Books: A Batch of Mini-Reviews

Posted 18 April, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Another day, another mini-batch of book reviews featuring more poetry 😀


La Douleur Exquise
By: J.R. Rogue
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

What happens when you meet
your soul mate at the wrong time?
What happens when you meet
your soul mate but you aren’t theirs?

I picked up this book after seeing it listed as a nominee in the GoodReads Choice Awards in 2016. The book cover was lovely and the term “la douleur exquise” is lovely (see meaning). Plus, I was trying to read more contemporary and self-published poetry after reading a string of classic and translated poetry. The collection was good, can’t say I was blown away from start to finish but there were a few poems that did stand out, namely the early part of the book. Maybe my expectations were a little high picking up this book and being swayed solely by the cover and title, but I’m not saying it was a bad collection; it just didn’t connect with me as much as I thought it would.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Book of Longing
By: Leonard Cohen
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Leonard Cohen is one of the great writers, performers, and most consistently daring artists of our time. Book of Longing is Cohen’s eagerly awaited new collection of poems, following his highly acclaimed 1984 title, Book of Mercy, and his hugely successful 1993 publication, Stranger Music, a Globe and Mail national bestseller. Book of Longing contains erotic, playful, and provocative line drawings and artwork on every page, by the author, which interact in exciting and unexpected ways on the page with poetry that is timeless, meditative, and at times darkly humorous. The book brings together all the elements that have brought Leonard Cohen’s artistry with language worldwide recognition.

Okay, horrible Canadian that I am, I’ve never really been into Leonard Cohen’s stuff save for “Hallelujah.” =3 But I did know of it, knew how iconic he was on the Canadian cultural scene, and was aware that he was quite the artist, both singing and writing poetry. It’s unfortunate that it was only upon his passing last year that I sort of got around to picking up something of his (but then again it was only last year that I was really reading poetry, but anyway).

On the cool side, this book not only contains his poetry but also his art to accompany it. Most of his poems are about relationships and sex, but a lot of his poems also touch on the subject of life and religion, of old age and the passage of time, a viewpoint into the world we live in. I guess the book blurb description is right to say his poetry can be pretty playful, but sadly it didn’t quite resonate with me as a whole. I can however seem to hear his voice as I read his work though. There were a few poems here and there that I liked, but on a whole I thought the collection was all right, and am glad to finally have read something by him.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Anchors & Vacancies
By: Kat Savage
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Anchors & Vacancies is a 45 piece series originally titled “Left Atrium Anchors & Right Ventricle Vacancies” written in late 2014 and early 2015. It’s all the things we all hold onto, all the things we let anchor onto us, and all the things that leave us vacant.

I picked up two of Kat Savage’s poetry chapbooks (this one and the following review) after seeing some of her poetry and lines posted on Instagram as the snippets she posted on Instagram were lovely and relatable. This collection of poetry was interesting thematically in that, again, it was quite relatable on some level and quite personable. There’s nothing much else I can say about the collection, really, no particular poem stuck out in my mind whilst reading it, but the range of themes was pretty mixed.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Redamancy
By: Kat Savage
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Kat Savage returns for her third self-publication with Redamancy, a collection of love poems. Well known for writing out the heartache and melancholia, this title explores the softer side of Savage, one not many are privileged to. She pours over the pages with a full love, one returned. You’ll find no sadness or unrequited feelings in here. This is the real, heartfelt musings of a woman in love.

Like what the blurb says, yup, this book is filled with love poetry; nothing sad or unrequited or filled with longing like some of her poems in the previous collection I just mentioned, but just bliss. I can’t say I can relate to this level of bliss, but you can feel the love and contentedness present in this collection. It’s an interesting counterance to the previous chapbook.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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And those are the mini book reviews! Have you read any of these titles? Would you read any of them at some point in the future?

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