Summer reading (and viewing!)

Andy Revkin has enriched our lives in many ways over the years….through his insightful reporting for the New York Times, and more recently his teaching at Pace University and his refreshing and wide-ranging blog, Dot Earth.

He’s also a songwriter and musician…and today let’s call attention to this last bit. Like the rest of us, Andy’s been looking for ways to make the best of this summer’s heat and drought (last year, it was tornadoes…seems long ago, doesn’t it?). He’s just provided a link to his old band’s version of the classic Dry Spell Blues, used as backdrop to some old film footage of the dustbowl. Watch and listen! You’ll be glad you did.

Then, in the spirit of all those columns that offer summer reading suggestions, you might want to tackle two books. The first is Timothy Egan’s 2006 work, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dustbowl. A gripping, sobering narrative.

The second? Has to be Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.  Never read it? Time to round-out your liberal arts education. Read it before? Maybe you’ve forgotten the compelling detail and the great writing. Reconnect with your youth and your more radical side.

Watch the video. Let it inspire you to start reading. You’ll never trivialize the Dust Bowl and its impacts on America again.

A big project? You bet. But there’s a month of summer left…and not a lot of rain in that forecast. You’ve got time, and every incentive.

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