tweets for 2017-02-20

February 21st, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-02-19

February 20th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-02-18

February 19th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-02-17

February 18th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-02-16

February 17th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-02-15

February 16th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-02-14

February 15th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-02-13

February 14th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Mini-Review: There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, Morgan Parker (2017)

February 13th, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

“It’s mostly about machine tits”

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)

This is for all the grown women out there
Whose countries hate them and their brothers
Who carry knives in their purses down the street
Maybe they will not get out alive
Maybe they will turn into air or news or brown flower petals
There are more beautiful things than Beyoncé:
Lavender, education, becoming other people,
The fucking sky

(“Please Wait (Or, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé)”)

I don’t read a ton of poetry, since it mostly tends to go over my head. There are the rare exceptions, of course: stories written in verse, and the occasional feminist title; see, e.g. The Princess Saves Herself in this One. But mostly I shy away from it, since it makes me feel … not the sharpest tool in the shed.

That said, between the title and the cover, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé proved pretty much impossible to pass up. While I’m sure I missed out on many of the cultural references – I’m white, and this is a collection of poetry about black womanhood – and didn’t pick up all the varied and more veiled messages that Parker was putting down, I enjoyed it all the same. I read it cover-to-cover three times in two days, and with each successive reading, discovered something new. Parker’s poetry sparkles and shines and cuts more deeply, the more time you spend with it.

It’s hard to play favorites, since each piece has at least one or two especially memorable lines. (To wit: “At school they learned that Black people happened.”) But among the poems that really stood out to me are Hottentot Venus; Beyoncé On The Line for Gaga; Afro; These Are Dangerous Times, Man; RoboBeyoncé; 13 Ways of Looking at a Black Girl; The Gospel According to Her; The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife; White Beyoncé; What Beyoncé Won’t Say on a Shrink’s Couch; It’s Getting Hot In Here So Take Off All Your Clothes; The Book of Revelation; 99 Problems; and the titular Please Wait (Or, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé).

There are forty-two poems total, twenty-five of which have previously been published elsewhere. For those keeping count at home, thirteen have Beyoncé in the title. The Beyoncé/Lady Gaga mashups are fun, if only because I enjoy imagining them hanging together – or swapping bodies in a Freaky Friday twist.

I feel like I should say more but idk how to read poetry, let alone review it. There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé is a fierce, funny, and subversive collection of poetry. You don’t need to be a member of the Bey Hive to love it (but it sure doesn’t hurt). It’s earned a permanent spot on my Kindle so I can return to it as needed over the next four to eight (please dog no) years.

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2017-02-12

February 13th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-02-11

February 12th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-02-10

February 11th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Mini-Review: The Land of Nod, Robert Louis Stevenson & Robert Hunter (2017)

February 10th, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

An Illustrated Version of the Robert Louis Stevenson Poem

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss.)

The Land of Nod
By Robert Louis Stevenson

From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.

The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.

Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.

— 3.5 stars —

Robert Hunter’s The Land of Nod is an illustrated children’s book based on the Robert Louis Stevenson poem of the same name; the poem is produced verbatim, and coupled with illustrations to help bring the text to life.

The art is simple yet whimsical, with a dream-like quality. Hunter uses quite a bit of blues and pinks, which is reminiscent of twilight, I guess, but doesn’t always do the poem’s psychedelic potential justice. The palette just feels a little flat for my taste.

Despite the ominous reference to “frightening sights,” the art is very tame and totally suitable for children of all ages.

I especially appreciated the landscape for “Both things to eat and things to see,” which shows a pig happily blowing on a horned instrument in the dreamer’s band, while the leader foists a giant raspberry in the air.

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Pigs are friends, not food! Or BAMF tuba prodigies. Either or.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2017-02-09

February 10th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-02-08

February 9th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-02-07

February 8th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @dog_rates: This is Dexter. He was reunited with his mom yesterday after she was stuck in Iran during the travel Bannon. 13/10 welcome h… ->
  • RT @michikokakutani: "They Thought They Were Free" (1955), interviews w. ordinary Germans abt why they did not initially resist the Nazis h… ->
  • RT @BlackMarvelGirl: RETWEET if you approve of Martellus Bennett who will not attend the celebration at the White House b/c he doesn't like… ->

tweets for 2017-02-06

February 7th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @ShaunKing: I am told the increasing volume of these images, which will likely plague @realDonaldTrump's entire presidency, completely u… ->
  • RT @dog_rates: This is Alfie. He's your Lyft for tonight. Kindly requests you buckle pup and remain reasonably calm during the ride. 13/10… ->

Book Review: Wintersong, S. Jae-Jones (2017)

February 6th, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

“Such sensuous enjoyment.”

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Netgalley.)

I surveyed my kingdom. Chaos. Cruelty. Abandon. I had always been holding back. Always been restrained. I wanted to be bigger, brighter, better; I wanted to be capricious, malicious, sly. Until now, I had not known the intoxicating sweetness of attention. In the world above, it had always been Käthe or Josef who captivated people’s eyes and hearts—Käthe with her beauty, Josef with his talent. I was forgotten, overlooked, ignored—the plain, drab, practical, talentless sister. But here in the Underground, I was the sun around which their world spun, the axis around which their maelstrom twirled. Liesl the girl had been dull, drab, and obedient; Elisabeth the woman was a queen.

“I may be just a maiden, mein Herr,” I whispered. “But I am a brave maiden.”

When Liesl’s younger sister Käthe is claimed by the Goblin King and kidnapped to the Underground, it’s up to Liesl to rescue her. After all, it’s Liesl and her mother who keep the family together and the inn running. Plain, drab, boring Liesl, who lacks Käthe’s voluptuous beauty, or her brother Josef’s virtuosity with the violin. Liesl, who composes her wild and untamed music only under the cloak of night; the music Josef polishes and performs to accolades, but for which Liesl seeks neither praise nor recognition. Like legions of unremarkable girls before her, Liesl labors in the background, her accomplishments usurped or denigrated by the men around her, depending on the circumstances.

Yet the Goblin King – Der Erlkönig, Lord of Mischief – sees Liesl for who she truly is: a unique talent, full of beauty and grace. A soul brimming with passion and wonder – and, yes, even anger and lust. A worthy opponent. The girl with whom he once sang and danced in Goblin Grove, all those years ago. The girl who forgot him – and her promise to him – once she traded in their silly childhood games for a mop and bucket and likely spinsterhood.

Liesl descends into the Underground on a sacrifice of sheet music, only to find that her mission to rescue Käthe is just the opening round of her game with Der Erlkönig. Once a mortal man, the Goblin King sacrificed his soul to bring peace to the world above. Now he is forever confined to the Underground, where he rules over the goblins and fae who once wreaked havoc on earth. But in order to turn the seasons, he requires a spark. Passion. A wife. Yet Der Erlkönig’s brave maidens do not survive long in the Underground – and, should Liesl succeed in freeing Käthe, he will need a replacement if spring is to come.

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2017-02-05

February 6th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-02-04

February 5th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato