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About Paul

Unique selections of books from our book buyer Paul Ingram. He compiles great lists of books on varying topics.

If you have any requests for recommendations, send Paul an email at paul@prairielights.com

  • Paul's Corner: Bottomland by Michelle Hoover - REPOST

    Bottomland Michelle Hoover

    Michelle Hoover reads tonight at 7 pm. If you can't be here, be sure to listen live.

    Here's what Paul has to say about this fantastic book:

    Michelle Hoover, who wowed Prairie Lights’ audience with her reading from her first novel, The Quickening, now has a second novel. It’s called Bottomland and, like her first book, deals with life in rural Iowa (Hoover is from Ames) in the early part of the 20th Century. This book is a bit more of a thriller than was The Quickening. It involves an escaped German prisoner of who may have kidnapped a farm child. As always, Hoover’s novel is well-researched, with characters who emerge from the circumstances of their lives. The reader is pulled in from the first page.  If you love Willa Cather and the other great mid-western writers, you won’t want to miss this reading.

  • National Poetry Month and Happy Earth Day

    Selected Poems Theodore Roethke

     MOSS-GATHERING

    To loosen with all ten fingers held wide and limber
    And lift up a patch, dark-green, the kind for lining cemetery baskets,
    Thick and cushiony, like an old fashioned dormat,
    The crumbling small hollow sticks on the underside mixed with roots,
    And wintergreen berries and leaves still stuck to the top,
    That was moss-gathering.

    But something always went out of me when I dug loose those carpets
    Of green, or plunged to my elbows in the spongy yellowish moss of the marshes;
    And afterwards I always felt mean, jogging back over the logging road,
    As if I had broken the natural order of things in that swampland;
    Disturbed some rhythm, old and of vast importance,
    By pulling off flesh from the living planet;
    As if I had committed, against the whole scheme of life, a desecration.

        --Theodore  Roethke from Selected Poems

  • Paul's Corner: National Poetry Month

    Mercy Lucille Clifton

    "oh antic God"
    BY LUCILLE CLIFTON

    oh antic God 
    return to me 
    my mother in her thirties   
    leaned across the front porch   
    the huge pillow of her breasts   
    pressing against the rail 
    summoning me in for bed. 

    I am almost the dead woman’s age times two. 

    I can barely recall her song 
    the scent of her hands 
    though her wild hair scratches my dreams   
    at night.   return to me, oh Lord of then   
    and now, my mother’s calling, 
    her young voice humming my name.

     

    from Lucille Clifton's Mercy