Showing posts from August, 2018

Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats

Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats  takes the reader on the ride through mythology and Keats's time in the world. Keats wrote new imaginings on old mythologies in the form of poetry.   At times I found myself a little awash in a story that felt both oddly familiar and completely foreign at the same time. Keats plays with language in a way that feels both deliberate and carefree. I often found myself looking for a hidden message in the simplest of text and longing for a straightforward message in more complex text.  Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats  sometimes veers into unfinished thoughts and unfinished works with an honesty that disarms even as it brings up one's defenses. I found some of his unfinished work quite compelling as it was, even complete, and some of it... well, unfinished.  Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats is an intriguing look inside the work and the mind of John Keats that somehow feels like a complete work e

Some Soul to Keep by J. California Cooper

Some Soul to Keep by J. California Cooper reflects life in several long short stories that are realistic enough to feel voyeuristic while simultaneously feeling symbolic of something larger. Cooper captures the essence of life in a way that pulls the reader into the hearts and minds of her characters with unrelenting tenacity and compassion. She never shies away from the pain people can inflict on one another even as she offers a sense of hope that people can survive and grow and overcome the obstacles they face. Some Soul to Keep presents multi-dimensional characters who grab hold of one's beliefs, flips them over, and turns them inside out leaving one questioning life yet somehow feeling like one understands the world just a smidgen better than before one started reading.

Heroes for My Son by Brad Meltzer

I wanted to love Heroes for My Son by Brad Meltzer when I bought it as a gift. I decided to read it before gifting it because I don't like to give people books I haven't read. As I read, I found many things to really like, but a few that definitely gave  me pause. Meltzer offers a rosy picture of the people he presents as heroes while never mentioning their flaws. I think including some of the flaws of these heroes would have made them more relatable. There were also some who I can't imagine having as heroes and would use to open a wider conversation about perceptions and images projected to the world rather than holding those particular individuals up as living lives one should model... Meltzer offers a quick snapshot into the lives of those he considers heroes for his son, and I hope this book will push children and perhaps even adults to further research and better understand the people, particularly the famous people, Meltzer included in Heroes for My Son , so they c

Toby by Hazel Mitchell

Toby by Hazel Mitchell is the sweet story of an adopted dog finding his way into the hearts of the family who adopts him. Mitchell creates a story that reminds us the importance of not giving up on others and of trying to help others find their way when they're struggling. Toby isn't the best behaved dog, and his new family struggles to connect with him. Mitchell illustrates the process of finding common ground and using persistence to change an undesirable situation. There's a lesson in Toby for all anyone who struggles to see the value in those who don't meet expectations.

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama

I initially hesitated to buy Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama as a gift for a young boy, but after reading it I realized the message applies to boys, girls, and adults. Obama explores historical figures who have contributed to America in their own ways and ties that to qualities he sees in his daughters, qualities I hope we all see in the children around us. I like Of Thee I Sing so much I want a copy for my own shelves, just so I can read it when I need to feel hopeful and inspired.