The Utne Weeder July/August 2000

Our staff?s selection of good reads

| July/August 2000

The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd by Mary Rose O'Reilley (Milkweed, $22.95). O'Reilley's yearlong journey through sheep pens and pastures provides a powerful antidote to the clichéd out-of-body enlightenment formula so prevalent among today's seekers. This unabashedly awkward self-portrait shows us how finding ourselves can sometimes mean living 'fully in the world.' --Craig Cox

Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America by Ann Powers (Simon & Schuster, $23). For those wondering what (if anything) alternative means anymore, the intimate portraits and piercing cultural observations in this vibrant memoir reveal a living, breathing counterculture.--Karen Olson

Wilderness and Razor Wire: A Naturalist's Observations from Prison by Ken Lamberton (Mercury House, $14.95). A biology teacher incarcerated in southern Arizona finds metaphorical meaning in obstinate trees, tenacious weeds, and predatory arachnids--a 'drive-by desert' ecology that mirrors his hard time behind bars.--Chris Dodge

The Seventies Now: Culture as Surveillance by Stephen Paul Miller (Duke, $19.95). Suturing Warhol and Watergate to the Vietnam War and the Village People--with Hollywood celluloid for thread--Miller closes a mysterious missing gap in American cultural history.--Jeremiah Creedon

Joe Gould's Secret by Joseph Mitchell (Vintage, $9.95). A legendary New Yorker writer's tale of a cantankerous Greenwich Village bohemian is not only the basis for a great new movie, but a fine read in its own right.--Jay Walljasper

The SFWA Grand Masters, Volume 2, edited by Frederik Pohl (Tor, $25.95). Here's another feast of classics from the sci-fi pantheon, as selected by the Science Fiction Writers of America, featuring works by Asimov, Bradbury, Andre Norton, Alfred Bester, and Arthur C. Clarke.--Mark Odegard

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