Reading the United States: Power by Linda Hogan

Oh, this is a good book. A really good book.

I normally can cruise through an engaging novel of this length (248 pages) in no time; I mean sometimes like in a few hours. Not saying that to brag or anything; when I hyperfocus on words, it’s GAME ON. Some people can learn guitar effortlessly…I’m a speed reader. It’s the closest thing I’ve got to a superpower.

About half-way through this book, I realized it would be over soon and I made myself put it aside. For a few days even. I wanted to live with it a bit longer; to stick with this world full of beautiful phrases and potent emotion.

I also needed to think about how I felt about all of it. I often tend towards non-fiction and clean, tidy ways of communicating. I’m the person at work who sends you a to-do email that’s just bullet points. Poetic expression can throw me off, and I’ll admit there were moments with this book that I felt overwhelmed; the language is lush. It twists and flows and doubles back…and it suits the storytelling perfectly. I’ve now reserved every title from my library by the author, Linda Hogan, and am totally looking forward to experiencing more of her work.

This is the book I chose to represent the United States, and it spot-on captures what I hoped it would. Not specifically the story, which is its own self, but the whole frame of What does it mean to be an American? Whose voices get heard? What the hell are we doing?

“…I’m enraged by this world that offers me nothing, yet expects so much of me.”

-Omishto, Power by Linda Hogan

Florida Panther
Florida Panther
(Image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, via Wikimedia Commons)

Country #48: The United States

I was taken aback for a second when this came up. We are a country, in the world, a part of the whole, so of course it’s on the list…

How do you read, and learn, about your own country with the same openness that is so easy to find when looking at other places? This could be a very healthy exercise for me, here in the midst of a unique point in our history.
Not sure yet what path I will take. I’m open to what comes my way.