Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Poem 1: Chuck Don't Give a Fuck

Chuck Don't Give a Fuck ©

The difference between
Charles Bukowski
and me
is that he ate
scrambled eggs 
and whiskey
for breakfast.

I fill up
my coffee cup
with low fat milk
or soy from Silk
with a side
of egg whites
and maybe fruit.

If I ate like him,
I might write like him,
but if I drank like him,
I'd be dead.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

You've Been Reviewed: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

The InterestingsThe Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Interestings is a love story about friendship. I connected deeply with the characters and the novel's complex, decades-spanning plot. From page one, I was hooked. I would write more, but I just don't want to reveal any details. It's that delicious.

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You've Been Reviewed: Yes Please!

Yes PleaseYes Please by Amy Poehler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book and found myself laughing out loud a few times over the month of reading it. She kept her tone light and fun and though she skimmed the surface of talking about dealing with her post-partum, divorce, drug use, and online issues, she didn't really delve deeply into them. That's fine with me, but when she would bring up the topics, I found myself morbidly wanting to know more of what she wasn't sharing. It was also a unique experience to read about what she was thinking as the last season of Parks and Rec started shooting - and I happen to read the chapter that mentions the final episode the week that the actual last episode was airing. Weird and insightful and fun, like Amy Poehler.

I look forward to reading whatever book she writes when she's 90!

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Monday, January 26, 2015

You've Been Reviewed: The Forget-Me-Not Summer

The Forget-Me-Not SummerThe Forget-Me-Not Summer by Leila Howland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just finished reading an advanced copy of FMNS. Such a fan of this sweetness and fun. I really adored this book and know so many friends I could give this to for their daughters - it's not super violent or sexy (obviously, it's middle grade!) and it's so funny and thoughtful, too.

The sibling rivalry, mostly between Zinnie and Marigold, was really on point. Their relationship felt real and based on sisters I know.  I would definitely ask the writer if her characters were based on her own sisters if we were in a book club together. Lily, the youngest sister, isn't really involved in too much of her older sister's bickering, but she also has her own journey to follow.

Aunt Sunny, the great aunt of the girls who they visit for the summer, is a really magical character. She always knows how to guide the sisters or give them space, and is a smarter kind of role model. She has a background in science and is practical, but is still a very fun mentor for the girls, without being boring or pedantic.

Lastly, I know we aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but I love this cover - almost as much as I love the book inside of it. The cover is so pretty and makes me wish I was at a beach far away.

Hooray for the The Forget-Me-Not Summer sisters! I hope they travel for more summers - and I get to go along with them!

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

You've Been Reviewed: The Vacationers

The VacationersThe Vacationers by Emma Straub
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Super fun novel. If you're a fan of Emma Straub, you won't be let down by her latest story of a complex family in an almost magical setting. The book has a lighter feel than her other stories- and makes it a joyous, funny, gossipy vacation read.  There are moments in the book where Straub captures the poetry and heartache of being in a family and how we treat each other, surpassing the obvious. These are some of my favorite passages, page-stoppers in the best possible way.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

You've Been Reviewed: Instant Winner

Instant WinnerInstant Winner by Carrie Fountain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Poems about prayer - or the wish for prayer - interrupt and compliment parenthood and livelihood in Fountain's second collection. She deftly mixes the grounding of the domestic with the optimism of religion. I'm a big fan of the titular short poem, Instant Winner.

This is a faster read than her first book, Burn Lake, but that's not necessarily a good thing. Each of her books ends too soon, leaving me selfishly wanting more.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

You've Been Reviewed: High and Dry

High and DryHigh and Dry by Sarah Skilton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

High and Dry is straight up YA noir. The language and tone hit the noir genre perfectly, without missing a very fun beat. If you like reading noir, you might enjoy this story that features high school seniors. If you like YA with a hard boiled, hyper-realistic bent, then this book is for you.

Author Sarah Skilton's writing is spare and muscular and dry in High and Dry. The plot is about the framing of Charlie Dixon, high school senior and soccer player (or "beckham"). Charlie's story unfolds in complex steps and the clues to figuring out what happened to him (and others in the story) are multilayered and smart. This book reminded me of Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, because it also deals with the debts and responsibilities of friendship, like what Charlie feels for his best friend and possibly worst enemy, Ryder.

What I like most about Skilton's work, in both High & Dry and her first novel, Bruised, is that she never condescends to her readers. Her protagonists are given real life, gritty challenges and she don't shy away from making them work and live harder just to get through their obstacles. Both books contained broken bones. Both contain crimes. Both contain the moral and ethical questions: when you witness something wrong in your life, how do you respond - and is that response ever really right and/or just?

If you're interested in a fun, fast whodunit read, I recommend High and Dry.

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