Local Forecast: The Body’s Alphabet by Ann Tweedy

bodyalphabet-199x300

The Body’s Alphabet by Ann Tweedy (Headmistress Press, 2016)

Reviewed by Rebecca Valley

For more in our Local Forecast series on authors of the Pacific Northwest, click here.

Ann Tweedy’s collection The Body’s Alphabet is a book of in-betweens – in-between homes, in-between loves, in-between sexualities. It is a book about motherhood and memory, and the space we keep for our childhood long after we have grown up around it. Though Tweedy begins The Body’s Alphabet with the lines “I tread through / the world mindful that upsets / follow unguarded movement” (1), over the course of the collection she finds strength in those quiet and delicate moments, and in doing so steps out from her own carefully crafted betweenness to affirm her presence in the work. Continue reading

Review: Spook by Mary Roach

Spook-cover2

Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach (W.W. Norton and Co., 2006)

Reviewed by Rebecca Valley

Mary Roach’s name has been floating around in my brain for years. I own (but haven’t yet read) her book Stiff, and about two years ago I listened to an interview with Radiolab about her book Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, where she talks about sticking her hand through an incision in a cow’s side and feeling around in its intestines while it stood there, very much alive. I discovered Spook in a used bookstore in the basement floor of Pike Place market — it was my first long-term foray into Roach’s brand of investigative science journalism, and I devoured the book over the course of a few evenings. I loved this book so much I even brought it to the gym. Continue reading