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text 2018-04-20 19:08
Please Bring Poetry To My Mom's Bookclub
Tiny Footcrunch - David Wasserman

I wrote this post for my Tiny Footcrunch publisher (Unsolicited Press!) to post during National Poetry Month:

 

 

My mother was so excited when I told her Unsolicited Press was publishing my book of poetry - excited and proud and just over the moon in that special motherly way. She immediately started listing everyone we needed to tell. 

“Your father! Mama and Papa! Cousin Laura down in Tennessee!”

“And hey, Mom, you could even read it with your book club!” I chimed in.

Awkward silence. “Mmm, maybe . . . hey, let’s FaceTime your brother!”

Even with the most exuberant and joyful of parents behind it poetry couldn’t quite sneak into The Book Club. Perhaps it’s due to post-traumatic stress from high school english class, a fear of not understanding the work or just an unease about change. Whatever the case, poetry is not a staple of most book clubs.

To be fair, there are some dedicated poetry book clubs (including some online - do a quick search and you’ll find some fantastic choices!) but they are the exception, not the rule. So then, why and howshould you add poetry into your book club?

The why is easy. It will break up the routine of novels, allowing your members to experience something different and unique. Poetry is usually a shorter read (time for reflection notwithstanding) and, in this fast-paced world where everyone has a million things to do, your members might just feel relieved to ditch those 400 pages of prose. Remember those “choose your own adventure” books? Each book club member can bring a different book of poems or single poem to the meeting, either their choice or guided around a certain theme. Putting poetry on the plate makes for a more complete dish.

How is a little trickier. The discussions you have (sprinkled in around the gossip and wine, I know) can be guided or more organic. I will use my upcoming book, Tiny Footcrunch, as a template for some possible exchanges:

  • -Which one line did you get stuck in your head?
  • -What does the key on the cover symbolize to you? Why the yellow background?
  • -Pair a poem with a food or drink, and tell why it works!
  • -Pick a poem: what TV show does it binge watch?
  • -Which poems are in the wrong sections of the book? Where would you put them?
  • -Did a certain poem resonate with you? Why?
  • -Which poem would you love, marry, kill?


You get the idea. The questions range from the standard tell your favorite poem and why to something more fun like what television show a certain poem might enjoy. All of these aim to break up the mundane and everyday - the monotony - a book club might develop.
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So the next time it’s your turn to pick a book for book club, remember that a collection of poetry is out there waiting for you. 

Oh, and please recommend it to my mother’s book club.

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url 2018-04-12 05:00
Author Of The Month - J. Scott Coatsworth - Week Two

Join us again as we continue our celebrations for this fabulous author!

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url 2018-04-06 18:48
Tor.com's Ebook of the Month Club: All Systems Red by Martha Wells
All Systems Red - Martha Wells

I'm pretty sure I own this already, so I won't be downloading it. I haven't read it yet, but I've heard good things about it. Those who'd like to download it (and who live in the US or Canada) must do so before 11:59 PM ET April 9, 2018.

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url 2018-04-05 05:00
Author Of The Month - J. Scott Coatsworth

Join us today as we kick off our month-long celebrations for this fantastic author, with a look at The Oberon Cycle series, and Scott's favorite things. There's also a chance to win one of his books! 

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text 2018-04-05 01:10
February and March 2018

Round-up of books read in February and March that I don't intend to write standalone posts for.

 

The Obelisk Gate - N.K. Jemisin  The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth) - N.K. Jemisin  

 

My favorite of the books I've read recently were probably Books 2 & 3 of N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth Trilogy.  I typically don’t like to read books by the same author or in the exactly same genre right in a row.  But this trilogy benefited from keeping the characters and situations very fresh.  If you like speculative fiction, I definitely recommend 2016 Hugo Winner The Fifth Season and the solid sequels The Obelisk Gate  and The Stone Sky.

 

Cast in Shadow - Michelle Sagara West,Michelle Sagara  Cast In Courtlight - Michelle Sagara  Destroyer - C.J. Cherryh  

 

I restarted the Cast In ____ series by Michelle Sagara and continued the reread of C.J. Cherryh’s Foreigner Series with volume #7.  Ms. Sagara’s writing isn’t anything extraordinary, but I’m enjoying the multi-species world and their interplay (with DRAGONS!).  Cast in Shadow and Cast In Courtlight  are definitely light reading unlike the convoluted language used by Ms. Cherryh in Destroyer, but there's a place for both types of books.  

 

We Should All Be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie   A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier - Ishmael Beah 

 

And while I haven’t made much progress on I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, the Flat Book Society selection, I’ve read some non-fiction during February and March including:

 

 

  • Ishmael Beah’s  A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, which was assigned to my 10th grade son.  I think A Long Way Gone was groundbreaking when first published in 2007, but I found it rather dry and not particularly well organized,  As the world continues to spiral with horrors, I hope they can come up with something better edited to represent the child soldier experience. 

 

I'm currently on-pace for my goal of 52 books read this year, despite my other responsibilities, which makes me happy.

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