Books: A Batch of Mini-Reviews

Posted 8 September, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Another day, another round of mini reviews! This is another poetry edition as I’ve read a bit of poetry in the last few months that I wanted to talk briefly about 🙂 Included in this batch are:

The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry: An Anthology
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

More than a century has now passed since F.T. Marinetti’s famous “Futurist Manifesto” slammed the door on the nineteenth century and trumpeted the arrival of modernity in Europe and beyond. Since then, against the backdrop of two world wars and several radical social upheavals whose effects continue to be felt, Italian poets have explored the possibilities of verse in a modern age, creating in the process one of the great bodies of twentieth-century poetry.

Even before Marinetti, poets such as Giovanni Pascoli had begun to clear the weedy rhetoric and withered diction from the once-glorious but by then decadent grounds of Italian poetry. And their winter labors led to an extraordinary spring: Giuseppe Ungaretti’s wartime distillations and Eugenio Montale’s “astringent music”; Umberto Saba’s song of himself and Salvatore Quasimodo’s hermetic involutions. After World War II, new generations—including such marvelously diverse poets as Sandro Penna, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Amelia Rosselli, Vittorio Sereni, and Raffaello Baldini—extended the enormous promise of the prewar era into our time.

A surprising and illuminating collection, The FSG Book of 20th-Century Italian Poetry invites the reader to examine the works of these and other poets—seventy-five in all—in context and conversation with one another. Edited by the poet and translator Geoffrey Brock, these poems have been beautifully rendered into English by some of our finest English-language poets, including Seamus Heaney, Robert Lowell, Ezra Pound, Paul Muldoon, and many exciting younger voices

I bought this monster of a tome on sale at Book City; I’m always up to reading more translated texts and more Italian literature so the intersect between Italian literature and poetry with this book was a win-win for me.

Like the title and blurb mentions, the book covers Italian poetry over the course of the twentieth century, convering everything from life in Italy at the turn of the century to the two world wars, to experimentation in the latter half of the the twentieth century in culture. It’s a bilingual text, which I always enjoy checking out, and whilst there were some I didn’t care for or felt moved by (the really weird experimentation from the mid-century just will never appeal to me) there were others that did intrigue me and whose works I will keep a lookout for as solo collections, such as Giovanni Pascoli and Giuseppe Ungaretti.

Overall, I’m glad to have checked out this collection 🙂

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Read More

Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017)

Posted 7 September, 2017 by Lianne in Entertainment / 1 Comment

The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.


Yaaaaaasssss, I finally got my hands on the blu-ray. I loved the first movie (review) and was avoiding all mention of reviews and whatnot about this movie when it came out (except the soundtrack, because the soundtrack is great).

Read More

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Posted 6 September, 2017 by Lianne in Miscellaneous / 11 Comments

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

  1. Where has August gone? Now that I think about it, where has the summer gone? This summer has been rather odd, to be honest, in some ways it didn’t feel like summer (the weather + not many coworkers on my present unit went on holiday so shifts, whilst a bit more than before, was still sparse compared to last summer). Though I do like cool weather…
  2. August was fairly busy for me: work picked up a bit, and I also met up with my friends. On the other side of the spectrum, I sort of fell behind with my projects so alas, my second writing project is going to be pushed back a few months. I’m hoping to release it before the end of the year, fingers crossed.
  3. But in related exciting news, I found out last month that my poetry collection is now available via Amazon/The Book Depository/Barnes & Noble/etc 😀 Feels super legit now, lol.
  4. Speaking of work, omg is it ever busy on my unit right now x_x Just came off working how many days straight this past weekend (whilst everyone was off holidaying 😛 ) so yay for the break, but alas school starts today for me too 😛 What am I getting myself into? O_o
  5. I caved last month and bought a Foxy Fix, thinking I’ll be busy to have remembered I even ordered it and it’ll just magically pop up in my mailbox. No, that’s not the case, I keep checking my email to see if it’s shipped and it hasn’t and argh, I needs it noooooooow 🙁
  6. To pass the time and to keep the motivation going, I’ve started brainstorming where to go on holiday next year, lol. Definitely Europe-bound again but whereabouts depend on my family’s plans for next year as well…
  7. Books I am currently reading: John Donne’s Collected Poetry, George R.R. Martin’s The Ice Dragon for sure. I think I’ll be settling in with Mur Lafferty’s Six Wakes (starting to get my reading done for this year’s Sci-Fi Month). As I type this post up, I’m still debating what to read during my break…do I go with a classic? A 20th century iterary classic? Bring my eReader and pick up a title from there? Choices, choices…
  8. Went on a bit of a book buying spree last month. I mean, yay that I’m not buying as frequently as before (I guess because I’ve been so busy and my reading pace has gone down) but when I do buy, it’s by the stacks :3 Oops.
  9. Time for that seasonal cleaning around again (getting rid of clothes I no longer wear, books on my shelf I will never read again, shred old receipts, etc.). Good times.
  10. I’m trying to figure out where to eat for my birthday next month (Edit: Oops, forgot to clarify that when I typed out this entry initially). There’s loads of restaurants I want to try, but because my birthday falls on an awkward day of the week (Thursday) and I’m working both the weekend before and the weekend after, it doesn’t give me much leeway as to when to celebrate (in that my whole family is available to partake). We’ll see.


And that’s it from me for now! How’s everyone’s week been going? 🙂

Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 5 September, 2017 by Lianne in Meme / 9 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week’s topic: Ten Books That Were A Chore To Get Through OR Ten Books I’ve Most Recently Put Down

I’ve decided to do a mix this week for this theme: books that I struggled to get through but did finish and books that I struggled through and ended up putting down. Sorry, a bit of a negative list this week, but there were a number of books I’ve read recently that were a struggle to finish, regardless of my mood at the time *le sigh* Here we go:

  1. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James — I was pretty sad to put this book down but several chapters in to the book it just seemed to be going nowhere, I didn’t care of the characters, and Henry James has a tendency of meandering off to tangents before getting back on track with the story. I just didn’t need that in my life.
  2. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (commentary) — Heresy, I know. I finally got around to reading this book this year and it was just such a chore to get through; I just didn’t care for some of Kvothe’s day-to-day parlays at the University, I just wanted the focus to start shifting big time to the Chandrian and stuff. I think the fact that I’m not so big on the school setting any more in my fantasy novels contributed to the struggle here.
  3. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff — I started reading this once having heard some good reviews about it but then I put it down after two chapters; the main character’s narrative voice was irritating.
  4. The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer (review) — I can see what the author was trying to do with this book but unlike Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life (review) I just didn’t care for the characters or where the story was headed. I finished the book though.
  5. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (review) — I first read this book when I was in university and told myself I’d revisit it again. Well, I tried doing so earlier this year and just had to put it down; it just didn’t capture my complete attention. I guess this is one of those books that I’ll just never click with.
  6. Worst. Person. Ever. by Douglas Coupland (review) — I like Douglas Coupland’s books but it was a struggle getting through this title…
  7. Selection Day by Aravind Adiga — I was excited to read this book but was sadly disappointed by it. I only read it to the end for the sake of finishing it…And because it was sent to me by the publishers for review.
  8. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (review) — I was interested in this title but after reading about a fourth of it, I just had to put it down, nothing was holding my attention *le sigh*

And I only made it to eight for this week’s list. Maybe it’s for the best xD What books did you feature on your list this week? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂


I mentioned it in my TTT last week but my first poetry collection, Shall I Be a Poet Instead?, is available now online (Lulu/Amazon/The Book Depository/Barnes&Noble/etc.)! You can read more about my writing project and my journey towards its publication over at this blog post and check out some of my poetry over at Instagram 🙂 Cheers!

Review: The Days of Abandonment

Posted 4 September, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Days of Abandonment
By: Elena Ferrante
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

A national bestseller for almost an entire year, The Days of Abandonment shocked and captivated its Italian public when first published. It is the gripping story of a woman’s descent into devastating emptiness after being abandoned by her husband with two young children to care for. When she finds herself literally trapped within the four walls of their high-rise apartment, she is forced to confront her ghosts, the potential loss of her own identity, and the possibility that life may never return to normal.

Oh man, this book has long been on my wish-to-read list. Aside from her Neapolitan books, The Days of Abandonment is Elena Ferrante’s other most notable work, and I was keen to read it and find out what everyone was talking about. Plus, I’m slowly making my way through the remainder of her bibliography so it was high time I got around to it 😉 However, I wasn’t sure if it was the best of ideas to bring it with me to work to read during my break as I knew it was going to make for a bit of a hefty read, but it was also one of the slimmer volumes sitting on my TBR pile at the time 😛 Contains spoilers ahead!

Read More