Friday, January 31, 2014

january's reads

My January reading!

For fiction, I read two books.  The Arrivals by Melissa Marr was set in an alternate world full of creatures and demons, had a western vibe, and ended up being entertaining after a slow start.  I loved Marr's YA books, but have found her adult books to be average.  Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier, on the other hand, was a five star book for me and had me absolutely glued to the pages.  Marillier has a beautiful writing style, is a fantastic storyteller, and had me completely pulled into this story of escape, courage, hope, family curses, and love.

I read three poetry books, all very, very enjoyable.  A Maze Me: Poems for Girls by Naomi Shihab Nye with lines such as "In your bones / in your memory / trust me // I'm tucked inside each fresh paper page / you'll write on. / Each hour you don't see me, I'm still there. / How many things add up the same? / Your life, my life, / the bucket, the sea."  Dream Work by Mary Oliver was stunningly moving, poems such as, "I wanted / the past to go away, I wanted / to leave it, like another country; I wanted / my life to close, and open / like a hinge, like a wing, like the part of the song / where it falls / down over the rocks: an explosion, a discovery;"  Finally, a compilation put together by Roger Housden called Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love and RevelationThe introduction states, "Yet it is precisely the crack in our lives that can let the light pour through." A really beautiful collection of poetry. I didn't love all of the poems, but I liked a majority, and truly deeply fell in love with a good number.  The collection featured some favorite poets like Mary Oliver, Rumi, and E.E. Cummings. Also, lines like these:  (p 10, from The Gate by Marie Howe) "This is what you have been waiting for, he used to say to me. / And I'd say, What? // And he'd say, This - holding up my cheese and mustard / sandwich. / And I'd say, What? // And he'd say, This, sort of looking around." (p 26, from Sunset by Rainer Maria Rilke) "one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star."  (p 61, from To Have Without Holding by Marge Piercy) "Learning to love differently is hard, / love with the hands wide open, love / with the doors banging on their hinges, / the cupboard unlocked, the wind / roaring and whimpering in the rooms / rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds / that thwack like rubber bands / in an open palm."  And, (p 118, from Last Night, As I Was Sleeping by Antonio Machado) "Last night, as I was sleeping, / I dreamt - marvelous error! - / that I had a beehive / here inside my heart. / And the golden bees / were making white combs / and sweet honey / from my old failures."

I also did a quick read of Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide to Money, and though I don't always agree with his personal ideologies, I do find his actual money advice to be practical and useful.  Other books that I checked out from the library, but only did quick glance-throughs include: Little House in the Suburbs by Deanna Caswell, The Subtle Body Practice Manual by Cyndi Dale, Hands- On Healing Remedies by Stephanie Tourles.  (Of those, the only one I'd like to explore more deeply is the Hands-On Healing Remedies - yum and helpful herb-based recipes for balms / etc.)

All in all, a good month of reading. :) 

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