Several new books are out from regional publishers.
Here's a look at four:THE NATURE OF YEARNING; poems by David Huddle; Peregrine Smith; 47 pages; $9.95 (paper)THE WRITING HABIT; essays by David Huddle; Peregrine; 209 pages; $12.95 (paper).
With these two books, New England poet David Huddle becomes something of Peregrine Smith's writer in residence. His collection of verse, "The Nature of Yearning" is a book of both "nature" and "nurture" poems. Family life - especially Huddle's childhood and relationship with his father - is played off against the external forces of society and the natural world.
"The Writing Habit" is a handbook - and a very good handbook - for trained, serious writers who want to raise their craft to a new level. Written with a touch of humor and with insights gleaned from 20 years of teaching and writing, the book's prose is its own best endorsement. Topics range from "Memory's Power" to "Composing Poems on a Computer."TY: THE TY DETMER STORY; by Ty Detmer (as told to Brenton Yorgason); Bookcraft; 212 pages; $11.95.
On picking up this 212-page book, one's first question might be, "How did Brenton Yorgason get Ty Detmer to say so much?"
Shy, self-effacing, with a full complement of Texas manners, in interviews Detmer seldom even comments on the weather.
The book is billed as "The Authorized Biography," though the fact it's in Detmer's voice makes it an "Authorized Autobiography" of sorts. And it's a tight piece of popular writing - a good, quick read geared for the LDS market.
The strengths of the book are Detmer's own - character, an eye for detail and an inner drive. The book's weaknesses are the weaknesses of most books written to inspire: It is full of warmth and humanity, but dodges many of the flaws and frailties that come with being human.GETTING WHAT YOU WANT IN LIFE . . . WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY; by Karen Pool and Susan C. Eliason, illustrated by Jerry T. Christenson; Covenant; 123 pages.
The publisher is billing this as "a one-of-a-kind workbook," a book to help women through difficult times of transition, times that are especially troubling for codependent women.
The book has plenty of room for taking notes, jotting ideas and expressing feelings. But its biggest contribution might be the way it reflects the changing structure of both American and Mormon society - two places where single men and women are playing a larger and more vital role.