AUGUST 18th, BAD POETRY DAY

WHAT MAKES A POEM BAD? OR GOOD?

Here are two poems google labeled as bad poetry:

Parodies are some of my favorites!

A “bad poem” from my elementary school days was: “You’re a poet and don’t know it; but you feet show it–they’re Longfellows.”

How about submitting a “bad poem” on your blog or here in the reply/comment box below.

HOORAY for bad poetry!

Thanks, Evin

TUESDAY TEASER

The Purple Booker, a fine blog I follow started this meme.

The idea behind the Teaser Tuesday “game” is to copy a line or so from a current read in order to tease others into adding it to their TBR list.

Today’s (8/17/21) is from Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.

Several college students cause the death of the obnoxious “Bunny,” a hanger-on of their close knit circle of friends. Henry, the Greek scholar masterminded the “accident” which did Bunny in, and all the group were complicit in the deed. After the bizarre funeral, Charles, one of the twins, is arrested for drunk driving. Henry comes to the narrator’s room in the wee hours, and the following conversation occurs:

“About fifteen minutes ago, I got a call from the police. Charles is in jail. He has been arrested for drunk driving. I want you to go down and get him out…He was driving my (Henry’s) car. They got my name from the registration sticker…”

Henry gives Richard (the narrator ) a signed, blank check for the bail. When Richard gets to the police station the police tell him he will have to wait until the arraignment in the morning. Meanwhile, Richard and Henry are terrified that Charles will “crack” under the strain, confessing his part in the murder and implicating all of the friends.

It is a tense moment in a book filled with tense moments.

I am on page 442 and have no idea how this novel is going to end!

SUMMER NYC CHALLENGE, 2021

This summer I attempted to read four books set in NYC.

I gave myself until Labor Day, the unofficial “end of summer” here in the U.S. However, today, August 15th, I have finished the fourth book since Memorial Day weekend which was set in NYC.

My four books include:

The Social Graces by Renee Rosen, set in old NYC

Rules of Civility by Amor Towes, set in pre-WWII NYC

My Epic Spring Break (Up) , a YA romance set in NYC by Kristin Rockaway

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms

The first two are reviewed on PWR (use search box on your right), and here is the review of Amy Byler:

This book had it all, a super-hot male librarian, a frantic single mom librarian at a small private school, a week-long visit to NYC that turned into a full summer–a totally great read.

This 2019 publication was specifically chosen from my local library because it was set in NYC. It is funny, and the reader roots for and against decisions made by Amy throughout the novel. It has a very satisfactory ending, something I always appreciate in a book.

Amy takes a “#momspringa,” fully documented by a prestigious NYC fashion magazine, which involves a makeover, a wonderful NYC apartment, and several “hot dates.” Amy finds herself enjoying life in The Big Apple but missing her snarky teenage daughter and precocious nerd of a twelve-year-old son, who are at home in their “ner’ do well” father’s care. Her best friends, Talia (owner of the gorgeous NYC apartment) and Lena (a former nun who dispenses practical advice on love, family, etc.) are there for her when catastrophe hits near the end of the narrative.

Its final message is, “Love conquers all.” This book is definitely a darned good read. I assign this novel 5 out of 5 stars.

NYC revisited this summer–virtually by reading four books set there.

SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS

Just as Saturday morning TV programming was reserved for kid’s cartoons back in the 50s and 60s, PWR reserves Saturday mornings for recommendations of kid’s books.

Anything Chip and Joanna Gaines are involved in is of interest to me. I did not watch their home makeover shows on TV, but as soon as they started The Magnolia Journal magazine, I was on board. I followed with interest when they began “The Silos” tourist/shopping experience in Waco, Texas, and am waiting to see how their new TV Network works out.

When I came across a children’s book, written by Joanna, I quickly read/listened to it, ordering both the audiobook and the eBook from the e-section of my local library.

The message of this little book is for kids and grownups alike.

The eBook is wonderfully illustrated, and the audiobook is read by Joanna and her daughter, Emma. It has a strong, inspiring message without being “preachy,” which makes it the perfect read-out-loud for the child in your life.

Thanks to Carla for the sign off.

ONE OF MY 2021 READING GOALS, Read More Non-fiction: An Update

I am doing well in this challenge I presented myself for 2021, and here is a non-fiction book I just finished, Your Turn by Julie Lythcott-Haines.

A must read for all twenty-somethings that this seventy-something learned from as well

This book is a contender for best non-fiction read of 2021. It deals with “the painful adulting struggle.” The author, “the mentor our young people deserve,” reminds me of a cross between Brene Brown and bel hooks as she advises and exlains. This book helps empower and equip young adults for real life. It consists of 459 pages jam-packed with helpful life lessons and anecdotes drawn from real life that teach without preaching.

Speaking of teaching, this book would make a good community college course on “Adulting 101.” It has an index where one can look up a specific topic, turn to that page listed, and receive immediate advice and help. The appendixes at the end are also very relevant. All of the anecdotes are nitty-gritty, down to life situations. Many of the anecdotes are from Lythcott-Haimes’s own life or her family’s life, which demonstrate her vulnerability as she “shares” in order to assist the reader. Your Turn is an outstanding book.

This book is yet another darned HELPFUL read.
Thanks Evin!

Recuperating from a blood clot in my lung, which involved a six-day hospital stay, has left me with a lot of time on my hands, which I am filling up with reading. This past weekend, I finished the two books listed below:

I first saw John Cena, former wrestling champion now turned life coach, influencer, and author on the Today Show (NBC). I decided to read the book he was touting in an interview.

The illustrations by Valeria Petrone were one of the biggest “draws” of this book. Using only black, white, gray, and a splash of yellow, Petrone emphasized each message and quote Cena offered. Just turning the pages was a pleasant experience.

In an attempt to read more non-fiction and get back to inspirational books during 2021, I chose this book, expecting a quick read. Actually, each page required a closing of the book and a thinking about what was written on it, so it took longer to read than expected. On the frontispiece, Cena writes, “Each day try to become a little less perfect and a little more brave.” Just one of many things to ponder in this tiny volume.

There’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned murder mystery, right? I often skip this genre, thinking it has little “literary quality” (Ok, as a Lit major I am a snob!), but I tried this one as a way to while away my time.

Detective Megan Thomas is everything a fan would want as a protagonist in a murder mystery.

This was not the first book featuring Megan Thomas, there were allusions to a prior adventure/case, but the author gave just enough detail to explain certain phobias and Megan’s anxiety attacks, but not enough to push the reader off the track of the unfolding story. This was handled exceptionally well. At the end of the book, the author states, “I have loved writing Megan Thomas and I’ve tried to create a character to fit the mood of the times.” She then goes on to offer readers a COVID story writen around Megan as a bonus to the book.

Including human smuggling, unfaithful husbands who get their just desserts, a dying cop who is misanthropic and careless that puts all the detectives and uniforms in danger with his arrogant, pushy techniques, this mystery has it all.

I wrote a Tuesday Teaser and a Friday Firstliner post from this book as I read it, so I will not quote from it now. However, let it be said that an earlier reader had underlined some pretty profound thoughts about anger, violence, and divorce that spoke to her/him that also spoke to me.

This was a darned good read!

TUESDAY TEASER

Thank you Purple Booker for the meme

Today’s Tuesday Teaser comes from a book I want to read soon, a gift from Deb Nance of Readerbuzz. The book is part of my 2021 “project” to read books by and about Madeline L’Engle.

This book deals with L’Engle as a spiritual influence/guru to thousands. Here is the inside cover flap:

“Best selling and beloved author Madeline L’Engle, Newberry winner for A Wrinkle in Time, was known the world round for her imaginative spirit and stories. She was also known to spark controversy–too Christian for some, too unorthodox for others. Somewhere in the middle was a complex woman whose embrace of paradox has much to say to a new generation of readers today.”

I must finish the books I have checked out from my local library first, but soon I shall begin this intriguing book.

Thanks again, Evin

POETRY UPDATE

One of my 2021 reading goals was to read more poetry. I have not read as much poetry as I would have liked, but recently, I checked a book out of my local library that was about poetry

The colorful cover attracted me, and I have always admired e.e. cummings. Although the publication date was 1958, the book was a fascinating read of essays and other pieces by cummings himself. In the first section, an essay by cummings “Is Something Wrong?” poses the question, “Is something wrong with America’s creative artists?” cummings’ answer is a yes and no. Also, he points out that each of us has a poet within, and he gives this advice: “Do not fear the artist in yourselves, my fellow citizens. Honor him and love him. Love him truly–do not try to possess him.” He ends this essay with, “Only the artist in yourselves is more truthful than the night.”

In the second part, an essay, “A Poet’s Advice to Students,” cummings defines the poet as: “A poet is someone who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words.” He continues, “…And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world–unless you’re willing, but glad to feel and work and fight till you die. Does this sound dismal? It isn’t. It’s the most wonderful life on earth. Or, so I feel.” cummings’ feelings about being a poet is that it isn’t easy; it’s hard, but it’s “the most wonderful life on earth.”

Confession time: I did not read this book cover to cover; I read the essays that “called out to me.” As my grandson would say, “I did not read the entire book; I ‘used’ it.”

Thank you Evin