Tag Archives: book worm

Five Great Poetry Books!

Are you a fan of poetry books? They are my very favorite when I need to mix things up between lengthy novels and dense nonfiction! I love how the language bounces around the page each in their own unique way and they’re so much fun to read out loud.

Here are 5 of my favorites…

Babel by Barbara Hamby

Hamby’s poems drift across histories and continents, from early writing and culture in Mesopotamia through the motion-picture heaven that seems so much like Paris, to odes on such thoroughly American subjects as hardware stores, bubblegum, barbecue, and sharp-tongued cocktail waitresses giving mandatory pre-date quizzes to lawyers and “orangutans in the guise of men.”

Favorite poems: Vex Me, The Tawdry Masks of Women, and Ode on My Mother’s Handwriting.

 

Skid by Dean Young

 In Skid, Young’s fifth book of poems, social outrage vies with comic excess. He embraces the autobiographical urge with fury and musically lush exclamations. Whether through the dark facts of mortality or the celebratory surprises of the imagination, these poems proclaim vitality and alertness, wasting nothing. Young’s poems reveal his faith in the genius of calamity and the redemptive power of fun.

Favorite poems: Sources of the Delaware, Whale Watch, and Troy, Indiana.

 

Jane: A Murder by Maggie Nelson

Jane tells the spectral story of the life and death of Maggie Nelson’s aunt Jane, who was murdered in 1969 while a first-year law student at the University of Michigan. Though officially unsolved, Jane’s murder was apparently the third in a series of seven brutal rape-murders in the area between 1967 and 1969. Nelson was born a few years after Jane’s death, and the narrative is suffused with the long shadow her murder cast over both the family and her psyche.

Favorite poems: Phil’s Photos, Serials, and The Burn.

 

Head Off & Split by Nikky Finney

The poems in Nikky Finney’s Head Off & Split sustain a sensitive and intense dialogue with emblematic figures and events in African American life: from civil rights matriarch Rosa Parks to former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, from a brazen girl strung out on lightning to a terrified woman abandoned on a rooftop during Hurricane Katrina. 

Favorite poems: Red Velvet, Thunderbolt of Jove, and Segregation, Forever.

 

New Collected Poems by Wendell Berry

In New Collected Poems, Berry reprints the nearly two hundred pieces in Collected Poems, along with the poems from his most recent collections―Entries, Given, and Leavings―to create an expanded collection, showcasing the work of a man heralded by The Baltimore Sun as “a sophisticated, philosophical poet in the line descending from Emerson and Thoreau . . . a major poet of our time.”

Favorite poems: Planting Trees, The Dance, A Poem of Thanks and The Country of Marriage.

P.S. Bonus: Found Footage by Maggie Woodward is a newly found fave written by a dear friend. You should check it out, too!

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Five Great Graphic Novels!

five-great

Are you a fan of graphic novels? They are my very favorite when it comes to one-sitting reads! I love how much the illustrations add to the overall story and you can really hear the characters speaking their conversation-bubble-dialogue.

Here are 5 of my favorites…

embroideriesEmbroideries by Marjane Satrapi

From the author of “Persepolis” comes this gloriously entertaining and enlightening look into the sex lives of Iranian women. Embroideries gathers together Marjane’s tough–talking grandmother, stoic mother, glamorous and eccentric aunt and their friends and neighbors for an afternoon of tea drinking and talking. 

The experiences of the women Satrapi brings to the table will seem equal parts relatable and foreign. Their stories of love and sex range from macabre and heart-breaking too irreverent and funny.

 

dotter-of-her-fathers-eyesDotter of her Father’s Eyes by Mary and Bryan Talbot

Part personal history, part biography, Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes contrasts two coming of age narratives: that of Lucia, the daughter of James Joyce, and that of author Mary Talbot, daughter of the eminent Joycean scholar James S. Atherton.

The dual narratives interact in compelling ways –Mary’s post WW II life in England juxtaposed with the Joyce family’s 1920s Paris avante guard experiences, and the complex family relationships that unfold in both.

 

cancer-vixen

Cancer Vixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto

In vivid color and with a taboo-breaking sense of humor, Marchetto tells the story of her eleven-month, ultimately triumphant bout with breast cancer—from diagnosis to cure, and every challenging step in between.

Instead of writing another cancer memoir, Marchetto turned to cartooning. The result is an honest and engaging read, while the illustrations capture emotions in pitch-perfect form.

 

shortcomingsShortcomings by Adrian Tomine

Shortcomings is the story of Ben Tanaka, a Japanese American male in his late twenties, and his cross-country search for contentment (or at least the perfect girl). Along the way, Tomine tackles modern culture, sexual mores, and racial politics with brutal honesty and lacerating, irreverent humor, while deftly bringing to life a cast of painfully real antihero characters.

Tomine’s art is amazing, as is his deft portrayal of identity politics as his characters grapple with stereotypes and self-imposed expectations.

 

cant-we-talk-about-something-more-pleasantCan’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents. It’s a memoir as rife with laughs as it is with tears, both comfort and comic relief.

I picked this book up to flick through in a book store and then READ THE WHOLE THING RIGHT THERE. Do yourself a favor and check it out!

P.S. On my list for future reads: Pedro and Me, Flora & Ulysses, and This One Summer.