Hooray! We are celebrating our one hundredth post here at the Wild About Books Blog World Headquarters in Darby Montana.
I have a very special celebration book recommendation for you, I’m so excited!!!
But first, let’s reminisce:
August 4, 2014 was the first post; over seven years ago, and it was just a short introduction into something I had no idea how it was going to play out.
I had to teach myself how to use WordPress; took two online classes. WordPress has progressed a lot since then and I need to take another class. “The Invention of Wings” was our the first book recommendation. The original intent of the blog was to be a bookclub in which others could contribute. It then evolved into a venue for me to recommend books and to write about life in Montana and other adventures. As my long ago friend Bannister Allen used to say “If you don’t have adventures what do you talk to people about”. Adventures don’t have to be epic backpacking trips. They can be as simple as going to the grocery store or post office, especially in small town Montana.
Every day is an adventure; every friend a king.
Seventy two people follow my blog. You can follow too by clicking on the “follow” button to ensure that you never miss a blog post ever again. A number of these people I don’t even know. I have not figured out how to make money with my blog, but probably not possible with only 72 followers. Really not the point anyway. I started writing seven years ago hoping to write myself right out of my current job.
I’ve gotten lots of comments on my blogs, 90% of them from my mom, which are all appreciated. My favorite comment was from Heather Tucker:
“Thank you for the ‘spectacular’ review of The Clay Girl. I’m delighted you ‘saw’ that the book was more about everyday heroes: a few good men, kind teachers, loving aunts, sisters, a solid friend… than about the abuse.
A little imagination, creative work and a companion that will roast brussel sprouts for us is how we survive and thrive, isn’t it:)“
I read that comment and had to google the name of the person who wrote it. Turns out; it was the author of “The Clay Girl”. That was super exciting.
My proudest moment of the blog was when I wrote a letter to Barak Obama and then actually printed and mailed it to him “Dear Barack“. Four months latter I got a hand written reply from the White House; “Reply from the President“.
By far the most viewed post was “The UPS Man“. That one is worth reading again.
Quick note to the reader; you can click on the blog titles in this post and it will take you to the original post in a new tab in case you want to read it.
I’ve been a guest speaker several times in the Darby High School senior government class to discuss my blog and always read, out loud, my “Last Call for the Grover” post. Adults pooping in a can seems to get 18 year old’s attention, even if they don’t act like it.
The post most likely to make you cry “Guest“. The post most likely to make you smile “Wedding Week“. One of my favorite adventure posts was “Canoeing the Missouri” and snowboarding with my buddy “Burton Deja Vu Flying V“.
And now for the big news. Our 100th post book recommendations. Yes, it is two books. One by John and one by Jon. Both Darby, Montana residents. Both friends of mine.
First, I want to thank John Phillips for being my inspiration to get my ass in gear and start writing again. I realized that we both have a lot of Montana stories, some in common, that need to be shared with the world. I also realized that John’s book is a collection of stories, as my blog is a collections of stories. I plan on working on my second book, which will be all of these blog posts. Maybe John will help me get that together.
After reading John Phillips book, I know why he is such a recluse, holed up in his house on a mountainside with no phone. Now I understand why, when John Phillips comes into town to workout at The Right To Bare Arms Gym, he wears his dark sunglasses on the elliptical machine. The whole time John Phillips has lived in Darby, he has been collecting anecdotes for his book. And everyone is fair game. From our town marshal, Larry, to haircutting icon Hope, to Right to Bare Arms trainer, Heidi. Mostly John tells stories on himself. Sometimes I think he must just set himself him in ridiculous situations for the story alone as no one can be this, um…….well……. let’s just say……read his book. It is a hilarious rendition of small town life in rural western Montana and the people and animals that live there. John can sound a bit pretentious and maybe somewhat cynical, but that is his style and it just adds to the book. Although, some may take it as a slam to their community and character, hence, the dark glasses at the gym. At times in the book, you may feel stuck while contemplating his obscure and dated analogies, but persevere, shake your head and keep reading. And I guarantee your vocabulary will improve by the end of the book. My first book recommendation for our celebratory post is “Four Miles West of Nowhere” by John Phillips. (If you are closely related to me don’t buy this book as it is waiting for you under the tree.) I truly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
Jon Turk makes his second appearance in Wild About Books blog. I’ve already recommended his book “Crocodiles and Ice” in a previous post. Jon says he lives in Darby Montana, but this 75 year old is actually a nomad. He never sits still. His travels and adventures are a life this writer dreams of. He moves with the seasons, choosing to live in a ski town in Canada for the winter, mountain biking in southern Utah for the shoulder seasons and back in Montana for the summers. He has been nominated by National Geographic as One of the Top 10 Adventurers of the Year. “Crocodiles and Ice” was about his time circumnavigating Ellesmere Island in a sea kayak. His new book, which is the second book recommendation in this celebratory post; “Tracking Lions, Myth and Wilderness in Samburu” is about his time in Africa. Jon’s books should be read with a highlighter. There are many good lines worth noting. Jon’s travels are conduits to spirituality as I believe all adventures are. Jon’s writing makes you love the earth and its people, makes you believe in humanity and makes you want to care for it all. And then it takes a reality turn and makes you question our ability to care for the earth and its people. Jon takes a hard look at the climate crisis. His book is a plea for everyone to wake up and take responsibility for our selfish use of the earth and its resources. I’m only half way through as I write this, so I’m not sure of the final trajectory of this book, but my friend Carol says it is a wonderful ending and Jon’s best book yet. Like John Phillips, Jon is one to tell stories on himself as he stumbles through the harsh terrain of Africa with his new friends and guides. So many sentences in Jon’s book are not just a statement to move a story, but a life lesson worth contemplating.
“My fear and my weaponry are not only unnecessary; my fear has been creating an emotional and situational environment that might create danger and require fear.”
I highly recommend John and Jon’s books, and not just because I know them; they are both really good books.
Thank you followers and readers and commenters of my blog Wild About Books. Thank you for reading my posts even with the typos and grammar mistakes. Thank you for letting me use you as my audience as I practice my writing. Thank you for accepting my thoughts and sharing my adventures.
More great book recommendations and adventures can be found at Wild About Books. Click the link and hit follow.