I read the Kindle version of this book. I loved it, and I understand why Oprah choose it for her 2.0 book club. HOWEVER...I hated the fact the Kindle...moreI read the Kindle version of this book. I loved it, and I understand why Oprah choose it for her 2.0 book club. HOWEVER...I hated the fact the Kindle version shows underlining supposedly done by Oprah herself, and you can't turn that off. (You can elect to show underlining done by other readers in many Kindle books.) I found it annoying and distracting. I appreciate the fact Oprah has gotten a lot of people interested in reading really good books. I applaud that. But I don't like underlining in books. Most of the passages underlined I didn't think were particularly prosaic, or didn't seem to foreshadow anything, or serve as metaphors. I truly found them confusing. I wish Kindle would allow you to turn off the underlining. I won't buy another Kindle book that is labeled as being part of Oprah's 2.0 book club. It was that distracting.(less)
In the spirit of full disclosure: poet j.e. glaze is a good friend of mine. I’ve known him for six years. I even wrote the introduction to his wonderf...moreIn the spirit of full disclosure: poet j.e. glaze is a good friend of mine. I’ve known him for six years. I even wrote the introduction to his wonderful first poetry collection, A Year in the Life of Empty.
As much as I love the poet, I’m not always fond of his poetry. I loved the aforementioned book; I didn’t care for his second collection, titled The Song of the Banded Tree Snail and Other Tales of Space Travel. Poetry is a very personal thing. Some things resonate; some things do not, and I had trouble relating to the poems in the second book.
Not so with Journey, glaze’s third collection of poetry. I believe he has found his voice once again with the 30+ poems that give the reader a glimpse into the soul of the man who penned them. If you don’t know who glaze is before picking up the book, you do when you close it after the reading the last poem.
Here you will find glaze the poet with an obvious passion for the natural world. I loved the fresh and original image of “the pressed form of the sleeping doe, long-departed since morn,” in the poem, “prescience,” describing the image that comes to mind when he thinks of whomever the poem was written for. It’s such an honest, simple image.
In “auto zen,” you get a glimpse of glaze the poet/photographer with an eye for beauty in unexpected places, as he writes about finding love “… in chipped layers of automotive paint, in clam-shaped flake-outs, black oxidized hoods and cab-tops, pink or cream primer showing, and in rusted metal beneath.”
But what struck me the most is how openly glaze the seeker shares his spiritual quest, his search for meaning in life. In “dream” he pens, “what did she dream / before she was / Earth?” I have always believed Earth is a conscious organism; and I have spent many hours meditating on this question since I first read the poem. It’s my favorite in the collection, and I believe it’s one of the finest glaze has ever written.
I did have one humorous moment in reading the book. I spent more than a few minutes puzzling over a poem that began “nights / Transport / identity / Your Info. with it / prescience.” I finally gave up trying to analyze the “poem” and moved on, and had a good laugh when I realized I was trying to analyze the Table of Contents! (It wasn’t labeled as such.)
I highly recommend this small volume for poetry lovers, nature lovers, and lovers in general. j.e. glaze poured a piece of himself into each one of these poems. They are worth the read, because glaze is a poet and artist worth getting to know. (less)
I desperately wanted to like this book. I was outraged, reading the introduction, that Buck's son warned readers not to expect too much. Alas, he was...moreI desperately wanted to like this book. I was outraged, reading the introduction, that Buck's son warned readers not to expect too much. Alas, he was right. This final (and only recently discovered) manuscript wouldn't ever have been published had anyone else written it. I hope readers new to Buck don't pick this up and then write her off as a melodramatic and sappy writer. So much better to read Mandala, or The Good Earth, which are truly beautiful books.(less)
I bought this book because a review said Shannon was the next JK Rowling. That's a tough statement to live up to, granted..but I don't think the autho...moreI bought this book because a review said Shannon was the next JK Rowling. That's a tough statement to live up to, granted..but I don't think the author even came close. Paige is no Harry Potter, and the Rephaim lack the charm of Harry's adversaries. This book was just plain dark, with no light or humorous scenes to break up the darkness. It would have benefited tremendously from some lighter moments, some lovable characters, and some surprising twists in its tired plot. This is the first in what is to be a series of books. I have no plans to read future books in the series. One was quite enough.(less)
Perhaps it is unfair for me to read only 25 percent of a book and then give it only 2 stars. After all, a lot can happen in the other 75 percent of th...morePerhaps it is unfair for me to read only 25 percent of a book and then give it only 2 stars. After all, a lot can happen in the other 75 percent of the text. But I hated this book! Hated, hated, hated it. I didn't like the protagonist, and I use that term loosely, because he's the most irritating and unlikable character I've come across in my entire history of reading (and I've been reading more than half a century--yes, I'm that old). He's sloppy, obnoxious, and he treats his long-suffering mother horribly (although she's a piece of work herself). I have an enormous stack of books I want to read that aren't about slovenly, lazy, do-nothings. Why should I waste my time on a character who is this shallow when there are so many delicious characters out there with real depth to them? Why this book won the Pulitzer is beyond me, although I think the tragic story of its author may be largely responsible. (The author committed suicide after the book was rejected several dozen times.) Maybe if I read further, I'd change my opinion. But at my age, I'm not willing to take that chance. You hit a certain age and you realize you no longer have to finish a book simply because you started reading it. I'm happy to be casting this one aside. Now, where did I put that wonderful biography of John Muir? (less)
I confess: I'm a junky for books that retell the story of the Trojan War, the Odyssey, and/or Helen of Troy. My favorites? Margaret George's Helen of...moreI confess: I'm a junky for books that retell the story of the Trojan War, the Odyssey, and/or Helen of Troy. My favorites? Margaret George's Helen of Troy, Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad,and Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Firebrand. Now, I'm adding Laurel Corona's fine book, Penelope's Daughter, to that list.
The book is told from the perspective of Xanthe, the daughter Odysseus never knew he had. Don't go looking for Xanthe in The Odyssey; you won't find her. She's strictly the creation of Corona's fertile imagination. But her story is one that could have been, if Homer hadn't dismissed women as important characters in history. No matter. Homer himself could not have written so heart-felt and compelling a story.
Xanthe is a beloved princess of Ithaca, but when the suitors arrive on Penelope's doorstep eager to claim Odysseus's wife and kingdom, Xanthe is sent to live in Sparta with Helen and Menelaus to protect her from the unwanted advances of the suitors, all vulgar men who would quite happily rape and impregnate the princess if it meant they would win the kingdom. Here she grows from childhood to womanhood under the love and guidance of none other than Helen herself. In Sparta, Xanthe learns the ways of the goddess and both the travails and pleasures of being a woman. Here, she falls in love.
But when Odysseus finally returns to Ithaca, Xanthe is forced to return home. Will the father she never knew marry her off to one of his cronies as some sort of reward for their loyalty, or to one of Penelope's suitors? Or, just might he allow Xanthe to wed the man she loves?
In the spirit of full disclosure, I must confess that I know Laurel Corona. She and I signed books together at this year's Whittier College Meet the Authors Book Faire. I found her personable and engaging. But in that same spirit, know I am being honest when I say I found this book mesmerizing and difficult to put down. Corona is a gifted storyteller. I cannot wait to read another one of her books. (less)