (mostly candy but sometimes money, often for UNICEF, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to a (generally idle) "threat" to create mischief on the homeowners if no treat is given. The child performs some sort of trick, i.e. sings a song or tells a ghost story, to earn their treats. In some parts of Scotland children still go guising (this is normally on Guy Fawkes Night, 5 November.
Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after monsters such as ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. Over time, the costume selection included popular characters from fiction, celebrities, presidents, athletes, and archetypes such as ninjas and princesses. Costuming became popular for US Halloween parties in the early 20th century, as often for adults as for children. The first mass-produced Halloween costumes appeared in stores in the 1930s. Ghost stories and horror films are common fixtures at Halloween parties. Halloween-themed television series and specials are commonly aired at the end of October; new horror films are often released theatrically to take advantage of the Halloween atmosphere.
Some games traditionally played at Halloween include divination. A traditional Scottish form of divining one's future spouse is to carve an apple in one long strip, then toss the peel over one's shoulder. The peel will land in the shape of the first letter of the future spouse's name (I always wondered if it was first or last name). You would also twist the core of an apple a, b c, d, e, f, etc, revealing the letter of the future spouse's name. Unmarried women sat in a darkened room, gazed into a mirror on Halloween night, hoping to see the face of their future husband. Viewing was not without risk; if they were destined to die before marriage, a skull would appear.
Halloween also coincides with the apple harvest. At one time, candy or caramel apples were commonly given to children, but the practice rapidly waned in the 1970s. One custom that persists in modern-day Ireland is the baking (or more often nowadays, the purchase) of barmbrack, a light fruitcake, into which a plain ring, a coin and other charms are placed before baking. The person who receives the ring will find their true love in the ensuing year, similar to the traditional king cake at the festival of Epiphany.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
a few haunts : Rebecca "This can't be my life."
When I read a review that said it was a "penetrating portrait of ordinary coastal Mainers, ...with sweeping descriptions of lush Maine landscape - I can't believe we read the same book. It is the people in here that are absolutely fascinating, their grappling with their lives and unexpectedly intersecting lives and those impacts that will stay with you for weeks.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
That said, I must once again highly recommend this book! It is about the Pilgrims coming to America (although they don't get here until past the halfway mark of the book!) but not about the "pilgrims" - it is about the events that led to their coming, on both sides of the Atlantic. It also has numerous new sources/information and analysis that I think alot of geneologists and history buffs will be very enthusiast about. I was fascinated by the detail, although other reviewers seem to think this is distracting. (I devoured the book in April when I saw it in Chicago, then reread parts as a Library book, as I have Mayflower at home as well, plus several other history books. I then went to the Amazon site to purchase it, and saw quite a few reviews. Having been down the path of painstakingly creating an historical timeline, I understood both his excitement and the detail of this book, which some of the reviewers failed to see. This IS a book I would have liked to have had in my hands, my own copy. I am only too aware of my groaning bookshelves, as I seriously have to order a couple more....so Kindle it was).
Bunker is to be commended for finding this information/fact checking/delving into ancient historical documents and giving us a better understanding of how our nation developed. This is not dry history! His writing style made the reading a pleasure. So many people have only a vague understanding of Thanksgiving, let alone Pilgrims, Puritans and economics! In this age of soundbytes, footnotes are forgotten. His are present, relevant and insightful. Read every one!
Monday, June 14, 2010
These are the Nora Gavin (american pathologist) and Cormac Maguire (Irish archeologist) award winning series that take place primarily in bogs, in Ireland. Haunted Grounds was the first (2003) then Lake of Sorrows (2005) then False Mermaid (2010). The first novel is based on a true story (she first heard of in 1986 when visiting) of finding a severed head of a woman with red hair (probably from the 1650s Cromwell era) in 1955 - she was able to speak to the people involved! She wanted to create a story because so little could be learned of the girl. The haunting descriptions are theirs as well as family experience (her husband is Paddy Orien). "the past is not buried, but lives and breaths" - e.g. peat.
They really need to be read in order, but there's only three (and she is a slow writer, so you are lucky to catch up now!).
Her favourite authors are PD James, Dorothy Sayers, with Elizabeth George and Umbretto Eco in the mix. She would also like to take AS Byatt to lunch at WAFrost. She is currently reading Geraldine Brooks People of the Book as her next novel will involve an ancient manuscript! These remind me a bit of Sharyn McCrumb, whose appalachian series I adore (for Nora Bonesteel), with that local flavour, myth/folklore/historic detail. Some gothic suspense, similar to Mary Stewart (I always wished she had written more novels about the same people). And the chilling forensic details are reminscent of Kathy Reichs and Simon Beckett. Softer story, with rather tumultous love affair, maturing, but with issues.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Brooklyn Wainwright is a dedicated book restorer in San Francisco - you will find many personal details as the author has lived a lot of this life (see her website katecarlisle.com). This is not the People of the Book (Geraldine Brooks), but there are a couple of passages where she is completely lost in her work and the beauty of ancient texts.
This can barely be classified as a celt read, except that the new 'love interest' is Derek Stone, an english security man, who she finds irresistable, as well as 'hot', to say nothing of his 'accent'. Yes, so much of this is farfetched (a Continental GT Bentley?), a teary reunion just before the murder, an unknown daughter, an inheritance of outrageous proportions, etc. First class tickets to the Edinburgh Book Festival (next book), where another of her fiances (she had three so far) is found murdered. .... Hardcover was nominated for an RT first mystery award. Praise from many other 'serial' authors is all positive.
Summer Beach Reads is also the next topic for prizes by the Friends' Bookstore/Blog (see their blog for details this week). AND there will be a reading contest, for adults, of any and all books read this summer. Yes, I am excluded, so you will have a chance to win... ;-)
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
He manages to combine mystery/thriller/suspense with horror/supernatural in a very literary way (I see the Irish connection clearly). And if you have missed his children's books - they are simply excellent. Not necessarily for the faint of heart, but with a wicked sense of humour, a splash of realism and a sense of 'what if' that astounds. I re-read these, whereas I cannot the Parker series. (The realism will last my lifetime!)
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
This is a debut novel, with a lot of personal detail (the author is also half-venetian and a graduate of Oxford University. So many of the details are perfect. The history is wonderful and it is a very romantic story. A double story, present day and in 1681 with an ancestor. He who 'defected' to Paris to create the mirrors of Versailles. Both stories are poignant, intriguing, interesting and page turners. All in all, a charming book. The reading group guide at the end of the paperback is also definitely worth reading, and adds more dimensions both to the author, the story and the history. Not the details of The Historian, The Plague Tales, The Owl Killers, but a great read for summer.
An Alexia Tarabotti novel of the Parasol Protectorate
(the next is called Changeless, May 2010)
I haven't stopped laughing. Although I was just told the next book is already out and the last page is a cliffhanger (this to the tune of screams that how can she wait 6 months to know what happens?)
I especially loved that she acknowleged, with profound thanks, that her parents rewarded good behaviour with trips to the bookstore. Well done!
This was a combination of Amelia Peabody and Sookie Stackhouse (Elizabeth Peters and Charlaine Harris) with Amanda Quick thrown in for good measure.
Alexia is of course an English spinster, but she has no soul and an Italian father. But then she is attacked by a vampire, "breaking all standards of social etiquette." This is VICTORIAN England, complete with Queen, but vampires, werewolves, etc in London.
There is of course a love interest, Lord Maccon (appalling, messy, gorgeous, and of course a werewolf). This makes for unexpected social gatherings and courtship. The Woolsy Castle Alpha! ('But so rude! and that after eating my three best chickens.")
Friday, May 28, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
"welcome hilarity to the all-too-serious literature of gardening" NYTimes.
"master of hyperbolic understatement"
Drawings by William McLaren (and these are a charming part of the book!)
"One doesn't read gardening advertisements in moments of cooler judgment. One reads them in an ecstasy of unquestioning faith. That is why everybody should buy shares in seed firms"
It is too short a book! 128 pages of delight, of memories, of enchanting descriptions laced with wry wit. You keep turning the pages for the plant details, the lovely word photographs and the skewered individuals/gardeners!
I also have to email quotes to various people: Neil for the heathers, Gail for English Gardens, Janet to thank her for this delightful christmas present and to share with her garden, Ursula as she will enjoy the wit, Anita....the list becomes dozens of people!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Then discovered she has written a number of other books under her name of Diana Norman, wife of Barry Norman, which rings bells as the wonderful film critic for the BBC! So I don't have to just read these novels, I can hunt for her other, earlier works.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I am on the lookout for the Grave Goods and A murderous procession. Rather bloody brilliant.
This reminds me of the Medicus series, such that I will have to tell another friend to read this too.
Monday, May 10, 2010
This is an interesting book, similar to the Ariana Franklin books I have just finished reading. It is however all Perry - intricate plot, complex characters, intrigue, incredible detail and wonderful historic setting. Constantinople and Constantine 1100s. A girl who masquerades as a physician to restore her twin brother's name/reputation. A girl with a complicated past, uncertain present and nearly no future. Constantine is equally fascinating, leaving one wondering if he did indeed realise how corrupt he had become, and the implications of his power designs. And all those lost souls.
Friday, May 7, 2010
One of Hume's important contributions was his philosophy, which was presented in his book "A Treatise of Human Nature (1739) and still a college textbook of Introductory Philosophy classes. (although please note that it was a failed publication!).
David Hume said "reading and sauntering and lounging and dosing, which I call thinking, is my supreme Happiness". I loved the line that he was a great cook but a better eater!
I have been reading quite a bit about his colleague Adam Smith lately, he of the economics fame during the Enlightenment phase. (esp PJ O'Rourke's On the wealth of nations, and James Buchan The Authentic Adam Smith). I started Buchan's Crowded with Genius, Edinburgh's Englightenment a couple of years ago. It is excellent, and interesting to read too. And has opened up more historical nonfiction books (and biography) for me to peruse.
Still trying to figure out why this will not cut and paste from the Note I wrote on the facebook site. sigh.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
So here are a list of some of the Canadians! It is quite humbling to know how many authors I have missed, yet to read, will never get to.
Margaret Atwood Payback (and so much more)
Roberston Davies Deptford Trilogy, Rebel Angels (and everything)
Alistair McLeod No Great Mischief plus every short story
Gil Adamson the Outlander
Dave Duncan science fiction start with the Guilded Chain
Thomas Costain history
Don Coles Forests of Medieval Worlds (poetry)
WP Kinsella Shoeless Joe
Robert Service wonderful poetry
Lucy Maud Montgomery Anne of Green Gables
Ralph Connor Man from Glengarry
William Gibson Neuromancer
Carol Shields Stone Diary, Bio of Jane Austen
Paul Quarrington Whale Music
Greg Wilson Children's books and programming tomes
As you can see there are many more. Enjoy, send me YOUR favourites.
Monday, May 3, 2010
I would love to have Bennett write the sequel - e.g. what happens during the War of the Roses, her thoughts on the beheading of Owain, and Henry's victory (Catherine and Owain's grandson) over all of them.
It was always convoluted history, but it is FASCINATING in Bennett's writing hands. AND Owain was Welsh, hence the celt connection.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
From the Writer's Almanac and the Composer's Almanac: written and produced by Garrison Keillor:
Today is Earth Day. And it's also the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day — held on this day in 1970 and widely considered to the birth of the modern environmental movement.
Earth Day's founder was a senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson. His goal was to force environmental issues onto the national agenda. Before 1970, stories about the environment were almost never reported. One Earth Day organizer said that back then, "Environment was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news."
In 1969, an oil pipe ruptured just off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, causing 200,000 gallons of crude oil to burst forth and then slowly leak out and spread over an 800-square-mile slick. It took 11 days to plug the hole. The oil poisoned seals and dolphins, whose corpses washed up onto California beaches, and it killed thousands of seabirds as well. Senator Nelson visited the site of the enormous ecological disaster and was outraged that nobody in Washington seemed to be concerned about the great devastation to the natural environment. And then he realized that many people simply didn't really know.
So he proposed a national "teach-in," an event to take place on universities campuses around the nation, one that would educate the public, raise awareness on environmental issues, and make politicians pay attention to these things, so that they would make laws to protect the environment in order to, as he said, "stem the tide of environmental disaster."
He saw how successful the anti-war protestors were at getting media coverage — and therefore, making politicians take notice — and he decided to base his campaign for environmental awareness on their model. He also hoped to infuse the same student anti-war energy into the environmental cause. He proposed setting aside one day a year as a national day of observance about environmental problems. The New York Times picked up the story in late September 1969, a great boon to the grassroots organizers of the campaign, who had no Internet to spread the word.
At first, Senator Nelson called it National Environment Teach-In Day, but his friend, a New York advertising executive suggested "Earth Day," especially catchy since it rhymes with "birthday," and that's what the press began to call it. Historian Adam Rome has called Earth Day the "most famous unknown event in modern American history."
About 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. They gathered at assemblies in high school gyms, at university plazas, in suburban city parks. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where Gaylord Nelson had graduated from law school, people met up at 4:45 a.m. for an "Earth Service," where, according to one report, they "greeted the sunrise with a Sanskrit invocation and read together from Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Thoreau, and the Bible." Girl Scouts distributed pamphlets that Wisconsin grad students had written, which gave household tips for helping to preserve the environment. Tens of thousands met up in Philadelphia's Fairmont Park — and stayed there for days — and 100,000 streamed into Fifth Avenue in New York City. People celebrated spring weather and gave impassioned political speeches about environmental issues.
Though unstructured and somewhat incohesive, Earth Day was hugely successful. Environmental issues found a prominent place on the political agenda. Earth Day in April 1970 helped lead to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency by the end of that year (the EPA was created December 2, 1970), as well as to the passage of legislation like the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts.
oday is Earth Day -- an annual event started in 1970 by then-Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin as an environmental teach-in.
Senator Nelson wasn't the only one concerned back then, either: the Czech-born composer Karel Husa had noticed dead fish floating on a lake located near a power plant. "The plant was producing hot thermal pollution which in turn killed all those fish," Husa recalled. "In addition, I noticed more beer cans in the water and algae in greater quantities."
A wind band commission provided Husa with an opportunity to create a work he called "Apotheosis of This Earth." In explaining its title, Husa wrote:
"Man's brutal possession and misuse of nature's beauty -- if continued at today's reckless speed -- can only lead to catastrophe. The composer hopes that the destruction of this beautiful earth can be stopped, so that the tragedy of destruction -- musically projected here in the second movement -- and the desolation of its aftermath -- the 'Postscript' of this work -- can exist only as fantasy, never to become reality."
"Apotheosis of this Earth" was commissioned by the Michigan School Band and Orchestral Association, and its premiere performance took place on April 1, 1970, with Husa himself conducting the University of Michigan Symphony Band at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. It proved a powerful piece of music.
"As the 'Postscript' finished," recalled the composer, "I saw that the students in the band were somehow moved -- there were even some tears."
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Activist and writer Bill McKibben has written several pertinent books e.g. The end of nature, the age of missing information and latest Eaarth. I also liked the list of books he recommended reading recently: Collected essays by Wendell Berry, Desert Solitaire Edward Abbey, Richart Nelson Heart and Blood, Gary Snyder Practice of the Wild, Lester Brown Plan B and Terry Tempest Williams Refuge. These are all powerful voices with brilliant prose.