Tuesday, June 17, 2014
#bookaday Week Four
So, you may have noticed there was no #bookaday Week Three post. That's because I was vacationing. And not the lay-around-and-read variety of vacation! Which means my Week Four post is really weeks 3 AND 4, but who's counting? I'm proud to tell you about the following books:
CAMINAR by Skila Brown. This one is a verse novel in which the poems are more like actual poems than broken-up prose. I like that! There's even a reverso poem. Nice use of the form to tell the story of Carlos' journey during the political turmoil in 1981 Guatemala that resulted in the death of many innocent people. I learned a lot, and the book wasn't bogged down by the heavy subject matter. It's an active story, and the reader cares what happens.
Also, it made me want to write a nahuales poem. What are nahuales? "spirit animals who guide us in life, keep us/safe." Carlos has a spirit animal. I think I know which one. :)
Here are the closing lines in a poem near the end of the book called "The Voices I Heard."
"A person's voice cannot be buried
deep into the earth.
it will walk on forever, as long
as there are open ears."
REBEL BELLE by Rachel Hawkins. Rachel is a fellow Alabamian, and yes, I have sat with her in a tea room on more than one occasion! She's far more belle than I will ever be, and this book is Rachel at her best. Fun, smart, real (and that's saying something when you consider there's Paladins and Mages involved!). Slap on a tiara, bring on the oh-so-polite euphemisms at get reading already! One of my favorite quotes in the book, because it feels true of many o' southern lady: “You act like you're perfect, but inside, you're totally screwed up.” Yup.
ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME, MARGARET by Judy Blume. Okay, so this book was first published before I was born, and I remember reading it as a pre-teen. Before re-reading it, the part I recall most vividly was the part about Margaret wanting to get her period. And yes, that's still there – along with a host of other issues about family and religion and friends and growing up and breasts-- all of which resonate so deeply and truly... and came back to me as I was reading! I can even remember reciting the “We must, we must, we must increase our bust” with my sister, and have a few spin-the-bottle party scenes from my own pre-adolescence. I remember getting a training bra before I needed any such contraption. I remember being envious of my more-grown-up friends. And oh how I loved my grandmother! Wow, did Judy Blume nail it. No wonder the book is in its gazillionth printing.
THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON by Stephen King. This is the first Stephen King book I ever read -- and it was recommended to me by my father who is an integral part of my writing life. It's been years since I read it. And then, I rode with my son to Walmart, and when we were unloading the groceries from the trunk, there was the book (he'd read it last year for summer reading). And I was like, oh, wow, I need to read that again! And so I did. And you know what? (sorry about all those "ands"!!) IT HELPED ME SOLVE A PROBLEM IN MY WIP. (Hello, it's a survival story!) Don't you love when that happens??
Next up, among others: CURSES & SMOKE by Vicky Alvear Schecter!