The Luminous Light of August

Facts about sunflowers

“…in August…there’s a few days somewhere about the middle of the month when suddenly there’s a foretaste of fall, it’s cool, there’s a lambence, a soft, a luminous quality to the light, as though it came not from just today but from back in the old classic times. It might have fauns and satyrs and the gods and – from Greece, from Olympus in it somewhere. It lasts just for a day or two, then it’s gone…the title reminded me of that time, of a luminosity older than our Christian civilization.” –William Faulkner, Light in August

Otherwise known as Helianthus annuus, the sunflower is the perfect flower for summertime, deriving its name from helios (sun) and anthos (flower).

William Faulkner quotesA favorite flower of ours, it is believed to have originated in Mexico and Peru and is thought to be one of the first crops grown in the United States. One might be surprised to learn that, today, the countries making up the former Soviet Union are the world’s leading producers of sunflowers, followed by Argentina, France, China, Spain, and the United States.

Aside from producing a sudden feeling of gaiety and euphoria when encountered, sunflowers are known for their seeds, oil and petals that are used for dye.

Deeply rich in nutrients, dried sunflower seeds are an excellent source of potassium, thiamine, magnesium, folic acid, pantothenic acid, copper, phosphorus, zinc, iron, niacin and vitamin B6. For this reason, many professional athletes chew on sunflower seeds in place of chewing tobacco. Read more

ATG’s Summer Reading List

Summer Reading ListSummer is officially here and while not everyone may be able to travel to an idyllic paradise or vacation in a far off land, there’s plenty of room for escape in a good, captivating read.

Below you’ll find ATG’s suggested summer reading list, ranging from all things contemporary to ancient. Happy summer – and happy reading!


The Girl On The Train (2015)
Paula Hawkins

Mystery and thriller lovers are sure to enjoy Paula Hawkin’s debut New York Times bestselling novel, The Girl on the Train. Rachel, an alcoholic who seemingly ruined her relationship with a man she loved, becomes captivated by a couple she observes from afar during her commute to and from London each day. When she learns that the woman, Megan, has gone missing, Rachel willingly involves herself in the investigation, which is made all the more convoluted by her unreliable memory and repeated episodes of drunken incoherence. A true psychological thriller and page-turner, it leaves you guessing until the very end. Read more