Books for young people
Maybe A Fox, by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee. A book that was, according to the authors' notes, four years in the making. And a book that breaks many of the rules for middle grade fiction. It's the story of two sisters, Julie and Sylvie, living with their Dad in rural Vermont; of the tragedies that stalk their lives and the lives of their neighbor Sam and his brother. Mix in the story of a young fox named Senna, some local legends, a few deep secrets, a bear, a mountain lion, and a dangerous river, and you have a great book.
The Truth as told by Mason Buttle, by Leslie Connor. This is one of the best kids' books I've read in a long, long time. Writers often talk about finding their main character's voice. Mason Buttle has a voice you'll never forget. A 7th grader, Mason is a school outcast because of his size, his learning disabilities, and his personal hygiene. He is grieving for the loss of his parents and his best friend, whose death is still being investigated by local police. But Mason Buttle has a heart bigger than Alaska, and a story you won't forget.
Like most writers, I'm a reader. Always have been; always will be. I read fiction, non-fiction, good books, bad books, books for adults, and books for young people. Books give me knowledge, pleasure, insights, and escape. Books take me places I’ve never been. Books help me better understand the world and the people in it. So I keep reading. And here, I’ll share what I’m reading with you.
William David Thomas
Books for adults
Grown-Up Anger. The Connected Mysteries of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Calumet Massacre of 1913, by Daniel Wolff. A good read for anyone interested in folk music and history. The book provides lots of insights into the parallels in the careers of Guthrie and Dylan, many small but fascinating tidbits about their personal lives, and a lot about the labor movement in the US in the first half of the 20th Century.
The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan. A very readable book, and terrific for anyone who, like me, lives near the shore of one of the lakes. The book is (roughly) 40% history, 50% ecology, and 10% politics. It is filled with tales of the interesting characters who lived near and impacted the lakes, plus the development of and actions to combat the threats which have and continue to threaten these magnificent waters.