Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for June 1st, 2012

Just Reviewed Mosher’s “The Great Northern Express” at SBR

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Finally, a great book!

That’s what I thought when I read Howard Frank Mosher’s memoir, THE GREAT NORTHERN EXPRESS.  Mosher’s memoir is about his cross-country trip promoting his writing after receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis, but it’s really about so much more — it’s about what makes up an interesting life.  What makes up the writer’s life in particular.  And Mosher doesn’t stop there; he discusses why he went to Vermont, of all places, how he ended up falling in love with the place, and then about how he found his authentic “writer’s voice” — which, of course, led him to write a number of books where Vermont features prominently as a setting, including WAITING FOR TEDDY WILLIAMS, another book I reviewed at Shiny Book Review a while back as “a baseball romance with heart.”

Whether you’re a writer or not, you owe it to yourself to read Mosher’s excellent THE GREAT NORTHERN EXPRESS.  It’s funny, touching, humane, and literate — exactly what you’d want a memoir to be, especially when it comes from one of America’s best living writers.

So what’s stopping you?  Go read my review, which is here:

Then, go grab Mosher’s book, read it, and wait for this year’s top ten list at SBR — if I have anything to say about it, THE GREAT NORTHERN EXPRESS will be on it.

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Ed Schultz and John Nichols to be in Racine County Saturday

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After former President Bill Clinton’s visit to Milwaukee earlier today on behalf of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett, I didn’t think anyone else of note would be visiting Wisconsin on behalf of either Barrett or the recall effort.  But I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Due to the intense Wisconsin recall fight between sitting Governor Scott Walker (R) and challenger Tom Barrett (D), the current Mayor of Milwaukee, political commentators Ed Schultz and John Nichols will be in Racine County tomorrow — in Racine at noon, and in Burlington at 3 p.m.  Schultz, you see, has kept abreast of what’s going on in Wisconsin; Nichols, who writes for The Nation magazine and is an associate editor of The Cap Times (formerly The Capital Times, headquartered in Madison, WI), has been Schultz’s most regular correspondent.

It’s not unheard of that someone with a national radio show and TV show, like Schultz, would come to Wisconsin.  He’s done so before and has made stops in Madison.  But to come to Racine, which is just shy of 90,000 people, is new for him; that he’s also going to go to Burlington tomorrow at 3 p.m., when Burlington has, at most, 10,500 people, just goes to show that Schultz is interested in every part of Racine County, not just the City of Racine. 

As for Nichols visiting with Schultz, Nichols is from Wisconsin and he’s said before that he first voted in Union Grove (yet another small town in Racine County; Union Grove has approximately 4,300 people).  As Nichols obviously knows Racine County; he undoubtedly realizes that the City of Racine has been either first or second in how much unemployment we have for the past seven years running, which may be one reason why both are coming here.  And as unemployment is one of Schultz’s major “themes,” perhaps Schultz will take note of Racine’s problems in addition to his “get out the vote” efforts on behalf of the recalls of Walker, Lt. Gov. Kleefisch and the four Republican state Senators, including my own R Sen. Van Wanggaard.

If you’re planning to see Ed Schultz and John Nichols tomorrow, here’s where they’ll be:

12 Noon — at the Racine Labor Center, Racine, WI

3 p.m. — at Echo Lake Park, Burlington, WI

And their final stop will be in Baraboo — which isn’t in Racine County at all — at 7 p.m. at the Ringling Theatre.

See you there.

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 1, 2012 at 10:35 pm