We Need Diverse Ya Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

Customer Comments

Jane Churchon has commented on (4) products.

Season of the Body: Essays by Brenda Miller
Season of the Body: Essays

Jane Churchon, December 3, 2009

I purchased this collection of essays a few years ago, and it's been gathering dust since then. Through an odd set of events, I picked up the book again three weeks ago and finished it tonight. It was one of those books that I know I will miss.

The essays that Miller includes in the work display finesse and craft; she moves us through spirituality questions to our bodies. Working as a masseuse, she explores our bodies in words; working as a spiritual seeker, she tries to find connections between our bodies and the world of the spirit. She manages to do this while conveying the inherent humor in life; she managed to make me laugh and wince with self-recognition more than once.

The book is prodigiously rich, and most of the essays are fabulously short. Miller provides an easy bedtime read that will give your dreams even more depth and significance and that will inform your waking hours with questions you didn't even know you wanted answered.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

The Ramen King and I: How the Inventor of Instant Noodles Fixed My Love Life by Andy Raskin
The Ramen King and I: How the Inventor of Instant Noodles Fixed My Love Life

Jane Churchon, May 21, 2009

The Ramen King and I made me want to whistle a happy tune. Andy Raskin searches for the meaning of his life while pursuing the inventor of instant ramen noodles--and without resorting to cliches, he wrote about that search with both humor and insight.

Raskin has a dry humor that is well served by his understated voice; he doesn't hit the reader over the head with the absurdity of the situation, but it's not lost. There aren't too many young Jewish men who use an elderly Japanese businessman that they've never met as a metaphor for God; there are fewer who manage to take that humorous situation and find a deeper, lasting lesson in commitment and self knowledge.

I'm buying a copy for several friends, not just because they need a laugh, but because they need some noodle wisdom too. As Raskin (translating Ando Momofuku) says, Noodlekind is Mankind.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Jane Churchon, September 14, 2008

I don't like nature writing and Annie Dillard sold me on it, or at least her brand of nature writing.

Dillard is a poet, and from the first page, in which she uses iambic pantameter and internal rhyme to tell a story, she establishes her power over the language. SHe doesn't flaunt this--only readers looking for her crafts skill and twists would find them--but she uses them to shape a narrative about topics as varied as floods, bugs that suck the frog body from the frog skin, snakes, goldfish, the actual topography of land, preying mantis sex and feeding habits (one and the same) and the joy of each season.

Structured like Thoreau's Walden Pond, Dillard freely borrows from his beginning, and makes the book her own. Dense, whimsical and fact based, she wrote this from years of her own notes about books she'd read. She talks about blindness and sight, survival and adaptation, shelter and exposure. All while making puns or pouring poetry onto words that would otherwise remain scientific and dull.

Read this book for a brain exercise and for the excursion it provides into rural Virginia and the greater world beyond, in the animal and plant kingdom of our planet.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)

Hit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn by Catherine Friend
Hit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn

Jane Churchon, May 24, 2008

The worst part of this book is that it ends. I'm not a farmer, nor will I ever be interested in becoming one, but this book is about far more than farming.

Friend manages to convey the lessons of relationship--with her partner, with their animals, with their property, and most importantly, with herself--in a way that is at once humorous and insightful. Nothing gets tied up with a neat little bow, but the book also manages to neglect the angst-filled memoir genre. She combines the humor of David Sedaris and Bill Bryson with the poignancy of Mitch Ablom, while skipping sentimentality and predictability along the way.

Hit By A Farm manages to weave her thematic concern--boundaries and how they can be formed in the context of partnership and self fulfillment--throughout the book without clobbering the reader with her message. Best of all, this book is shake the bed and wake up your partner funny. It's hard to make a reader cry--but it's a gift to make a reader laugh.

I'm recommending this book to everyone I know, and now, through the magic of the world wide interweb, I can recommend it to people I don't know. After you've finished reading it, don't forget to tell Oprah. She'll thank you for it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)

  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.