Best of the Book Nook: The Rural Life by Verlyn Klinkenborg
For many years I read the print version of the New York Times on a daily basis. The New York Times has exceptional book coverage but the first section I always read is the obituaries.The Times has the best obit writers on the planet. Richard Sandomir is my current favorite obit scribe. Then I would turn to the editorial section to see if Verlyn Klinkenborg had written another one of his columns. Klinkenborg wrote about his life on a small farm in New York. The column was called "The Rural Life" and although these pieces only appeared every few weeks or so they were my favorite part of that newspaper, aside from the obituaries.
Verlyn retired a few years ago and I miss his column. Each one of them was a carefully crafted, jewel-like meditation upon life in the countryside. Verlyn would talk about nature and the critters who live at his place, the cats and cows and bugs and pigs. His musings offered me a lovely respite from the stress of everyday existence.
In 2002 he published a collection of some of those essays and that gave me an opportunity to have Verlyn on the program. I have interviewed him a few times over the years. It was a magical experience to actually be speaking to him about his life and his extraordinary writing. I'm still a huge fan. Recently I noticed that he had written a book about 30 years ago that I did not know existed. I just ordered a used copy. I cannot wait to read it!
The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library, Clark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.