Ada Limón writes around the emotions and banal details of life, maintaining a personal, even confessional, tone, which usually draws me right in when it’s genuinely introspective. Capturing memories of her childhood, her parents’ early marriage years, her stepmother’s death, and her own relationship bringing her from New York City...more
It was the title that interested me about this book, though it appears there may be hundreds of books with this title or slight variants of it so it’s entirely possible it reminded me of some other work I heard about in the past. Most of the poems here didn’t draw me in very far, but the title poem was worth it for me....more
First published in 2016, Valeria Luiselli wrote this long essay before the Trump administration came into oﬃce and further muddled already insuﬃcient immigration policies. Structured around the forty questions she asked undocumented children from Central America during her volunteer work helping connect these children with legal...more
I am more comfortable
being mourned than loved.
The past has not been as rewarding
as I had hoped.
Waiting nearly four months to write about a book makes it nearly impossible to write anything substantive. I remember that there weren’t any complete poems...more
Sometimes I think there is an order you need to read books by certain authors; maybe the chronological sequence gives you a context of their development that helps you progress with them, but other times a truly excellent later work will make you more interested to read less mature works than if you had started with those. And after reading ...more
This is one of those books that deﬁes quick categorization. You could call it a grief memoir or non-ﬁction nature writing, but it’s some of both and more than those too. At the root level, H Is for Hawk does center around the sudden death of Helen Macdonald’s father, and she expresses the devastation that...more
I read Go, Went, Gone several months ago, and if I hadn’t collected some notes back then I probably wouldn’t have been able to post anything about it. Happily I wrote down enough to resurface some memories, as this is one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. It has a clear political message, so it will appeal...more
I thought this book would be a slam dunk for me, written around the questions: What is silence? Where is it? How do we create it? Erling Kagge is a Norwegian explorer who in 1990 became one of the ﬁrst people to travel to the North Pole unsupported. For that expedition he had a partner, but three years later he spent ﬁfty...more