Review: A Confederacy of Dumptys

When I need a break between heavier topics, I reach for poetry, and John Lithgow’s Dumpty series is always an entertaining read. A Confederacy of Dumptys: Portraits of American Scoundrels in Verse was not at all like the first book in this set.

Rather than verses about the Trump era, this collection reflects on the, as Lithgow calls them, scoundrels, that came before the 45th President, and led the way in abuse of power and corruption.

While I come to these books for the humor in verse, I also appreciate the quick-hit history lesson at the end of each poem to catch the reader up on historical figures, plots, coups, etc. that may not have been taught in history or civics class.

While this might not be the book for everyone, it is definitely a light hearted and refreshing read!

Review: Petit a Petit

Petit a Petit is definitely a “bookstagram made me do it” book. I read quite a few fabulous reviews about this book of poetry that I went out and purchased the ebook. I enjoy poetry, especially between heavier books. 

I struggled with this collection of poetry – all of the poems were perfectly rhymed to the point of being sing-songy and my brain would be caught up in the rhythm and the words wouldn’t sink in.

This year I have been making a concerted effort to read more minority authors, and this is the first time that I have read an Indian Canadian author.

Review: And We Rise

I really enjoy learning more about the Civil Rights Movement – it is definitely a part of our history that doesn’t get enough airtime in schools. It was such a moving experience to walk through Montgomery, Alabama and walk through Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s home, and stand at the bus stop where Rosa Parks was arrested.

And We Rise is a lyrical, poignant book of poetry about the Civil Rights Movement.

Typically I read poetry books quickly. But this one, I read slowly. It hurt my heart to read these poems and these stories.

Review: Terrain Poems by Gina Hietpas

I picked up Gina Hietpas’s Terrain while I was in Port Townsend browsing a shelf of local authors. I was absolutely grabbed by the artwork on the cover and when I saw the sticker that it was a Washington State Book Awards Finalist, I was sold.

I definitely read this book of poetry too fast, and will be returning to this again in the future. This was a lovely set of poems about love, nature, pain and suffering and coming back together.

That said, according to the author’s bio in the back of the book, Hietpas spent many seasons working as a back county Park Ranger for Olympic National Park. I read this while on the flight home from spending a week in Olympic, and it felt like the perfect way to wrap up the trip, with beautiful prose about nature.

Review: Unlock Your Storybook Heart

If people were books,

Then you’d be my greatest comfort read.

— I could never get sick of you

Amanda Lovelace is one of my favorite modern day poets, so when Unlock Your Storybook Heart had a release date announced, and a Target special edition with extra poems included, I made sure to preorder it!

The tried to read this slowly, to savor each poem in this collection, but I still devoured this book quickly.

Review: Dropkick Romance

Dropkick Romance by Parker Lee (nee Cyrus Parker) was the perfect book read at the end 2021.

I truly love the poetry by Parker Lee, and find that it touches my soul so deeply. I wind up taking photos of different poems and sending them to friends and family or just storing them in my phone for later. And Dropkick Romance was no different.

This book dealt with finding love again, both within yourself and with others. Learning to love and to trust another. And working on yourself, loving the person you put forward in the world.

Review: All Cats are Introverts

All Cats are Introverts would be the perfect stocking stuffer for that person on your shopping list who: loves cats, is not a fan of people and appreciates likes some light poetry.

I read this with The Boyfriend and we enjoyed laughing at how true some of these poems were to our kitty – who does not like people who aren’t here own humans – and to The Boyfriend himself who is definitely not a people person.

This is short, fun read with lots of super cute photos of kitties. Definitely a winner for the holidays!

Also good for the holidays – these candles from Birthdate Candles. This one for February Ninth has such a light delicate scent that it isn’t overwhelming and I love to burn. It’s a combination just for this birthdate of lavender, sage, and neroli. Go check out your birthday’s scent at Birthdate Candle Co and save when you use LEANNREADS10!

Review: Where Are the Love Poems for Dictators?

I picked up Where Are the Love Poems for Dictators? at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, NC. The title absolutely intrigued me, plus the poet, E. Ethelbert Miller is is an African-American poet and literary activist.

The International Civil Rights Center & Museum was a such a wonderful museum that really illuminated the Civil Rights movement. The absolutely highlight of the museum was the F.W. Woolworth’s Lunch Counter – preserved in it original location – that was the beginning of the lunch counter sit ins in the US. Hearing the story of the young men and women who spent their days sitting at the lunch counter to demand a change in their country – I left with a sense of gratitude for their work and a heaviness on my heart knowing there is still so much work to be done.

All right, this book. I really enjoyed reading Where Are the Love Poems for Dictators? The first half of the book was really an interesting and challenging read. The second half felt more like I was reading love poems rather than poetry about change in society like the first half. All together, though, I really enjoyed reading this book.

Review: The Hill We Climb

I listened to Amanda Gorman read The Hill We Climb at President Joe Biden’s inauguration and got chills. I knew this poem and this poet, needed to be in my life and my library.

When I saw this beautiful edition of The Hill We Climb on sale at Target I couldn’t add it to my cart fast enough.

While Gorman’s recitation of the poem was absolutely moving, re-reading this Brough those same chills, the same gooseflesh to my arms. The powerful words will definitely sit in the back of my mind for a long time. 

I know this is a poem I will go back to over and over again and I look forward to reading more from Gorman.