Photo of Sol Duc Falls courtesy of David de Graaf

Award-winning writer and filmmaker John de Graaf asks: Can beauty save the world?  Please see his essay A New Politics of Beauty for America. John de Graaf makes a solid case that beauty has transformed countless lives and is able to change cynicism to reverence. The fact that beauty makes people happier, healthier and kinder is well-documented and something we need to think about. 

Barbara Lloyd McMichael writes about the very important role that public art plays in our libraries and in our lives. Please see her article Public Art in Local Libraries to learn how visual literacy has become a vital part of what our libraries offer to us.

Book Review: Larry Jaffee’s new book, Record Store Day: the Most Improbable Comeback of the 21st Century, sheds light on how vinyl records were rescued from a certain death.  One astute observer, Gerhard Blum, Sony Music Entertainments Senior Vice President, Distribution and Supply Chain International, offered his comments about the resurrection of vinyl: “I saw it dying. I saw it dead. And I saw it coming out of the grave, rising from the ashes, like the whole Phoenix cycle…No one in the industry can get enough vinyl right now.

Book Review: Covering the 1790s in Germany, “The Blue Flower” by Penelope Fitzgerald is a fictional treatment of Friedrich von Hardenberg, known as Fritz, who later evolves to become the poet Novalis. The story focuses on twenty-two-year-old Fritz who becomes enchanted with the twelve-year-old Sophie von Kühn and asks for her hand in marriage. No one can understand the attraction.

E.G. Singer’s essay Becket Has Arrived explores the correlation evident in the life and times of Thomas Becket, King Henry II, the power of monarchy and former president Donald Trump.

In Nick J. Licata’s latest work, he carefully examines how SCOTUS has lit a fire under the Democrats and Independents to get out and vote. Please see Passion for overturning the Abortion Ban outweighs Anger over Inflation

Our cover image this month is a photo of the Sol Duc Falls in the Olympic National Park of Western Washington. The photo was taken by emerging photographer David de Graaf, who loves the great outdoors and backpacking. You can follow him on Instagram @degraaf.david. Here is the link to some of his latest work: 

A recent spate of media raises increasing alarm about a major earthquake that will devastate anything west of I-5, along the west coast of Washington and Oregon. My essay Waiting for the Big One reminds us that devastation notwithstanding, there is no more beautiful place on this earth than the place where I make home on the north coast of Oregon.     -Patricia Vaccarino



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