Poetry Review: 5 Mary Oliver Collections

This post is a bit different from my usual ones because, in the past ten days or so, I’ve read five collections of poetry by Mary Oliver, which is all that we have in the stacks at work.  It feels kind of satisfying to have read everything your local library has of one author in its collection.  This of course isn’t all that Mary Oliver has written, but I feel like it’s a good overview.  So that’s why this is a sort of bulk review, which will mostly be quick snapshots of each book including my favorite poems from each.  They are ordered according to when I read them.

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Book Review: Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Title: Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
Year: 2017
Pages: 63
Date Read: April 19, 2017
Format: Hardcover
Genres: NF
Rating: ★★★★★
Summary: In short, Adichie was asked how to raise a daughter to be a feminist.  This is her answer.
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Abbreviation Key

I’ve just added a page that lists all the genre abbreviations I’ll be using here!  Hopefully, it won’t be confusing.  I may end up adding more, but these are all the ones I’ve thought of so far.  I use these in my reading journal and thought I might as well use them on here, as well.  Here they is:

B – Biography/Memoir

C – Contemporary

CF – Christian Fiction

CH – Children’s

CR – Contemporary Romance

D – Drama

EJL – Essays, Journals, Letters

GN – Graphic Novel

LFM – Legend, Folklore, Myth

H – Humor

HF – Historical Fiction

HR – Historical Romance

IT – In Translation

M – Mystery

NF – Nonfiction

P – Poetry

PH – Philosophy

PL – Politics

R – Romance

RT – Retellings

S – Science

SFF – Science Fiction/Fantasy

SS – Short Stories

T – Travel

W – War

YA – Young Adult

Book Review: The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

Title: The White Princess
Author: Philippa Gregory
Year: 2013
Pages: 518
Dates Read: April 10-17, 2017
Format: Paperback
Genres: HF, R
Rating: ★★
Summary: Elizabeth of York is forced to marry the new Tudor king, Henry VII, after he kills her uncle, Richard III, at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, ending the Wars of the Roses (known as the Cousins’ War before Sir Walter Scott coined the more well-known term).  The two must work together in order to keep their tumultuous country in order, with bitter, defeated Yorks threatening the kingdom.

Favorite Quotes: 
  • “The red rose and the white, a rose without a thorn” (26).
  • “There is nothing in the world more powerful than a woman who knows what she wants and walks a straight road towards it…You have to make up your mind what you want, and have the courage to set your heart on it…Walk through your sorrow, my daughter, it hardly matters as long as you walk to where you want to be” (79-80).
  • “In the darkness of the night his conscience speaks louder than his mother’s ambitions” (92).

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Tome Topple Readathon

I’ve decided to participate in the Tome Topple Readathon.  Basically, the goal is to read big books that are at least 500 pages long.  The Goodreads group can be found here, and the Twitter is here 🙂  This readathon is set to last from today, April 7, through Thursday, April 20.

There are also some extra challenges to attempt:

  1. Read more than one tome. – Definitely planning on doing that.
  2. Read a graphic novel. – May or may not happen.
  3. Read a tome that is part of a series. – Sort of.  Basically.  Yeah, sure.*
  4. Buddy-read a tome. – Not gonna do that.
  5. Read an adult novel. – I am only reading adult novels for this, so that’s pretty much completed already.

Right, so here’s the important part: my TBR!

The Crimson Petal & the White has sat on my shelf unread for years, so this needs to happen.  My reading of this also nicely coincides with Hulu’s new series Harlots, as they both deal with the trials of prostitutes.

I really wanted to read The White Princess before the show airs on Starz on the 16th, so I hope this works out.

*It sort of fulfills the third challenge because it’s part of the Cousins’ War series, which doesn’t really need to be read in order but is still technically a series.

I don’t know if I’ll get to Possession or not, but I’ve wanted to read it for a few months now.

I’m currently reading some of Mary Oliver’s poetry, which I’ll probaby continue to do during this readathon for a sort of break, but I am putting everything else I was reading on hold, with the exception of America’s First Daughter, because it does qualify for this readathon and I’m both reading and listening to it.

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Book Review: The Story of Hong Gildong

Title: The Story of Hong Gildong
Author: Unknown (Trans. Minsoo Kang)
Year: ?? (ed. 2016)
Pages: 77
Date Read: April 3, 2017
Format: Paperback
Genres: LFM
Rating: ★★★

Note: Minsoo Kang, who translated the text, states that, although the story mentions that it is during the reign of Seonjong, it could either be a misspelling of Sejong or a fictionalized king.  King Sejong created Hangul, the Korean alphabet, and the country was fairly peaceful during his reign.  It is possible that the story takes place during this time, but it was most likely written later.  As the real author is unknown, there is only conjecture as to the exact time of its writing.

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Book Review: The Turncoat by Donna Thorland

Title: The Turncoat
Author: Donna Thorland
Year: 2013
Pages: 394
Dates Read: March 27 – April 1, 2017
Format: Kindle
Genres: HF, R, W
Rating: ★★★★
Summary: A young Quaker woman, Kate Grey, becomes unexpectedly entangled with the espionage of the American War for Independence and, to her even greater surprise, the enemy.

Favorite Quotes:

“Nothing was beyond the grasp of an intelligent woman.”

“They formed an intimate still life, her ornaments lying beside his regalia.”

“It was not important to her, where she had come from.  Only what she had become.”

Note: Being the little Hamilton fangirl that I am, I couldn’t help but squeal in delight when I read this line: “Beside him [General Washington], a slender, fair-haired youth sat copying orders.”  That’s our good old bastard, orphan, and son of a whore.

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