by Ashley David
My hairdresser, Michelle, reads more books for fun these days than just about anyone else I know. When I make my twice-annual pilgrimage to her chair, she fills me in. This summer she re-read some Chuck Palahniuk, “always great.” She loved Peter Ho Davies’ The Welsh Girl. She discovered John Waters, the writer, “Fun to read. I love his movies, which reminds me, have you seen Cockettes?” A documentary about a psychedelic drag troupe in San Francisco’s North Beach in the 1960’s, it’s now on my list. But, don’t expect Waters. The film is related to Waters merely by associative leap. Back in Waters territory, we agree that a trip to his actual stomping grounds, a trip to Baltimore aka “Charm City” aka “The City that Reads,” is in order.
The Summer Reading issue … Heads out to India, the American West, the wilds of Minnesota, and the wilderness of a librarian’s heart in its fiction pages … While Megan Dreisbach reports on an autopsy, Christine Murphy on jury duty in New Orleans, Herbert Gold on his youthful misadventures, Frank Meola on Thoreau in New York … and Aisha Sloan on her hardworking father creating his dream house out of a unheated shell of rotting timber and leaking pipes … And poetry is provided by Evan Glasson, Eric Lee, Donald Platt, Chad Davidson, and Lilah Hegnauer.
Ranen Omer-Sherman on Israeli writers and Levantine identity … Paul Anderson on Stanley Cavell and James Agee … Frank Meola on Thoreau in New York … Prose poetry from Philippe Jaccottet … reports on figure modeling from Robert Long Foreman and on a gathering of Esperanto devotees in Turkey from Esther Schor. Fiction by Laura Kasischke, Sharona Muir, Cameron Mackenzie. Plus many poems and a couple reviews …
by Ashley David
The dog is curled up at my feet, just close enough to worry me that her paws might get tangled up in the rocker if I’m careless. The fan is spinning overhead. The Thermacell is emitting toxic fumes to repel the gazillion mosquitoes that populate my world, and it’s hot, hot, humid August on my porch in Athens, Georgia, where classes have already started and summer is officially over. But, not for me. Although my to-do list is long and daunting, it’s Sunday afternoon, and I am reading MQR for fun. So what if summer’s over.