• Geography of Home : writings on where we live

    Akiko Busch

    This collection of personal essays dissects the house as home, meandering from room to room while simultaneously shifting between Busch’s personal experiences and more general ideas gleaned from history and literature. She doesn’t really succeed in placing her experiences into a comprehensive context, yet the book isn’t presented entirely in an anecdotal manner.

    At times she seems to suggest some kind of universal Home experience, yet she is pretty much talking about a specific middle-to-upper class, suburban/rural demographic, perhaps more specifically the locales where she herself has lived. One of the few times she talked about urban homes, I felt that she was writing from assumption rather than experiences. From the chapter on porches:

    While stoop sitting continues to be prominently featured

  • Time’s Magpie

    Myla Goldberg

    I haven’t spent much time exploring the world of travel essays, but after reading Wickett’s Remedy a couple of months ago, I happened to notice this book mentioned and hadn’t heard about it before. It turns out Myla Goldberg is a former Prague expat, and this book of essays was written on the occasion of returning there ten years later.

    The thing I like about Myla Goldberg is she has an eye for quirks and charming details that I can relate to, so I get the feeling reading these capsules that this is the sort of Prague I’d see if I ever got myself there. The essays touch largely on the experience of Prague in its post-Communist era but also...more

  • About This Life

    Barry Lopez

    an excellent collection of largely personal essays, the topics run from traveling to memories to animal studies. the introduction alone is worth a read by itself — an explanation of sorts of Lopez’s background, as context for the essays that follow.

    there were a few parts that i wasn’t so into, but “A Short Passage in Northern Hokkaido” is a beautiful essay about Japan’s northern island, its “frontier”; in “Flight” Lopez rides cargo planes for days on end to see what sorts of things are shipped around the world; “Apologia” finds him on a long car ride, stopping to pull roadkill off the asphalt; and the final section “An Opening Quartet” is a fine collection of essays based in his past. highly recommended....more