Whenever it comes to reading books of poetry, I say that if you can listen to it as an audiobook, do it. There is something about hearing poetry readWhenever it comes to reading books of poetry, I say that if you can listen to it as an audiobook, do it. There is something about hearing poetry read aloud by its creator that makes it a really interesting experience.
I think that if I had read Milk and Honey, I would not have enjoyed it as much as I did listening to it. Kaur does herself a service by really giving an appropriate weight and meaning to her work in her reading.
I always enjoy poetry that is about the personal vulnerability of the poet. I think that poetry gives a kind of window into a person's true thoughts in ways that written words normally don't.
I enjoyed Milk and Honey because throughout it there were little touch stones, moments that I could relate back to myself while also knowing that my experiences and the poets experiences are world apart. There was this feeling of tension in the book, because you could feel when Kaur was moving down the wrong path but are unable to reach through the pages to stop her.
However, there was an overall tone to the work that didn't fully sit well with me. I think that Kaur rather perfectly illustrates that feeling of being in your twenties when you feel you finally have a grip of your own tragedies and have discovered how the world really, truly works.
That feeling of finally knowing all the answers is reflected throughout Milk and Honey in ways both deserved and undeserved. Her writing has a sense of "I know what I'm doing now" that is the kind of confidence that older poets lament in a knowing past-tense. It is difficult to tell if she did this on purpose or by accident, which gives me mixed feelings about the book as a whole.
Regardless, February for me has been a month of poetry, and I was lucky that this hold came through with almost perfect timing before the end of the month. The reading was just around an hour, so I would recommend it to anyone who is curious....more
Although I didn't enjoy Flying Too High as much as I enjoyed the first Phryne Fisher novel, it was a solid follow up.
I think what Kerry Greenwood excAlthough I didn't enjoy Flying Too High as much as I enjoyed the first Phryne Fisher novel, it was a solid follow up.
I think what Kerry Greenwood excels at creating characters and weaving their personalities into her writing. This book has a lot of secondary characters who play minor roles and yet throughout I instantly felt like I had an idea of who a person was and what they were like without it feeling like a great effort. The story is written in a style that is easy to digest, which makes the integration of all these different personalities even more skillful.
Unfortunately, the plot is where Greenwood lost me somewhat. This novel focuses on two mysteries, one of a rich jerk who is allegedly murdered by his son and another of a kidnapped child. For me, the two mysteries were good, but they felt needlessly smushed together. Neither were substantial enough to carry a story all on its own, but there also wasn't any sort of meaningful connection between the two.
There were also elements that felt overly ham-handed into the plot, particularly in the third act. Like that whole plane thing, what was up with that? In the end, it didn't seem terribly needed aside from having a convoluted back up plan.
Altogether, a solid story with interesting characters that maybe could have used another pass at the editing stage. Onto the next one!...more
Cocaine Blues is a quick read and an interesting mystery with a classic cast of characters that only gets better as it goes.
Last year I binged the enCocaine Blues is a quick read and an interesting mystery with a classic cast of characters that only gets better as it goes.
Last year I binged the entire TV show adaptation Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, so I knew that I had to pick up the books at some point this year. Coming into this already a fan of the characters and setting I was very happy with what I read.
Cocaine Blues is a solid introduction to Phryne as a detective and hearing her inner monologue was as enjoyable as I thought it would be. I was impressed with how the book had a strong focus on keeping the story moving. They got through a lot of goings on and introduced more than a handful of characters in very few pages! The only time things really meandered from the path was when it came to fashion, but really that is to be expected.
I look forward to checking out more of the series! It should be interesting to read and I am fascinated by the difference between the book and the series....more
I first heard about Food Fights and Culture Wars on the podcast The Sporkful when the host did an interview with Nealon. I figured this would be my cuI first heard about Food Fights and Culture Wars on the podcast The Sporkful when the host did an interview with Nealon. I figured this would be my cup of tea and I was right.
I enjoyed this book because it is not a scholarly examination of the history and culture of food. Instead, Food Fights and Culture Wars is conversational.
The book takes on specific short topics that by themselves are easy to digest and together show some of the underlying influence food has had on society as a whole. Tom Nealon reminds me a little of someone like Alton Brown.
The format of this book is a lot like when a TV show like Good Eats would show a brief aside about the historical significance of a specific item of food. It gives you enough information to be interesting, without giving you so much that you wonder when you can move on to something else.
It is also as much about the personality the author and the delivery of the information as it is about the information itself. Nealon does not shy away from allowing his own personality, ideas, and opinions about food be part of the story, which I found interesting in and of itself.
To give you more of an idea about the feel of the book. Food Fights and Culture Wars will give you interesting things you can bring up at boring dinner parties where the only thing people are taking about is how the chicken is just lovely. (and it knows it, seeing as there is a whole chapter about dinner parties and the French Revolution) It will give you zingers about carp during the crusades, the commercialization/suburbification of barbaque, how lemon aid may have helped prevent rats from carrying the plague, and good old fashion cannibalism. You know, the fun stuff about food history!
Food Fights and Culture Wars also has an eye for design. The writing is structured on the pages in columns and includes many full page historical reference illustrations and advertisements. This was not only nice to look at, but helped the book set the tone for different historical periods.
The design makes Food Fights and Culture Wars a lot shorter than the page count and size may suggest, so it is also easy to breeze through. Although I wasn't always impressed with the cropping and layout of some of the pages, such as when full page illustrations appear after a mid-sentence break. I do like it when non-fiction takes the time to be visually interesting and colourful. So points for that!
All in all this was worth checking out. I enjoyed reading it and will equally enjoy re-telling some of the interesting stories from within it....more