101 Great American Poems ~ BookReview

21686303After reading Zen in the Art of Writing by legendary author Ray Bradbury, I decided to take some of his advice, which included reading poetry.

I’ve never been a big fan, and I’m afraid I don’t have much appreciation for poems that don’t rhyme or have some beat or tempo that make the words flow like, “a silver, meandering stream in a cloud lined dream.” Sure, it’s outside of my comfort zone, but it couldn’t be too painful, right?

This book presents an eclectic sampling from some of America’s best poets. It contains poems I enjoyed, and ones I never care to read again. Edgar Allan Poe is still my favorite poet, but who knew Abraham Lincoln had a talented pen as well?

Sometimes in life you have to make yourself do things that you don’t particularly want to do. For me, this was one of those things. But – the next book of poetry won’t be, because it wasn’t such a bad experience. I actually kind of liked it. There will be more books of poetry in my future. 4 stars!

 

Beartown by Fredrik Backman ~ #Fiction #BookReview

316757875 stars! Maybe it’s an odd way of starting a review, but in this case, it’s fitting. Every once in a while you stumble across a book that changes you. This is one of those stories. It’s raw and insightful and profoundly beautiful.

The themes aren’t particularly new. The plot isn’t astoundingly fresh. But what the author does with the words, with the characters, the way he somehow manages to display the actual hearts of the people he’s created as clearly as if he dissected them and pressed them between the pages (without the gore) is nothing short of amazing.

You don’t have to like hockey to enjoy this book. Actually, I wouldn’t even bother reading the blurb on the back. Just pick it up and read it and let it speak for itself. I’ll say it again – 5 stars!

Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury ~ Nonfiction #BookReview

35063826My reading didn’t go as expected last year. I thought a Goodreads goal of 70 books for 2017 would be a cake walk considering I read 100 in 2016. Yet, come the end of December, I found myself picking only my 52 book of the year. And if my reading when awry, then my writing was a catastrophe and tragedy rolled into one horrible, absolutely blank page.

No need to get into specifics, but 2017 wasn’t my year for anything. 2018 wouldn’t have to amount to much to be better, but I want it to be super excellent to make up from badly lost time. I chose this book to inspire me to pick that blank page off the floor, brush it off, and fill it with all the words that have been dying to get out for the last year.

As far as writing goes, Ray Bradbury certainly has enough experience and inspiration to go around. His essay style is as engaging as his works of fiction. His advice as legendary as the man who typed it. His prose as well crafted as anything an Amish carpenter creates. This writer feels ready to aspire to greatness. This book is quick and easy to read. What do you have to lose? 5 stars!

Lies She Told by Cate Holahan ~ Fiction #BookReview

34933505A book about a writer writing her latest novel while mysterious things happen in her real life. There are so many ways that this book, with it’s plot that may have been used a time or two before, could have gone very, very wrong. Which is why I was pleased to discover that the this book had been done very, very right.

It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but this one tasted good to me. It nailed all the basics as far as writing style and technique go, and even went so far as to tell a well crafted and entertaining story. The story in a story calls for careful reading, but it’s worth it.

5 stars and an A+ for creating new hope for old tropes!!!