Thursday, September 24, 2015

Books, Authors, Essays

I love to talk about  books.

I love to share favorite books and authors with others who might not have discovered them yet, and, in turn, I love learning about them.

One of the people I learn from is Lesa Holstine.

If you're one of the last people on God's green earth to hear about Lesa and her marvelous blog - here's a link:  -  jump on over there!

Lesa and I seem to enjoy many of the same authors and books and have shared names and titles over the years.

The latest "share" I got from her was Rick Bragg's "My Southern Journey."

Now, I have read some of his work before, and love it.  But I don't think I was really prepared for how much his essays would touch me.

I have gone back and re-read the introduction he wrote for this book a half a dozen times.  With more to come, I'm sure.

And I learned something new about Lesa during the Rick Bragg conversation at her blog.

She loves essays for comfort reading.

And so do I.

I write them for that very same reason.  Essays have long been my first writing love.

There have been periods of time when I just simply have not had enough sense to read a novel.

These have been periods of stress when I've been concerned about loved ones and can't seem to hold a thought in my head for long without worries nudging it aside.

And there are times when I've been sitting on a deck, or on the beach, watching the waves and all I want is a little literary comfort to go along with the peace I'm feeling.

Rick Bragg's "My Southern Journey" is a book I'll add to my already fairly substantial pile of "essay comfort."

The pile, off the top of my head, includes:

Anne Morrow Lindberg's "Gift From the Sea"

Joan Anderson's "A Year By the Sea" and "A Walk on the Beach"

Mary Oliver's "Long Life: Essays and Other Writings" (and all her poetry)

May Sarton's "The House by the Sea" and "Journal of a Solitude"

Anything by Anne Lamott and Anna Quindlen

and finally -

Pat Conroy's "The Reading Life", and his cookbook.  Yes.  His cookbook.  It's not just a cookbook (although it can stand alone as one that cooks and cookbook aficionados would love. It's full of some of the most delicious essays written with the pure poetry that you would expect from this master.

If you're also a lover of essays, I'd love if you would share some of your favorites with me.

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