Category Archives: reading

Traveling by book

When I’m not traveling on  foot, my default mode of transportation is by book. I read and reading takes me to new places, old places, old places that suddenly seem new, places I don’t necessarily want to go but often find fascinating. The latter has been the case with Bonnie Jo Campbell’s new short story collection “American Salvage” which has taken me back to my home state of Michigan, except it’s an almost unrecognizable version of Michigan, certainly from my middle class suburban Detroit upbringing of the 1960’s and 1970s. This is 21st century rural Michigan at its grimmest, ravaged by unemployment, poverty, methamphetamine, crime, violence and populated by desperate, down-at-the-heels, unhappy and worried people, some seeking salvation or to salvage what little they’ve got left. It’s a tough journey and I find myself stopping along the way, picking up more cheerful reading for a break, but strangely compelled to return to this trip. Anyone else out there taken it? (Or read it?)

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