April came and went on the wind, and now we’re heading into May. Gosh, am I excited!
April saw spring rain and both warmer weather and chillier winds. April saw a new niece born, an older brother settling into a new role, a semester of courses done and dusted (only exams left), shaky job interview becoming a full time position, a lot of tea drank and a lot of phone calls and emails. I’m starting up in said new position on May 4th – and I’m so excited to get started with this new line of work! It’s all about literature, creative workshops and working with people. I’m so ready to get started and into it!
This month hasn’t lent itself all too well to reading, but the two reads (plus one re-read) I got through were all kinds of wonderful and definitely deserving of their own post.
Set Me on Fire, a poem for every feeling – Ella Risbridger
“Broad in scope, generous in spirit and wittily accompanied by Risbridger’s commentary. Set Me On Fire is an anthology for a new moment in poetry: a collection of fresh, vibrant voices from poets all over the globe, both living and dead. With an intuitive, accessible, feelings-first format, these are poems for the moments when you really need to know that someone else has been there too.“
Okay, I won’t yell anymore about this anthology, although it’s an absolutely beautiful collection. I did however, do a bit of an overexcited shout in this post, if you want to read why I loved it so much and what I feel this collection is doing for poetry readers old and new, in general. Tldr; wonderful book – please give it a chance.
The Duchess War – Courtney Milan
“Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly–so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don’t get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention.
But that is precisely what she gets.
Because Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not fooled. When Minnie figures out what he’s up to, he realizes there is more to her than her spectacles and her quiet ways. And he’s determined to lay her every secret bare before she can discover his. But this time, one shy miss may prove to be more than his match…”
Two of my friends in Winchester sung the book series The Brothers Sinister’s praises, but I never picked any of them up before now. So glad I did, though – this is such an enjoyable read! Witty dialogue, clever characters, rich description, harrowing backstories and regency era romance.
This has been my first proper foray into historical romance and I am here to stay!
Our Numbered Days – Neil Hilborn
“‘When you’re dumb enough for long enough, you’re gonna meet someone too smart to love you, and they’re gonna love you anyway, and it’s gonna go so poorly,’ Neil Hilborn writes in his debut full-length collection, OUR NUMBERED DAYS. In 2013, Hilborn’s poem “OCD” went viral, and has amassed over 11 million views to date. While this collection ruminates on love, heartbreak, and mental illness, these poems are anything but saccharine. Hilborn uses the same humor and self-deprecation that propelled “OCD” to success in order to make his unmatched vulnerability all the more powerful. Ultimately, Hilborn is a poet of the people: his work is accessible, honest, and entertaining–a revitalizing entry in contemporary poetry.”
The blurb on this book is really more of a review (as often is for poetry books), but I wanted to keep it as it just depicts the feeling of the collection so well. I first read this in 2016 and have reread it multiple times – sometimes looking up specific poems for specific moments and sometimes devouring it as a whole, seeing what new connections lay bare to be discovered, reading new stories between the lines, finding new favourites. This reread was a read of the whole collection and a definite reminder to why I keep coming back to it.
One of my favourite quotes in the book, the line I always have to stop and take an extra breath at, is this one from “This is Not the End of the World”:
“whatever you are feeling right now, there is a mathematical certainty that someone is feeling that exact thing. This is not to say you aren’t special. This is to say thank god you aren’t special.” I had this taped to the corner of my mirror in my uni flat, and it’s a sentence I keep coming back to. It’s also definitely a line that matches the feeling of the rest of the collection really well.
A month in books and a month in seconds. It’s been a good one.