A Life in Books

When I started blogging back in 2006, my little apartment on the internet–a light-filled efficiency in a great neighborhood (LiveJournal!)–was called A Life in Books. I saw that title as a play on words, a way to categorize posts about my life as a working writer, which was then only just starting, and my life as a reader, too. Every post was titled with the name of a book, one I was reading to research a new project, or for pleasure, or with my three (then) young kids. Over time, it became clear that the books were just a way for me to connect to other things going on in my life at the time, and I was obsessed and pleased with the interesting ways books and thoughts and life influenced one another.

As always happens, though, life changed. My kids got older, and my working world got busy, and this, and that. Blogging became a sometimes affair. I left LiveJournal for a place with more space, built an entire author website, took on more work than I had hours in the day. You get it, right? I was still reading, but I no longer had (or took?) the time to reflect on those books and their place in my life, on the ways the work of other writers shaped my thinking, or inspired ideas, or entertained me. Such, too, is a life in books, I guess.

But, again, change. My kids are two young men and one young woman mostly off in their own places reading their own books. I’m still writing, still reading, but also teaching, and nowhere is it clearer to me how important reading is than in a classroom with writers. So much of what I know about writing–I’d say all of what I know about writing–I soaked up by reading the work of other writers.

All to say, I’m dusting things off here, spit-shining tables, sweeping up the cobwebs, thinking about how to better use all the spaces at my disposal. I’ll continue to post updates on upcoming books and essays and appearances here, of course. But I’m also going to share my reading life again, the blog posts that make me think, the articles and essays that thrill me, the books that paper, spark, and inspire this life of mine.

Media Mentions & Surtsey

Last week, The Nature Generation, an organization dedicated to inspiring stewardship and the force behind the Green Earth Book Awards, invited me to be a guest on their blog. I wrote about the year my kids and I discovered our place in this world, and I hope you’ll hop on over to give my piece, The Art of Looking, a read. Please feel free to share it with anyone you think might enjoy it.

As if that weren’t exciting enough, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) featured me on its Member Central blog. (!!) Click on over to read Laura Petersen’s profile of me and my work.

One last thing … the team of researchers I traveled to Surtsey with in the summer of 2015 was back on the island last week and two of them, Erling and Matthias, sent me the selfie above. These men truly have one of the coolest jobs on the planet. I can’t wait for you to read more about their work when LIFE ON SURTSEY is released in the fall. Stay tuned!

Summer Projects

© Loree Griffin Burns
© Loree Griffin Burns

That there is a photo I recently took in my garden. The baskets are filled with turnips, under them sit the weeds I haven’t managed to clear yet and behind them the paste tomatoes desperately in need of staking. This garden is the number one reason I have not blogged much since May.

The number two reason? I’ve been working on finishing up this book.

The number three reason? I’ve been working on a new Scientists in the Field book.

I’d tell you more, but I’m working on a website update (it’ll coincide with the publication of these two books next year) and getting ready for our family vacation, too!

But sometime soon, when all these summer 2013 activities have been enjoyed to their fullest, I plan to share the details here. Until then, I hope you are having yourself a fabulously wild summer!