A Place to Read: Life and Books Ebook
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In this essay collection, Michael Cohen tells us about his surprise encounter with the remains of Frida Kahlo, about his father’s murder, and about his son’s close shave with death on the highway. His subjects can be as commonplace as golfing with close friends, amateur astronomy, birding, or learning to fly at the age of sixty. But he asks difficult questions about how we are grounded in space and time, how we are affected by our names, how a healthy person can turn into a hypochondriac, and how we might commune with the dead. And throughout he measures, compares and interprets his experiences through the lens of six decades of reading. The tools of the writer’s trade fascinate him as do eateries in his small college town, male dress habits, American roads, and roadside shrines. He lives on the Blood River in Kentucky when he is not in the Tucson Mountains. Michael Cohen’s essays on the reading life are a treat to read. Relaxed, personal, wide-ranging, they contain fascinating nuggets of information and lively assessments of hundreds of books, as well as a whole life’s worth of thoughtful rumination on time, love, travel, and family, as well as what it means to be, almost existentially, a reader.- Christina Thompson, Editor, Harvard Review Anyone who has pounded the pavement selling The Great Books of the Western World in 54 volumes and lived to tell gets my undying respect and should get yours. Michael Cohen is a book rat, not a book snob. For him, the pleasures of the book are tactile and auditory as well as psychological and philosophical. The essays in A Place to Read take on potential plate-lunch combinations in western Kentucky, the tuxedo as male uniform, the golf course as locus of friendship and humor, and Baptist theological responses to Day of the Dead practices in Michoacán, in addition to more strictly literary subjects.- Ann Neelon, editor of New Madrid Michael Cohen has given us a collection of personal retrospectives that deserve a place in the finest tradition of the American essay. Each is in its own way a comment on the human situation, filtered through a personal optic that is both refined and erudite. Amusing, highly personal, insightful, they’ll make you smile, smirk, frown, and gasp, but they’ll never bore. I promise. – E. A. Allen, author of the Montclaire Mysteries
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