Lindsey's Reviews > Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps

Local Wonders by Ted Kooser
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Feb 06, 08

Read in February, 2008

There is a quote on the cover of this book from Kooser's friend Jim Harrison: "The quietest magnificent book I've ever read." Brian and I have been reading this book aloud for the past year, and each time I'd put it back on the nightstand, I'd see that quote and think what a fitting description it was. I've always been a fan of Kooser's poetry, also for its quiet insights, so I was excited to read these essays. They are organized by season and range from observations of his rural Nebraskan neighbors and quirky thoughts he has during the day, to beautifully rendered memories of growing up in Ames and frank discussions of his bout with cancer. Some of the pieces are several pages, while others are only a few sentences; after almost all of them, though, one or both of us would make a contented "hmm." Kooser's word choice is simple and straightforward and perfect. This is one of those books that you just know you'll return to for the sense of calm reflection it provides. It easily ranks among my all-time favorite collections of essays, right up there with Barbara Kingsolver's "Small Wonder," and I can't recommend it highly enough.
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message 1: by Katie (last edited Feb 21, 2008 01:17PM) (new)

Katie It's funny. I grew up in Garland and never knew who he was until he became the laureate, and then I asked my mom if she knew who he was, and she was like, oh yeah, I think he's that weird guy. My parents aren't in the literary circle of Seward county.

Also I've never heard of the Bohemian Alps. I think Kooser made that up.


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