Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

White Rage

Louise Erdrich - Monday, May 29, 2017

Dear Readers,

For the past month I've been acting as a book physician, writing out summer reading prescriptions for people with a few hours to spare.  Mostly, I've written out prescriptions for books that will make people laugh or become immersed in suspense.  White Rage by Carol Anderson is stronger medicine.  Images of black rage abound -- from riots in L.A. to Ferguson, Minneapolis, St. Paul -- but images of white rage are often hidden in the acts of the justice system and in the halls of congress.  Anderson has undertaken a history of white rage, and it is shocking from the first pages.  Who knew that Abraham Lincoln wanted to rid the country of slaves by sending them to what is now Panama?  How many high school classes teach the true history of Reconstruction?  With unceasing clarity and calm,  Carol Anderson narrates a history so compelling that I could not stop reading.  If you're thinking of picking up a true crime drama, why not enlarge your thinking with a true historical crime drama?  

This is an extraordinary book and I hope you read it.

For books and readers everywhere,

Yours truly,

Louise 

Comments
Post a Comment!

Superior Lake

Louise Erdrich - Tuesday, May 02, 2017

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes reads like a mystery -- how on earth will people and the lakes themselves defeat invasive species like the sea lamprey, zebra and quagga mussels, alewives?  Dan Egan makes the story of each battle epic, full of colorful characters and bold acts.  A reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Egan knows how to pare a story to its most interesting elements.  Having finished the book, I immediately started over.  (I can't remember the last time I've done that.)  More questions:  Will the deep troughs, now drains, that have been mistakenly engineered to assist large vessels, draw down the lakes?  Will the salmon. or the whitefish and other native species, triumph in the end?  And what of the waterless states fed by the shrinking Colorado River?  There have always been plans to pipe Lake Superior out of MInnesota.  When and how will our fellow Americans come for this vast, but finite, treasure?   

Taken for granted, spoiled, fished out, over-loved, will the Great Lakes survive us?  Probably, in some form, but we could very well not survive their loss.  So this book is on my MUST READ list.  Suspenseful, superbly informative, crucial.  I also love Egan's portraits of people working for and against the lakes -- a "World War II veteran named Vernon Applegate showed up and did what no creature in the past 360 million years had apparently been able to do.  He got under the lamprey's skin.  He figured out how it migrates and how it hides.  How it feeds, how it breeds, and how it dies.  And then he put a stake in it." 

If you don't know what a sea lamprey is, look it up.  You are in for a treat.  Bring this book to any lake this summer, any beach, and be grateful for Applegate.

Comments
Post a Comment!

Read and Weep/Laugh/Hope

Louise Erdrich - Sunday, February 26, 2017

Owning a bookstore (which actually owns me) doesn't get any better than the advanced reader shelf.  Oh wait, it does get better.  Talking to all of you readers who come in to find the book you will love -- that gets better.  But the advanced reader shelf where the copies to be published are stashed -- it is VERY good.  When Killers of the Flower Moon (available April 18th) came in, I noticed that it was by David Grann who wrote The Lost City of Z.  That made the book promising.  The demi-title "The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI" gave me a start.  I knew about the murders of the oil rich Osage but the connection to the birth of the FBI -- that was a new slant.  Turns out I didn't know much, really, about what happened to Osage people in the early 1920's.  This book, written as detective fiction by a master of the genre, was impossible to put down.  All I can say is get it now and read it now.  I still think about Killers of the Flower Moon and I still see the beautiful faces in the photographs that Grann includes.  Given the political climate in which Tribal Nations are going to be pressed even harder to give up energy resources to greedy corporations, in the light of Standing Rock, of Line 3, and Rick Nolan trying to reverse the sulfide ban and endanger the boundary waters, this book is as timely as it is shocking.  And as distressing as it is compassionately told.  And yet, please let me remind you, this is a read you will not put down.

Shifting gears -- there is Standard Deviation (available May 23rd) by Katherine Heiny.  I hardly ever laugh out loud when I am reading, so I was very surprised to hear laughter in the room.  Yes, it was me, and the book is clever and full of heart and joy and origami.  A couple of perfectly mismatched human beings try to love their heart winning Asberger's son (an origami prodigy) as they try to stay married and deal with a constant barrage of absurd guests. 

Back to extraordinary tragedy -- and unbearable strength.  A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea (now available) is the journey of Doaa Al Zamel (as told to Melissa Fleming).  I can't begin to describe the fury that captured me after reading this book.  It helped me understand what happened in Syria, and put a deeply human face upon one desperate family trying to save one another.  Please read this book and pass it on to others.  Help more people understand why the immorality and cruelty of the Trump administration's Anti Muslim and Anti Immigrant actions are intolerable and shame our country. 

 

Comments
Post a Comment!

Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


Tags

Peak Oil sweden Stephen Salisbury Too Loud A Solitude thank you friends neighborhood trees favorite dog Dartmouth Keystone XL Native People Mankato Powwow National Book Award cafe Empire of the Summer Moon germany leaves and snow Let's Take the Long Way Home Roberto Bolano language revitalization Alice Munro france Bleak House Video Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge book and dinner club Easter Island support Interview Philip Roth The Round House Hillary Clinton The Porcupine Year Milkweed Press Chitra Divakaruni thanks twins Canada graphix The Wealth of Nature State Troopers Remarkable Trees Makoons Alan Weisman Beth Dooley Anishinabe Dogs japan The Ojibwe bill mckibben north dakota Victory Gardens city of books knowledge Aza The Blue Sky birchbark house series ireland Louise Climate Change Anton Treuer Love how good looking you are Education Kenwood Gardens coyote Master Butchers Singing Club Green Team S.C. Gwynne This Green World Ojibwe Wastepaper Bill Moyers Journal Anishinabemowin Wendy Makoons Geniusz post holiday Women and Trees incarnation The Farmer's Daughter 2666 peculiar touches of green and gold fresh water Native Arts cafe closing Bohumil Hrabal photography Ice gardens Ojibwemowin favorite book Afghanistan President Obama china The Transition Handbook solstice, Thomas King Collective Denial E.L. Doctorow Minnesota favorite tree Brown Dog plants the most romantic city in the world ptsd Tar Sands green joy Rare Books School Gardens Patrick O'Brian World on the Edge Islam Fireworks Keepers of the Trees Peak Water Magers and Quinn Minneapolis William Trevor Nemesis Kate DiCamillo Small Bookstores as Commons boarding school Kabul post holiday reads ependent Birchbark Books gratitude devoted customers The Royal Prussian Library Catalyst show your love Aubrey/Maturin Vic Glover Too Much Happiness Population Unnatural Disasters tree books Tree Houses italy spring Crushing Books British Navy Zombies Mohamed's Ghosts Nero friends monkey in a dryer aquifer Light in August Greenland local economy Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive health care reform euphoria Book Review anniversary mississippi Wolf Hall NACDI:All My Relations Gail Caldwell buffalo Gary Clement Up Late Again Pembina Michael Jackson Hilary Mantel Chickadee Poetry Gryphon Press H2Oil Botany Ha Jin Czech Writer Emily Johnson Guthrie Theater 350.org pilgrims More Remarkable Trees customers The Birchbark House The Game of Silence adventure Jim Harrison The Resilient Gardener

Archive