Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day Three: Recommended Reading

In the world of Oprah's book club and increasingly short attention spans, a lot of deserving books don't get as many accolades as they should.

What's a great book you wish more people had read? (Sell it like you're the publisher, or you know we won't read it.)

I wish more people knew about the book Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, by Michael Perry. I adore books about the Midwest but fictional accounts are usually too cliche, and non-fictionals don't often resonate with me. Perry's descriptions of his neighbors in the small town of New Auburn, WI, are so endearing you kind of want to get in the car and drive to the N'obern VFW on a Friday night to meet them in person. The story of his return to the Midwest is threaded together with emergency calls he fields as one of the town's volunteer firefighters. Perry's soothing prose proves that anyone can be written about poetically - even the one-eyed, crosseyed butcher whose ex-wives (yep, plural) run the local gas station. I love books that incorporate the implausibility of real life - humor, heartbreak, and redemption for some and not for others. Read this book, then read his followups: Truck: A Love Story, and Coop: A Family, A Farm, and the Pursuit of One Good Egg.


Jamie said...

True or false: If I read this book, I will just get incredibly homesick like the time someone brought me cheese curds while I was working at DOJ?

But I went rogue on this one... slightly rogue... as rogue as you get after you live in DC: