"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Blues For All The Changes by Nikki Giovanni

Synopsis: Slim volume of poems and poetic essays

Writing Style: Discursive, Satirical...and Temperamental

Pacing: Fast.

Personal Highlights: Most enjoyable about this small dated rambling treat was the skill used to create satirical artsy prose. The mockery, riddled through long-winded ambling sentences made this otherwise reflective, often serious commentary on everyday life happenings and conversations effective, and easy to curl up with. My favorites; ‘2 Word Poem,’ ‘Monday,’ ‘Be My Baby’ and (haha) ...’A Real Pisser’ was simply, one word, Hilarious. ‘Iverson’s Posse’ was another prose to treasure, and as well, Truthtelling! All around, this was an impressive treat.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui

Synopsis: Memoir of a popular Online Canadian Gossip combing through her relationship with her mother, and her mother’s vociferous beliefs.

Writing Style: Smooth. Delicate. Simply Beautiful.

Pacing: Fast. A True Page-turner.

Personal Highlights: The writing style won me over. I needed to read something powerful, yet easy on the psyche. This story met that need. Not too much. Not too little. From the start to that gorgeous closing I loved the Squawking Chicken, and the skill applied to delivering a view of a woman that reminded me (in spots & Oh Boy)... of me. Read it in a day.

The historical references. The myths and superstitions. The customs. The depth and sheer breadth of storytelling. The tone. The humor. The hypocrisies and the many, many messages, and many more lessons... all of this is neatly, and I politely insert, cleverly melded in unembellished, humble, brilliant writing. I was too tickled about Elaine having to call her mother for her birthday, to thank her mother for giving birth to her. The rationale behind this expectation not only set the tone of this engaging memoir, but indeed bestowed a very interesting premise. Very!

I found myself laughing out loud... a lot too. The dancing child. “You sure?” and the “Red Hooker Head” along with the Feng Shui Blackmail ... Triangle Head... and I fell out laughing at the Homewrecker incident. It’s one thing to be a homewrecker, but to call the wife. OHN!... The Squawking Chicken called that one right...like her view on friendship, although I got Elaine’s point too. What a beautiful marriage of diverse points of views. WoW!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Letters from Burma by Aung San Suu Kyi

Synopsis: Collection of essay-letters of a political humanitarian’s experiences buttressing the beautiful and ugly faucets of Burmese policy, economics and culture.

Writing Style: Soft, Quiet.

Pacing: Fairly Fast.

Personal Highlights: Wanting to read about a female Nobel Peace Prize winner was in part what drew me to read Aung San’s book of letters. Uncannily enough, the supple indulgent quiet writing stood out. I could sit with a book like this forever. Truly a MUST to experience.

The well sculpted essays... cogent, poignant, and every here and then inviting splashes of humor were easy on the eyes, and yet significant and unforgettable. I personally enjoyed the “festivals”... Adored the artwork... Found the “guest checkers” revealing... Loved the premise behind the dances and celebrations... Respected (in chapters such as ‘repairing the roof”) the many loose parallels... And drank up the plethora of information. “The tea shop sittings” and the exposes on Burmese political parties were finessed and absorbing, deftly analogous to the linear humor behind passages such as the “beautiful and the ugly”. For a book as small, and inviting, there was a lot to take in. From the artwork... the fun... the customs and people... to even the acerbic intervals; the nasty tactics... the blockades... political prisoners... personal and physical attacks... the house arrests, and so forth and so on...were engaging. By far albeit, one of my favorite indentations was mention of the “best indicators of a country developing along the right lines.” Who would guess it? “Healthy mothers giving birth to healthy babies!” This voluptuous book of essays, in all of its symbolisms and allegories for peace and humanitarian work, is enriching and a highly recommended must!