Solace, refreshment (with chickens!) and a breath of fresh air await readers of these delightful books.
★ Keep Moving
A while back, during a difficult divorce, poet Maggie Smith began posting daily affirmations and directives on Facebook, ending always with two words: Keep moving. Her words have since provided solace and inspiration for countless readers, and now they’re compiled in Keep Moving, along with brief essays. In a season of unprecedented uncertainty, Smith’s book has arrived just in time. Open it to any page, and chances are you’ll find reason to reflect in a productive way.
Drinking With Chickens
I’m having a fine time imagining the pitch meeting for Kate E. Richards’ Drinking With Chickens.
“It’s a haute cocktail book . . . but with chickens.”
“So we’ll give them luscious photographs of gorgeous cocktails . . . and chickens?”
“Yes. Garden-to-glass stuff, and herbal infusions. But with store-bought cheats, too, because after you’re done cleaning the coop, who has time for all that?”
“This isn’t, like, just for chicken owners though, is it?”
“Hardly! Like Kate says, ‘You don’t need to own them (cough, cough . . . be owned by them) to live the Drinking With Chickens life. Go forth into the world, my friends, and find chickens to drink with.’ ”
“Love it. Love it. It’s the perfect spring title. Someone mix me up an Early Strawberry Syllabub, pronto.”
If you’re a fan of nature and environmental writing, you may believe it’s something of a boys’ club—a forgivable assumption, as so many dudes get the attention in this genre (we see you, Thoreau). In Writing Wild, Kathryn Aalto sets the record straight with biographical profiles and brief introductions to the work of 25 women who have worked in this literary vein. Here are Vita Sackville-West, Mary Oliver and Gretel Ehrlich; here, too, in brief roundups at the end of each profile, are still “More Early American Voices” who have taken on some aspect of the natural world in their writing. This book is a wonderful jumping-off point for anyone who loves the outdoors and wants to know more about the many talented female writers who have made it their work’s focus.
Susannah Felts is a Nashville-based writer and co-founder of The Porch, a literary arts organization. She enjoys anything paper- or plant-related.