Category Archives: Books

Summer Reads

I was going to take a “beginning the adventure selfie” but all my attempts have failed and I feel extremely Basic White Girl so instead please enjoy this snapshot of the books I packed for the summer!

I tried to pick things I could really chew on and re-read since I will have limited/no access to books. I am looking forward to these!


A Controversial Poem

One of the poems contained in Enough Rope is titled “Résumé” and it is a lot more controversial than I would have guessed. I first read this poem in 2014 and it struck me as something…horrifying but powerful. Here it goes:

“Résumé”

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

To give context, Parker was often depressed and attempted suicide. Her poetry is full of angst, cynicism, and a longing for death. I feel like a poem like this reflects her worldview. There is no hope; this is life. Besides, isn’t there theory that one of the stages of tragedy is humor? In her mocking way, she’s wrestling with the tragedy of her own life. This isn’t designed to be serious, yet it is serious. That is why I find it haunting. 

However, one reviewer on Goodreads calls it, “callous and nursery-rhymish, and too shallow for the profound subject.” He goes on to call its conclusion, “a shopping list of smug quips.”

I’ve been chewing over his words but I find I can’t agree. It is powerful and depressing precisely because it is so trite. It is the title that takes this silly list and makes it powerful. It is “Résumé” because she knows these things only too well. 

What are your thoughts? Is this poem insensitive or powerful?  Haunting or humorless? 


Two New Books

Shhhh, don’t tell my sisters, but I bought two new books today! The first is The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination by Daniel J. Boorstin. It is 811 pages and I’ve never heard of it before. However, I found it at the bookstore and became intrigued. It was written in 1992 and reviews are few and far between on Goodreads. Who knows? Perhaps I have found a treasure, perhaps a flop. 

The second book I got is Enough Rope by Dorothy Parker. This book contains poems written in 1926 (re-published in 1940) and is only 110 pages long. Dorothy Parker is a biting, brilliant, and fun author to read. The subtitle on this book is, “A brilliant collection of witty verses guaranteed to dispel gloom. By the author of SUNSET GUN and DEATH AND TAXES.”

I don’t know about you, but simply seeing the title of Death and Taxes makes me want to find it. At any rate, Dorothy Parker doesn’t disappoint. 


Meandering Through Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

Two years after putting it down, I’ve picked up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling again. It is the last one in the series and I feel like I ought to have read it by now. The thing is…I can’t seem to get into it. Maybe too much time has past since I read book 6. But I tried reading it immediately following book 6 and I still struggled with it. That’s why I put it down! 

A part of me realizes this is a very interesting story but I’m just not feeling engaged with it. I put it down and think, ‘ughhhh, have to pick that back up again.’ To make myself finish, I’ve refused to let myself go to the library and so it is now basically the last book in the library basket. This measure is only partially working, however, because I’ve been inspired to read books I already own and never finished. 

Maybe my problem is with how long it is? That doesn’t normally daunt me, but in this case it feels like I’m not making any progress. 

I know it is dangerous to say anything bad about Harry Potter. I’m ready to accept the consequences because I’m trying. I really am. I’ll finish this! Somehow…someday! 


Can’t Wait Wednesday

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released.

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Title: Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner

Publishing Date: May 16, 2017 (SO CLOSE!!)

Goodreads Synopsis: Kamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the Empire. But with a whispered warning the future he envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path. Set in the world of the Queen’s Thief, an ordinary hero takes on an extraordinary mission.

 

I love, love, love the Queen’s Thief series. The twists, plots, and characters are just brilliant. The last book in the series was published in 2010 so IT IS ABOUT TIME this one came out! Hurray! I’m so excited!!!!!!!!!! I had forgotten there was going to be another one. 

 


Tuesday Teaser #TuesdayBookBlog

Tuesday teaser is a weekly bookish meme hosted by http://www.booksandabeat.com

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two or three *teaser* sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • Be careful not to include spoilers ~ make sure what you share doesn’t give to much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others.

Share the title and the author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teasers!

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“But sometimes she was foolish. Sometimes, her storybook self became curious enough to lower a braid and let a prince climb up or, worse, to follow a prince out of the tower and down to the ground. Those were the scariest stories. In Rapunzel’s favorite book, a particularly persuasive prince lured her into a bleak wasteland that crawled with repulsive, ground-dwelling people. Peasants, the book called them, and they were nasty things.”

I accidentally read the sequel to this book, Disenchanted: The Trials of Cinderella, first. I absolutely loved it. This one seems to have been less-popular with my Goodreads friends, but intriguing none the less. I’m excited. 


Can’t Wait Wednesday

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released.

Guess what book came out in English yesterday? None other than…

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Title: Just Dreaming by Kerstin Gier

Publishing Date: May 2nd, 2017

Plot: A dream traveler faces the greatest challenge she’s yet encountered in this gripping third and final book of the Silver trilogy. The course of dream travel never did run smooth—at least, not in Liv Silver’s experience. Able to visit other people’s dreams (whether they want her to or not), Liv has solved mysteries, unearthed difficult truths, fought madmen, and escaped life-threatening peril, all from the comfort of her own bed. But Liv’s troubles are just beginning.

 

Kerstin Gier is a German author I’ve been reading since her book Ruby Red hit Wal Mart’s shelves. I have mixed feelings about her books but I always look forward to them getting translated. I won’t go out of my way to find this one, but I will certainly be avidly waiting for the library to get it!