Tag: poetry


For the Birds Mini-Reviews: Tournament of Books 2017

Posted 13 February, 2017 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reading, Reviews

for the birds

The time has come, (the Walrus said), to talk of many things!

Or, y’know, for me to finally get around to writing a few reviews for the fast upcoming Tournament of Books. (The Rooster waketh!) Let’s get started. This is the bird inspired group of mini-reviews.

Grief is the Thing With Feathers by: Max Porter

Brief Synopsis: The sudden death of a wife and mother gives rise to a ‘sentimental bird’, The Crow, joining the family for a period of time.

Brief Review: Look. No synopsis anyone can ever write about this book is going to do it justice. This book is part poetry, part allegory, and all beautiful. This slim book took me completely by surprise. What Porter manages to do with language from the point of view of the husband, the boys, and the crow is nothing short of breathtaking. This is a quick – though not necessarily easy – read. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Brief Rating: Five stars. For sure.

All the Birds in the Sky by: Charlie Jane Anders

Brief Synopsis: Two childhood friends. One drawn to magic, the other to science. When the world goes to hell in a handbasket, will these two work together to save the world, or are magic and science mutually exclusive?

Brief Review: This book is another weird one. It defies all genres. At some points it reminded me of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians trilogy, at other times it was a science fiction, dystopian nightmare. Still, at other times it was a love story. Despite this book pulling me in about a thousand different ways, I still found it ultimately enjoyable. I’d like to recommend it to people who love Harry Potter, science fiction, and dystopian end-of-the-world novels. However, for some of these people it just might pull in too many different directions.

Brief Rating: Three and a half stars. Maybe four.

That’s all I have right now, Reader! What is with Tournament of Books and bird novels? One of my favorites from years past is All the Birds, SingingAnyway, tell me all your thoughts on these two. How do you think they will fare in the Tournament?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Saturday Verses: Margaret Atwood’s GASOLINE

Posted 12 April, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in

Confession: I’m not big on poetry. But, in line with both National Poetry Month and my Margaret Atwood project I’ve picked up a few collections of Margaret Atwood’s poetry.

The Door is a collection that was published in 2007 and the copy that I checked out from the library came with an audio CD of the author reading the poems herself. So I popped it in to listen to on the way home. The very first poem in the collection really struck me on a number of levels. So, here it is.

‘Gasoline’

Shivering in the almost-drizzle
inside the wooden outboard,
nose over gunwale,
I watch it drip and spread
on the sheenless water:

the bright thing in wartime,
a slick of rainbow,
ephemeral as insect wings,
green, blue, red, and pink,
my shimmering private sideshow.

Was this my best toy, then?
This toxic smudge, this overspill
from a sloppy gascan filled
with the essence of danger?

I knew it was poison,
its beauty an illusion:
I could spell flammable.

But still, I loved the smell:
so alien, a whiff
of starstuff.

I would have liked to drink it,
inhale its iridescence.
As if I could.
That’s how gods lived: as if.

What do you think it MEANS, Reader? I want to talk about it, but I want to hear your thoughts first, before I poison them! 




April @ The Steadfast Reader

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