March 21, 2023, 7PM at Back of Beyond Books: Author reading and signing with Shelley Read and her debut novel — Go as a River

Past Events

December 9, 2022: Author Reading with R.E. Burrillo – The Backwoods of Everywhere

After an upstate New York childhood and a bartending stint in New Orleans’ French Quarter, seasonal resort work led R. E. Burrillo to the desert Southwest, whose redrock landscapes were a source of stability through mental and physical illness. In The Backwoods of Everywhere, archaeologist Burrillo excavates his past, examining Indigenous and tourist cultures, the complexities of American archaeology, and what it means to be a local. In the vein of Bill Bryson, Tim Cahill, and Ellen Meloy, Burrillo’s is a fresh voice in humor-spiked nature writing and cultural commentary.

November 15, 2022: Book Release Celebration of Craig Childs’ Stone Desert

Originally published over twenty-five years ago, Stone Desert brings the wonder and wildness of one of our nation’s most geologically and culturally unique national parks to readers everywhere. With a new introduction by the author, this edition includes Craig Childs’s original journal—written over a winter in Canyonlands National Park and complete with pen-and-ink sketches—from which Stone Desert originated. Join Childs as he hikes the high mesas, navigates the winding canyons, and witnesses the ancient rock art of Utah’s most inscrutable and remote slickrock desert.

October 14, 2022: Suzanne Roberts in Conversation with Amy Irvine

Suzanne Roberts is the author of the award-winning essay collection Animal Bodies: On Death, Desire, and Other Difficulties (March 2022), the award-winning travel memoir in essays Bad Tourist: Misadventures in Love and Travel (2020), and the memoir Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail (Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award), as well as four books of poems. Named “The Next Great Travel Writer” by National Geographic’s Traveler, Suzanne’s work has been listed as notable in Best American Essays and included in The Best Women’s Travel Writing. Suzanne holds a doctorate in literature and the environment from the University of Nevada-Reno, teaches in the low residency MFA program in creative writing at UNR-Tahoe, and splits her time between South Lake Tahoe, California and an old green van named Shrek.

Amy Irvine is the author of numerous essays and four nonfiction books addressing environmental, Indigenous and feminist concerns. She is a contributing editor for Orion Magazine, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Outside, Orion, Pacific Standard, Best American Science & Nature Writing, and Best American Food Writing. Her first memoir, Trespass, received the Orion Book Award, and the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award. Her second memoir, Almost Animal, is forthcoming by Spiegel & Grau in Spring 2023. Irvine, a Mountainview MFA alumnus, lives, writes, and teaches off-grid on a remote mesa in southwest Colorado.

Handpicked for you this week by Julia: 

DREAM DRAWINGS
By N. Scott Momaday

“Currently in my reading life, I am attracted to writing which is transportive.  I am reading to find myself drifting into another place, my particularly visual brain tipsy from sensual evocations of landscape, memory, and the air of another sky.  I crave that feeling of the heart growing to bursting in my chest, the weightlessness in my gut as a sentence washes over me and makes me shudder in delight.  To truly fill my daily inner cup with the beauty that is, I seek the poets.  N. Scott Momaday’s Dream Drawings is truly a powerful, soul-filling work of art.  One gets the impression that Momaday’s consciousness is always tethered to a world which for readers is one step beyond - for him, this second world exists in shadow, a visible threshold living in step with our concept of time. Which is more real? He teases the reader, questioning notions of true memory and experience, and there is a currency of humor throughout (bears laughing, amused by the concept of themselves). What is magic, when is story, where is truth? Traversing the dreamscape from Camelot to a Kiowa Sun Dance, from Mexico to the Arctic, within these fable-like utterances Momaday becomes a pied-piper of the imagination.  If you count the Preface and the End Note, which contain writing as lyrical to me as the titled poems, this book contains 108 total pages of transformation, interspersed with stunning abstract ink drawings by Momaday himself.  I highly recommended this work to stoke the creative inner fire!”

#whatimreading #poetry #shelfawareness #bobbstaffpick #dreamdrawings #nscottmomaday #imagination #dreamworld #magic #memory #experience #fables #consciousness #creativity #innerworld #bookreview #lovetoread #bookworm #moab #backofbeyondbooks #eatreadsleeplocal
How many books do you typically try to squeeze into your carry-on? And, are you including the book you have in your backpack in that count, or no?

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Staff Pick coming at ya today from Heidi!

“Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times”
By Katherine May

“A winter, says Katherine May, is a “fallow period in life when you’re cut off from the world, feeling rejected, sidelined, blocked from progress, or cast into the role of an outsider.” These periods of our lives may happen gradually or all-at-once; they are often deeply painful and lonely, and talking about them is taboo. We are not taught to acknowledge the inevitability of these emotional seasons, nor are we taught how to embrace them. But the act of wintering – being able to rest and retreat, to slow down, to treat ourselves gently when we need it the most – is essential for surviving these seasons in the cold. And in the midst of our third pandemic winter in a fast-paced culture that drives many people to burnout and exhaustion, this book serves as a timely reminder that we have seasons of joy and seasons of sadness, and we owe it to ourselves to accept that. “I would never dream of suggesting that we should wallow in misery or shrink from doing everything we can do to alleviate it,” May clarifies, but “if we don’t allow ourselves the fundamental honesty of our own sadness, then we miss an important cue to adapt.” 
  This is what May invites us to do in this gentle, contemplative book: to embrace our emotional winters. To adapt to the cold and cultivate a practice of survival. She draws inspiration from the ways other species and cultures navigate the cold, dark winter months, and gets up close and personal to learn about them — in turns cradling a hibernating dormouse in her hand or plunging into frigid ocean water for a bit of ice swimming. May examines wintry folk tales and poems about heartbreak, writes with refreshing honesty of her experience with chronic illness and family woes, and condemns the proliferation of toxic positivity on social media. And she does it all in language that envelops the reader in a quiet comfort, like flickering candlelight and new-fallen snow. This book will enchant you. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

#backofbeyondbooks #bobbstaffpick #wintering #katherinemay #thepowerofrestandretreat