Huckberry Book Club: Duncan Lowe
Welcome to the Huckberry Book Club, sponsored by Burrow. This month, we’ve got our very own House Brands Creative Producer Duncan Lowe here to share three of his favorite books. (We promise he usually does more around here than just read all day.) Read along with us and let us know what you think in the comments below.
On Writing by Stephen King
As one of the most well-known writers on the planet, you might expect Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft to be lofty, but King is so likeable and honest that reading his memoir is like catching up with an old friend. King dives deep in this book. We learn about moments of doubt and rejection slips that King tacks on his wall. We hear about his struggle with addiction (King barely remembers writing Cujo) and relive the car accident that almost paralyzed him. Through it all, King relies on writing. Not fluffy, high-brow prose, but a much more practical craft—probably shaped by his time as a janitor and gas pump attendant. As he says in On Writing, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
Buy: On Writing by Stephen King
Tribe by Sebastian Junger
When Sebastian Junger returned from eastern Afghanistan, he began researching something that was bothering him—why are rates of PTSD suffered by military veterans increasing while exposure to combat is decreasing? Junger had spent a year with the Second Platoon, Battle Company, 173rd Airborne Brigade as a reporter and experienced firsthand how war can be an intense binding agent—the brigade traveled together, ate together, and protected each other. Unfortunately many soldiers didn’t feel the same sense of community when they returned home. Postmating food and retreating to a highrise apartment didn’t stoke the same sense of belonging. Junger argues that it’s this lack of community that’s causing PTSD rates to rise—and our pursuit of convenience is actually hurting us. Anyone who’s curious about the link between modernity and mental health should read Tribe.
Buy: Tribe by Sebastian Junger
A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants by Jaed Coffin
Jaed Coffin is like Hunter S. Thompson or Ted Conover–when he wants to write about something, he experiences it. For A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants, he’s after his own identity—or at least its most authentic version. Jaed is from Maine and, as a half-Thai American, grew up with an awareness that he was different from most of his friends. This leads Jaed to Panomsarakram, a village in Thailand where he trains to become a monk. Giving up possessions suits him, but the mysticism of Buddhism—the claim that meditation can allow you to time travel, or that spit rubbed on tree bark can heal a broken arm—strike him as ridiculous. But after visiting a forest temple in a mountainous region of Thailand, Jaed finds his sweet spot—wandering through small villages full of unique characters, not knowing what will come next.
Buy: A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants by Jaed Coffin