Review: Poems by W.H. Auden

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

W.H. Auden: Poems Selected by John Fuller
By: W.H. Auden
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

W. H. Auden (1907-73) came to prominence in the 1930s among a generation of outspoken poets that included his friends Louis MacNeice, Stephen Spender and C. Day Lewis. But he was also an intimate and lyrical poet of great originality, and a master craftsman of some of the most cherished and influential poems of the past century.

W.H. Auden is one of those poets that I often heard about but I hadn’t gotten around to until I picked up this collection. I chose this collection in particular because it matched my copy of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel (review)–same series, I mean–and I thought it was a good way to get a selection of his poetry without immediately delving into his entire body of work.

It’s a pretty eclectic collection of his work spanning his entire career. The themes vary, some of them playful and some of them serious and touching on the subject of the world wars. I found his early poems to be especially interesting in capturing the confusion and the emotions and the bleakness that comes with the wars. The poem by him that still sticks with me is the poem that I first read by him:

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

There were a few other poems however that struck me–alas, can’t seem to find the titles of them at the moment as I type them–as they were very much applicable now as they were back then.

All in all, if you’re new to Auden’s poetry, I would recommend checking out this title first as it’s a good place to start.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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

Review: Heart and Brain: Body Language

Posted 17 October, 2017 by Lianne in Comics / 1 Comment

Heart and Brain: Body Language
By: Nick Seluk
Format/Source: Paperback; was a Christmas gift

From the New York Times bestselling creator of the hugely popular Awkward Yeti comics comes the third collection in his Heart and Brain series.

Heart and Brain: Body Language continues the adventures of the loveably conflicted sentimental Heart and rational Brain, as well as other bodily inhabitants like Gallbladder, Muscle, and Tongue.

Warm-hearted and laugh-out-loud funny, these comics bring our inner struggles to vibrant, humorous life.

I only found out a few weeks ago that a new collection from the Heart and Brain series was released so I scrambled to snag a copy for myself 😛 As some of you may have read earlier this year I read the first two books and really enjoyed it. And of course there’s following their Instagram account which is always a delight to read whenever I’m on Instagram 🙂

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Books: A Batch of Mini-Reviews

Posted 16 October, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

I read the following books a few months ago but lol, this batch of mini-book reviews just getting pushed further and further down the schedule. Oops xD Anyway, this batch is another poetry edition so yay! 🙂 Included in this batch are:


Memories Unwound
By: Ruby Dahl
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Memories Unwound is a collection of free verse poems and prose that tap into the thoughts, feelings and ideas of the author. Each piece aims to go beyond just words and reveal an emotion; love, pain or happiness and by the end of it, the prospect of attaining solace. The author uses ‘memories’ as a title to emphasise that it is universally relatable – as readers should find at least one (or more) piece(s) that reminds them of a previous experience that they have had/ emotion that they have felt, hence becoming a ‘memory’ that is unwound in this book.

Each piece aims to fuel the realisation of sentiments that fabricate our very being, and by the end of the book readers are shown the possibility of hope, redemption, closing ‘old chapters’ and moving on to make new memories.

I kept seeing this book whenever I’m browsing on Amazon so I decided to read some of her poems over at Instagram before picking up a copy. Anyway it’s a great collection of poems. I actually read this some time ago before compiling these reviews so whilst no particular poems come to mind that stood out, I nonetheless enjoyed it and will keep a lookout for her future work.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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Review: The Ice Dragon

Posted 13 October, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Ice Dragon
By: George R.R. Martin
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember.

Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara’s home. And only a winter child–and the ice dragon who loved her–could save her world from utter destruction.

Okay, after watching season 7 of Game of Thrones, I had to pick up this book 😛

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Review: Stray Bullets

Posted 12 October, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Stray Bullets (Detective Greene #3)
By: Robert Rotenberg
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase

When a young boy is caught in the deadly crossfire of a downtown gun battle, the city is thrown into spasms of shock. The press makes the killing front-page news. The outraged public demands action. The devastated family needs answers. In this tense climate of anger and grief, Homicide Detective Ari Greene makes a high-profile arrest.

But did he get the wrong person? Brilliant defense lawyer Nancy Parish thinks so. Despite the tidal wave of evidence against her client, she’s convinced he’s innocent. Never content with easy answers, Greene and his protégé Daniel Kennicott pursue the truth as the man they have charged with first-degree murder is put on trial for his life.

In Stray Bullets, bestselling author Robert Rotenberg returns with his compelling mix of insider knowledge, brilliantly drawn characters, and high courtroom drama. In Rotenberg’s world, nothing is certain until the last clue falls into place.

Stray Bullets is the only novel to date (well, at the time that I read it; his latest novel, The Heart of the City, came out last month) from Robert Rotenberg’s bibliography that I haven’t read. I was quite delighted that they decided to release it in mass market paperback (not sure why the first two weren’t so far, but anyway) so I was able to read it during my break at work.

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