Read in April 2010

1. New and Selected Poems: Volume One, by Mary Oliver
I couldn't have read anything else outside in the first perfect days of spring.

2. Second Language, by Lisel Mueller
She has an unusual way of seeing the world and just the right words to communicate it. Deft and rich.

3. A Brief History of Montmaray, by Michelle Cooper
There is something about the narrator's voice that reminds me of Belle, my Queensland girl. Set in an (imaginary) obscure, impoverished island nation (population: ~10) during World War II. Told as a diary kept by one of the princesses. Unusual and engaging.

4. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott
If you read authors' blogs, you'll have heard a lot of this before, but I think it is a good expansion on the familiar themes (e.g. the labors of first drafts and daily writing). And she made me feel like maybe I'm not so abnormally neurotic after all.

5. Morning in the Burned House, by Margaret Atwood
 Poetry. Some very nice phrases here and there, and some smart commentary on modern life, but I wasn't wowed.

6. The Private Life, by Lisel Mueller

7. Alive Together, by Lisel Mueller
I'm having trouble keeping the three volumes of her poetry straight in my memory, but I really liked all of them. Definitely recommended.


emily 5/19/2010 12:31 PM  

Is it odd that I am a fan of Atwood novels, but am never quite pleased with her poetry? Hm...I also love reading books by authors on writing just because, like you mentioned, reading about the neurotic oddities of others is so reassuring : )

Holly 5/19/2010 12:42 PM  

emily - Actually, that was kind of the sense I got from her poems! That her prose would be better, I mean. (I haven't read any of her novels yet, though. What's a good one to start with?)

emily 5/19/2010 2:50 PM  

I would recommend The Handmaid's Tale as the classic that most others would reccomend & The Edible Woman as my own personal favorite. Cat's Eye is probably in second place.

Bodily Harm was the first novel by her that I read and it was good enough that I've read all the others (ha!) so that might also be a good starting point...

Holly 5/19/2010 11:04 PM  

emily - mm, thanks. I will have to check those out on Goodreads and pick one.

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