Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Canyon Cuts Both Ways: Hidden Stories by Dan T. Cox - BOOK BEGINNINGS



Only a week to go until Christmas! In some ways, this has been my favorite Christmas in a long time, because I worked from home so was here, being cozy. I even have the luxury of two weeks of staycation over Christmas and New Years, which I usually never have because it seems I'm always getting ready for an early January trial so usually working like a mad thing all December. 

But it's a sad Christmas because it's the first without my dad, who passed away in March, fortunately right before corona started. So really, staying home without the usually holiday parties suites my mood this year.

But I am always in the mood for Book Beginnings on Fridays, where we share the first sentence or so of the books we are reading this week. Share your link below. And if you post on social media, please use the #bookbeginnings hashtag so we find each other. 


My Book Beginning is from The Canyon Cuts Both Ways: Hidden Stories by Dan Cox:

An east wind sometimes blows down this forested canyon: morning air escaping over the Cascade Mountains, rushing from the high pressure over Central Oregon to the lower pressure due west, descending unremembered slopes, gaining velocity as it fingers along the bottoms of lonely ravines and forgotten draws, slipping over the flatness of reservoirs and then cascading over the spillways to the churn at the bottom, and then farther on in flow with the North Santiam River, crowded at every bend and set of rapids by legions of looming, breathing evergreens.

-- from the Prologue. I love long, shaggy opening sentences like this one so can tell I will enjoy this book.

The Canyon Cuts Both Ways is Dan Cox's new book, a second short story collection set in the Pacific Northwest. Like with his first book, A Bigger Piece of Blue, the stories connect and have a powerful sense of place. In this book, the North Santiam Canyon is the anchor of all the stories. This would make a great last-minute pick for outdoorsy book lovers on your list!

Read my earlier interview of Dan here.


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The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.


"I know everything worth knowing about you, 'cause your old man told me," said Ruthie. “He told me you are as crazy as he was homely, and twice as wicked as your mother."

-- from "The Plight of Shiner Black," one of the 16 excellent short stories in The Canyon Cuts Both Ways by Dan T. Cox.



  1. I don't usually read short stories, but this does sound like a good collection. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

  2. I'm always attracted to stories with a powerful sense of place - these look good! Christmas will be different this year but I hope it will be peaceful at least.

  3. Hi Gilion,

    I don't generally choose to read short story collections, however this one does sound intriguing. I checked out the full premise over at Goodreads and I love the style of writing, so this one is heading for my list. I have also added the book to the directory of a site called 'Trip Fiction', where readers tend to search by geography when looking for their next read. I though it would fit really well there!

    We are staying 'home alone' for Christmas this year, given the very vague messaging by our inept government and the exponential rise in new cases and deaths from Covid. We did get invites, but the idea of squashing 10 or 12 people, shoulder to shoulder around the dining table, even when i am related to them all, just didn't appeal somehow!

    Let's hope there are some good films on TV, or the 'Scrabble' set is going to take a hammering :)

    Take Care Xx


  4. Great description of the canyon! Thanks for sharing and enjoy your holidays!!

  5. The Canyon Cuts Both Ways sounds like a great collection. I like the opening you shared quite a bit.

    I am looking forward to a low-key Christmas too, although I will miss seeing my mom. I hope you have a nice Christmas, Gillion.


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