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Comment Archives: stories: Arts & Culture: Book Feature

Re: “Cantankerous Cowboy

Hello John...this is an unusual request and i hope it doesn't inconvenience you. i just read your story about Nancy Coggeshall...My sister Cindy went to school in Rhode Island with her and apparently they were best next door to each other in Narraganset, R.I. Cindy is trying to reach Nancy after all these years and we were wondering if you could forward this to her...My sister is Cindy Hall (Houston)..lives on Balboa Island, Calif...her e-mail address is Her phone # is 949-673-2544 or cell 949-293-2752. Cindy has tried over and over to find her but to no avail.
Therefore, I am trying to do it for her! I tried Facebook but with no luck! i hope you can help us out..or Cindy...
Thanks in advance,
Sally (Hall) McManus

Posted by trustfundbaby on 10/25/2010 at 12:06 PM

Re: “Rotten Eggers

I lugged this book all the way to Vietnam, and I now regret that it was a probably a large factor in my overweight charges. (I probably could have just found it for free anyways, the discard of some trendy backpacker in a cheap hostel.) I finished it begrudgingly today and went straight to the web to see if I was the only one who found it, well, an unbearable work of startling ineptitude.


I felt like I was in a college-level creating writing class watching everyone salivate over some moron, keeping my mouth shut all the while, thinking I was the only person who "didn't get it." I had just read Michael Chabon's "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" when I started reading Eggers, which may have catapulted the feeling of eating a really good stir-fry and, thinking I was going for a second helping, ended up with a four-day stomach virus, but even without the comparison, this book, in my humble opinion, really blew.

Again, thank you.

Posted by Thank you on 09/27/2010 at 5:20 AM

Re: “Fish Tales

Tim all of what you said is true! Please read Salmon's earlier works (ie: Home Is The River, Gila Descending (Edward Abbey liked it) and Signal To Depart (about the continued destruction of Mimbres sites) also consider taking off from Sweltering Tucson and driving I-10 to Lordsburg, turn north on NM highway 90, continue above Silver City on NM 15 to the Gila Wilderness Visitor Center/Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. See the Gila River Forks, soak in a stream side hot spring Geronimo himself rejuvenated himself! Take a fishing rod and catch a trout, small mouth bass and or a channel catfish. Cook it in a cast iron pan above searing hot coals of freshly burned juniper or mesquite you brought from you yard back in the old pueblo. And thank your higher power for Aldo leopold for saving this nearly pristine place. Then head back down 15(hopefully after sleeping along the banks of the Gila, in Gila Hot springs campgground, put to sleep by the melodice sound of flowing water.. then reurn down highway 15 back to silver city, drive through town highway 180 (14th street) turn north onto Little Walnut. Three miles up on the left is High Lonesome road which at the end is Dutch Salmon High Lonesome Bookstore and guest cottage, go on in and meet Dutch, his wife Cherri and their son Bud. Very approachable people, you may even find one of those afore mentioned works by Dobie, or Abbey and Salmons own works..................

Posted by ex ranger on 09/20/2010 at 4:12 PM

Re: “Deathship Earth

As a committed conservationist I will try and get this boook. I hope that it makes the point that biodiversity is not some fancy hobby but is central to our own survival. People must realize this if it is to become the important issue it deserves to be. Above all, we will continue to spiral downwards in our "spaceship" earth, unless we stop our unsustainable population growth. But so many interests of an economic nature are bound up in this perpetual growth that it is hard to do. Only a complete U-turn will get us out of this one. On an optimistic note, a leading industrialist in Australia, Dick Smith, is sponsering a political party called Sustainable Australia. Many think that Australia is a big country - it is a big desert. Less than 6% is arable land and after only about 200 years of colonization, we have decimated our small forest areas by around 80%. We have no rivers to speak of ( Oh for a Mississippi ) and water is becoming a very contentious issue - there is simply not enough for ou current lifestyle.

Posted by Mary Connor on 08/26/2010 at 7:16 AM

Re: “School Is Murder

While Gerry Hernbrode was principal at Keeling Elementary, I visited a number of classes and was tremendously impressed by the kids and their dedicated teachers. The progress of children in English as a Second Language classes was amazing and much more than vocabulary was being learned by these students who spoke five different first languages. The school was an island of safety, fun, and opportunity. It's rewarding to go there again in PROVINCIAL JUSTICE. I look forward to more Kate Mahoney adventures

Posted by mairi on 08/21/2010 at 4:12 PM

Re: “Flying and 'Falling'

Jarret Keene's appreciative review of two fine poets is, as usual, on the mark, though naturally both would benefit from more extensive commentary. His kickoff remark about the Norton anthology is interesting, because that popular volume seems as devoted to exclusion as to inclusion of much of the best work being done today. Publishing has become far too much a matter of celebrity creation than finding the best poems other than those of the past (well represented for the most part).
Perhaps too many editors are editing people, not poems. It's nothing new, of course. Keene's keen responses are very welcome for their freshness and his concentration on what it should be about, the work itself.
(from Dublin): David Ray,

Posted by David Ray on 07/04/2010 at 5:40 AM

Re: “Flying and 'Falling'

I graduated with a creative writing major and still appreciate my poetry classes in the late 60s and early 70s for how they taught me to be spare. However, I have since almost never enjoyed what passes for contemporary poetry. Burgess Needle is an "old" poet in years, but I hope his his poetry (assembled since retirement) signals a new wave of wise writers in this genre.
Karen Dahood

Posted by Karen Dahood on 06/30/2010 at 9:06 PM

Re: “Fish Out of Water

Veil of Roses has been my absolute favorite book since I read it two years ago. As a young woman that has grown up in America, I cannot understand what it would have been like to grow up the way Tamila did. To imagine that you will never have the freedom that you dream of. I cried several times when reading this book, and I gurantee you that you will too. Laura Fitzgerald has touched many hearts by writing this book, and she has impacted everyone that has read this book. We will now never take what we have in America -the fundamentals of our country- for granted.

Posted by allysneddon on 05/13/2010 at 9:14 AM

Re: “Brave New Future

Charles Bowden is clearly one of the greatest writers to come out of the desert Southwest, and Shumaker is absolutely right to say that his work represents “a new kind of writing,” one in which terror and exhilaration are virtually inseparable. In fact, Bowden may very well become for the current era what Mark Twain was for the 19th century: the one imagination (with an utterly original, powerful, and at times almost brutal prose style) who is uniquely capable of penetrating the American soul.

Posted by Ken Lauter on 04/17/2010 at 6:12 PM

Re: “Hapless Hippies Foul The Frontier

Fountainhead, indeed: self-righteous and humorless to the end!

Posted by Babs on 04/01/2010 at 5:14 PM

Re: “Brave New Future

Charles Bowden smolders. Trinity's nice, and Berman's photos are great. But if you want the fire, the real deal, see/listen to this piece in NPR today on his new book, "Murder City:"….

While I love all his books, and his nature writing is excellent too, he's a crime reporter at heart, and his series on the crisis in Cd. Juarez the past several books has been topnotch stuff.


Posted by kuaaina on 04/01/2010 at 9:37 AM

Re: “Dancing Home

"I would love to read an entire book of just his field notes, which, for an ethnographer, is a high compliment."

I agree completely! As much as I was absolutely fascinated by his work to understand the tribe, I found myself (im)patiently reading, hoping that as I turned the page another one of his field notes stories would be waiting for me. David - I eagerly await your "Noted from the field" book.

Posted by becca1st on 03/25/2010 at 10:51 PM

Re: “Dancing Home

For those interested, David Delgado Shorter is going to be speaking on Monday, April 5th, 2010 at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona at 7:30pm. One of his tribal collaborators, Felipe Molina, will also be there answering questions and signing books. For more information visit either or He will be speaking in Tucson in May at one of the Yoeme/Yaqui pueblos and will be interviewed on the radio program, "Tribal Legacies."

Posted by Yoridog on 03/25/2010 at 3:30 PM

Re: “Culture of Risk

"It is sad," says Patricia, a migrant from Irapuato, "because I didn't come to steal from this country, but to work, to get ahead. ... You endure a lot to reach this country."
Too bad Patricia couldn't "endure" what it takes to come here legally: getting an education and skills that an employer could sponsor her for and then applying for a visa to come. And it really doesn't matter whether Patricia INTENDED to steal from this country--fact is, she IS stealing from this country and its people.

Posted by Ali999 on 03/18/2010 at 5:09 AM

Re: “Culture of Risk

"However, there are lots of people who become enflamed over the topic, exploding like hand grenades at the thought of anyone from Mexico placing even one unsanctioned toe on American soil."
Let's see. We have upwards of 20 MILLION people putting their "unsanctioned" BODIES on American soil--and remaining here, demanding amnesty and meanwhile depriving Americans of jobs and using social services and welfare without paying taxes anywhere near what they cost us. So yes, we become "enflamed"--particularly since wonderful Mexico is also these days sending us the "gift" of drug- and people-smuggling related violence, as well as garden variety criminals.

Posted by Ali999 on 03/18/2010 at 5:06 AM

Re: “Gems of Genius

I enjoyed this article very much. Have you read any of her short stories? I find them particularly haunting- a list can be found at the end of the article in the Review of Contemporary Fiction, Summer 2003, by Brian Evenson and Joanna Howard. I am writing my PhD on Ann Quin- do have a look at my fledgling website on her at

Posted by Nonia Williams Dodd on 03/14/2010 at 3:52 AM

Re: “Living Laboriously

"The book calls for a higher minimum wage, protection of rights to unionize, and enforcement of existing labor and safety laws."

If you want these issues to happen, you need to start enforcing immigration laws and punishing companies that hire illegals.

Posted by Nate1980 on 03/01/2010 at 10:18 PM

Re: “Native Places

I cannot agree with this commentator more. Ian Record's book is exemplary--incredible scholarship and deeply moving. As someone who lives near San Carlos Reservation and has known many of the individuals of whom Record speaks, I must say he does a great job of accurately portraying them and the enduring legacy they represent.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Paul Machula on 12/31/2009 at 1:21 PM

Re: “Vicious Verse

Thanks, Jarret and TW. The book is actually half that silly cover price at,

Posted by mfrissore on 12/16/2009 at 5:09 PM

Re: “Canine Common Sense

First, as the author of Am I Boring My Dog, I'm really grateful for this thoughtful review. Of course, Tim Vanderpool is a great defender of animals -- his investigative work on the greyhound track is especially outstanding -- so it's no surprise that he really "got" my book.

I just wanted to emphasize that the methods that Millan uses are not only dangerous, but are often ineffective in the long run. And they are definitely not conducive to fostering good relationships -- based on communication, not force -- between dog and owner. For example, Kane, the Great Dane that's "cured" of his linoleum phobia in the example cited above. The technique Millan uses is called "flooding" by animal behaviorists; it's similar to putting arachnophobes into a room full of spiders. Professional trainers who look at the film of the episode note that, rather than being calmed, Kane has shut down, the canine equivalent of catatonia. There are other methods that are far less harmful (desensitizing, for example) to cure dogs of their phobias. Millan shouldn't get credit for using outdated methods -- based, incidentally, on outdated wolf pack studies -- to get results that look good on TV but are actually traumatic.

Posted by Edie on 12/09/2009 at 12:24 PM

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