At work (where I “typeset” large print books, which is actually making Adobe PDFs of these that my employer can print), I got the pleasant surprise of composing the newest book by one of my favorite authors, Jim Harrison. He’s a poet and a prose-writer, a food critic and raconteur, and once upon a time he wrote screenplays such as the one for Wolf (1994) (which is different story from his early novel of the same name). He’s originally from northern Michigan, and his memoir Off to the Side (2003) included many images of The North that resonated with me. He now divides his time between Montana and southern Arizona.

This new book is a collection of three novellas titled The Ancient Minstrel. I’m unaware of other authors who frequently release collections of novellas, yet Harrison has several to his credit, which I think is noteworthy. Through my unfulfilled affection for National Novel Writing Month, it’s noted that what fifty thousand words buys you is more like a novella, and those are reputed to be difficult to sell. Well, if you write three of them at a time, they make a good-sized book, especially if you write three well-crafted deep ones with some measure of humor and real life in them, like Jim Harrison’s.

So here’s a book I will have to buy and read, assuming I can read anything but pixels on a computer screen anytime soon. I will admit that not every book I handle during my “day job” is one I appreciate, and that’s all that I’ll say about that. Getting a chance to work on a really good one brightens my workday considerably.

N.B. The foregoing is not endorsed by my employer, nor do I speak on its behalf. (Though I don’t believe I’m saying anything deleterious, nor am I releasing secrets as the book has surely been promoted already.)


About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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