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Holiday Gift Buying 2021

Normally, I don’t offer holiday buying guides, but this year, I wanted to share some of the things that I would buy for the holidays.

1. Writing/drawing Journal from BINDbyBIND – these handbound books are the work of author Beth Kephart and her artist husband. They are so well crafted. I love both the journals I’ve bought. You can’t go wrong with these creative journals for the writer or artist in your life.

2. Crooked Smiling Light by Alan W. King is a collection that is slim enough to be a stocking stuffer, but the powerful poetry in this collection will have you beaming. There’s so much hope in these poems. I loved this gem.

3. Where the Wolf by Sally Rosen Kindred is a collection that brings to life it’s own dark fairy tales. Her work is reminiscent of Jeannine Hall Gailey, but with a darker undertone. I would recommend this one for those who love twisted fairy tales and dark stories. These poems are stories.

4. Postcard Poems by Jeanne Griggs is the perfect gift for that traveler in your life! Imagine those postcards they cherish, and this is the poetry collection for them. These postcard poems tell a story of travel and friendship, and so much more.

5. By Broad Potomac Shore: Great Poems from the Early Days of Our Nation’s Capital edited by Kim Roberts is the perfect poetry collection for history buffs and those who follow social change. The poems in this collection reflect the turbulent history of our nation.

6. The Bennet Women by Eden Appiah-Kubi was such a fun read and came at just the right time for me. It blends those college years with the classic Jane Austen and creates its own dynamic story.

7. The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl — this because yes, it is Dave Grohl, but also because music fans will love this look at the rise of grunge and beyond. There’s so much music history in here.

8. Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, illustrated by Laura Freeman, for the kids. History is important and the struggles of those who come before us should not be forgotten. We loved reading this together and discussing the past and present instances of racism in this country and what can be done to change it and support those who need support every day. Definitely a must have.

I hope that you enjoy your holidays and give books to your loved ones. Broaden their horizons and yours.

By Broad Potomac Shore: Great Poems from the Early Days of Our Nation’s Capital edited by Kim Roberts

Source: Publisher
Paperback, 356 pgs.
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By Broad Potomac Shore: Great Poems from the Early Days of Our Nation’s Capital edited by Kim Roberts is a well crafted and contains some well-known poets as well as some obscured by history. In the preface, Roberts says, “These poets were born in, or drawn to, the nation’s capital as it grew from its founding, through such major upheavals as the Civil War, Reconstruction, and World War I. … But I have taken particular pleasure in seeking out poems by lesser-known poets as well, especially women, working-class writers, and writers of color.” The anthology also speaks about the homes in which these poets lived and whether they still exist today, as well as what they are today, with some of them homes to embassies of other nations. Roberts has clearly done her research and it is appreciated.

If there was ever a time for a literary historian, that’s today. Kim Roberts has done painstaking research and it it is evident in this look at 100 years of our nation’s history. Of note in the first part of the anthology is Emma Willard, who was a passionate advocate for women’s rights and dedicated her life to educating women and girls. I loved learning about this early advocate for women to be educated, especially about her speech in which she says that women are “primary existences … not the satellites of men.”

It was also interesting to note that a white man, John Pierpont, wrote a persona poem from the point of view of an enslaved man, which is found in the second part of the anthology. To my modern sensibilities, I was wondered aloud how on earth this white man could capture that point of view, especially a man who worked in finance. “Oft, in the Chilly Night,” is chilling in how it depicts an enslaved man almost at peace looking at the night and seeking God’s guidance, but by the end, it seems the man now simply wishes for the peace of death! But it is not the only persona poem from an enslaved person’s point of view written by a man.

Not only are these poems significant in demonstrating that ideas of equality were present in the early years of our nation, but they also show that even as the country evolved slowly there were very forward thinkers inside and outside government who wrote those ideas in poetry. And some of the homes of these poets became part of antislavery efforts and so many other efforts.

By Broad Potomac Shore: Great Poems from the Early Days of Our Nation’s Capital edited by Kim Roberts is chock full of information about the poets, poems, the nation’s capital and so much more. You can dip into this collection at any time to explore the time period, and you’ll see different styles and topics throughout each second. As you move through the collection, the poems do take on more modern styles and are less antiquated in language. It does provide a good evolutionary look at poetry in Washington, D.C., and written by a variety of poets.

RATING: Cinquain

Check out the Gaithersburg Book Festival Panel discussion with Joseph Ross, Tara Campbell, Kim Roberts, and E. Ethelbert Miller:

Mailbox Monday #606

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:

By Broad Potomac’s Shore: Great Poems from the Early Days of Our Nation’s Capital edited by Kim Roberts

Following her successful Literary Guide to Washington, DC, which Library Journal called “the perfect accompaniment for a literature-inspired vacation in the US capital,” Kim Roberts returns with a comprehensive anthology of poems by both well-known and overlooked poets working and living in the capital from the city’s founding in 1800 to 1930. Roberts expertly presents the work of 132 poets, including poems by celebrated DC writers such as Francis Scott Key, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Ambrose Bierce, Henry Adams, and James Weldon Johnson, as well as the work of lesser-known poets–especially women, writers of color, and working-class writers. A significant number of the poems are by writers who were born enslaved, such as Fanny Jackson Coppin, T. Thomas Fortune, and John Sella Martin.

The book is arranged thematically, representing the poetic work happening in our nation’s capital from its founding through the Civil War, Reconstruction, World War I, and the beginnings of literary modernism. The city has always been home to prominent poets–including presidents and congressmen, lawyers and Supreme Court judges, foreign diplomats, US poets laureate, professors, and inventors–as well as writers from across the country who came to Washington as correspondents. A broad range of voices is represented in this incomparable volume.

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs: 100+ Recipes that You’ll Love to Cook and Eat by America’s Test Kitchen Kids for someone’s present.

For the first time ever, America’s Test Kitchen is bringing their scientific know-how, rigorous testing, and hands-on learning to KIDS in the kitchen!

Using kid-tested and approved recipes, America’s Test Kitchen has created THE cookbook every kid chef needs on their shelf. Whether you’re cooking for yourself, your friends, or your family, The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs has delicious recipes that will wow!

  • Recipes were thoroughly tested by more than 750 kids to get them just right for cooks of all skill levels―including recipes for breakfast, snacks and beverages, dinners, desserts, and more.
  • Step-by-step photos of tips and techniques will help young chefs feel like pros in their own kitchen
  • Testimonials (and even some product reviews!) from kid test cooks who worked alongside America’s Test Kitchen will encourage young chefs that they truly are learning the best recipes from the best cooks.

By empowering young chefs to make their own choices in the kitchen, America’s Test Kitchen is building a new generation of confident cooks, engaged eaters, and curious experimenters.

What did you receive?