Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing

Last night, Kurt and I walked up to Carmichael's to hear author Lydia Peelle read from her new book of short stories, Reasons for and Advantages for Breathing.

To be honest, we'd never heard of her or her book. We've heard of her husband, Ketch Secor, the fiddler in one of my favorite bands, Old Crow Medicine Show. On WFPK the previous morning, we heard the DJ mention his name+our neighborhood and we promptly (shamelessly) dug up the details. Mr. Secor was along for the book tour, playing music to accompany her story telling. His fiddle tunes happened to match up perfectly his wife's depiction of the modern American South. Heartbreaking characters with uniquely American struggles, plucked from the ornery and obsolescent landscape of the South. It's kind of like mountain music.

Reoccurring themes include the rapidly diminishing wilderness, the effect of technology on the human psyche, how human progress encroaches on nature, how we are losing the ability to empathize with others. Sounds like an old sad song, doesn't it?

I'm excited to start reading these stories.

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