Books Read :: July-August

I began doing this every two months because at one point I was reading very little & had very little time to shout about the very little I was reading. I always want to blog more than I actually do, to turn my blog into a better way to communicate my ideas, especially on the culture that I consume. But it isn't something I prioritize. I'm not sure why. Anyway, as usual, the writing about each book below shouldn't be read as reviews of these titles, but thoughts/feelings on them generally.

JULY

Darling Beastlettes by Gina Abelkop :: Gina sent me this book in the mail, and I read it this summer because it has been sitting on my bedside table for awhile. It was under a couple of other books that are still on my bedside table that I haven't begun or started, including a tome of Joseph Brodsky's poem, for which I have one poem left to read but it's very long and I can't bring myself to find time to really concentrate on it. I'm not sure why I didn't write a Goodreads review for this book. I thought I did. I dog-eared a bunch of the pages to go back to. That's my favorite way to read poetry books, to read the whole thing and then go back and reread the pages I dog-eared. There was something of a modern, very female-centric myth about this book that pulled me into it. I felt like reading it was helping keep the myth of its women (and their unearthed darknesses, at many points,) alive.

Taipei by Tao Lin :: I've always read Tao's books because I like his ability to write from a modern perspective/how his writing style reflects that perspective. This was a really sad book. I didn't read many novels this summer, and those I read were all REALLY drastically different types of books. I did write a Goodreads review of this book.

The Narrows by m. craig :: I bought this at Brickbat in South Philly because it was a small press title and I really loved the cover. There's no dust jacket copy explaining what this book about, there was just the lower-case author's name, the cover image, and the brown-paper-bag texture of its cover for me to go on. It sat on my shelf for maybe a year, maybe more, I'm not sure. I'm a big reader, but I'm an even bigger purchaser of books. Many people buy books and read them right away. I have a bad habit of not doing so. I am trying to break this. I have a plan to break this. I digress: this book could be genre-fied. As in, you could throw it into a category and say, this book is this type of book belonging on this type of shelf in Barnes and Noble or wherever. But I feel like that's not fair, that it was better than its genre. Not that there are many books that could be classified as lesbian steampunk necessarily, but again, I don't want to call it that because I want people who wouldn't think to pick up a lesbian steampunk book to pick up this book because I really liked it and thought that it was both well written and moving. My Goodreads review of it is here.

Robinson Alone by Kathleen Rooney :: I bought this book at AWP this year from Trident. I think I showed up late to see Kathleen read and was sad but then went with her and other Emerson alum folks & friends to a bar near Emerson and had a good night anyway. This is something like a "novel-in-verse" where we follow a character, based on a real life poet who disappeared, from relative poet-normality into disappearing. The lovely thing about this poetry-book-with-a-plot is that the poems themselves often could stand alone. Shereen Adel reviewed this book for Boog City earlier this year.

Applies to Oranges by Maureen Thorson :: This little Ugly Duckling Press gem was something I ripped through and really enjoyed. I felt like these were poems that if I were a different person, I could have written them, and there's always something appealing to me (albiet a bit obviously selfishly) about that. I think that's a long way of saying that some of the poems in this book inspire me.

AUGUST

Ava by Carole Maso :: This was one of my "Birthday Club" books from 2012, one of the last few I had left to read. I wrote a review of it on Goodreads because I had a lot of feelings about it. Instead of listening to me repeat said feelings here, the review is here. But yeah, even on Goodreads, my "reviews" aren't necessarily "reviews" though they're called that there.

Rise in the Fall by Ana Božičević :: I also bought this book of poetry at AWP this year from the great Birds LLC whose table was next to ours. The illustrations by Bianca Stone in it are amazing, but I kept having to flip quickly past them on the train because there were naked people in them and I didn't want people to see me looking at illustrations of naked people. Then, I realized there were totally naked people on the cover, too. I didn't stop bringing the title on the train. I dog-eared a bunch of pages. I felt like this book's tone was hard at first to grasp but as I went along, I got used to it. I feel like they were written by someone I'd maybe have trouble reading at first, but then really want to be friends with but then not be sure how to approach the person at all. I liked the way that the poems were sectioned off by the drawings rather than titled or numbered. that worked really well for me as a reader.

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