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Mailbox Monday #590

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

You Need a Budget: The Proven System for Breaking the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle, Getting out of Debt, and Living the Life You Want by Jesse Mecham, purchased from Audible.

For most people, budgeting conjures up the same feelings as, say, prison and dieting. But your initial instinct couldn’t be further from the truth. You just haven’t budgeted the right way.

You Need a Budget will teach you four simple rules to completely revolutionize the way you think about managing your money. With a budget, you’ll break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, get out of debt, and save more money. A liberating, enabling, empowering budget will actually make you feel more free, not more restricted. The YNAB philosophy is centered around these four rules:

Give every dollar a job. Take your cash, checking, and saving accounts and assign jobs to that money. Begin now with what you have on hand. Then follow your plan. Pick your priorities, and make sure your dollars are helping you move closer to the things you care about most.
Embrace your true expenses. Look ahead and identify the larger, less frequent expenses that tend to sneak up on you. Break those expenses into manageable monthly amounts. Consider insurance premiums, birthdays, holidays, charitable giving, car repairs, etc. This practice evens out your cash outflows, decreases your stress, and helps you make better decisions.
Roll with the punches. Accept the fact that life always changes and you’ll likely always go over budget somewhere. If an unexpected expense comes up and you need to change your budget, just change it. The YNAB philosophy not only tolerates changing your budget but encourages it.
Age your money. The goal of this rule is to increase the time between the moment you earn money and the moment you spend that money. In other words, if you’re going to break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, you need to learn to live on money you earned a month or two months or even three months ago.

YNAB’s four rules are the pillars of a tried-and-true system that gets you to engage with your money every day. It helps you change your behavior so that you’re proactive and in control of your finances. It’s not about stressing over last month’s statement; instead, you’re looking ahead and actively deciding how you want and need to build a life of meaning, not stress.

When Mary Met the Colonel by Victoria Kincaid, freebie from the author on Audible.

Without the beauty and wit of the older Bennet sisters or the liveliness of the younger, Mary is the Bennet sister most often overlooked.

She has resigned herself to a life of loneliness, alleviated only by music and the occasional book of military history. Colonel Fitzwilliam finds himself envying his friends who are marrying wonderful women while he only attracts empty-headed flirts.

He longs for a caring, well-informed woman who will see the man beneath the uniform. During the wedding breakfast for Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, a chance meeting in Longbourn’s garden kindles an attraction between Mary and the Colonel.

However, the Colonel cannot marry for love since he must wed an heiress. He returns to war, although Mary finds she cannot easily forget him. Is happily ever after possible after Mary meets the Colonel?

Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey, which I purchased from a Politics & Prose online event.

At age nineteen, Natasha Trethewey had her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Grieving and still new to adulthood, she confronted the twin pulls of life and death in the aftermath of unimaginable trauma and now explores the way this experience lastingly shaped the artist she became.

With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Natasha Trethewey explores this profound experience of pain, loss, and grief as an entry point into understanding the tragic course of her mother’s life and the way her own life has been shaped by a legacy of fierce love and resilience. Moving through her mother’s history in the deeply segregated South and through her own girlhood as a “child of miscegenation” in Mississippi, Trethewey plumbs her sense of dislocation and displacement in the lead-up to the harrowing crime that took place on Memorial Drive in Atlanta in 1985.

Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence but also a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Animated by unforgettable prose and inflected by a poet’s attention to language, this is a luminous, urgent, and visceral memoir from one of our most important contemporary writers and thinkers.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #589

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

My Name Is Immigrant by Wang Ping, which I purchased.

Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. Women’s Studies. “Delightful political wit and poetic vision.”—Gary Snyder

“Bleeding dreams and hungry ghosts move about Wang Ping’s latest collection.”—M.L. Smoker

“A moving argument about language and expression.”—Tracy K. Smith

Translation Is a Mode = Translation Is an Anti-neocolonial Mode by Don Mee Choi, which came as a freebie from Tupelo Press.

TRANSLATION IS A MODE=TRANSLATION IS AN ANTI-NEOCOLONIAL MODE explores translation and language in the context of US imperialism–through the eyes of a “foreigner;” a translator; a child in Timoka, the made-up city of Ingmar Bergman’s The Silence; a child from a neocolony.

The Migrant States by Indran Amirthanayagam, which I purchased from Tupelo Press.

Poetry. “A master storyteller representing the high tradition of poetry with dignity and conviction throughout this powerful collection.”—Grace Cavalieri


What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #588

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song edited by Kevin Young from NetGalley.

A literary landmark: the biggest, most ambitious anthology of black poetry ever published, gathering 250 poets from the colonial period to the present

Only now, in the 21st century, can we fully grasp the breadth and range of African American poetry: a magnificent chorus of voices, some familiar, others recently rescued from neglect. Here, in this unprecedented anthology expertly selected by poet and scholar Kevin Young, this precious living heritage is revealed in all its power, beauty, and multiplicity. Discover, in these pages, how an enslaved person like Phillis Wheatley confronted her legal status in verse and how an antebellum activist like Frances Ellen Watkins Harper voiced her own passionate resistance to slavery. Read nuanced, provocative poetic meditations on identity and self-assertion stretching from Paul Laurence Dunbar to Amiri Baraka to Lucille Clifton and beyond. Experience the transformation of poetic modernism in the works of figures such as Langston Hughes, Fenton Johnson, and Jean Toomer. Understand the threads of poetic history—in movements such as the Harlem and Chicago Renaissances, Black Arts, Cave Canem, Dark Noise Collective—and the complex bonds of solidarity and dialogue among poets across time and place. See how these poets have celebrated their African heritage and have connected with other communities in the African Diaspora. Enjoy the varied but distinctly Black music of a tradition that draws deeply from jazz, hip hop, and the rhythms and cadences of the pulpit, the barbershop, and the street. And appreciate, in the anthology’s concluding sections, why contemporary African American poetry, amply recognized in recent National Book Awards and Poet Laureates, is flourishing as never before. Taking the measure of the tradition in a single indispensable volume, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song sets a new standard for a genuinely deep engagement with Black poetry and its essential expression of American genius.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #587

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Diary of a Pug: Paws for a Cause by Kyla May, which I purchased.

When the local animal shelter can’t afford new toys, it’s up to Bub and his human, Bella, to save the day. But how could they possibly raise the money? A pet wash, of course! Fun and high jinks abound as Bella and Bub learn that running a pet wash is harder and wetter than it looks.

With full-color artwork throughout, this funny and charming diary-format early chapter book is perfect for anyone who believes a furry pal is the best kind of friend.

Book Blogger Directory: 2020 Edition by Deena Rae Schoenfeldt, which I purchased.

This Book Blogger Directory lists blog addresses, contact information, where reviews are posted, as well as standard turnaround time and book formats accepted. Indexes list bloggers by accepted genre so you can easily find bloggers amenable to your subject matter.

More than 200 blogs are included, all current as of June 2020. The index lists each genre linked to each blog that accepts books in that category.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #586

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Build a Castle: 64 Slot-Together Cards for Creative Fun by Pail Farrel from Media Masters Publicity for review.

This pack contains sixty-four cards (4 x 2¾ inches) of a variety of graphic designs. Clever paper engineering allows you to slot the cards together, building up and out in whichever way you like! Also included is a short ten-page booklet, with descriptions of the card designs and suggestions of stacking methods. The instructions tell you how to build a castle, or you can let your imagination run riot and design your own!

Renowned illustrator Paul Farrell has designed these cards in a cool, graphic style–turning the image of a castle into a work of art.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #585

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

The Adventures of Miss Olivia Wickham by Kay Bea, free Kindle book.

Miss Olivia Wickham was almost a footnote in Love Unsought, her Aunt and Uncle Darcy’s love story. But she is fierce and determined and would not be relegated to history so easily. With a little polishing and a good deal of love, my girl was ready for her debut. I hope you grow to love Miss Wickham as much as I do.

 

Pemberley: Before the Wedding by Margaret Lynette Sharp, free Kindle book.

As her wedding-day draws nigh, Miss Emily Collins – the beautiful and talented fiancée of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Jr – seems to be having second thoughts about her forthcoming nuptials, especially in the light of news of the realisation of a friend’s ambition: an ambition that lingers in Emily’s own mind. Will Miss Collins renounce her engagement?

 

Dreams and Expectations by Wendi Sotis, free Kindle book.

Although family and society expect Fitzwilliam Darcy to ignore his heart and “marry well,” soon after entering Meryton, he falls in love with the woman of his dreams. The problem is, while she is perfect for him in disposition, the lady is far below him in everything that matters to his peers and relations: wealth and connexions.

Past experiences have convinced Miss Elizabeth Bennet that marriage with a gentlemen of high social standing would be out of the question. However, against her better judgement, she cannot turn away from the man she loves, and enters into a friendship with him.
Fate, mystery, and intrigue bring them together again and again in Hertfordshire, Rosings Park, coastal Broadstairs, and London.

Will Elizabeth and Darcy listen to their consciences and continue on simply as friends? Or can they overcome the confines of duty, the malicious designs of others, and their own scruples, and allow the yearnings of their souls to guide them, instead?

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #584

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

The Paris Package by A.W. Hartoin, a freebie from Amazon Kindle.

On the eve of WWII, a honeymoon turns treacherous.

For Stella Bled Lawrence being wealthy and stylish in 1938 is exactly what it’s cracked up to be. She’s blissfully unaware of the rising tensions in Europe even as she travels to Vienna on the eve of the Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass. Stella and her husband, Nicky, witness the night’s atrocities first hand. Even as they watch the horror, they never imagine it will touch them personally, a pair of wealthy Americans on their honeymoon but touch them it does. In the chaotic aftermath, Stella finds passion and purpose in the form of a package with a Paris address. She promises to deliver it, not knowing what it contains or who wants it. Soon Stella must decide who and what she’s willing to sacrifice to keep a secret that has been quietly guarded for five hundred years.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #583

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

The Other America – A Speech from The Radical King by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., edited by Cornel West, free at Audible.

In a rousing speech on race, poverty, and economic justice – given less than a year before his assassination – Martin Luther King Jr. drives home the mission behind his Poor People’s Campaign. It is a clear-eyed look at the disparity of wealth in America, what it means for people of all colors – and a message of inspiration dedicated to the power of the people.

“And I say, if we will stand and work together, we will bring into being that day when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. We will bring into being that day when America will no longer be two nations but when it will be one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Wanda Sykes’ powerful performance delivers King’s compassion, outrage, insight, and vulnerability like few others could – and reminds us all of the relevance his words still have today.

“The Other America” is one of 23 speeches and essays from The Radical King, curated by Dr. Cornel West, including words never recorded in public – a revelation for his legacy.

The Martin Luther King Estate has allowed, for the first time, a dramatic interpretation of King’s words, by some of the most charismatic and activist actors working today: LeVar Burton, Mike Colter, Colman Domingo, Danny Glover, Gabourey Sidibe, Wanda Sykes, and Michael Kenneth Williams.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi purchased from Audible.

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism – and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes listeners through a widening circle of antiracist ideas – from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities – that will help listeners see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo purchased from Audible.

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people'” (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue.

In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #582

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Finna by Nate Marshall for review.

Definition of finna, created by the author: fin·na /ˈfinə/ contraction: (1) going to; intending to [rooted in African American Vernacular English] (2) eye dialect spelling of “fixing to” (3) Black possibility; Black futurity; Blackness as tomorrow

These poems consider the brevity and disposability of Black lives and other oppressed people in our current era of emboldened white supremacy, and the use of the Black vernacular in America’s vast reserve of racial and gendered epithets. Finna explores the erasure of peoples in the American narrative; asks how gendered language can provoke violence; and finally, how the Black vernacular, expands our notions of possibility, giving us a new language of hope:

nothing about our people is romantic
& it shouldn’t be. our people deserve
poetry without meter. we deserve our
own jagged rhythm & our own uneven
walk towards sun. you make happening happen.
we happen to love. this is our greatest
action.

Tapping Out by Nandi Comer for review.

The relentless motions and blinding colors of lucha libre, the high-flying wrestling sport, are the arresting backdrop to Nandi Comer’s collection Tapping Out. Mexican freestyle wrestling becomes the poet’s lyrical motif, uncovering what is behind the intricate masks we wear in society and our search for place within our personal histories. Comer’s poetic narratives include explorations of violence, trauma, and identity. The exquisite complications of the black experience in settled and unsettled spaces propel her linear explorations, which challenge the idea of metaphor and cadence.

The harsh realities of being migrant and immigrant, being birthright and oppressed, are as hard-pressed as the plancha move to the body. Each poem in Tapping Out is a “freestyle movement” of language and complexity put on full display, under the bright lights and roars of survival. Comer’s splendid and barbed, Detroit style of language melts the masks with searing words.

Resistance: A Songwriter’s Story of Hope, Change, and Courage by Tori Amos, which I purchased from Audible.

Since the release of her first, career-defining solo album Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos has been one of the music industry’s most enduring and ingenious artists. From her unnerving depiction of sexual assault in “Me and a Gun” to her post-September 11 album, Scarlet’s Walk, to her latest album, Native Invader, her work has never shied away from intermingling the personal with the political.

Amos began playing piano as a teenager for the politically powerful at hotel bars in Washington, DC, during the formative years of the post-Goldwater and then Koch-led Libertarian and Reaganite movements. The story continues to her time as a hungry artist in Los Angeles to the subsequent three decades of her formidable music career.

Amos explains how she managed to create meaningful, politically resonant work against patriarchal power structures – and how her proud declarations of feminism and her fight for the marginalized always proved to be her guiding light. She teaches us to engage with intention in this tumultuous global climate and speaks directly to supporters of #MeToo and #TimesUp, as well as young people fighting for their rights and visibility in the world.

Filled with compassionate guidance and actionable advice – and using some of the most powerful, political songs in Amos’ canon – this audiobook is for anyone determined to steer the world back in the right direction.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #581

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner, narrated by Richard Armitage, for review in June.

This program includes a bonus conversation between the author and Kathleen A. Flynn, author of The Jane Austen Project.

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now, it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people – a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others – could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, Natalie Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with listeners for years to come.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #580

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Day of the Border Guards by Katherine E. Young, which I purchased.

Finalist: 2014 Miller Williams Poetry Prize

Day of the Border Guards, the debut collection from Katherine E. Young, is set entirely in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union. The ghosts of Russian writers Pushkin, Mandelstam, Tsvetayeva, and many others wander through these poems, making tea, fighting with their relatives, cursing faithless lovers. Bulgakov’s heroine Margarita describes meeting the Master; Lermontov’s grandmother worries that the young poet is wasting his life. Lady Macbeth is alive and well and living in post-Soviet Georgia. Enemies stalk the margins: hostile warlords, informants, the secret police. A man falls through the ice into a ruptured hot-water pipe, nuclear reactors melt down, an airplane lands on Red Square. Perestroika arrives and departs, like other fashions. A marriage falters. The phone rings in the middle of the night in a Siberian hotel. The corpse of a gypsy king boards a plane for Moscow.

Young, who also translates Russian poetry and prose, has lived and worked in Russia and the Soviet Union off and on since 1981: not surprisingly, then, these poems—originally published in The Carolina Quarterly, The Iowa Review, and The Massachusetts Review, among others—willfully skip across borders of language, culture, and literary tradition, exploring Russian and North American poetic traditions and celebrating both.

In Search of Warm Breathing Things by Katherine Gekker, which I purchased.

“Is anything common? “ Katherine Gekker asks in her debut collection, In Search of Warm Breathing Things. The answer, in these richly detailed poems, is no. Gekker is a keen observer, able to “unlock the beauty hidden” in the ordinary. An iridescent grackle becomes a symbol of hope, “collarbones shimmer like wings.” Weaving images of the natural world with glimpses of a struggling marriage, Gekker portrays life in all its emotional complexity. “Two bees are fighting or courting — I can’t tell which,” she writes in “…to Cast a Shadow Again.”  Yet there are moments of joy, the promise of transformation.  “My shift billows, diaphanous…. I can seduce anyone tonight beneath fronds slicing like blades.”

— Ellen Bass

In these pages, Katherine Gekker tackles the emotional truths with “passion, a rutting need to run” line by line, poem by poem. With formal dexterity, an eye for language, and a rueful shake of the head at the human capacity for hope in the face of heartache, the poems of In Search of Warm Breathing Things mark a promising debut.

— Gerry LaFemina, author of The Story of Ash

Katherine Gekker has such a deft and musical touch with language that the most profound and aching moments in this book may catch you by surprise. Then you realize you are in the hands of a master of balance. No matter how dark the material here, the author’s wise and lyrical voice is a kind of assurance, a precious reminder that the beauty all around us is worth celebrating, even as it falls away.

— Rose Solari, author of The Last Girl and A Secret Woman

Beautiful & Full of Monsters by Courtney LeBlanc, which I purchased.

Love isn’t always pretty, yet most of us choose to remain constant in its pursuit. These poems unwrap the mythos of romance with the clairvoyance of a writer who knows the best and worst of relationships inside and out. LeBlanc dares to honestly show us how even when the best of intentions fail, we can always find beauty if we stay true to the monsters in ourselves.

The Sting of It by AJ Odasso, which I purchased.

Poetry. LGBTQIA Studies. THE STING OF IT is cradled in classical form and bubbles with luscious language from a bygone era. Fans of Spenser and Donne will find comfort here. But this formal order only just restrains the chaos from Odasso’s own body and past. Their explosive and candid revelations make us aware of our beautiful, mortal grit. Odasso’s ferocious imagery within measured verse reminds us that life is mysterious, painful, and fantastic.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #579

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

If It Bleeds by Stephen King from my mom for Mother’s Day.

The novella is a form King has returned to over and over again in the course of his amazing career, and many have been made into iconic films, including “The Body” (Stand By Me) and “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” (Shawshank Redemption). Like Four Past Midnight, Different Seasons, and most recently Full Dark, No Stars, If It Bleeds is a uniquely satisfying collection of longer short fiction by an incomparably gifted writer.

Good Bones by Maggie Smith, which I purchased.

Featuring “Good Bones,” which has made a difference to so many people around the globe — called “Official Poem of 2016” by Public Radio InternationalMaggie Smith writes out of the experience of motherhood, inspired by watching her own children read the world like a book they’ve just opened, knowing nothing of the characters or plot. These poems stare down darkness while cultivating and sustaining possibility and addressing a larger world.

 

Lantern Puzzle by Ye Chun, which I purchased.

Winner of The Berkshire Prize for First or Second Book, chosen by D. A. PowellEntranced by time and location and the body’s longings, this is a book of self-translation. Each poem has gone through a transmigration process, as the poet negotiates between her native Chinese and her adopted English, attempting to condense, distill, and expand seeing and understanding.

 

The Cowherd’s Son by Rajiv Mohabir, which I purchased.

Poetry. LGBTQIA Studies. Winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize. Rajiv Mohabir uses his queer and mixed- caste identities as grace notes to charm alienation into silence. Mohabir’s inheritance of myths, folk tales, and multilingual translations make a palimpsest of histories that bleed into one another. A descendant of indentureship survivors, the poet- narrator creates an allegorical chronicle of dislocations and relocations, linking India, Guyana, Trinidad, New York, Orlando, Toronto, and Honolulu, combining the amplitude of mythology with direct witness and sensual reckoning, all the while seeking joy in testimony.

Night, Fish, and Charlie Parker by Phan Nhien Hao, translated by Linh Dinh, which I purchased.

The work of exiled poet Phan Nhien Hao, although he is not permitted to publish in his native Vietnam, is exceptionally well known there. Swaying between poems of the immigrant experience and poems that recollect his homeland’s trauma after the war, his strong, sometimes surreal voice is always intoxicating.

Chaos Theories by Elizabeth Hazen for review from the poet.

The poems in Elizabeth Hazen’s debut collection, Chaos Theories, spring from a unique collusion of science and art in one poet’s heart and mind. In these often elegiac poems, Hazen explores many forms of love — between children, parents, siblings, friends, and lovers. In powerful poetic language and structure, loss is explored, and survival becomes another form of understanding, a way of seeing ourselves and others not as guilty or innocent, good or bad, but as complex, sometimes thwarted beings who are always striving for more wisdom, more empathy, more light. Hazen’s language is elegant, her point of view unflinching, her voice mature and warm.

What did you receive?