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Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Poetry (2016)
In Alicia Cook's second poetic effort, designed in the style of an old mixtape, she sets her thoughts to a nostalgic tune. There is no Table of Contents. Instead, there is a "Track List," making it easy to refer to them to your friends with a, "Hey did you read track seven?!" There are no chapters. Instead, the book is divided into two parts, or as one would say in the 90's, two "sides." Side A holds poetry that touches on all aspects of the human condition like life, death, love, moving on, evolving, growing up, hometowns, family dynamic, life after trauma, and make-ups and breakups. Side B holds the "remixes" of these poems, in the form of blackout poetry, also known as "found poetry." Side B gives the material a fresh twist by creating new poetry out of Side A. There is also a very special surprise at the end of each track.

Alicia decided to self publish this effort after leaving her publishing house. She views this book as her "independence" and official separation from that venture. She also drew the front and back cover herself.

Alicia is a contributing writer for many blogs and news outlets, including the Huffington Post and multiple Gannett Publications. She writes regularly on drug addiction and how it directly affects families. Because of this, she has chosen to donate 100% of royalties to the Willow Tree Center in New Jersey. www.willowtree.org. Follow Alicia on Instagram: @thealiciacook or check out her website: www.thealiciacook.com.

126 pages, Paperback

First published January 7, 2016

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Alicia Cook

10 books396 followers

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5 stars
1,639 (31%)
4 stars
1,536 (29%)
3 stars
1,280 (24%)
2 stars
515 (10%)
1 star
173 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 685 reviews
Profile Image for Alicia Cook.
Author 10 books396 followers
January 8, 2018
I wrote this book because a place close to my family's heart, the Willow Tree Center, was facing financial trouble, like many true not-for-profits, and needed funds, fast. I compiled my poetry for the book, drew the cover, and released it in about 3 weeks and donated the first year of funds to the Willow Tree Center. It has been selling beyond my wildest expectations and I have been able to really help Willow Tree. I just wanted to take a moment and thank every single person who purchased and/or recommended this book. You are helping me help others, and I thank you, sincerely.

On Feb 28, 2017 the first edition of this book will be retired. It returns shortly after, traditionally published and better than ever! The second edition will be 114 pages longer (!!!), with totally reformatted blackout poetry, an enhanced cover, and a cleaner interior.
Profile Image for Dana.
440 reviews290 followers
March 6, 2017

I loved how unique this book of poems was. Anyone that has ever dealt with grief and self-doubt will get a lot from this. The idea of setting each poem to a song was brilliant. Of course it worked a lot better for me when I was actually familiar with the song. For this reason I think it would be a cool idea if the book came with a cd of its playlist, or if in the audio version the poems song played after each poem.

There are many books that I have loved, but few that felt like they were written just for me. The writing was beautiful without being flowery, raw without being harsh. The author feels like a kindred spirit. These poems make me want to cry and smile at the same time. Alicia Cook is a master in the balancing act of bittersweet prose.

The only thing that was a little disappointing for me was that the black-out poetry in the second half of the book was not visible at all in my advance reader copy. I know this is not an issue in the finished work so I won't take off a star for that. I am just sad that I couldn't fully experience this book of poetry, but even just the first half of the book was worth five stars to me.

This is poetry for everyone. Well done Ms.Cook.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

Check out more of my reviews here

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Emma.
59 reviews2,322 followers
March 9, 2017
The first half of this poetry book was not my favorite. I was not a fan of the writing much, but the second half redeemed it for me. Side B is made up of breathtaking, black-out poetry. There's something about reading black-out poetry and how slow it is that is beautiful. For that I enjoyed this book a lot.
Profile Image for Beatrice Masaluñga.
1,136 reviews1,663 followers
April 9, 2017
I received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Unpopular opinion:This poetry collection is a miss for me.

The concept of poem and music is interesting. I even like the song choices and the topics tackled. Despite it's a quick read, I'm emotionally detached towards it. I'm quite disappointed because I heard wonderful things about this book. The poems in Side A didn't work out for me. Most of them are forgettable and bland but I slightly like Side B with its blackout poetry. Overall, it's an okay read.
Profile Image for Catherine.
305 reviews74 followers
November 4, 2018
Just when I thought I was done with modern poetry, something told me to give it another chance with this book. And you know what? I’m really glad I did.

Through her words, although so personal, I found snippets of myself— this is how poetry is supposed to make you feel.

Titled by numbered ‘Tracks’, this collection read like a playlist of all the author’s highest and lowest moments in her life. After each poem, she included a ‘currently listening to’ where she listed a real song whose theme related to her words preceding it. The first part, Track A, consisted of the poems, and the second part, Track B, consisted of their remixes (she crossed out words from the poems in Track A and left some words circled to create new poems). I thought that was a really unique way to format it, and I enjoyed both sides; I bookmarked so many of them, I lost count.

I went into this with low expectations as I have not had the best luck with poetry in the past, but this is something I don’t regret giving a chance to.

I find comfort in the colors of a sunset.
I find a special magic in the fact it never photographs as beautifully as my eyes can witness it firsthand.
I find certain peace in a conclusion of another day lived.
And I find hope in the precarious promise of tomorrow.

Profile Image for Manon the Malicious.
954 reviews54 followers
April 14, 2017
I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I had an awesome time reading this. I really loved the "currently listening to" at the end of each poem and the whole sideB, with the remixes, was an amazing concept.
I really don't know what else to say since I feel like I haven't read enough poetry in my life to properly review this.......
Profile Image for Julia Sapphire.
546 reviews1,049 followers
April 8, 2017
3.5 out of 5 stars

“The strongest people I know
have been overtaken by their weaknesses.
They know what it’s like to lose control.
The strongest people I know
have cried in the shower and in their car.
They know loss and guilt all too well.
The strongest people I know aren’t bulletproof.
They have felt the searing pain of life’s shots.
The strongest people I know
make the decision every day to wake up
and place their two feet on the ground
even though they know the monsters beneath
their bed will grab at their ankles.
The strongest people I know
are not strong by definition, at all.
They are mistake-makers.
They are mess-creators.
They are survivors.”
Profile Image for Gretchen Gomez.
Author 3 books151 followers
April 11, 2017
please click here for my full review and included photos of favorite poetry pieces

First off, I want to wish Alicia Cook the happiest of book birthday’s to Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately!! It is now officially published with Andrews McMeel Publishing with tons of new poems so I cannot wait to grab this edition and read the rest!

The copy that I am reviewing is her self-published version which I purchased back in January. And easily one of my favorite poetry collections. This collection was full of nostalgia, grief, loss, love, growing, and so many other things that a lot of us humans go through.

Stuff I’ve Been Lately is divided into two parts. Side A are full length of poems that talk about all the topics I mentioned. Side B are the remixes, where she takes these same poems are creates “black out” poetry out of them. Still equally and impacting as Side A.

These poems were very unique and threw a punch in each one. I loved reading Side A, Side B and then alternating as well. This is beautiful, raw, and emotional.

If you ever dealt with loss, grief, nostalgia, self-doubt, then I would recommend this to you. It really touched my heart.
Profile Image for Sarah.
250 reviews114 followers
October 28, 2018
I really enjoyed the concept of pairing poems with songs, it was so unique! I got to discover some new music along the way and I loved seeing some of my favourites pop up :)

Some of the songs mentioned:
Taylor Swift- All Too Well, Ed Sheeran- Tenerife Sea, Ruth B- Lost Boy, Ingrid Michaelson- Drink You Gone, Alessia Cara - Here, Brandi Carlile- The Story, Ryn Weaver- Pierre

"It's important to remember
no one needs to be in my corner
as long as I am in my corner"
Profile Image for McKinlay.
1,014 reviews43 followers
February 23, 2017
i received this edition from netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. i had previously purchased the original edition.

This book of poetry reminded me that I actually like poetry. So many of them spoke to me, spoke to my heart. The idea to attach them to songs, and also to do remixes, is inspired. I love that aspect to these poems. I can't wait to get my hands on the new edition so I can tab all the poems I bookmarked in my digital copy!

If you're scared to read poetry because you feel like you don't "get" it. This is a great collection to start with. They're very readable. I think almost anyone can find a poem they can connect with in this collection. Maybe you'll even find your new favorite song.
Profile Image for Emilie.
135 reviews40 followers
February 26, 2017
I really enjoyed my reading!
I absolutely love the idea that there's one song that goes with each poems, I discovered new songs in some poems, and re-discovered some of my favorite songs with others. (Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Jason Mraz, One Republic and so on)
Track thirty-four is my favorite one in the side a.
Side b is my favorite part of the book. The idea of taking the same poems than in the first part to make a second part with black poetry is an amazing idea and I was so happy when I found out aha! I absolutely love black poetry and these ones were really really good. (Trach 6 and 8 were my favorites in side b)

The poems were not my favorites of all time, but for this amazing idea of putting songs and the black poetry thing, ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Profile Image for Kamalia.
Author 2 books194 followers
July 24, 2017
“I accomplished everythin g in my life
in spite of you, not because of you.
You can’t take my happin ess from me anymore,
because you are no longer the underlying reason.
You can’t take someth ing back from someone
you never even held in your own two hands
in the fir st place.
You do not hold my happines s.
You do not own my happiness.
I manifest my ow n happiness.
I came this far on a broken heart—
functioning at maybe, on a good day,
forty percent efficiency.
I thin k you should be nervous
about what I will accomplish once I heal.
The mountains I’ll move.
The miles I’ll cover.
The skin I’ll get under .

Currently Listening To:
Sia, “Alive” "

I really enjoyed this one. The style of poetry is definitely unique to me. I love that the author includes the title of the song that she was listening to while writing the poem, which was probably one of the things that inspired the words. Some were about love, some about heartbreak, some about healing and rising, and some about family and home. I liked the ones about heartbreak and healing the most.

The first half were the poems, and the second half were the same poems but made into blackout poetry. SO COOL. I didn't like the second half as much, but some of the blacked out poems were pretty great.

I'd recommend this to someone who needs a boost of self esteem to heal themselves, to move forward fearlessly and be okay with leaving their past behind them.
Profile Image for Kawther.
33 reviews15 followers
March 19, 2017
Actual rating: 3.5 stars.
I got this book as a birthday gift from my friend, and literally devoured it in one day!
This was my first experience with black out poetry -something that i've been intrigued by for a while now- and I can't say I'm disappointed.
the concept of this book is so cool, as the cover suggests; it has two sides and each has 50 tracks.
Side A has the poems, and side B has the black out version of the same poems.
This was a great book to introduce myself to black out poetry and now I cannot wait to make some of my own.
Profile Image for Anna.
207 reviews35 followers
February 7, 2017
This book of poetry was so unique, creative, and wonderful. I really loved how the author blacked out her own poetry in the second half to create entirely new poems. I'm a huge fan of these little short poems.

"The strongest people I know make the decision
every day to wake up
and place their two feet on the ground
even though they know the monsters
beneath their bed will grab their ankles"
Profile Image for Megan.
46 reviews66 followers
March 17, 2017
The concept of this book was enjoyable, unique even. I liked that the author was able to take fifty poems on one side, and use those exact same passages to recreate them into something different. The only downside was that though I liked this a lot, it wasn't exactly memorable at the same time.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,015 reviews1,405 followers
July 11, 2022
"Perhaps we give so much of ourselves
away that we feel like essential pieces
of ourselves go missing.

We give ourselves away
to our past regrets and present aspirations,
to missed opportunities and everyday miracles, 

to lovers and ex-lovers,
harsh realities and unattainable daydreams,
to lost childhoods and ill-prepared adulthoods,
to flat tires and missed trains,
to friends and enemies,
to happy birthdays and hungover mornings,
to families and their fallen faces
when we let them down,
to fall festivities,
winter wonderlands,
sprung springs,
and summer suns."

I really loved this solid anthology, which explored themes of love and loss, grief and healing, the poet's personal history and more broadly felt emotions and lived through experiences.

Each poem was titled with a track number and a correlating song that explored the theme present in them. Most of these I was aware of, but often found myself searching up those I did not when they related to my favourite poems, of which there were many.

The second half of the anthology featured black out poetry, most of which I found beautiful but ultimately related to far less.

" The shore is always forgiving of the sea,
though they merge together
time and time again only to part.

The sea always returns to kiss the shore,
for both hold the innate understanding
that one cannot exist without the other.

We forgive each other for the very same reason."
Profile Image for cäty.
177 reviews47 followers
December 17, 2022
Este es un poemario que empecé en ABRIL, y lo terminé 8 meses después 😵‍💫
y quizás se pregunten por qué pasó eso, y la respuesta es que me aburrió tanto que lo dejé para después.

Es un poemario que quiere hacerse el "innovador" con un formato de casette que me llamo la atención y es nefasto.
Pone nombres de canciones como título de los poemas, y se siente más como si la autora no supiera sobre qué escribir y se puso a escuchar canciones random y escribió sobre qué hablaban. Así de vacíos e impersonales se sienten.

Habré leído hasta el poema 60 cuando dije: no puedo más, y lo deje en pausa.
Pero justo lo deje en pausa en el momento en que se ponían más interesantes, porque cuando lo retomé varios meses después, empezó a ponerse más personal.
Obvio no es el mejor poemario de todos, pero los últimos 30 poemas son los que valen la pena leer. Se vuelven más sentimentales, de alguna forma conectas más.
Todo esto es sobre la parte A del casette-poemario.

Sobre la parte B nada más puedo decir que está muy buena y es lo que más le gustó del poemario. Te muestra que en cada poemario había una frase escondida y me gustó ese detalle.

"And I love that i cannot
define the worldlove
without saying your name."

"I am tired.
Tired of the tirelessly crying
over the same old bullshit story."

"I am going to be the woman you fear, my true self."

"I desperately wanted the idea of you".

⭐⭐ 2/5 you were good, but not for me💀
Profile Image for Romie.
1,061 reviews1,273 followers
April 4, 2017
I loved every second of it. It was simply phenomenal.

Some people weren't too fond of Side A, but I found it amazing, I even cried a few times, I couldn't help it. The words found their way in me, it felt like this little poetry book was waiting for me to read it. My favourite poem of this side was Track Six.

And Side B ..... yes the poems were shorter but it doesn't mean they were less impactful. I loved the way the author took something 'old' to make something totally new and beautiful. To me it was like saying 'Don't be afraid to rebuild something from the broken pieces of your old self, something beautiful can and will come out of it.' And my favourite poem was Track Seventy.

Also, I loved that each poem had its own song, it made the experience even more unique.


Thank you Netgalley for providing me an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Maimona Masarwa.
227 reviews28 followers
February 27, 2021
loved it!
the poems felt so personal, in a nostalgic way! like she is telling her best friend how the day went, telling her about the grief sadness, and happy moments in her life!

she has a unique way of writing, the words seemed to flow easily! I really enjoyed the two sides of the book, wouldn't mind giving it a reread just to feel the poems all over again!
Moreover, It was the first time I read blackout poetry! I have never heard about it and to my surprise it was great, I really had a great time reading it!

RECOMMENDED - to whoever wants to read a great book! and you can finish it easily in one go if you have a free time :)
Profile Image for Pascale Planet.
44 reviews
August 22, 2021
meh. It wasn't bad but it didn't impacted my life and it felt like the write picked catchy pop lyrics concept and write about "relatable" stuff. Not my type of poetry but if you're into relatable girl stuff you'll probably like it.
Profile Image for alex.
152 reviews31 followers
March 24, 2017
~thx to netgalley for the arc~

i judged a poetry slam the other night, and the judge next to me said to one poet, "some things are poems, and some things are journal entries.” a lot of these are basically just journal entries.

at times while reading this i enjoyed the poem, but was turned off by the song listed beneath it. like stressed out by twenty one pilots. i just fucking hate that song and i can’t pair it with poetry. also, fight song? come on.

not counting the times it is crossed out in the blackout poetry, this book uses the word ‘coffee’ 14 times.
 photo Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 8.16.36 PM_zpsx9sswuwc.png

we get it, you like coffee.

also, track sixty-four is too much like 'seasons of love.’ you can’t list that as a track earlier in the book so it’s already in the reader’s head and then expect the reader not to notice when you start talking about measuring out life in things.

also, not a fan of things being written l i k e t h i s.

this really let me down, man.
Profile Image for Lör K..
Author 3 books71 followers
March 27, 2017
Free copy provided by Netgalley in return for an honest review

Publication date: 11th April 2017
Review date: 27th March 2017

I’ve always been a lover of poetry, so when I went thought the “Read Now” section in the poetry genre on Netgalley and found Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately, I just had to grab it to read. The cover itself is well produced and it made me wonder what the book could possibly be about. Turns out, the whole book is designed as a mix tape of feelings, and is something that is heavily unique, to my knowledge. I loved this about the book, and it made me all the more determined to read it.

I don’t know what I was expecting from this book, in all honesty. It seemed to be a generic ‘I’ve been feeling sad and this is what I’m feeling’ sort of book. I am so glad to say that I was taken by surprise by the amount of flexibility in this collection. We have the poems that scream, I am depressed and I don’t know what to do about it but we also have the poems that scream for recovery, of dragging yourself out of the depths of despair and fixing yourself. Not only do we have the duality of these beautiful poems, but we also have the duality of heartbroken to revival of a broken heart.

Cook has created a whole world of pain and recovery in just two hundred and forty two pages.

Side A is a set of 100 poems of what Cook has been feeling as she wrote this book. Pain, heartache, despair. Warmth, love, recovery. Each poem I found I could relate to those, and those that I couldn’t relate to reminded me of hope, and how the world will continue on after the pain I am currently going through. Nothing is permanent, no matter how long these things seem to go on for, is something my mother has said to me many times over the past seven years, and Cook has embodied this beautiful advice my mother gave me countless time before. Side A has taught me that, my mother is right. This pain may seem to go on and on forever, and it may seem unbearable; Cook’s writing has taught me that it will be alright, one day, no matter how far away that it. There is always sun after a storm, and recovery after a broken heart. There will always be something to wake up for, even if it’s just the bark of a dog, or the call of a friend.

Side B is black out poetry of the poems within Side A, and others (I believe) not published in this collection. They are art, creating new poems with hope in poems originally about despair. I connected with these poems so well and it made my heart bleed. These were absolutely stunning and have taken my breath away. I can’t put into words just how much these all mean to me.

Cook has created a mass of poems, all of which can be related to my life, and have brought me back to reality. They have gone through so many problems that I am currently going through and they have opened my eyes to realise that I can recover. Cook’s writing is absolutely beautiful and fluid, and it is so so easy to follow.

I highly recommend this to any poetry fan.
Profile Image for Abbie  Day.
460 reviews54 followers
January 17, 2018
I haven't read a lot of poetry recently, and when I finished this, I thought "why haven't I?". I find poetry so beautiful and personal, it's hard to not relate to it.

There were some poems which didn't exactly hit the nail of the head, however there were many which really stuck. I reached for my highlighter for the first time in years, because I wanted to go back and read some passages over and over again.

I really like the uniqueness of pairing a poem with a song; there were some where I thought another song would've fitted better, and I also enjoyed the various country songs which I love.

The Side B was amazing. There was something about reading the poems and then later seeing them blacked out to reveal an entirely different hidden meaning which wasn't so clear the first time round, and isn't that what life is like?
Profile Image for Jennifer.
344 reviews29 followers
November 3, 2018
4.5 stars

This is such a unique book. It combined poetry and music! I loved how each poem had a soundtrack. I was also pleasantly surprised with the Side B: The Remixes poems. If you like poetry books and/or music, then you should definitely check this out!

Here's my favorite poem from this book:

Track Twenty Two


I didn't just survive this year;
I lived it.

I laughed, I cried,
I scribbled things in journals.
My heart broke, but kept ticking.
My passport earned a few stamps.

I had fancy Saturdays
and lazy Sundays.

I dipped my toes in tropical seas.
I hiked mountains
and cheated on my diet.

I made my twenty-ninth
consecutive birthday wish.

Because of this, and so much more,
I will never settle on simply
surviving ever again.

I choose to live.

Currently Listenting To: One Republic, "I Lived"
Profile Image for Ilse.
336 reviews21 followers
March 25, 2017
Yes, okay, this is my new favorite poetry book now.
The poems really hit me and were really beautiful in my opinion.
The second half of the book was blackout poetry and the first two poems I wasn't too impressed until I noticed it was blackout poetry in her own poems I had read earlier in the book.
I liked the black out poetry but I've seen better versions.
I especially enjoyed the full on poems because those really did it for me.

Thank you Netgally for providing me this book to leave and honest review.
Profile Image for Gabriela Pop.
711 reviews154 followers
February 20, 2019
Amazing concept and wonderful execution,I don't think there was one poem that I thought was weak,even among those that didn't necessarily resonate with me. Such a great book start to finish.
Profile Image for Simant Verma.
245 reviews88 followers
March 5, 2018
A free copy of this book was provided by Netgalley in exchange of an honest review

Well, what can I say? I an speechless and happy. Speechless, that I don't have enough words to express all that I am feeling after reading this, and happy that I decided to read this book despite having no information about it at all. It was just a cover choice for me as the cover is so unique. Though I read and ebook, but I kept imagining how beautiful it would look when I'll have a physical copy of it.

This was my second poetry this year and I can say now that I love poetry. This book was very unique, right from its cover, to the writing and the presentation. It is divided into two parts - Side A and Side B (same as a mix tape) and each side has various tracks (similar to a tape). The other unique thing was that each track was associated with a song. I must admit here that was not familiar with any of the song but I really get the essence there and I have created a list of all the songs to listen later.

Side A was full poetry, while Side B was something different. It was black-out poetry of the poems from Side A, and I didn't expected it at all. The writing of the book was really simple and you can easily get into it. While reading it, I felt as if each track is speaking to me and what I sometimes feel is written out there. My favourite track, however, was track 46 on Side A.

The poems depict love, loss, healing, warmth, problems of growing old. Each track has its own charm. But you'll be surprised by seeing how flexible these poems are. You can make your own versions out of these. Some poems will make you feel that you are in great pain, your heart is broken, while some of them will make you realize that you are healed and you have to live your life to the fullest. They teaches you that pain is not permanent, it has to go away one day. They appreciated the beauty of people around you, talked about the importance of your home and more personal things.

Every poem felt personal to me. I loved the writing style of Alicia Cook. The author is also doing a great thing by donating all the profit from this book to Willow Tree Center and I really appreciate her.

All in all, this was a great collection and definitely is now one of my favourites. I would recommend it to every poetry lover out there. I seriously want to write many more appreciating things about it, but I am really out of words now.

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