Three more 2009 books from Jake Parker, Billy Collins and Aldous Huxley


I'm feeling pretty certain I won't get any more books finished this year. So here's the last three.

108) Missile Mouse by Jake Parker, finished December 30
    I sat down with the Big O after throwing a ball around and we reread this as I tried to wrap my head around my upcoming 1000-word review. It's proving surprisingly difficult.

    while at the park

107) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, finished December 28
    I assigned this book to my students over the break so I figured I had better find out what it says myself.

    I don't find it quite as brilliant in writing as I did upon first reading it about five years ago, but conceptually, this book nails our current trajectory so well that I get dizzy. This is the world we think we want.

    And, frankly, I think a lot of people genuinely do want that world.

    I can't wait to see what my students think.

    under a week

106) The Trouble with Poetry: And Other Poems by Billy Collins, finished December 28
    I like Billy Collins. His book Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems I once thought would remain on my nightstand forever as I cycled through it again and again.

    I didn't have that reaction to this book. And not because Billy Collins is (by editorgirl's assertion) a gateway to better poetry --- at least, I hope that's not it --- but I'm not sure why. Perhaps, as it's not a culling of the best from previous collections, it's just a weaker collection? Perhaps I don't prefer the direction his writing is taking? Perhaps I've figured out his tricks and so they can't surprise anymore? I'm not sure.

    There are a few gems though, notably the titletrack and "Silence" (the last two poems, incidentally).

    And "The Lanyard."

    Because of a post from Darlene Young, I decided that the book containing this poem would be a great Mother's Day gift for my Billy Collins-loving wife. So it became such. And I used the poem as the centerpiece for a gift for my own mother as well. (Never heard back about that.)

    I still love Billy Collins. That's my point.

    a month or more


108) Missile Mouse by Jake Parker, finished December 30
107) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, finished December 28
106) The Trouble with Poetry: And Other Poems by Billy Collins, finished December 28
105) Blindness by Jose Saramago, finished December 18
104) Hell's Angels by Hunter S. Thompson, finished December sometime
103) The Best of Mormonism 2009 edited by Stephen Carter, finished December 13
102) Missile Mouse by Jake Parker, finished December 11

Previous posts in the 2009 series
the first five, 1-5
the second five, 6-10
the third five, 11-15
the fourth five, 16-20
the fifth five, 21-25
the sixth five, 26-30
the seventh five, 31-35
the eighth five, 36-40
the ninth five, 41-45
the tenth five, 46-50
the eleventh five, 51-55
the twelfth five, 56-60
the thirteenth five, 61-65
the fourteenth five, 66-70
the fifteenth five, 71-75
the sixteenth five, 76-80
the seventeenth five, 81-86
the eighteenth five, 86-90
the nineteenth five, 91-95
the twentieth five, 96-100
the twentieth-first five, 100-105

1 comment:

  1. I love Billy Collins, but I was also not as impressed with The Trouble with Poetry as I have been with his other work.

    My undergraduate advisor always asserted that most writing about writing (poems about writing, essays about writing, comics about writing) is weak writing.

    I don't completely agree with him, because I've honestly read some excellent writing about writing.

    But, on the other hand, I've read some such works that just seem like an extension of an exercise. ("You're suffering from writer's block, so write about your writing process to try to snap yourself out of it.")

    It's sort of like listening to my engineering friend talk about the details of how he constructs bridges: sure, it's good to know he enjoys what he does, but I don't really want to hear about all of it.