Final Week: Amanda Gorman’s Call Us What We Carry Read-a-Long

For this last week, we read the final sections of the collection:Fury & Faith and Resolution.

Here are a few questions to get us started:

  1. In Fury & Faith, Gorman again takes the poetic form and upends it, placing it onto the stripes of the American flag. What are your thoughts on this use of poetic lines?
  2. Explore your reactions to the poems in this first of the last two sections. What are some of the things that stuck out to you?
  3. In the Resolution section, what do you think her main point is about resolution?

I’ll be monitoring the comments and replying throughout the weekend. Can’t wait to see what everyone thinks.

Check out the previous discussions below:

Thank you to everyone who participated or just read along with us. I hope you enjoyed the book, and I’d love to hear what you thought overall.

Week Three: Amanda Gorman’s Call Us What We Carry Read-a-Long

For this 3rd week, we read the Atonement section.

Here are a few questions to get us started:

1. What was your favorite poem in this section?

2. Erasure poems modify current text to create something new or highlight a particular theme. What impact does this form have on these poems?

3. Gorman offers a great deal of background to these found poems in footnotes and elsewhere, how did or did it not affect your reading of the poems?

I’ll be monitoring the comments and replying throughout the weekend. Can’t wait to see what everyone thinks.

Week Two: Amanda Gorman’s Call Us What We Carry Read-a-Long

For this 2nd week, we read the 3rd and 4th sections: Earth Eyes and Memoria.

Here are a few questions to get us started:

  • In Earth Eyes, what do you see are the main themes and how do they relate to the collection’s title, Call Us What We Carry?
  • Gorman has a lot of visual forms for her poems, how do they impact your enjoyment of the poems?
  • In Memoria, what do you think Gorman is saying about memory and the act of remembering?
  • What are some of your favorite lines or poems in these two sections?

I’ll be monitoring the comments and replying throughout the weekend. Can’t wait to see what everyone thinks.

Week One: Amanda Gorman’s Call Us What We Carry Read-a-Long

For this first week, we read the first two sections: Requiem and What a Piece of Wreck is Man

I wanted to start the discussion with a few questions about these two sections.

1. Why do you think “Ship’s Manifest” is the opening poem to the collection and no included in the first section, “Requiem?”

2. Gorman’s first section’s title signals that the poems will be a remembrance of the dead, how well do you think the poems accomplish this task? What was one of your favorites?

3. In “What a Piece of Wreck is Man,” what do you think she’s saying with these poems? Is man irredeemable? Is there more to our failures?

4. What are some of your favorite poems or lines in these two sections?

I’ll be monitoring the comments and replying throughout the weekend. Can’t wait to see what everyone thinks.

Discussion of Ulysses by James Joyce Week #2

Today is the online discussion of Part 2 of James Joyce’s Ulysses, but alas I may have bitten off more than I can chew in the last two months. I’m about 200 pgs. into the book, and I am going to finish it.

For the good news: Ti has finished the entire book! Kudos!

Please check out her Part 2 discussion post here.

Join us anytime today on Twitter and follow and tag with #ulyssesRAL2017

Discussion of Ulysses by James Joyce Week #1

Feel free to sign up here.

As you may have guessed, today’s the day for our Twitter discussion of part one of Ulysses by James Joyce! Part one has three episodes as Ti gathered in her reading and research.

From Wikipedia:


Join us anytime today on Twitter and follow and tag with #ulyssesRAL2017

February-March Read-a-Long: Ulysses by James Joyce

I’ve read a great many classics, but Joyce was an author I never read in college. I’m not sure if I just didn’t pick the right classes or my teachers shied away from him. I’m eager to get to my bucket list classics, and Ulysses was at the top of the list, just ahead of Joyce’s Dubliners.

Ti from Book Chatter and I are hosting a read-a-long for James Joyce’s Ulysses Feb. 1, 2017, to March 17, 2017.

This is a big boy at about 800 pages, but we’re going to read it in three parts and discuss via Twitter using #ulyssesRAL2017. We’d love for you to join us!

The second part is the longest, so you’ll have a longer period of time to read that section!

If you’ve read it before, we’d love to have you join the discussion too!

Here’s the informal schedule:

Discussion of part 1 on Feb. 10
Discussion of part 2 on March 10
Discussion of part 3 on March 17

Grab the button and join us Feb. 10 for part one on Twitter #ulyssesRAL2017

Sign-up so we know who to look for:

Join Us for the Going After Cacciato Read-a-Long

As part of the War Through The Generations 2014 Reading Challenge with a Twist, we’ll be hosting our final read-a-long in December for the Vietnam War.

For December, we’ll be reading Going After Cacciato by Tim O’Brien.

Discussion questions will be posted on Friday for the designated chapters. Here’s the reading schedule and discussion dates:

  • Friday, Dec. 12: Discussion of Chapters 1-24
  • Friday, Dec. 19: Discussion of Chapter 25-the end

We’re breaking up the book into just two weeks given the holidays at the end of the month, and we hope that you’ll carve out some time to read along with us.

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Source: Public Library
Paperback, 293 pgs
On Amazon and on Kobo

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, which I read as part of a read-a-long and for the RIP Challenge, is an odd little book about a strange carnival that enters a Midwestern town and silently creeps through the streets and feeds off of the people in that town.  Will and Jim are your typical boys, about 15-yrs-old, who look for fun and sometimes find it in the wrong places.  They stumble upon a lightning rod salesman who warns them of an upcoming, devastating storm — a storm that is likely to hit someone’s house and destroy it.  Is this foreshadowing of what is to come when the carnival arrives? Perhaps, but Bradbury’s prose is dense in places and cryptic, leaving many readers lost as to what is going on and which boy is which.  Perhaps the similarities are done on purpose to signify that it could have been any set of boys in the town targeted, but readers may want more to go on, a greater connection and an ability to differentiate between the two boys as the story moves forward.  Readers will get some of that when Will’s father enters the picture.

“Dad winked at Will.  Will winked back.  They stood now, a boy with corn-colored hair and a man with moon-white hair, a boy with summer-apple, a man with winter-apple face.”  (page 15)

“‘The library,’ said Will. ‘I’m even afraid of it, now.’  All the books, he thought, perched there, hundreds of years old, peeling skin, leaning on each other like ten million vultures.  Walk along the dark stacks and all the gold titles shine their eyes at you.  Between the old carnival, old library and his own father, everything old…well…” (pg. 188-9)

A lot of the fear permeating the pages is atmospheric from the dark carnival and its sinister cast of characters lurking in the dark, around corners, and popping up when least expected, but there also is a sense of psychological fear, particularly when it comes to the boys and those targeted by the carnival.  Despite the issues with the oddities in the prose and the dialogue, as well as the indistinguishable characteristics of the boys, this story is haunting in its use of spiritual lore and mythology, creating a deadly combination of foes who can be reborn and reconfigured.  There is a lack of detail about the boys’ relationships with their fathers and mothers, but it is the relationship between youth and old age that is the broader picture.

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury is about a loss of innocence, the things we do as we age, the things we forget as we grow older and begin families of our own, and about the longing in us to recapture those carefree days and relationships.  What is the something wicked coming for you?  Only you can know the answer, and only you know how to fight it.

About the Author:

American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet, was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938. Although his formal education ended there, he became a “student of life,” selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter. He became a full-time writer in 1943, and contributed numerous short stories to periodicals before publishing a collection of them, Dark Carnival, in 1947.

His reputation as a writer of courage and vision was established with the publication of The Martian Chronicles in 1950, which describes the first attempts of Earth people to conquer and colonize Mars, and the unintended consequences.

Something Wicked Read-a-Long

Ti and Sandy are hosting the Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury read-a-long.  We’re discussing it on blogs and Twitter with the hashtag #EnterTheRingmaster.

We read the second section, which is Ch. 25-44, and it is getting tougher to hold off reading the rest before the final discussion on Halloween!

This section moved a lot more quickly for me with the hiding from the carnival gang and the boys being scared out of their minds.  Will and Jim are still a bit interchangeable to me, but at this point I’m over it.  And the language hasn’t been as difficult to get through — it’s like they have some kind of mid-western dialect or some language that’s all their own.  The revelations about the carnival were not all that revealing to me, but maybe that’s because I’ve read too much Stephen King and other odd little stories about carnivals.  But it wasn’t so predictable that it made me stop reading.

I am still wondering about the relationship between Will and his father and why they have never communicated before now, and where are Jim’s parents — we know he at least have a mother — but where has she been all this time.  It seems like his parents are not around much for him, which is why he seems to be expected to get in trouble.

The Monuments Men Read-a-Long

The read-a-long of The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter with Anna from Diary of an Eccentric has begun at the War Through the Generations blog.  Last week, we read Ch. 1-14, and this week we read Ch. 15-28.

If you missed the first discussion, go here.

If you are ready for the second discussion, go here.

Next Friday, we’ll be discussing Ch. 29-42.

Read-a-Long Fun….

So, I’ve joined the War Through the Generations read-a-long of The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter with Anna from Diary of an Eccentric.  I hope you’ll join the discussion for chapters 1-14.  We’ll have a discussion for chapters 15-28 next Friday, Oct. 17.

Here’s the discussion for week 1.

I’ve also joined Ti and Sandy for the Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury read-a-long.

I was having a tough time following the narration because the dialogue and the narration prose was a little off.  Will and Jim seem very similar, though I think one is more daring than the other.  Not sure which one that is at this point.  I am hoping to have a better handle on these boys now into the next section, but we’ll see.  The narration is too close to the boys for my liking in a third-person narrator.

I do like the creepy nature of the town and the carnival, especially the “nephew” of their school teacher.  I always am down for creepy carnivals and characters….I’ve always been a little creeped out by these things.  I’m looking forward to what happens next as the boys uncover more about the carnival and its residents/workers.

Bradbury does seem to be keeping things close to the vest here and he does appear to be making fun of adults as naive and the kids more observant and in the know about the carnival and the evil things to come.  I’ll also still be looking forward to uncover the secret between Will and his father.  Are you reading along with us?  What are your thoughts so far?