Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson

Find in catalogThis is a small book of short stories, but most of them pack quite a punch. Often set in the world of drugs and alcohol and harsh times, still the writing is very, very good. Intense at times, aching with the barren world at others. There are times when the use of words makes it worth slogging through — “under a sky as blue and brainless as the love of God.” Or “The torn moon mended. Our fingers touching away the tears. It was there.” I recommend this book, but be ready. “And sometimes a dust storm would stand off in the desert, towering so high it was like another city — a terrifying new era approaching, blurring our dreams.”


The Latter Days by Judith Freeman

Find in catalogThis is an autobiography of the early part of the author’s life, growing up in a large Mormon family in Ogden, Utah. She was born in 1946, so it is a book about an era as well as a place and culture… and of course, about the writer’s experience in and then after leaving the church. I was interested in the subject and kept expecting more. She is a good writer, but I found myself hoping for information about her feelings, not just a description of her situation. I stayed on through the end, thinking maybe there would be more reflection at the end. There was some, but I felt a little unsatisfied.