It’s April. If you’re dreaming of white water rapids, vermillion cliffs, and death taunting summer fun, I’ve got a book for you: Clyde Eddy’s A Mad, Crazy River.
Mr. Eddy was no seasoned river man. He was a New York office worker. But he’d spent his honeymoon at the Grand Canyon, and there he found his river. It was a river with a reputation. Scores of boaters had died trying to navigate it. John Wesley Powell beat it in 1869.
A ghostly father leads his living son through weeds to an owl’s hiding place. The owl spreads its wings, taking father and son in. This is the final image in Miles Waggener’s new poetry collection, Sky Harbor. Sounds like the ending to a good ghost story, doesn’t it? Indeed it is. Ghosts of one sort or another inhabit these spooky but brilliant poems.
This fall, the writer Ann Patchett did something radical. She opened a bookstore. This goes against the trend. The indie bookstores are practically extinct. I miss Flagstaff’s old landmarks, McGaugh’s Newsstand on Aspen, Aradia Books just across the tracks. I’m glad we’ve still got Starlight Books on Leroux.
I was thinking, if you want to buy your child a book for Christmas, what are the options? The big chain bookstores? I guess. The internet? Sure. Download Where the Wild Things Are and hand your kid a Kindle.