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Susquehanna Life

By The Book [Summer 2020]

Misc. Picks

Robbing the Pillars

By Michael Garrigan

$16.95, Homebound Publications

The headwaters of Robbing the Pillars begin in Pennsylvania’s anthracite country and wind their way through mountain tributaries before reaching the Susquehanna River. These poems venture out west through smeared Nebraskan skies, up wild Washington waters and into the Siskiyou Mountains. They traverse the wet woods of Maine along the West Branch of the Penobscot River, and hike the Appalachian, Continental Divide, and Pacific Crest Trails. In the early coal mines of Pennsylvania, miners crawled into the deepest parts of the mines, set dynamite, and blew joists holding up walls in hopes of getting the last valuable rock before the mountain collapsed—robbing the pillars. These poems are the dynamite, the pillars, the rock, the mountain and the miners. 

Out in Central Pennsylvania

By William Burton with Barry Loveland

$24.95, Penn State Press

Drawing from oral histories and historical documents, Out in Central Pennsylvania records efforts, from the 1960s to the present, of LGBTQ individuals to congregate and build communities. It recounts how leaders of grassroots support organizations built a far-reaching LGBTQ community network and organized to demand civil rights and improve their quality of life.

Welcome to the Agrihood

By Anna DeSimone

Housing 2020 Publishing

All the information you need to learn about farm-centric communities, along with beautiful photos of homes, clubhouses, farms and natural trails. The author takes readers on a virtual tour of agrihoods across America and includes a wealth of information on how to live, grow and shop the farm-to-table lifestyle, even if you don’t live in an agricultural neighborhood.


By Clair Clawser

$18, Self-Published

A compendium of facts and figures about the state of Pennsylvania. Book is available through the author. 

History Picks

Ghost River: The Fall and Rise of the Conestoga

By Lee Francis, Edited by Will Fenton

Art by Weshoyot Alvitre  

$25, Library Company of Philadelphia

During the Paxton massacres of 1763, a mob of white settlers, so-called “Paxton Boys,” murdered 20 unarmed Conestoga People in a genocidal campaign that reshaped Pennsylvania settlement politics. This educational graphic novel reimagines this difficult history through the introduction of new interpreters and new bodies of evidence to highlight the Indigenous victims and their kin.

On the Trail: A History of American Hiking

By Silas Chamberlin

$30, Yale University Press

In the mid-19th century urban walking clubs emerged in the United States. A little more than a century later, tens of millions of Americans were hiking on trails blazed in every region of the country. This book is said to be the first full account of the unique history of the American hiking community and its nationwide culture. Chamberlin recounts the activities of hikers who over many decades formed clubs, built trails and advocated for environmental protection.

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