January 2, 2008, Coyote Lodge, New Mexico
Yesterday was the beginning of the new year. Today is the beginning of my personal new year: my birthday….
Breathtakingly beautiful spring day, daffodils massed along the woods, redbuds clouded in purple, Chickasaw plum, its blossoms as frilly as the finest lace….
Having lunch with your editor: a prime privilege of the writing life….
Everything in the country seems to be on hold, all eyes, all thoughts focused on the election. On television, it’s all politics, all the time.
But not for me….
Each chapter is a month in that year. At the end of each chapter is a listing of the books she read that month. She reads more in a month than I do in a year. She reads anywhere from 8 to 13 books every month.
This is in addition to her writing, which she talks about in the book. Occasionally, she throws in delicious sounding recipes and how-tos, including how to cook in a solar oven.
Here’s part of the back cover blurb:
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. …I was fascinated by not just her life, but her writing. I have known Susan Wittig Albert for many years, but until reading this book I did not know her. And this is only a glimpse into her thoughts and life. This is a book for writers. A book for those who want to do something to better the environment. A book for those who want to hear the silence as often as they hear the noise. A book for those who want to stand in the shadows and witness a life well-lived. An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days is a captivating book.
An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days
Barnes & Noble
University of Texas Press
Susan Wittig Albert writes mystery, young adult, and books for women on work and life writing. Not counting the books she has written alone, she and her husband, Bill, have written more than 70 books together. She’s the founder of Story Circle Network. She is not a new-to-me writer, but I still give An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days and Susan a rating of Hel-of-a-Writer.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~FTC Disclaimer: At the request of Susan Wittig Albert, University of Texas Press sent me a copy of An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days. This did not influence my decision to review this book. This book has a fitting title. Susan’s days are ordinary. They’re unlike mine - I don’t pack up the dogs and drive to New Mexico to stay in a cabin, nor do I have meetings with editors or a husband who acts as my agent, nor do I know how to discern edible weeds from non-edible ones. But for Susan, these are ordinary things in her life. Put them all together, along with all that was going on in the world in 2008, and you have a most extraordinary year and book. And that is what influenced me to write this review.