Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lines for Winter by Mark Strand

Lines for Winter
by Mark Strand

for Ros Krauss

Tell yourself
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon's gaze in a valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.
Source: New Selected Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Let's meet in a restaurant by Marge Piercy

Let's meet in a restaurant
by Marge Piercy

Is food the enemy?
Giving a dinner party has become
an ordeal. I lie awake the night
before figuring how to produce

a feast that is vegan, gluten free,
macrobiotic, avoiding all acidic
fruit and tomatoes, wine, all nuts,
low carb and still edible.

Are beetles okay for vegans?
Probably not. Forget chocolate
ants or fried grasshoppers.
Now my brains are cooked.

Finally seven o’clock arrives
and I produce the perfect meal.
At each plate for supper, a bowl
of cleanly washed pebbles. Enjoy!

Source: Made in Detroit (Knopf, 2015)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Where They Found Her: A Novel by Kimberly McCreight

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

An idyllic suburban town.

A devastating discovery.

Shocking revelations that will change three lives forever.

At the end of a long winter in well-to-do Ridgedale, New Jersey, the body of a newborn is found in the woods fringing the campus of the town’s prestigious university. No one knows the identity of the baby, what ended her very short life, or how she wound up among the fallen leaves. But among the residents of Ridgedale, there is no shortage of opinions.

When freelance journalist, and recent Ridgedale transplant, Molly Anderson is unexpectedly called upon to cover the disturbing news for the Ridgedale Reader—the town’s local paper—she has good reason to hesitate. A severe depression followed the loss of her own baby, and this assignment could unearth memories she has tried so hard to bury. But the history Molly uncovers is not her own. Her investigation unravels a decades-old trail of dark secrets hiding behind Ridgedale’s white picket fences.

Told from the perspectives of three Ridgedale women, Kimberly McCreight’s taut and profoundly moving novel unwinds the tangled truth behind the tragedy, revealing that these women have far more in common than they could have ever known. That the very worst crimes are committed against those we love. And that—sooner or later—the past catches up to all of us.

my thoughts:

I'm a huge fan of suspense-filled mystery novels, so I was really looking forward to McCreight's latest book, Where They Found Her.  A book about three women undergoing some serious dramatic life events, an innocent's death, and the revelation that the past can always follow you into the present.  I was so excited to dive into this story and get lost in all of the drama, lies, intense discoveries, and horrible truths.  What I wasn't expecting was the predictability of it all.  Yes, I said it, the book is PREDICTABLE and I mean it - with a capital P.  From the beginning, its pretty obvious who is responsible for the baby, the indiscretions, the horrible events that lead to the broken and emotionally scarred people we get to know.  The more you read, the quicker you figure things out.  And that was my problem with this story.  As much as I loved getting involved with Molly's new job, her new home, and her sad past, I couldn't help but want to shake her awake to the truth - which was right in front of her FACE!!!.  Yes, I got annoyed with Molly and the whole cast of characters and wound up speed reading right through the predictable end.  Where They Found Her just wasn't my cup of tea.  Of course, if you read the other bloggers' reviews you will find that I am in the minority.  Everyone seemed to LOVE this story and raved about it.  Maybe its just me that didn't gel with this book.  Who knows?  Either way, I don't think I'll be reading any more of McCreight's books - I've read Reconstructing Amelia and found that book to be too predictable as well.  Oh well, different strokes for different folks, right?

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour Schedule for: Where They Found Her
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Elegy for Smoking by Patrick Phillips

Elegy for Smoking
by Patrick Phillips

It’s not the drug I miss
but all those minutes
we used to steal
outside the library,
under restaurant awnings,
out on porches, by the quiet fields.

And how kind
it used to make us
when we’d laugh
and throw our heads back
and watch the dragon’s breath
float from our mouths,
all ravenous and doomed.

Which is why I quit, of course,
like almost everyone,
and stay inside these days
staring at my phone,
chewing toothpicks
and figuring the bill,

while out the window
the smokers gather
in their same old constellations,
like memories of ourselves.

Or like the remnants
of some decimated tribe,
come down out of the hills
to tell their stories
in the lightly falling rain —

to be, for a moment, simply there
and nowhere else,
faces glowing
each time they lift to their lips
the little flame.

Source: Elegy for a Broken Machine (Knopf, 2015)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Murakami for my Birthday...

Look what comes out on my birthday this year - HURRAH!!

How awesome is that? I've never read the Trilogy of the Rat, so I'm super stoked to get started later this year when the books come out: August 4th!!  I just love that both Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 will be together in this new edition by Knopf.  I already own copies of both A Wild Sheep Chase and Dance Dance Dance, so I'm set to read all four books in the Trilogy of the Rat (which is really a quartet, since there are four books - the last one being the epilogue).  Anyhow, I'm over the moon that these new-to-me Murakami stories will be released on my birthday - talk about a great present!  I can't wait to settle in to my favorite reading spot and get lost in Murakami's words and world.   Pretty cool, eh?

What about you?  Are you excited that Murakami's first two books will finally be released here in the US?  Apparently, they were translated into English, but he was against a wide distribution of them, so they were limited in release.  He wasn't a huge fan of his early work and didn't want anyone to read it (or so I've heard according to Murakami folklore.)  Either way, I'm just happy to finally be getting my hands on the two stories - woo hoo!  Have you read these books?  Are they vintage Murakami?  And, why is it referred to as the Trilogy of the Rat?

I'm off to finish reading Marty Wingate's latest book, The Rhyme of the Magpie and continue reading The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy.  Happy reading!!