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Jerry Harp teaches at Lewis & Clark. He started recently, like me. And he came from Kenyon college, which is my alma mater. So we have something in common. Also, he comes into the library A LOT, says it's his haven. So I went to his reading this afternoon, and bought his book. I like this creature he writes about. Something off the cuff and snarky about him. Creature in the Mall, though, is heartbreaking, not funny at all. These are dark little poems, with little moments of lightness here and there. There is something uniquely human about them.
Read Status: In hand/reading
The Twelve Little Cakes
Memoir of a Czech childhood. Just read a review of this. It sounds good.
Read Status: In the queue
Name All the Animals : A Memoir
My dad sent me this book after he heard Smith read in Northampton, MA. Brave memoir about the loss of her brother when she was very young, and how that event shaped the future of her family.
A New Selected Poems
I bought this after stealing it from my mother's bedside table when I was visiting her recently. She had borrowed it from someone else. The copy I read first was signed by the author. Anyway, the reason I wanted to read them is that I just discovered that Kinnell's son, Fergus lives on our street, in the same block, almost across the street actually. So I had to read the Fergus poems. Loved loved loved them. Especially the one where Fergus comes running down the hallway and interrupts his parents having sex. It's just a wonderful poem.
The Open Space of Democracy
I had the opportunity to hear her speak at Lewis & Clark College about this book. I guess we need her words now more than ever. This is a book to read to help you preserve your belief that democracy will prevail over the injustices done to it by the current administration.
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
This book comes up again and again. A few years ago I read just the section on potatoes. This summer I re-read the whole thing again. If I ever doubted the benefits of organic farming and small-scale food production, I no longer do at all. Potato is still my favorite section.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle : A Novel
Well, this is the first Murakami I read. I checked it out of the library in June and didn't finish it until August (and I skipped several sections that I now realize are probably the best parts, but I couldn't take it). I guess the thing is over 600 pages, which is just wrong. My sister says it was her favorite. Not me.
Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy
Well, I tried, but I couldn't get through it. Not enough pictures and conversation as Alice used to say.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures
I just started this and am entranced with it. I have wanted to read it for years.
Read Status: In hand/reading
After the Quake: Stories
I read this one right before Norwegian Wood and loved it. In fact, I bought it on November 3, 2004. The state of the election left me needing something that I could read in small bits. And this title seemed right. Thinking back on it, it is interesting to me that Murakami is so interested in friends in groups of three-two men and one woman. And how those relationships change when one of the men becomes involved with the woman. This came up in Norwegian Wood too.
Norwegian Wood (Vintage International Original)
The is the last and best Murakami that I have read. I devoured it on a recent flight across the country. The tenderness of the love story. The quiet moodiness of it. The sense of the seasons. This was one that I was sad to finish.
The Secret Life of Bees
A friend gave this to me early in the summer. I don't know, I guess I get tired of the American coming of age of the abused child story. There was some delicious imagery with the hives and some eccentric characters. It read to me more like a YA novel than an adult one. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it didn't even read like an unusually good YA novel. I give it a B.
Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books
I read the first book when it came out years ago on the advice of a very astute young adult librarian I know named Marin. I picked this up in the airport in Portland on the way to NY. I saw the title Dangerous Angels and somehow missed that it was all Weetzie Bat. Anyway, I read it all and was charmed. Wow, who would have thought that Weetzie would ever grow up...
The Time Traveler's Wife
Intriguing love story involving a man who time travels. She lives life in normal time. He drops in and out of time so he lives life in an odd non-chronological order. She meets him first when she is six and he is in his forties. From then, he continues to appear periodically.
Just a really interesting story, with excellent use of poems and quotes from other books peppered throughout. And the ending was so sad, so heartwrenchingly depicting the loss of one's true love. I cried harder than I have in a long time.