Sunday, April 24, 2016

Black Box Poems by Frank X. Walker

Black Box Poems by Frank X. Walker transported me to a place I both recognized and didn't recognize while expanding my understanding of the human condition. Family dynamics combined with life experience create a glimpse into country life and city life as well as juxtaposition of the simplicity of living complex lives and the complexity of living simple lives. Walker writes with a clarity that uses symbolism and bluntness in perfect harmony to drive home a point or to provoke thought. I'm always entranced by poetry that reminds me that we all share at least some commonalities in a world that works so hard to convince us all that to allow our differences to divide us rather than complement our efforts at living better lives. Reading Black Box Poems felt like taking a trip home and going into a strange land all at once.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Murder on Nob Hill by Shirley Tallman

Murder on Nob Hill by Shirley Tallman explores class, inequality, greed, and hypocrisy in Victorian San Francisco. When Sarah Woolson convinces a law firm that thinks women shouldn't be practicing law to hire her, she lands in the middle of a murder case her superiors are determined to push aside assuming the worst about the main suspects in the case. As Sarah, in an attempt to best represent her client, uncovers secrets her upper class society would rather not disclosed, she finds herself not only battling for her right to practice law but her life. Tallman creates characters that at once inspire and infuriate in a story that reminds the reader disclosed secrets are often blamed for destroying lives when, in fact, it is the action of doing things one feels the need to hide that destroys lives. Murder on Nob Hill examines the dangers of inequality fueled by greed and self-righteousness.