Rating: 5* of five
Whenever a package arrives from Chin Music Press, I know that everything else has to go to the Later pile. As always, I was *so* richly rewarded when I opened these covers.
This gorgeous and extremely touching sampler of Kaneko Misuzu's poetry is perfectly illustrated. It is introduced by a brief recounting of Kaneko's unhappy life. While I would most definitely want my grandkids to read the poetry, I'd want to read Kaneko's story to them, and make sure I was fully present to gauge their need for explanation and/or comfort as the tale unfolds.
Even if you have no kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, or strange kids you can borrow, buy this beautiful object for your coffee table. You will be the coolest kid on the block.
Rating: 4.5* of five
My essay on the publishing house Outpost19 and Margaret Overton's deeply moving and supremely timely memoir is live at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud: My Reading Life.
This slim book should, in a properly ordered world, ignite a nation-wide conversation about the events at the end of our lives. It is a wonderful book.
My review of QUIET CREATURE ON THE CORNER by João Gilberto Noll is a disturbing & lovely tale of anomie published by Two Lines Press. It's the author's first English translation, done by the clearly very talented Adam Morris.
The book is on sale at the publisher's website for $6.95. It's so very worth that minimal price!
Rating: 4.5* of five
Don't kid yourselves, it's a big fat honkin' deal when I review a collection of poetry with almost five stars. I'm not a poetry-first kind of an old queen. It's really important to remember that when I say I would sit and listen to this poem cycle being read or (preferably) sung Lied-style to me.
I will seek this young woman's poetry out in future. Yes, you read that right: I'll go buy other books she writes with my very few United States dollars. Read my review, then go buy this collection, to see why you should too.
My new #review is live today. MOONSTONE: The Boy Who Never Was is truly jaw-dropping. From the review, "Sjón operates equally lyrically when describing the antiquated views of the doctor and the simple survival techniques of Máni."
My weekly column, My Reading Life, is live now. This week's rant is "Authors, Publishers, Reviews, and Amazon" at the link below.
I got steamed about this today because I'm very tired of being regarded as a creator's audience and asked, more or less peremptorily, to promote the creator's work in the exact and precise way that creator wants it to be done. I review books and movies and suchlike because I want to; because I love them, love the medium, love that sharing my enthusiasm or lack thereof can help a reader find or avoid something that they wouldn't have found or avoided on their own.
This rant is my response. Yes, it requires that you click on a link to read it; if that's too much trouble, by all means don't. Just don't say anything to me about it, since the idea that a mouseclick is an imposition on you doesn't say good things about you to me.
If anyone knows anyone who might accept a resume, I'd love to know. I've had enough time with the kids now. Really.
Reposting the whole thing.
Found this in my Wordpress feed and think it's both a good idea and a good way to get to know all your fellow bloggers. Like Ice Buckets and Pokemon GO!- start with yourself, tag anyone else you'd like to join in and stand back.
How long have you been a blogger?
At what point do you think you'll stop?
Why would I do that?
What's the best thing?
Publishers send books to people who will actually review them. This is ***AWESOME*** and very happy-making.
What's the worst thing? What do you do to make it ok?
Trolls. Hands down, the very worst thing about the internet. No matter how old they are IRL, I always end up screaming "Grow the fuck up!!!" at my screen when one of 'em surfaces from whatever sewer they lurk in.
Generally I ignore them.
How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?
I usually only use the book jacket/cover illustration in my reviews. When I use more than that, I'm reasonably adept at finding what I need.
Who is your book crush?
Sebastian Junger, Sebastien de Castell, Adam Christopher, Wesley Chu, Mike de Abaitua, Peter Tieryas, other hotties.
What author would you like to have on your blog?
What do you wear when you write your blog posts?
How long does it take you to prepare?
Novels: usually closing the book is enough. Politics: a day or so to stop steaming from the ears. Environmental issues: see "Politics." History: a few days to look in to the references, poke the internet journals, compose something I hope is coherent. Writing the reviews is usually the better part of a morning.
How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?
The more thoughtful the review, the better I relate to the reviewer. Not to say some fankid SQUEEEE won't make me grin and read on; also some very well-aimed darts can be fun.
What turns me off is the hysterical screecher syndrome, the reviewer who attacks others for some perceived slight.
What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?
Post regularly. Work hard to make each post your best. Never complain. Be a good netizen: point out others' successes, be generous with your praise--if warranted!--and always, always, always say "thank you."
That's it from me; now it's time for a few of you to take a turn:
Hi everyone, I'm back after a few months in the goofy garage, and then a stressful move to an assisted living facility...right on the beach! Whee!
Hope all are well and happy in 2016.
HI Booklikers! I am slowly coming back to Interenet life after 4 months in the goofy garage...little tiny matter of my first-ever attempt at suicide! Regular dosesa of antidepressants later, I'm now ensconced in my new beachside home, with instant access to the Atlantic, plus all the eyecandy you cou.ld ever want. In the summer, of course. Nutball people doing those Polar Bear Jumps in the 20-degree air. Goosebumps could not be distinguished from cleavage, that's how cold the beach was.
Internet access is spotty because the two (2) resdients' computer share means it can get competitive here. (NEVER STAND BETWEEN MAMAW AND HER GRANDBABY PICTURES. Old ladies got no fear for scare, and hesitate not a moment smackin' your hands to take the thing.)
My pre-ordered hardcover of Forrest's novel arrived! The jacket is *gorgeous* in person.
Forrest quite kindly offered me a review copy of the book. I declined because I'm unlikely to enjoy the phauntaisee nawvelle conceit too terribly much. I ordered one for the same reason I ordered a tree-book copy of FUGUE XXIX: The man's a class act, a good literary netizen, and makes some very euphonious sentences.
In other words, I support the careers of artists whose behavior earns my approval. Wes Chu, Edward Lorn, Jim Thane, Scott Nicholson, Peter Tieryas Liu, others whose public actions are in line with the kind of class and quality I want to see, I never ask for freebies nor would I take them. It's hard enough to do the work of writing. I'll express my thanks with my book-buying budget. (And just maybe the occasional review, if y'all ask real pretty.)
New Review! THE GOLDEN MEAN by Annabel Lyon
This is history with balls. And wombs. Literally! Alexander pre-Great and Aristotle emerge from these pages as vivid, dirty-mouthed and -minded guys. Not exactly the marble-statue view of them, and better for all that.
New Review! THE BLASPHEMER by Nigel Farndale
A self-centered atheist sees what he thinks must be the ghost of his great-grandpa while swimming awa from a wreck in which he was about to die. Have to read it to see what's next.