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review 2019-12-01 02:52
still free for kindle
Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violance - Brian Clements

Powerful collection of poems about gun violence.  Includes essays after  the poems.

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review 2019-11-18 06:00
Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum, Tom Schulman
Dead Poets Society - N.H. Kleinbaum

TITLE:  Dead Poets Society


AUTHOR:  N.H. Kleinbaum & Tom Schulman





"Todd Anderson and his friends at Welton Academy can hardly believe how different life is since their new English professor, the flamboyant John Keating, has challenged them to "make your lives extraordinary! " Inspired by Keating, the boys resurrect the Dead Poets Society--a secret club where, free from the constraints and expectations of school and parents, they let their passions run wild. As Keating turns the boys on to the great words of Byron, Shelley, and Keats, they discover not only the beauty of language, but the importance of making each moment count.But the Dead Poets pledges soon realize that their newfound freedom can have tragic consequences. Can the club and the individuality it inspires survive the pressure from authorities determined to destroy their dreams?"



Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film directed by Peter Weir, written by Tom Schulman, and starring Robin Williams.  Set in 1959, at the fictional elite conservative Vermont boarding school Welton Academy, this novel (and the movie) tells the story of an English teacher who inspires his students to search within themselves to find out who they are.  The book is based on the screen play, but has a few very minor differences.  I would have liked to have seen the characters fleshed out a bit more.  However, this is still an inspiring movie/book.
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text 2019-04-21 03:13
Anthology Analysis: Donald Hall's Contemporary American Poetry
Contemporary American Poetry (Penguin Poets) - Various Authors,Donald Hall

The first "new" book of poetry I read this year was Donald Hall's "Contemporary American Poetry," acquired last fall for a quarter at a garage sale. (Read more about that "haul" here: http://carissagreen50.booklikes.com/post/1838747/book-haul-summer-turns-into-fall.)


The volume is stuffed with canonical poets of the mid-20th century - 39 in total. And, in the Preface to the Second Edition, Hall curiously brags that he included two black poets. Further:

"A few years ago, Karl Shapiro made some remarks about lily-white anthologies which made me angry, for the usual reason one gets angry: because the remarks were accurate. A world of black poetry exists in America alongside the world of white poetry, exactly alike in structure -- with its own publishers, bookstores, magazines, editors, theologists, conferences, poetry readings -- and almost entirely invisible to the white world.  Like the rest of the black world. The world of white poetry has practiced the usual genteel apartheid of tokenism: Here is praise for Langston Hughes, here is  Pulitzer Prize for Gwendolyn Brooks; now we've done our liberal bit, let's go back to reading "The New York View of Books.


"The world of black poetry seems to be thriving. I find it hard to judge these poems, as if I were trying to exercise my taste in a foreign language, which I am. Here I am printing two poets almost wholly unknown to the white world, Dudley Randall and Etheridge Knight. (I asked LeRoi Jones, who refused.)" 


Fifty years later, of course, no liberal thinker would talk thusly about the literary world, so perhaps it is unfair to point out the recently-deceased Mr. Hall's cloddishness here. But man of our our African-American literati would say that there world is not yet fully fair to the merits of their works. 


But, truth be told, just as depressing to me as the lack of writers of color in this anthology was the lack of women writers. Four, are included, all canonical: Levertov, Plath, Rich, and Sexton. Four. Four. Four. Ten percent. Not even Elizabeth Bishop made the list. Where are the women poets? They were writing.


In our post Gilbert-and-Gubar world, it's clear that who does the choosing and who is chosen matters. We can look back retrospectively and forgive, but we must not forget, going forward. 



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text 2019-01-30 17:28
Book Haul: Summer Turns into Fall
Contemporary American Poetry (Penguin Poets) - Various Authors,Donald Hall

I don't buy many books these days. Over the 23 years I lived in a pretty small apartment, it was clear that at the rate of reading of a little over one new book a week, storing books would be a real challenge. Also, once something acquires a memory for me - especially a good memory, as books so often do - it's really hard for me to let go of them from my life.


I try to limit my book-buying these days to just a few a year. Poetry - they're usually skinny, so you can fit a lot of them on a shelf. The catalog book, if I see a really great art exhibit or visit a new museum. If one of my friends publishes, I try to buy the book. Occasionally a book from a signing or reading. A book with a such a profound memory or reading experience attached to it that I want to be a "keeper."


However, this past September I bought a whole bag of books, unexpectedly, on the spur-of-the-moment. What the heck happened? Well, here we go:


During the summer, I spend weekends with my folks at an RV park in north-central Minnesota. Sometimes, we go around to garage sales in the area, looking for treasures. We did just that on the last weekend of my summer year. And the last sale we went to was in a yard not far from a small state university. Where, apparently, a kindred spirit was selling her collection. She was planning a move to New York, she said, and couldn't take it all with her.


A quarter per book. And books that said, "Take me home. She loved us. Now you love us." And at a quarter a book, plus 10 cents for a cute cream-and-magenta tote bag (fragrance gwp that went unwanted and unused) I did not resist. 


Here's what I got! 

  • The anthology "Contemporary American Poetry," edited by Donald Hall. That's become my first poetry read of 2019. I'll be making a separate post about it later. 
  • A hardcover anthology, "Charlotte and Emily Bronte: The Complete Novels," published by Grammercy. (Sorry, Anne, you didn't make the cut, apparently.)
  • The Oxford World Classics paperback edition of "A Memoir of Jane Austen," written years after her death by a nephew. Been on my list to read for years, that one.
  • "The Best American Poetry 2000," guest editor that year was Rita Dove.
  • "Conde Nast Traveler Book of Unforgettable Journeys: Great Writers on Great Places," which I believe was a Penguin original several years ago. 
  • "Edmund Bertram's Diary," by Amanda Grange. Yes, it's Jane Austen fan-fiction, I suppose, but I will love it at least 25 cents worth, I'm certain.


See? I found a kindred reading spirit.


Would I have gone out and purchased all of these at full price? Absolutely not. Would I have paid a dollar each for these? Perhaps, but not all at once. Will I read them all? Certainly. 


So thank you, kindred reading spirit. May your reading life be blessed in the future. 



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review 2019-01-20 12:13
Höllische LIebe
Engelsfeuer - Jana Oliver,Maria Poets

Die Dämonenfängerin Riley Blackthorne will nicht von Denver Becks Seite weichen, als er in seine Heimatstadt reist. Seine Mutter liegt im Sterben, die Dämonen spielen verrückt und ein Geheimnis aus Becks Vergangenheit holt ihn ein.

"Engelsfeuer" ist der vierte Band der Reihe um die Dämonenfängerin Riley Blackthorne. In Rileys Welt hat sich das Tor zur Hölle aufgetan und die Dämonen haben Atlanta fest im Griff. 

Protagonistin Riley Blackthorne hat sich in der Dämonenfänger-Zunft einen Namen gemacht. Als erste Frau geht sie die Lehre zur Dämonenfängerin an, hatte den Tod ihres Vaters verkraftet, und sich in ihren Kollegen Denver Beck verliebt.

Denver Beck war einst Lehrling ihres Vaters - ein wahrer Meister seiner Zunft - und hat sich vom grobschlächtigen Kriegs-Veteranen zum talentierten Fänger gewandelt. Allerdings holt Beck seine Vergangenheit ein, die seine Zukunft zerstören kann.

Meiner Meinung nach zeichnet sich diese Reihe durch die Protagonistin und das ungewöhnliche Setting aus. 

Die Reihe spielt großteils in Atlanta, was mittlerweile zur Dämonen-Burg mutiert. Dämonen machen den Menschen - wie Ungeziefer - das Leben schwer. Sie tauchen unvermittelt auf, heischen nach Seelen oder laben sich an Abfällen - je nachdem, welcher Art sie sind.

Gleichzeitig mischen der Himmel und gefallene Engel mit, wobei natürlich Luzifer persönlich Hand anlegt. 

Riley Blackthorne ist eher der knautschige Teenager-Typ. Obwohl sie sich stets bemüht, holt sie ihre tollpatschige Art ein, die sie mit viel Übung langsam in den Griff bekommt.

In diesem vierten Teil und Abschlussband der deutschsprachigen Ausgabe, steht allerdings die Liebe und ein höllisches Beziehungsdrama im Vordergrund. Beck und Riley reisen in seine Heimatstadt, weil Becks Mutter stirbt. Hier wird Beck mit seiner Vergangenheit, dem typischen Kleinstadt-Gehabe und den Sumpf Georgias konfrontiert.

Obwohl dieser Part gut geschrieben ist, war es für mich einfach nicht das, wofür die Reihe steht. Das Beziehungsgeplänkel zwischen Riley und Beck, seine Vergangenheit und eine damit verbundene Gefahr, nehmen die erste Hälfte dieses Bands ein. Alles ist exzellent beschrieben und meist spannend zu lesen, dennoch war ich froh, als dieser Teil hinter mir lag.

Und dann kommt die Hölle ins Spiel und die Reihe steuert auf ein dämonisches Finale zu, das gewohnt teuflisch zu lesen ist. Höllisch-heiße Kämpfe, satanische Machenschaften und diabolisches Kampfgeschehen schließen die Reihe in einem akzeptablen Ende ab.

Ich war gerne mit Riley Blackthorne auf Dämonenjagd, habe mich mit Vergnügen in dieser teuflischen Version unserer Welt bewegt, und hatte meist großen Spaß, wenn die Liebe nicht zu vordergründig war. 

Alles in allem ist die Reihe um Dämonenfängerin Riley Blackthorne lesenswert. Sie zieht den Leser in das originelle Setting der Höllenbrut, ist spannend und überzeugt mit apokalyptischen Kampfgeschehen. 

Die Reihe:
1) Aller Anfang ist die Hölle
2) Seelenraub
3) Höllenflüstern
4) Engelsfeuer
Source: zeit-fuer-neue-genres.blogspot.com
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