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An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days [Hardcover]

Susan Wittig Albert

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Book Description

Sept. 15 2010 Southwestern Writers Collection
From Eudora Welty's memoir of childhood to May Sarton's reflections on her seventieth year, writers' journals offer an irresistible opportunity to join a creative thinker in musing on the events-whether in daily life or on a global scale-that shape our lives. In An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days, best-selling mystery novelist Susan Wittig Albert invites us to revisit one of the most tumultuous years in recent memory, 2008, through the lens of 365 ordinary days in which her reading, writing, and thinking about issues in the wider world-from wars and economic recession to climate change-caused her to reconsider and reshape daily practices in her personal life. Albert's journal provides an engaging account of how the business of being a successful working writer blends with her rural life in the Texas Hill Country and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico. As her eclectic daily reading ranges across topics from economics, food production, and oil and energy policy to poetry, place, and the writing life, Albert becomes increasingly concerned about the natural world and the threats facing it, especially climate change and resource depletion. Asking herself, "What does it mean? And what ought I do about it?", she determines practical steps to take, such as growing more food in her garden, and also helps us as readers make sense of these issues and consider what our own responses might be.

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Her journal reads as smoothly as a letter written to a dear friend; a treasure trove of quotes from favorite authors and suggested readings on relevant subjects enhance each page. More than the rudimentary musings of a popular author who has grown with the times, this multi-faceted journal serves as a valuable overview to the way we were.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent memoir from Susan Wittig Albert Dec 28 2010
By D. Greer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days, Susan Wittig Albert gives us the election year in day-by-day journal format. It's an intriguing look at her everyday life, juxtaposed against the most extraordinary election year of our lives. Albert analyzes it all with her razor-sharp insights and her usual tight and graceful writing. Reading the book is a bit like snooping in the best diary you ever laid your hands on, and gives plenty of fodder for deep thought and perhaps more research... and maybe some journaling of your own. A must-read for anyone interested in politics and memoir.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing glimpse into a writer's process and observations of the world around her March 19 2012
By Carole Brown - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have long been a fan of Susan Wittig Albert's books, having gotten hooked almost 20 years ago with the China Bayles mystery series and then the Beatrix Potter series. And now An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days. This book is a rare glimpse into a writer's process and shows us clearly the journey that this author undertakes with each project. It's astounding to see how many books Susan Wittig Albert is working on at the same time.

I especially enjoyed reading Susan's observations of the natural world around her, from the birds that come to visit to the flowers that bloom at Meadow Knoll her 30+ acre home. Her sharp eyes miss no detail in the unfolding seasons and I became transported to her Texas homeland to enjoy this beautiful walk through the flora and fauna of her home.

Susan Wittig Albert's observation skills extend also to the unfolding political events of the extraordinary events that were the 2008 election cycle and the crisis that we face because of our refusal to deal with an energy policy in this country.

Once you start reading it's hard to stop. I found myself immersed in this journal, and did not want to put it down. But I also wanted to savor every moment. This is the best kind of writing! The kind of writing that grabs your attention on the first page and makes you feel sorry that you've reached the end.

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