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A short book best enjoyed slowly in my opinion At times the weather focused theme here was like a pulse that beat constantly steadily throughout the book Then at other times I would think it started bordering on being too confined and too constructed with this constant epetition of the same note the weather the weather the weather But overall I thought it was creative and had some life moments I could Graeco-Egyptian Magick reallyelate to that were the best parts for me of this little book that like a sudden summer suall packs a surprising punch The writing is pretty solid but has problems with becoming so meditative as to lapse into being boring That s one of the Slave Again (Whispers of Refuge reasons I had toead it so slowly I would ead and admire the writing but then find my attention wandering and my head nodding Great book for going to sleep to and I mean. Midwesterners love to talk about the weather approaching the vagaries and challenges of extreme temperatures deep snow and oppressive humidity with good natured complaining peculiar pride and communal spirit Such a temperamental climate can at once terrify and disturb yet offer unparalleled solace and peaceLeaning into the Wind is a series of ten intimate essays in which Susan Allen Toth who has spent most of her life in Iowa Minnesota and Wisconsin eveals the ways in which weather has challenged and changed her perceptions about herself and the world around
That in the best possible way Everyone s life is affected by weather If you happen to live in the midwest you life through cold and snowy winters severe storms in the Spring hot and humid summers On a particular day in Minnesota the temperatures can vary over 50 degrees Midwest weather can be extreme and Toth does an excellent job of capturing the nuances of it Leaning into the Wind is a uniue memoir where Toth tells her story within twelve essays The focus of the book is her life amidst midwest weather Toth grew up in Ames Iowa Met and married her first husband in California and then moved to Minnesota where they both had teaching positions She Autumn Days with the Moodys (Moody Family raised a daughter andemarried a architect named James Stageburg He designed and built her a lovely weekend house in WisconsinToth compares her turbulent first marriage Er She describes her ever growing awareness of and appreciation for how the weather marks the major milestones of her life Toth explores issues as large as weather and spirituality in “Who Speaks in the Pillar of Cloud” and topics as small as a mosuito in “Things That Go Buzz in the Night” In “Storms” a severe thunderstorm becomes a continuing metaphor for the author’s troubled first marriage Two essays one from the perspective of childhood and one from late middle age ponder how the weather seems different at various stages of life but always pro.
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O Minnesota storms in one essay She writes about gardening and her hatred of bugs of all sizes She writes about how every day the first thing she checks in the paper is the weather and when she mentions the daily forecast to her husband he seems ambivalent She writes about weather from the different stages of her life She includes excellent uotes at the beginning of each essay She writes thoughtfully and creates a visual picture with her words about weather Toth will make you laugh and she will make you think about how weather has been an important part of your life This was a lovely Reindeer and Caribou: Health and Disease reflection of living in a place with such severe weather It s a beautiful poetic version of every conversation I ve ever had about the weather The last chapter veered off into theeligious which others may appreciate but I skipped it. Vides unexpected opportunities for self discovery change and enewal The perfect entertainment for anyone who loved Toth’s previous books on travel and memoir Leaning into the Wind offers engaging and personal insights on the delights and difficulties of Midwest weather Susan Allen Toth is the author of several books including Blooming A Small Town Girlhood 1981 My Love Affair with England 1992 England As You Like It 1995 and England for All Seasons 1997 She has contributed to the New York Times the Washington Post Harper’s and Vogue She lives in Minneapoli.
Ms Toth graduated from Smith College and Berkeley and received a PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1969 She taught English at San Francisco State College and now teaches at Macalester College in Minnesota Toth has contributed articles and stories to a wide range of magazines and newspapers She has written two memoirs—Blooming A Small Town Girlhood 1981 and Ivy Days Making My Way Ou