From Eudora Welty's memoir of childhood to May Sarton's reflections on her seventieth year, writers' journals offer an irresistible opportunity to join a creative thinker in musing on the events-whether in daily life or on a global scale-that shape our lives. In An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days, best-selling mystery novelist Susan Wittig Albert invites us to revisit one of the most tumultuous years in recent memory, 2008, through the lens of 365 ordinary days in which her reading, writing, and thinking about issues in the wider world-from wars and economic recession to climate change-caused her to reconsider and reshape daily practices in her personal life.
Albert's journal provides an engaging account of how the business of being a successful working writer blends with her rural life in the Texas Hill Country and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico. As her eclectic daily reading ranges across topics from economics, food production, and oil and energy policy to poetry, place, and the writing life, Albert becomes increasingly concerned about the natural world and the threats facing it, especially climate change and resource depletion. Asking herself, "What does it mean? And what ought I do about it?", she determines practical steps to take, such as growing more food in her garden, and also helps us as readers make sense of these issues and consider what our own responses might be.