Monday, January 16, 2012
It's Monday, What Are You Reading?
1. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Who Want to Write Them, Francine Prose. I like this book so much that I ended up copying the first chapter and bringing it to school for my creative writing class to read. Prose is an advocate of close reading, which is reading slowly and carefully, noticing every word and sentence. I tend to read very quickly, so this is inspiring me to slow down and pay more attention to language.
2. In the Lake of the Woods, Tim O'Brien. Last year I read his book The Things They Carried for a class I was teaching, and I loved it, so I thought I'd try another book by him. While this doesn't focus on the Vietnam War, like The Things They Carried, the main character is a veteran of the war, and his experience there has created a lot of problems for him.
3. Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading the New Poetry, Stephen Burt. In an age where poetry reviews tend to be rather wishy-washy (mostly friend reviewing each others books positively), Burt is a rigorous and intelligent critic. In this book he discusses many poets, mostly contemporary, who, on the surface, may seem rather difficult to read. I've only read the introduction to this so far, but I'm excited about the poets he is treating in here: people such as Rae Armantrout, John Ashbery, and Donal Revell.
4. The Eternal City, poems by Kathleen Graber. I'm very picky about poetry. I have a stack of about 10 books of poems on may desk that I really love, and I'm going to add this one too it. These poems are amazing! Graber uses language in such a fresh an interesting way, which I appreciate, but what I most love is her ability to leap between the concrete and the abstract, between images and ideas, and between past, present, and future in a way that really makes me think but doesn't lose me. And she manages to weave seemingly disparate things together beautifully. A new favorite poet!
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