Wednesday, August 30, 2017

injunz --poems by Thomas Hubbard

40 pages
5 Stars

NOTE: There is no ISBN for this little book, which means you'll have to order it from the publisher at  Or be lucky enough to attend a poetry reading where he is. (That's how I got my copy.)

Hubbard is a mixed-blood of (probably) southeastern tribes—Cherokee and Miami—and Irish and English. He grew up in working class neighborhoods and held working class jobs. He worked hard, went to school, taught writing on the Tulalip Reservation in Washington State, was a publisher and now is a free-lance writer for Raven Chronicles. He knows his subject well.

These poems will give all who read them cause for pause, cause to stop and think about who our ancestors were, what they did, who we are and what we do. No matter where we came from, no matter where we go, Hubbard reminds us through his heritage and through his lyrical poetry, "We are all of us related."

Indeed, we are, all of us, related, whether we are the dream ponies who come to waken us, the buffalo we eat for sustenance, or the young boy named Ira, named for a real hero. We are all of us related—the young native mother who holds a job, shops in a hurry, and takes care of her husband and children, or the farmer who loves his land. Give thanks for your relations; give thanks to Thomas Hubbard for introducing us.

Buy injunz. You'll be glad you did.

Take Me With You --by Andrea Gibson

224 pages
3 Stars

Note: Book will not be available until 13 February 2018

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

If I read at the beginning of this book that Ms. Gibson is a member of the LGBTQ community, it didn't register, because I don't really care. However, if you do care, you need to know, because she is a lesbian, and her poetry shows it.

Reading an electronic ARC I missed the white space the printed page would give. I assume each wee poem or aphorism will appear on its own page in the final form. On my eReader (phone) they appear to be on a long, single page, all running together, and the mix of fonts distracted, especially the middle-of-the-word caps, e.g., FIght. Those bothered me the most and threw me out of the book each time I came to one. I had to stop, re-read, decide what I thought she was saying, and determine whether or not it was misspelled.

This book, as I read it, is a mix of good, bad, and so-so writings. I felt it was un-polished, and perhaps not up to her normal standard of writing. Even so, I could relate to much of what she wrote. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Ruining the New Road –Poems by William Matthews

76 Pages
5 Stars

Each reader brings her, or his, own stories to whatever is being read, and when Part I did not speak to me, I kept reading. Parts II and III were just what the doctor ordered. These poems not only spoke to me, they sang to me. The good news is, the next time I read Part I, I know I will be in a different place, and then those poems may sing to me.

Matthews takes us on a road through Living. From throwing "...the morning over/ our left shoulders/" to breathing "...back/ at the coffee,/" and everything in between. Some days are good, and some not so much, but the poetry will carry you through to the end.

It's a good book, worth the investment of both money and time.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Dark of the Moon (Chronicles of Lunos Book 1) –by E. S. Bell

Fiction / Fantasy
542 pages / 4728 KB
3 Stars

DISCLAIMER: I received a free electronic copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Fantasy is my fiction-of-choice. Magic, dragons, wonderful worlds of dark and light. This was not it. While I did rather enjoy the world Bell created, I felt I was reading a second draft—the first edit of the first draft. Names were often spelled two different ways. In many places words that sounded similar were used such as 'are' for 'our', 'that' for 'than,' or outright wrong words, such as, 'fauna' instead of 'flora.' Far too many sentences read like they had been copied and pasted from someplace else without being smoothed out. The tenses did not match; there were too many words—which ones did not belong? Or there were too few words—which words were missing?

I found the protagonist unbelievable. Selena has a great power, has trained to use it, to know it, to control it—and she can't. She can summon the water, but cannot control it?

There are a lot of unanswered question by the end of this novel; however, the novel does end. The unanswered questions, I hope are the set-up for future novels and will be answered in later books.

All in all, I found this a very easy book to put down, and a hard book to pick up and read. Romance is not my genre of choice, and this has a distinct flavor of romance set in a fantasy world.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

macCloud Falls --by Robert Alan Jamieson

Fiction / Literary
320 pages
4 Stars

NOTE: Available 15 September 2017

DISCLAIMER: I received a free electronic ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The author is a Scot, and some of the words are spelled a wee bit differently than what we Americans are used to, and some of them are totally different, but they are fun, and easily understandable.

This is what I would call a 'gentle' book—no blood, no gore, no adrenaline. Gilbert Johnson, a dealer in antiquarian books lives in Edinburgh, has recently buried his mother, and undergone cancer treatment. He's travelled the world through his books, and thinks it's now time to do so for real. En route to British Columbia, to research an ancestor of his to write a book, he meets Veronika, who lives in Vancouver, BC, and they discover they are 'cancer twins.'

Gil takes a bus to the village where his ancestor lived, and sends Veronika a short, cryptic note on a post card. She drives to him, concerned about his health and safety, and they spend a week or so together while Veronika drives him around to meet and greet and conduct his research. This is a story of two damaged people learning trust again, learning to laugh again, learning to love again.

There is a lot of humor in this book, especially when people in the village decide Veronika is really Sigourney Weaver and Gil is her script writer, and the villagers convince themselves a movie will be made there soon and they will all get rich.

The book is in five parts, no chapters. I had no problem with that, but for people who are used to fast paced books and short chapters, it might be a tad disconcerting. My biggest complaint was near the 25% read area, when we were given a lot of the actual history of the people and area involved. While it was interesting, it really bogged down the story, and didn't help propel it along. It kind of reminded me of the Begats in the Bible. Hence, 4 stars instead of 5.

Highly recommend this book.

They Were Bears --by Sarah Marcus

Nonfiction / Poetry
80 pages
5 Stars

The words of these poems sing off the tongue and in the ear. Marcus is a master at using the right word in the right place. Sometimes I was outside looking in, then, before I realized it, I was inside looking out.

From the opening line, "The prairie winds mourn" I was pulled into a new world. Why were the prairie winds mourning? Why has the earth imitated me?

These well-crafted poems are meant to be read slowly, one at a time, chewed well, all nutrients extracted before swallowing and taking a bite of the next poem.