I finished quite a few items over the weekend so I thought it was time that I did a mini-review wrap-up again:
- I’ve had this first book on my list for quite a wile. I heard about it in a video I used in class regarding bias. I downloaded the e-book of The Believing Brain, and it took me quite a while to read it. Not that the book isn’t good, but because it is quite dense. There are sections that are quite technical, yet the book is fascinating. It is also separated into a lot of small sections which helps.
- I finished two print poetry books. The first of which is This Country of Mothers by Julianna Baggott which I picked up at AWP. I haven’t read Baggott’s fiction yet, but I’m also looking forward to it. I had one of her other poetry books, and I found her voice unique. I marked a lot of poems in this collection as ones I wanted to re-read. One of my favorites is “After Giving Birth, I recall the Madonna and Child” where Baggott writes about the birth of Jesus being so clean: He’s never purple, blood-stained, / yellowed – like my babies – / from swimming in his own shit. Baggott has quite a few poems that walk this line between being of this world, and the reality of what might come next. A really strong collection.
- Another e-book I completed was a poetry book. I don’t download a lot of poetry books electronically because they sometimes have coding issues where the linebreaks don’t show the way the poet intended (update on this! Start a discussion about e-readers. I explain what happened with my own kindle file). I have to say that this is the case with Ellaraine Lockie’s Coffee House Confessions. Because I’ve read a lot of Ellaraine’s work this did not bother me, but I would suggest going for the print version if you are in the market for this one. I virtually marked quite a few poems from this collection with one of my favorites being “Single at the Second Cup Coffee Shop” where Ellaraine writes: He asks if I’m Carol / A serious man squeezing a paper coffee cup / and smelling like an ad for Calvin Klein cologne / / My denial so devastatingly disappointing / that he dashes straight to his Porsche convertible … etc. I made the linebreaks where I think they would be, but this isn’t how they show up in the book. This was a really great read.
- Back on the print side I finished an issue of the literary magazine Colorado Review. The fiction and non-fiction in this issue were fantastic even when the pieces were long. I was less drawn in by the poetry section which means I’m not sure if I’ll submit to the magazine. I’m not sure I’d be a good fit.
- The last ebook I finished was the second book in Maureen Johnson’s young adult series set in London. The Madness Underneath is a good continuation of the story although it felt a little rushed. I wonder if that happens when you know you are writing a trilogy? Makes me wonder if she wrote books two and three at the same time? I’m still looking forward to the book three release.
- I’m going a little long here, but I only have one more book in my recently read stack so let me squeeze it in. I picked up A Van Jordan’s collection The Homesteader (I think this one is considered a chapbook?) at AWP as well. I love Jordan’s work, and this is a beautifully crafted book inside and out. I’m going to research the speakers that Jordan uses in this collection. How about that for a review: It made me want to study! There are a lot of terrific moments in this collection with one of my favorites appears on page 30 where Jordan writes: To compose the movement of a woman / Taking stairs, presents a problem: Women / In motion, show graceful intent.
I’d love to hear what you guys have been reading as we finish up National Poetry Month here in the us