Poetry Recommendation: Joanna Klink

Raptus “Everywhere, a forceful, scrupulous intelligence is active- a luminous diction, a range of cadences.” So has Mark Strand written of the work of Joanna Klink, who has won acclaim for elegant, sensual, and musical poems that “remain alert to the reparations of beauty and song” (Dean Young). The linked poems in Klink’s third collection, Raptus,…

Michelle Recommends: Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory In Northern Ireland – Patrick Radden Keefe

“In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was…

Michelle’s Mid-Read Recommendation: Figuring – Maria Popova

“Figuring explores the complexities of love and the human search for truth and meaning through the interconnected lives of several historical figures across four centuries—beginning with the astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the laws of planetary motion, and ending with the marine biologist and author Rachel Carson, who catalyzed the environmental movement. Stretching between these figures…

Michelle Recommends: Pretty Monsters – Kelly Link

“Through the lens of Kelly Link’s vivid imagination, nothing is what it seems, and everything deserves a second look. From the multiple award- winning “The Faery Handbag,” in which a teenager’s grandmother carries an entire village (or is it a man-eating dog?) in her handbag, to the near-future of “The Surfer,” whose narrator (a soccer-playing…

Michelle Recommends: Packing My Library – Alberto Manguel

“In June 2015 Alberto Manguel prepared to leave his centuries-old village home in France’s Loire Valley and reestablish himself in a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Packing up his enormous, 35,000‑volume personal library, choosing which books to keep, store, or cast out, Manguel found himself in deep reverie on the nature of relationships…

Michelle Recommends: Dreadful Young Ladies – Kelly Barnhill

“From award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Kelly Barnhill comes a stunning first collection of acclaimed short fictions, teeming with uncanny characters whose stories unfold in worlds at once strikingly human and eerily original. When Mrs. Sorensen’s husband dies, she rekindles a long-dormant love with an unsuitable mate in “Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch.” In…

A Few Favorite Poetry Collections

National Poetry Month is drawing to a close, but there are many more days left in the year to appreciate and celebrate poetry. Here are two collections that I’ve recently read and thought were knockouts: Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky With Exit Wounds “In his haunting and fearless debut, Ocean Vuong walks a tightrope of historic…

Michelle Recommends (III)

Reviewed in this post: Peter Pan Must Die [and] Firelight.
Dave Gurney may be a retired police detective living in the Catskill mountains, but once a cop, always a cop, especially when a debt has been incurred to a former colleague, who shortly comes to collect. The investigation Gurney gets roped into was supposed to be simple: prove police corruption to get a guilty verdict on a prominent homicide case overturned. …

Michelle Recommends (II)

Notes from the Internet Apocalypse – Wayne Gladstone Have you ever guffawed while reading? I mean, out of the blue: a burst of laughter, startling in the relative quiet. I did, with this book, not once or twice but so many times I lost count. This too-slim* satire imagines an internet-less world run amok with…

Michelle Recommends

Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age – W. Bernard Carlson | Here’s the thing: I may never again want to hear the words commutator, stator or rotor, but I will very probably never get enough of Nikola Tesla. Most everyone has heard the name, but aside from his innovative work with AC and polyphase systems, how…