Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Antigone Poems by Marie Slaight and Drawings by Terrence Tasker

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Featuring poetry by Marie Slaight and charcoal drawings by Terrence Tasker, The Antigone Poems was created in the 1970’s, while the artists were living between Montreal and Toronto. An intensely personal invocation of the ancient Greek tale of defiance, the illustrations and poetry capture the despair of the original tale in an unembellished modernized rendition.   The Antigone Poems provides a special expedition into the depths of the ancient Sophocles tragedy while questioning  power, punishment and one of mythology’s oldest themes: rebellion.

To learn more about The Antigone Poems, please visit TheAntigonePoems.com

my thoughts:

Poetry is my jam; which is why I chose to share some of my favorite poems with you throughout April aka National Poetry Month.   So, imagine my excitement when I heard about The Antigone Poems ?  A book of  poems and illustrations centered on a character from Greek mythology - how awesome does that sound?  Extremely awesome to me.

Created in the 1970s, The Antigone Poems, feels timeless with its feminist bent on the retelling of Antigone's story.  A tale centered on rebellion and filled with darkness, pain, and despair.  In Sophocles' play, Antigone tries to bury her brother in a respectable place, but is punished due to the fact that it was against the law to even mourn for him.  She's locked away and found having hung herself.  Talk about tragic.  Through her poetry Slaight introduces us to the struggles and suffering that women endure via the character of Antigone.  She employs language in a way that is passionate, wild, and mesmerizing.  Her imagery is spellbinding.  I was truly riveted by Slaight's poetry.  As for Tasker's charcoal drawings - oh my!  They were haunting, emotional, and unforgettable.  His drawings enriched the somber tone of the book.  I swear the poetry and drawings went together perfectly! I absolutely loved The Antigone Poems.  Not only did I fall in love with Slaight's poetry and Tasker's drawings, but I am now interested in reading more of Sophocles' plays.  Perhaps I'll thrown in some of Euripides' plays as well.  Don't you just love it when one book inspires you to read another - that is truly the mark of a great book.  I would most definitely recommend The Antigone Poems to fans of poetry and Greek mythology - you will LOVE this book! 

GIVEAWAY:  Thanks to the publisher, I'm able to give away ONE copy of The Antigone Poems.  So, if you want the chance to experience some truly great poetry, just leave me a comment telling me who your favorite poet is.  Don't forget to include your email address, so that I can contact you if your name is chosen.  Last date to enter is 5/20/2015.  Good luck!!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Antigone Poems
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Fable by Louise Glück

A Fable
by Louise Glück

Two women with
the same claim
came to the feet of
the wise king. Two women,
but only one baby.
The king knew
someone was lying.
What he said was
Let the child be
cut in half; that way
no one will go
empty-handed. He
drew his sword.
Then, of the two
women, one
renounced her share:
this was
the sign, the lesson.
you saw your mother
torn between two daughters:
what could you do
to save her but be
willing to destroy
yourself—she would know
who was the rightful child,
the one who couldn’t bear
to divide the mother.

Source: Ararat (The Ecco Press, 1990)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lowcountry Boneyard: A Liz Talbot Mystery by Susan M. Boyer

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Where is Kent Heyward? The twenty-three-year-old heiress from one of Charleston’s oldest families vanished a month ago. When her father hires private investigator Liz Talbot, Liz suspects the most difficult part of her job will be convincing the patriarch his daughter tired of his overbearing nature and left town. That’s what the Charleston Police Department believes.

But behind the garden walls South of Broad, family secrets pop up like weeds in the azaleas. The neighbors recollect violent arguments between Kent and her parents. Eccentric twin uncles and a gaggle of cousins covet the family fortune. And the lingering spirit of a Civil-War-era debutante may know something if Colleen, Liz’s dead best friend, can get her to talk.

Liz juggles her case, the partner she’s in love with, and the family she adores. But the closer she gets to what has become of Kent, the closer Liz dances to her own grave.

my thoughts:

I'm a huge fan of reality shows, especially the ones created Bravo.  My new favorite is Southern Charm.  Its about a group of friends living in Charleston, South Carolina.  There is lots of drama and lots of gossip - all of which I love to watch unfold.  Especially as its set in the beautiful city of Charleston.  I love to watch the city in the background - the cobbled streets, quirky bars, stately homes, and lush greenery.  Oh, and those southern accents and traditions are simply the BEST.  That show is my current jam and I am LOVING it.  So, when I heard about the new Boyer book, Lowcountry Boneyard, which is also set in Charleston - how could I not read it?  Especially, as I LOVED the first book so much.

In the third installment of the Liz Talbot Mystery series, Boyer has our favorite P.I. searching for a missing heiress.  Talk about intrigue, suspense, and mystery.  Plus, there's a bit of romance thrown in for good measure as well. Boyer is an expert at writing a cute paranormal mystery that will have you laughing one minute and biting your nails the next.  I absolutely loved catching up with Liz and her best friend, Colleen.  And getting to know Charleston through this story was such a treat as well.  I swear I am becoming hooked on these cute cozy mystery novels - they are always fun, entertaining, addictive, and manage to have just the right amount of danger involved to keep you on your toes.  I would most definitely recommend this book and the series to fans of Boyer, fans of mysteries, and fans of cozy mysteries - you will all LOVE this book (and series)!!

Here's the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Lowcountry Boneyard
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Bookseller: A Novel by Cynthia Swanson

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

A mesmerizingly powerful debut novel about the ways in which past choices can irrevocably define the present—and the bittersweet confrontation of what might have been.

1962: It may be the Swinging Sixties in New York, but in Denver it’s different: being a single gal over thirty in this city is almost bohemian. Still, thirty-eight-year-old Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She was involved, once—with a doctor named Kevin—but when things didn’t work out the way she had hoped, she decided to chart her own path. Now she dedicates herself to the bookstore she runs with her best friend, Frieda, returning home each evening to her cozy apartment. Without a husband expecting dinner, she can enjoy last-minute drinks after work with her friends; without children who need to get ready for school, she can stay up all night reading with her beloved cat, Aslan, by her side.

Then the dreams begin.

1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They live in a picture-perfect home in a suburban area of Denver, close to their circle of friends. It’s the ideal place in which to raise their children. Katharyn’s world is exactly what Kitty once believed she wanted . . . but it exists only when she sleeps.

At first, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. Even though there is no Frieda, no bookstore, no other familiar face, Kitty becomes increasingly reluctant to open her eyes and abandon Katharyn’s alluring life.

But with each visit to her dreamworld, it grows more real. As the lines between the two worlds begin to blur, Kitty faces an uncertain future. What price must she pay to stay? What is the cost of letting go?

my thoughts:

I really liked the movie Sliding Doors (in spite of my dislike for Gwyneth Paltrow), so when I read the summary for The Bookseller (which sounded like a version of Sliding Doors in book form) I knew I had to read it.  Because, who hasn't ever pondered the question "What if?"when reflecting on their past.  Like, what if you had said yes to the cute waiter you bumped into on campus the next day - would you be happily married to him now with two kids and a house in the suburbs?  Or what if you had chosen medical school over graduate school and literary studies - would you be a successful doctor with a thriving practice?  We all have our moments when we wonder "what if" we had chosen differently - how different would our lives be?  Its a question that Cynthia Swanson explores in her new book, The Bookseller.

Its 1962 in Denver, and Kitty is a single woman who owns a bookshop with her best friend, Frieda.  She lives a life filled with the freedoms of being independent and carefree - no husband or kids to care for.  Of course, she's also viewed as being a spinster and "different" - at least through society's judgmental eyes.  So, when Kitty starts having vivid dreams about an alternate life where she is called Katharyn and is married with three children, well, she starts to look forward to going to sleep at night.  In the parallel universe, its 1963 and her life appears to be perfect on paper.  She's got love, a family, and a gaggle of friends by her side.  Katharyn is living the life Kitty believes she wants for real.  Except, that her picture perfect life isn't so perfect.  The more Kitty visits her dreamworld, the more she begins to understand that everyone is riddled with difficulties and that nothing is like it seems.  The longer she spends as Katharyn, the more confused she gets as to whats real and what isn't. 

Talk about conflicted!  Kitty/Katharyn has to decide which life she wants to live.  Of course, choosing will come with a hefty price.  Ack!  Decisions, decisions, decisions.  I absolutely enjoyed getting lost in Kitty and Katharyn's two worlds.  Swanson has written a terrific story that is a true delight to read.  There's so much more to share about the story, but I really don't want to spoil anything for you.  I really do believe its a book you need to read for yourself to fully experience Kitty as Katharyn.  I will tell you that if you are expecting a book about a bookshop and books, then don't pick up this book.  This is a story about the choices we make in life and the opportunity to change those choices.  Its fun, interesting, and a bit sci-fi - all of which make fore quite a great read.  I would definitely recommend this book to fans of women's fiction - you will LOVE this story!!

To find out what other bloggers have to say, here's the link to TLC Book Tours schedule for: The Bookseller
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Untrustworthy Speaker by Louise Glück

The Untrustworthy Speaker
By Louise Glück

Don’t listen to me; my heart’s been broken.
I don’t see anything objectively.

I know myself; I’ve learned to hear like a psychiatrist.
When I speak passionately,
that’s when I’m least to be trusted.

It’s very sad, really: all my life, I’ve been praised
for my intelligence, my powers of language, of insight.
In the end, they’re wasted—

I never see myself,
standing on the front steps, holding my sister’s hand.
That’s why I can’t account
for the bruises on her arm, where the sleeve ends.

In my own mind, I’m invisible: that’s why I’m dangerous.
People like me, who seem selfless,
we’re the cripples, the liars;
we’re the ones who should be factored out
in the interest of truth.

When I’m quiet, that’s when the truth emerges.
A clear sky, the clouds like white fibers.
Underneath, a little gray house, the azaleas
red and bright pink.

If you want the truth, you have to close yourself
to the older daughter, block her out:
when a living thing is hurt like that,
in its deepest workings,
all function is altered.

That’s why I’m not to be trusted.
Because a wound to the heart
is also a wound to the mind.
Source: Ararat (The Ecco Press, 1990)