Friday Reads

Friday Reads - April 19, 2019

We asked our friend, poet Rena Mosteirin, to recommend a book for Friday Reads. She chose We Begin in Gladness by Craig Morgan Teicher.

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Craig Morgan Teicher’s We Begin in Gladness is a must-read for poets and lovers of poetry. He begins the book by looking at the style of poem known as the Ars Poetica; then moves through the works of Sylvia Plath, John Ashberry, Susan Wheeler, francine j. harris, W.S. Merwin, Louise Glück, W.B. Yeats, Robert Hayden, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Delmore Schwartz and Lucille Clifton.

Teicher refuses the stereotype that all the best work happens early in a poet’s life. He charts the lives of these poets as journeys, shows us where the work surges and where it subsides. He shows us poets looking at themselves in the mirror. We see the mechanics of the poem taking off, and how the best of them land. This is criticism that makes itself available, and is very readable. This is a lively thinker and an accomplished poet at his best.

Friday Reads - April 5, 2019

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I’ve enjoyed picking up Daily Rituals: Women at Work by Mason Currey each morning to read about the creative habits of a fascinating, talented woman. It’s the perfect inspiration I needed for spring.—Shari

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Reading Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic is like reading a grim fable that has come true. These poems speak of horror and love, of war and heartless policy, and of real and imagined humans suffering and finding comfort from each other. Once I started reading it I found it impossible to stop until I’d reached the end. Many of you may have already read the unforgettable first poem in the book, “We Lived Happily During the War.” The final poem acts as a perfect bookend to the first. I won’t link to it here. You have to earn it by reading the book—Rebecca

Friday Reads - March 22, 2019

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I’ve been making my way slowly through Jamel Brinkley’s impressive debut short story collection, A Lucky Man, since the beginning of the year. I’m reading slowly because each story invites reflection. The stories haunt me for days and sometime weeks, and I like staying with the imagery and characters until I feel like I’m ready to move on to the next story. Not to be missed!—Shari

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I've been waiting so many years for a new book by Barry Lopez (one of my very favorite writers) that I was a little worried I’d be disappointed by Horizon. Silly me. We’re in very capable, generous hands. Horizon is part autobiography, part travelogue, part nature writing, and part rumination on human history, the state of the world, and how we’ll ever save ourselves. Complemented with maps, illuminating notes, a list of scientific binomials, a compelling bibliography, and, glory of glories, an index—his book is beautiful and important and full of tenderness. I’m only 60 pages in out of more than 570, and I’m going to go slowly so I can stay in Lopez’s language for as long as possible. —Rebecca

Friday Reads - January 4, 2019

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You should definitely look out for Sounds Like Titanic when it hits bookstores on February 12. It makes for compelling reading. In this memoir, Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman addresses subjects like classical music, class, living in a female body, fakery and so much more. And I haven’t even mentioned the main storyline— '“performing” as a violinist for a strange composer who uses a CD during his concerts. Thanks to W.W. Norton for this giveaway copy!—Shari

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The complete facsimile hardbound compilation of all 12 original issues of the South Polar Times, the magazine written, illustrated, typed, and bound by expedition members during the long Antarctic winters of Robert Falcon Scott’s Discovery (1901-1904) and Terra Nova (1910-1913) expeditions. This great iceberg of a book is a treasure, filled with fascinating descriptions of daily life, songs, poems, sketches, photographs, and watercolors. I’ve barely dipped in and think I’ll be lingering for awhile. —Rebecca

Friday Reads - December 14, 2018

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I just finished Normal People, by Sally Rooney. I read this book in two days and highly recommend it! Rooney is great at writing dialogue and characters that feel real. This is the UK edition with a cover I much prefer to the US edition coming next summer. —Shari

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I’m reading Erebus, by Michael Palin (yes, that Michael Palin). History, adventure, polar exploration, seafaring, smart writing, loads of research, maps and black-and-white photographs. What’s not to love? Also, yes, this is the UK cover. Why is the UK cover always so much cooler? —Rebecca