Category: Books

Review: Forty Words for Sorrow

Posted 26 May, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Forty Words for Sorrow (John Cardinal and Lise Delorme Mystery #1)
By: Giles Blunt
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

When four teenagers go missing in the small northern town of Algonquin Bay, the extensive police investigation comes up empty. Everyone is ready to give upexcept Detective John Cardinal, an all-too-human loner whose persistence onlyserves to get him removed from homicide. Haunted by a criminal secret in his ownpast and hounded by a special investigation into corruption on the force, Cardinal is on the brink of losing his career–and his family.

Then the mutilated body of thirteen-year-old Katie Pine is pulled out of anabandoned mineshaft. And only Cardinal is willing to consider the horrible truth: that this quiet town is home to the most vicious of serial killers. The case as it unfolds proves eerily reminiscent of the Moors murders in Britain, as anunassuming young man and his belligerently loyal girlfriend scout young victimsfor their macabre games.

With the media, the provincial police and his owndepartment questioning his every move, Cardinal follows increasingly tenuousthreads towards the unthinkable. Time isn’t only running out for him, but foranother young victim, tied up in a basement wondering when and how his captors will kill him.

I found out about this book because it was recently adapted into a 6-episode television series, Cardinal, that aired earlier this year. I was intrigued by the trailer–set in Canada, that sort of thing. So I decided to check out the book first before watching it.

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Review: Everything Beautiful Began After

Posted 25 May, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Everything Beautiful Began After
By: Simon van Booy
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Rebecca is young, lost and beautiful. A gifted artist, she seeks solace and inspiration in the Mediterranean heat of Athens – trying to understand who she is and how she can love without fear. George has come to Athens to learn ancient languages after growing up in New England boarding schools and Ivy League colleges. He has no close relationships with anyone and spends his days hunched over books or in a drunken stupor. And then there is Henry, an accomplished young Welsh archaeologist who spends his days devotedly uncovering the city’s past as a way to escape his own – a past that holds a secret that not even his doting parents can talk about.

As these three lost and lonely souls wander the city, a series of chance encounters sets off events that will forever define them, in this powerful portrait of friendship and young love.

I have been eyeing this book for years, I don’t know why I didn’t pick it up sooner. I suppose I figured last year that it was high time I picked the book up so here I am, having read it at long last and reviewing it.

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Review: Love & Misadventure

Posted 22 May, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Love & Misadventure
By: Lang Leav
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully conceived, Love and Misadventure will take you on a rollercoaster ride through an ill-fated love affair—from the initial butterflies through the soaring heights to the devastating plunge. And, in the end, the message is one of hope.

The journey from love to heartbreak to finding love again is personal yet universal. Lang Leav’s evocative love poetry speaks to the soul of anyone who is on this journey. Leav has an unnerving ability to see inside the hearts and minds of her readers. Her talent for translating complex emotions with astonishing simplicity has won her a cult following of devoted modern poetry fans from all over the world. Forget the dainty, delicate love poems of yore; these little poems pack a mighty punch.

Okay, I finally caved in and picked up this book. I keep seeing this poet’s books everywhere whenever I’m perusing for new poetry to check out and after catching a snippet of one of her poems fromt his volume, I decided why not.

I suppose it seems fitting that my reaction to this collection is similar to that of her significant other’s works, Michael Faudet (see author tag). Some of the poems by her that I read were nice, hits close to home, or captures sentiments that I can relate to on some level. But after the first third of the book, the rest of the collection fell a bit flat for me, a little too simplistic for my tastes (and a bit incomplete at times? Which, stylistically I can get behind if it made sense (I think I mentioned before that I’m a fan of the minimalist style of poetry), but at times it really felt like a concluding line was missing), lost my ability to relate to some of the sentiments on some level. Definitely did not feel all of the statements that the above book blurb mentioned O_o At least least most of the poems collected here didn’t veer more towards the erotic side?

But I’m glad to finally have checked out her poetry and read what the buzz was about. Her illustrations, I should add were pretty 🙂

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Visit the author’s official website || Order this book from the Book Depository

Review: Selected Poems

Posted 19 May, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 1 Comment

Selected Poems
By: Marina Tsvetaeva
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

An admired contemporary of Rilke, Akhmatova, and Mandelstam, Russian poet Marina Tsvetayeva bore witness to the turmoil and devastation of the Revolution, and chronicled her difficult life in exile, sustained by the inspiration and power of her modern verse.

The poems in this selection are drawn from eleven volumes published over thirty years.

Marina Tsvetaeva is another one of those poets I’ve long heard about and indeed studied a bit about in relation to Soviet history and culture but never got around to reading works from until…well, now.

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Review: The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson

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

The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson
By: Emily Dickinson
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts on December 10,1830, to a prominent family of academics, lawyers, and statesmen. Following her education at Amherst Academy and Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary, Dickinson embarked on her impassioned journey as apoet. Composing first in a fairly conventional style, the poetess soon began to experiment with her writing; her frequent use of dashes, sporadic capitalization of nouns, broken meter, and idiosyncratic metaphors made her work unparalleled for its time.

Dickinson’s poetry dealt not only with issues of death, faith, and immortality, but with nature, domesticity, and the power of language to transfer emotions into written text. An obsessively private writer – only ten of her some 1,700 poems were published during her lifetime – Dickinson withdrew from social contact at the ageof 23 and devoted herself to writingin secret. It wasn’t until her death in 1866 that the scope of Dickinson’s work was realized, when her sister Lavinia found her prolific collection in a dresser drawer.

Since this time, Emily Dickinson’s writing has had significant influences on modern American poetry; her complex use of language and form has contributed to her reputation as one of the most innovative poets of the 19thcentury. This collection of some of her finest works illustrates not only Dickinson’s talent as a writer but her profound love of language, nature, and life.

I read some of Emily Dickinson’s poems in passing a few years ago (a-ha! Found the review); didn’t think much of them at the time (these were my early days dipping into poetry) though I thought the poet and her life was rather interesting (fellow introvert and all). I think it was after reading Nuala O’Connor’s Miss Emily (review) that I thought I should go back and give Dickinson’s poetry another go.

Having read this collection, I’ve come to the conclusion that alas, I think Emily Dickinson’s poetry just isn’t for me. This collection is broken down to three series, depending on the time period in which they were written and published, and then further broken down depending on theme (life, love, time/death, nature). They vary in length and style–you could almost feel her experimenting with variations of imagery and rhyme and structure over the course of her poetry–and I think I’ve mentioned it before but her choice of imagery are rather curious.

Having said all of that, though, it’s purely personal preference that I say that her poetry just isn’t for me: her poetry doesn’t quite move me the way other poets’ works do, they don’t seize any great emotion from me. There’s no particular poem that stands out in memory for me. I do however appreciate how her poetry seems like a predecessor to much of the contemporary poetry that I’ve read in terms of going with your own structure and style, so there’s that. I’m glad to have revisited her work again, but I think that’s it for me and Dickinson’s works for now.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Learn more about the poet on Wikipedia || Order this book from the Book Depository