"A sense of place can be a complicated matter," writes James McVey in the prologue to his new collection of essays, The Way Home. Based on twenty years of living and traveling in the West, the collection includes essays on river running, backcountry skiing, fly fishing, and backpacking—all describing various attempts to engage in meaningful contact with the elements of wild nature, and to have a deep firsthand knowledge of a place. With an essayists breadth McVey engages ecology, geology, anthropology, psychology, and history as well as his own personal outdoor experiences to peer into the particulars of living in as complicated a place as the West. While the essays function within the tradition of western nature writing, they transcend regional issues insofar as they maintain a broader philosophical context that accounts for such global concerns as mass extinction and climate change.
The essays use backcountry experiences as occasions for reflection on such topics as nature and culture, conservation, and the human relation to the wild. They combine the naturalist’s commitment to landscape with the adventurer’s attention to technique and skill. The outdoor experiences function as ritualized activity, the purpose of which is to explore a specific relation with a place. As such, the essays consider certain nonrational ways of knowing the world, including a perception of aesthetics based on sensory participation with the more-than-human world. This gets to the heart of the essential connection in this work between its adventure themes and nature concerns--a connection very much concerned with issues of lifestyle and worldview. McVey describes his own journey in the West, traveling through the varying philosophical revelations wilderness presents—"a lifetime of questions"—finally landing on a conservation ethic, a feeling of home.
Primary care has come into the limelight with the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the unchecked and unsustainable rise in American health care expenditures, and the crest of Baby Boomers who are now Medicare-eligible and entering the most health care–intensive period of their lives. Yet how much is really known about primary care? What Matters in Medicine: Lessons from a Life in Primary Care is a look at the past, present, and future of general practice, which is not only the predecessor to the modern primary care movement, but its foundation. Through memoir and conversation, Dr. David Loxterkamp reflects on the heroes and role models who drew him to family medicine and on his many years in family practice in a rural Maine community, and provides a prescription for change in the way that doctors and patients approach their shared contract for good health and a happy life. This book will be useful to those on both sides of primary care, doctors and patients alike.
Philip Garrison says his book of essays is “in praise of mixed feelings,” particularly the mixed feelings he and his neighbors have toward the places they came from. His neighborhood is the Columbia Plateau, one of many North American nodes of immigration. Following a meandering, though purposeful trail, Garrison catches hillbillies and newer Mexican arrivals in ambiguous, wary encounters on a set four hundred years in the making, built on a foundation of Native American displacement. Garrison is the product of the earlier surge of new arrivals: from the 1930s to the 1970s, those he calls hillbillies left such mid-nation states as Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and the Dakotas for the West. The more recent wave, from 1990 to 2010, came mostly from the central plateau of Mexico. These are folks with whom Garrison communes in multiple ways. Anecdotes from sources as varied as pioneer diaries, railroad promotions, family Bibles, Wikipedia, and local gossip “portray the region's immigration as a kind of identity makeover, one that takes the form first of breakdown, then of reassembly, and finally of renewal.” Garrison’s mix of slangy memoir and anthropological field notes shines light on the human condition in today’s West.
At the age of forty-two, Wayne Fields set upon a sort of pilgrimage when he waded the near twenty-mile stretch of a small river in northern Michigan with fly rod in hand. He emerged with a beautiful and poignant memoir, a meditation on families and aging, and a whimsical response to what time, and streams, and those we care about bring into our lives.
When Race Becomes Real is a critically acclaimed collection that pushes the boundaries of current discussions about race. In these personal and evocative essays, thirty contemporary black and white writers describe their own intimate experiences with race and discrimination, taking an unflinching look at both society and themselves. The result is an incisive and powerful anthology that rethinks what it means to be black—and white—in the modern world.
Only through frank and tough conversation, Singley tells us, can America hope to realize its goals of justice and racial equality. This collection opens that much needed honest dialogue, exploring a wide range of racial experiences in relation to a myriad of topics: from crime and religion to humor, history, and desire. Readers will find within these pages examinations of the roots of racial beliefs and the origins of the language and rules that have heretofore governed discussion; analysis of the reasons behind our reticence to discuss the subject openly; and suggestions for solutions to the problems that plague open racial discourse. The writers of When Race Becomes Real demonstrate the progress that can be made when our ingrained wariness on the subject of race is abandoned, and we instead confront the issue openly and personally. Included are contributions by a variety of authors, from Pulitzer Prize winners such as Robert Coles, Leonard Pitts, and Natalie Angier to popular writers and emerging voices. In each essay the author sweeps aside the cautious rules that often dominate racial discussions to address what race really means in the twenty-first century.
When Race Becomes Real directly tackles one of our most taboo subjects with bravery, wit, and emotion. Sometimes shocking, sometimes amusing but always honest, this collection encourages readers to move beyond the ineffective reluctance and objectivity that hinder contemporary conversations and in doing so forge a new path in racial consciousness.
Donald Anderson, a former U.S. Air Force officer, has compiled a haunting anthology of personal essays and short memoirs that span more than 100 years of warfare. Alvord White Clements—himself a veteran of the Second World War—introduces his grandfather Isaac N. Clements’s Civil War memoir; the novelist Paul West writes of his father, a British veteran of World War I, as well as of his own boyhood recollections of the London Blitz. John Wolfe details the life-changing and life-threatening injuries he sustained in Vietnam and the hallucinations he experienced afterward. Second Gulf War veteran Jason Armagost traces his journey to Iraq through the history of literature and the books he brought with him to the war zone.
The thirteen essays in When War Becomes Personal tell the enduring truths of battle, stripping away much of the romance, myth, and fantasy.
Soldiers more than anyone know what they are capable of destroying; when they write about war, they are trying to preserve the world.
David Rowell is a professional journalist and an impassioned amateur musician. He’s spent decades behind a drum kit, pondering the musical relationship between equipment and emotion. In Wherever the Sound Takes You, he explores the essence of music’s meaning with a vast spectrum of players, trying to understand their connection to their chosen instrument, what they’ve put themselves through for their music, and what they feel when they play.
This wide-ranging and openhearted book blossoms outward from there. Rowell visits clubs, concert halls, street corners, and open mics, traveling from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland to a death metal festival in Maryland, with stops along the way in the Swiss Alps and Appalachia. His keen reportorial eye treats us to in-depth portraits of musicians from platinum-selling legend Peter Frampton to a devout Christian who spends his days alone in a storage unit bashing away on one of the largest drum sets in the world. Rowell illuminates the feelings that both spur music’s creation and emerge from its performance, as well as the physical instruments that enables their expression. With an uncommon sensitivity and grace, he charts the pleasure and pain of musicians consumed with what they do—as all of us listen in.
In this book, naturalist Joanna Burger takes us on a series of delightful trips through the Pine Barrens. From the Albany Pine Bush, the Long Island Barrens, and the New Jersey Pine Barrens in the Northeast, to the pinelands of South Carolina and Florida, Burger describes in lively detail how these habitats have come to harbor such a unique assemblage of species.
She introduces us to amphibians and reptiles, neotropical migrants and other birds, and a range of common and unusual mammals. Burger also traces the regions’ historic and geologic backgrounds, and the impact of human occupation from the time of the paleo-Indians to the present. She revisits the tension between development and preservation, reminding us that a healthy pine barren region requires uninterrupted land and rejuvenating fires, both of which are increasingly jeopardized.
Whispers in the Pines is essential reading for everyone concerned with the history and preservation of these unique landscapes and their wildlife.
White Men Challenging Racism is a collection of first-person narratives chronicling the compelling experiences of thirty-five white men whose efforts to combat racism and fight for social justice are central to their lives. Based on interviews conducted by Cooper Thompson, Emmett Schaefer, and Harry Brod, these engaging oral histories tell the stories of the men’s antiracist work. While these men discuss their accomplishments with pride, they also talk about their mistakes and regrets, their shortcomings and strategic blunders. A foreword by James W. Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, provides historical context, describing antiracist efforts undertaken by white men in America during past centuries.
Ranging in age from twenty-six to eighty-six, the men whose stories are presented here include some of the elder statesmen of antiracism work as well as members of the newest generation of activists. They come from across the United States—from Denver, Nashville, and San Jose; rural North Carolina, Detroit, and Seattle. Some are straight; some are gay. A few—such as historian Herbert Aptheker, singer/songwriter Si Kahn, Stetson Kennedy (a Klan infiltrator in the 1940s), and Richard Lapchick (active in organizing the sports community against apartheid)—are relatively well known; most are not. Among them are academics, ministers, police officers, firefighters, teachers, journalists, union leaders, and full-time community organizers. They work with Latinos and African-, Asian-, and Native-Americans. Many ground their work in spiritual commitments. Their inspiring personal narratives—whether about researching right-wing groups, organizing Central American immigrants, or serving as pastor of an interracial congregation—connect these men with one another and with their allies in the fight against racism in the United States.
All authors’ royalties go directly to fund antiracist work. To read excerpts from the book, please visit http://www.whitemenchallengingracism.com/
It is nearly impossible to live in Alaska without being influenced by its natural environment. Residents have no choice but to coexist with the Alaska wilderness and its animal inhabitants, and this extraordinary experience—along with the stunning landscape—is what often draws people to Alaska. Wild Moments offers a fascinating range of creative nonfiction essays that describe the chance meetings that bring Alaska residents face to face with their animal neighbors. These imaginative accounts speak to the ability of nature to transform the human experience, and the authors urge us through their works to protect these often threatened creatures who share our planet.
The contributors to this collection include some of Alaska’s most prestigious nature writers, such as Peggy Shumaker, Ned Rozell, Nick Jans, Debbie S. Miller, Craig Childs, Richard Nelson, and Drew Pogge. Wild Moments presents some of the best and most innovative nonfiction writing in an environmental context, and it will be of interest to all readers with a passion and concern for the natural world.
Wingbeats and Heartbeats is a wingshooter's odyssey to the wild places where, at the end of the day, the companionship of faithful gun dogs and good friends matters more than a bulging game bag.
In this sometimes humorous and sometimes poignant collection of essays, Dave Books celebrates a time-honored connection to the land and the hard-earned hunting rewards of an outdoor life. Through these essays, readers tag along on adventures in the forests of Wisconsin and Minnesota, the fields of Iowa and North Dakota, the prairies of eastern Montana and Nebraska, the mountains of western Montana and Idaho, and the deserts of Arizona. Books also writes of the game birds that hunters pursue and admire: grouse, quail, woodcock, doves, chukars, Hungarian partridge, and waterfowl.
A heartfelt tribute to the freedom and magic of the hunt, Wingbeats and Heartbeats is a book that has much to say about work and fun, success and failure, and the sights, sounds, and smells of a day afield.
“Carson Brewer at his absolute best.” – Sam Venable
Carson Brewer on…
Snow was nice and crunchy underfoot. Not crunchy like peanuts or cornflakes. Rather, it was a silky whispery crunchy.
You can bury your nose deep in the cool violet bed and smell the mix of life and death while pondering the unceasing cycle of each into the other.
Lem Ownby…has plowed oxen, mules, and horses on the forty-four acre farm on Jakes Creek. But he has never owned or driven an automobile.
The Author: Carson Brewer was a reporter and columnist for more than forty years. His columns on conservation issues and on the Great Smoky Mountains earned him the E.J. Meeman Conservation Award (twice) from the Scripps-Howard Foundation, the Golden Press Card award from the Society of Professional Journalists (which also named a scholarship in his honor in 1984), and the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from the Knoxville Writers Guild. He died on January 15, 2003.
When most people think of the celebrated greatness that is Coach Dan Gable, they think of an almost mythic intensity toward wrestling. Gable breathes and bleeds the sport, and faithfully applies lessons learned from both on and off the mat. Expanding upon Gable’s first collection of stories, A Wrestling Life 2 goes a little deeper into the mindset and life events that have shaped the man, the wrestler, and the coach.
Through stories funny, heartfelt, intense, and always engaging, Gable shares more about the life he has lead and what can be learned from those experiences. He goes on to detail what have come to be known as the Gable Trained principles that he follows to keep his life full of “wins,” the revelations about how to cultivate success at the highest levels, and the reasons behind these steps for living well.
A Wrestling Life spent two months on the New York Times sports bestseller list, and has become an instant classic of sports memoirs. A Wrestling Life 2 is sure to add to Gable’s ever-growing legacy and entertain and inspire wrestling fans everywhere.
What does it take to be an Olympic gold medalist and to coach a collegiate team to fifteen NCAA titles? In A Wrestling Life: The Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable, famed wrestler and wrestling coach Dan Gable tells engaging and inspiring stories of his childhood in Waterloo, Iowa; overcoming the murder of his sister as a teenager; his sports career from swimming as a young boy, to his earliest wrestling matches, through the 1972 Olympics; coaching at the University of Iowa from the Banachs to the Brands; life-changing friendships he made along the way; and tales of his family life off the mat. A celebration of determination, teamwork, and the persevering human spirit, A Wrestling Life captures Gable’s methods and philosophies for reaching individual greatness as well as the incredible amount of fulfillment and satisfaction that comes from working as part of a team.
Whether we are athletes or not, we all dream of extreme success and are all looking to make our future the best it can be, but along the way we will undoubtedly need time to recover and rejuvenate. Let these stories inspire you to find your path to strength and achievement along whatever path you take.