The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace
The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (audible)
Circe by Madeline Miller
Ok- this was a month with a little more substance. Let's delve in, shall we?
So you may or may not have noticed that in July my little streak of getting one poetry book in a month came to an end. I did however, a few days into August manage to finish The Princess Saves Herself in this One which I contemplated adding to July's blog since I was only a couple days late on finishing it, but then when I didn't get another poetry book done for August and I fell months behind on blogging... I figured, "What the hell? No sense to tell little white lies over books." So there you have it, this will not be the year that I read a poetry book in every month.
But enough of that, the book... it was... meh. The poet was dealing with the really close untimely deaths of two family members and so there was meat to her topic, but kind of like a lot of the poets I've read of late I wasn't floored. I thought it was cool how she was self-published and her book picked up steam and now Barnes and Noble is printing limited hardback editions... it's just cool to see something grow up from the roots and kind of move through the process backwards, or like a rolling snowball that gets bigger and faster as it rolls. And hey, anytime people are getting jazzed about any kind of poetry, well... that can't be bad, right? I really feel like poetry is going through some sort of renaissance age right now. It's cool to see.
The Dirty Life! Damn this book! It was so beautiful, and so simply romantic that it led me to text craziness to this farmer I know. I kid you not. I was sitting there on lunch, reading this woman's beautiful words and next thing you know I'm daydreaming about the only farmer I know and sending her a very forward text. Thankfully, she's a compassionate soul. But... if you have any interest in food, earth, getting back to a simpler life, providing for your most basic needs, or building community than this is a lovely read. Here are some examples:
"But farming takes root in you and crowds out other endeavors, makes them seem paltry. Your acres become a world. And maybe you realize that it is beyond those acres or in your distant past, back in the realm of TiVo and cubicles, of take-out food and central heat and air, in that country where discomfort has nearly disappeared, that you were deprived. Deprived of the pleasure of desire, of effort and difficulty and meaningful accomplishment. A farm asks, and if you don't give enough, the primordial forces of death and wildness will overrun you. So naturally you give, and then you give some more, and then you give to the point of breaking, and then and only then it gives back, so bountifully it overfills not only your root cellar but also that parched and weedy little patch we call the soul. This book is the story of two love affairs that interrupted the trajectory of my life: one with farming- that dirty, concupiscent art- and the other with a complicated and exasperating farmer I found in State College, Pennsylvania."
Next Up... Book 2 in Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy.... and I think that will be as far as I go. This book saw the witch and the vampire going back in time and hanging with the likes of Christopher Marlow, Walter Raleigh, William Shakespeare, and of course, Elizabeth. I found the story to be rather boring.... and the whole time I kept trying to remember why these two characters even had to go back in time to begin with... and then I realized I just didn't care. And I didn't care for their love story and it's kind of a key element, so tragically, I don't think I'll ever know how it all ends.
Next up was Circe this book came highly recommended by a friend (but unfortunately a friend who I have diametrically opposed taste in readings).... but it also came highly recommended by the yogi and one of my favorite podcasters: Kathryn Budig. And it was a topic I know very little of: Greek Mythology.... so I thought, why not? First let me say, Madeline Miller has beautiful command of the English language, oh my god is her writing good! That was my favorite part of this book! I also partially listened to it on audiobook, and the woman that read it had the loveliest accent which went so well with the time period and the character Circe. The book starts out so magical and each story is just dripping with greatness.... I really cared for Circe and I was so excited to see the kind of woman, the kind of Goddess she was going to be come. Then they make her a witch on top of things and I thought I was sold! But then I don't know.... time just passes and passes and it never felt like she did anything truly magnificent. It's a good book, I just imagined it being totally different.
I feel like I'm still waiting for the book that is going to floor me this year. The book that I'll get totally consumed in, the book I'll remember that season of my life by. Fingers crossed I stumble upon it this fall/winter.