We've got a snowstorm rolling in later today -- hard to believe with the bright blue sky of this morning! But a fresh blanket of white wonder isn't going to slow down the arrival of spring. You can smell it now, that subtle scent that the bare twigs give off as they start to breathe again in the sun's rays. The maples are getting ready to pump sap upward, too. Sugarmakers (what we call the folks to tap the trees and boil down the sap to maple syrup) are cleaning their gear, getting ready.
Bookseller and journalist Marvin Minkler of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, recently asked us what books we're looking forward to among the spring arrivals. He's pulling together an article for the next North Star Monthly. Here's what we said, from our alternate worlds of mystery (Dave) and poetry (Beth):
My first choice is this: Michael Connelly, who many consider the best American crime fiction author, will be publishing his next book "Scarecrow" in May. The book features crime reporter Jack McEvoy, who is near the end of his career. He reports on a 16-year-old drug dealer who confessed that he raped and strangled one of his crack clients. McEvoy delves into the story, only to find the confession to be false, and he is reunited with FBI Agent Rachel Walling, who also appeared with him in another Connelly stand-alone book, "The Poet." McEvoy and Agent Walling try to find the real killer. For my second choice: Garry Disher's next book "Blood Moon" will be on sale April 1, published by Soho Press Crime. The setting is Australia and this is in the Inspector Hal Challis series, of which there are five titles. A fundamentalist chaplain is beaten whose brother runs a racist blog, and a local woman who is in charge of punishing local use violations turns up dead. So Inspector Challis and his Sergeant Ellen Destry have their hands full in Australia's Morington Peninsula.
My first is "Rooms and Their Airs" by Calais poet Jody Gladding. I've enjoyed all the innovations that Gladding brings to her poetry, as well as the awareness of her life in northern Vermont and her "second soul" in France. Her first collection, "Stone Crop," won the Yale Younger Poets prize. The second is by Kevin Goodan, who's been a Massachusetts professor (and farmed sheep there) but whose roots are in western Montana; Alice James Books is bringing out his second full-length collection, "Winter Tenor." Knowing how Goodan wrestles with long winters, the presence of God, and love, I expect to re-read this several times in the first few weeks of owning it!