Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Shame and Wonder

Shame and Wonder by David Searcy
Random House: 1/5/16
eBook review copy; 240 pages
hardcover ISBN-13: 9780812993943

Shame and Wonder by David Searcy is a highly recommended collection of twenty-one essays that seek connections between wildly different things and ideas.

In this well written collection, Searcy discovers connections between wildly different subjects and while recalling past events.  He is observant, honest, and engaging as he shares his recollections and his often meandering thoughts that are all somehow now interconnected with the event or memory. Many of these essays bring to mind a discussion between friends, where one topic meanders onto another, but there is a connection in the overall theme.


The Hudson River School: Searcy learns of a rancher who used a tape of his infant daughter's cries to lure in and ambush the coyotes who had been killing his lambs.

El Camino Doloroso: An ordinary truck is transformed into a custom car, but sold after an unfortunate accident.

Mad Science:  Remembering "dorky" kids in the 50's who made real models/machines that worked, like a seismograph out of a record player or, more impressively, rockets.

A Futuristic Writing Desk: Thoughts while hiking/climbing on and around the 400 foot high granite Enchanted Rock near Fredericksberg, Texas.

Sexy Girls Near Dallas: While looking online for a new car an ad pops up.

Didelphis Nuncius: A recollection of moving his son and two daughters to a new neighborhood after a divorce and Rocky the dog's skill and proclivity for killing possums. 

The Depth of Baseball Sadness: Reflecting on his childhood in the 50's when it was a requirement for boys to know how to play baseball, Searcy realizes it was a skill he lacked.

Santa in Anatolia: Searcy visits Turkey where the legends of Saint Nicholas originated.

How to Color the Grass: Searcy notes how there is a first time to discover everything as a child as he recalls being taken outside to draw the playground at school.

Science Fictions #1: Reflections on electron microscopy and those who conceived and build the instruments.

Science Fictions #2 (for C.W.): The 100 acre Trinity River Bottoms Homeless Park and Astronomical Observatory is discussed.

Science Fictions #3: A friend, Bob (poet Robert Trammell), goes to live under Mary Kay's Pink Cadillac.

Nameless: What artist Doug MacWithey left behind after his death and the tragedy of a 

Jewish tightrope walker crushed in a fall in Corsicana, Tex., in 1884.

On Watching the Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan Documentary About Lewis and Clark on PBS: musings on the show.

Love in Space: Understanding space as a seven-year-old in the 50's.

An Enchanted Tree near Fredericksburg: Contemplating the oak tree that was growing on the top Enchanted Rock, Searcy's reflects on the hearts people carved into the bark.

Cereal Prizes: Reminiscing about the prizes found in cereal boxes.

Paper Airplane Fundamentals: A proper thinking person in this world needs to know how to make a functional paper airplane.

Three Cartoons: Krazy Kat, December 18, 1918; Koko's Earth Control, animated, 1928; Uncle Scrooge Comics #6, 1954.

Always Shall Have Been: Remembering an incursion into the hilly, lightly forested, empty realm of a ravine in a city while toting weapons, homemade double pea-shooters.

Still-Life Painting: While cleaning out a storage shed with twenty years of stuff, a small painting done by Searcy's mother is found.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Random House for review purposes.

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