Grumpy Owl Tells Bookish Fibs

I am owl shocked… I never expected a bird said to be so wise could ever ululate such horror of an understatement. I don’t just like books. I freaking love worlds made of ink. So, my heart bleeds (and cries foul at the bookish wisdom of owls).

Now that the statement of the grumpy owl has been properly addressed, I shall share a thought (or three) about my summer readings and other bookish bits.

The list I put together for Khaya’s Summer Reading Challenge evolved (and kept on growing because, well… I have no self-control when it comes to the joy that is reading). These are 13 from the bunch:

Behind My Eyes: Poems, by Li-Young Lee
Dirt Road Dreams, by Susie Clevenger
Enigma Tales, by Una McCormack
Erotic Poems, by e. e. cummings
Fever Dream, by Samanta Schweblin (translated from Spanish)
The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years: From The Next Generation to J. J. Abrams: The Complete, Uncensored, and Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek, by M. A. Altman and E. Gross
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, by Aimee Bender
The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World, by Peter Wohlleben
Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov (Spanish edition)
Mi negro pasado (My Dark Past), by Laura Esquivel
Spellbook of the Lost and Found, by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Todos mis cuentos (All My Stories), by Ana María Matute
Welcome to the Monkey House, by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Out of the list, I reviewed Susie Clevenger’s Dirt Road Dreams. You can read my short entry and my favorite quote from the book, here. Speaking of quotes, there is one, from The Hidden Life of Trees, which will stay with me for always:

“When the logs in the fireplace crackle merrily, the corpse of a beech or oak is going up in flames… Does that sound over the top? I don’t think so… parallels can definitely be drawn to pigs and pork… We use living things killed for our purposes. Does that make our behavior reprehensible? Not necessarily. After all, we are also part of Nature, and we are made in such a way that we can survive only with the help of organic substances from other species. We share this necessity with all other animals. The real question is whether we help ourselves only to what we need from the forest ecosystem, and-analogous to our treatment of animals-whether we spare the trees unnecessary suffering when we do this.”

There is a handful of books and stories that have made a home inside my bones: One Hundred Years of Solitude, “The Decapitated Chicken”, and “The Circular Ruins” come to mind. This summer, The Hidden Life of Trees has joined the list.

 

So, my bookish Luvs, what word-worlds have you explored this summer? What bits stuck? Do tell… I’m always on the hunt for a good title (or 13). 😉

 

Dirt Road Dreams

The best poetry is made of human stuff… of lived words that remind heart and soul that another being has fallen (often face-first) and has gotten up grinning her defiance through a mouthful of dirt.

That was one of the thoughts dancing through my skull as I read Susie Clevenger’s Dirt Road Dreams. And this is my favorite quote, from her poem, “Bored With White Illusion”, which I’m quite certain needs to be read while growling a bit… and grinning a lot):

“I don’t want to be fed verses
that suggest but don’t commit.
If there is passion, let me feel its heat.
I want my heart to beat fast,
my breath raspy, my skin to burn.”
~ Susie Clevenger