I saw this new release, “Why Poetry” by Matthew Zapruder, as I was ordering books for the library and thought it looked interesting. I am hoping it will give me motivation to write! I’m about three chapters in and so far I like it.
That’s really all I have to say about that. I have a really bad cold my brain refuses to work properly. All I can think about is curling up on my couch and sleeping. I’ll give a better review when I am capable of forming better words together into better sentences.
I forgot to mention last week about another book I read during my break from my Sylvia Plath obsession. It’s called “The No Bullshit Guide To Depression” by Steven Skozen. Really great book if you suffer or if you know someone who suffers from depression. It’s very practical with exercises that are easy to do when you are in that state, and exercises to do before you are depressed, that will help you out later on.
One of the bits of advice was to learn how to live a life that strives toward values, rather than happiness. And then there was an exercise to figure out what your core values actually are. They change, so it is suggested to do the exercise once a year. My core values as of a couple of weeks ago are:
- inner peace
I found this exercise really surprising! There were lots of things that ended up being really important to me but these 5 things are the things that are at the top of my list. At least right now. So I’m thinking about how I can incorporate these values more into my life on a daily basis. I kind of do a lot of these things daily but I do notice it when I don’t.
Really enjoying “Her Husband,” the book about Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath I started reading last week. Since I started reading it I have checked out the most recent version of “the Unabridged Journals Of Sylvia Plath” and today my library hold for “Birthday Letters” came in. Also, this morning I happened to find “The Colossus” at the Friends Of The Library book sale so I went ahead and picked it up. So further down the rabbit hole I go.
The book feels a bit anachronistic so if I hadn’t read a biography of Plath previously I would find it frustrating. But instead I’m really loving it. I’m enjoying the way Middlebrook is bringing the couple’s poetry into the story. I am going to like reading the poetry she references. Really looking forward to diving into Plath’s Journals.
Reading this book kind of feels like watching a train wreck. Their relationship is awful but it’s hard to look away for reasons I can’t pinpoint. At this point in my research I can’t see that he was abusive, but I think this is the general glossing over of Hughes’s behavior that I’ve been hearing about. My honest opinion of the pair at the moment is that I find them both a little irritating and completely egotistical. It’s kind of like reading a good novel where you really can’t stand the characters, but you you can’t stop reading it because there are other compelling reasons to keep going, like the writing is really good.
I fell down a Sylvia Plath rabbit hole. This article from Lit Hub was in my Inbox and it lead me to a book about the marriage of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. I am not super sure I really want to read a book about Ted Hughes to be honest, so I’m not sure how far I will get with this book. But I really liked Diane Middlebrook‘s biography of Anne Sexton so I’ll give it a shot.
I have to admit that I am not especially fond of Plath’s poetry. And I’ve never really read Hughes’s poetry. I’m sure this book will push me to read more of Hughes (in fact this morning I read sought out and read “Last Letter.”). As for Sylvia Plath, after reading the Lit Hub article I wonder if my view of Plath is clouded by Hughes’s careful post-humus curation of her work. The one biography I have read of her was Bitter Fame, which was kind of written more in favor of Hughes. It’s been a long time since I read it, but I seem to recall her being portrayed as a the “crazy woman.” Which really sucks, honestly. So I think I will give Plath another try with a fresh perspective. I’d like to read the second version of her unabridged diary next.
I picked up March: Book One the other day and enjoyed it so much that I picked up book 2 today. March is a graphic novel trilogy about Congressman John Lewis’s life and involvement in the Civil Rights movement. The third book in the trilogy won several book awards this year: The National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, The Corretta Scott King award, the Michael L. Printz award, and the Sibert Medal. This is how it finally got on my radar. It floated through my life but I finally paid attention last month when it won so many awards at the ALA conference! (it is very rare for one book to win multiple awards in a year).
I can see why it is so highly regarded. First of all, the art (by Nate Powell) is stunning. But really, the whole story is extraordinarily inspiring. And especially so now in our current time. We are facing a time of dissent that will be written in the history books and it is important to look to those that came before us and how they went about their protests.
John Lewis is an American hero and, honestly, anyone who writes their biography in graphic novel format is a badass.