BOOK REVIEW & READING: Building Community: Rural Voices for Hope & Change by Neal Lemery

EDITOR’S NOTE: We recorded this reading by Neal Lemery in March 2020 and it’s been available on the Pioneer’s YouTube site. We did an introduction to Neal’s new book and we had planned to share the reading as Neal embarked on author’s tours … that never happened. So from the archives and always a delight – enjoy a reading by Neal Lemery from his latest book “Building Community.” As Jim notes below, this is an easy and informative read. The themes are even more important than they were two years ago as we continue to adapt to many changes, and we are all hopeful for the future.

By Jim Heffernan

Throwing rocks was very popular in my neighborhood when I was growing up. Maybe it was because we had an unpaved alley and there was a plentiful supply. Sometimes we threw them at targets, sometimes at each other.
I still like to throw rocks, but now I fashion them from words. I can’t help it, I’m just angry that the opportunities I had seem to have vanished for today’s generation.
Too often, the rocks bounce back at me.

Neal had a long career as DA and judge dealing with rock throwers. He managed to develop a gentle, philosophical attitude that more of us should possess.
I found his book a delight. It’s divided into 34 chapters united with the theme of community and giving. Sometimes he tells of an individual, sometimes he explores a topic. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It’s the kind of book you can open anywhere and find something of value.
172 Pages, 1-17-2020 available at library, Amazon, “free” if you have Kindle unlimited*.

* Kindle unlimited is $10 a month, and being able to read Neal’s books and Derrick Josi’s book seems a bargain.