kshimkus@northshire.com's blog

Salt Houses by Hala Alyan - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780544912588
Published: Harper - May 2nd, 2017

As I read Salt Houses, I kept saying to myself, "I recognize that. That's me and my mother, clashing because we're so alike. That's my family's big fight over my grandmother's failing health. That's my family." The story of the human toll of each eruption in the Middle East, with new generations born into the upheaval of their parents' worlds, Salt Houses tells a story as foreign and familiar as family itself. ~ Reviewed by Katelynne Shimkus

Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781632862051
Availability: Backordered
Published: Bloomsbury USA - March 10th, 2015

If you don't like poetry, this is a good place to start.
If you suddenly realized it's National Poetry Month and/or you haven't read a poem since high school, this is a good place to start.
If you dig Greek mythology, modern adaptations, gender politics, drugs, art, and/or love, this is a good place to start. ~ Reviewed by Katelynn Shimkus

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781555976903
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Published: Graywolf Press - October 7th, 2014

Rankine documents the microagressions that every person of color encounters - from herself and friends all the way up to esteemed athletes Serena Williams and Zinedine Zidane - through a mixture of poetry, photography, and stream-of-consciousness meditation. If you have read Ta-Nehisi Coates's bestseller Between the World and Me, this is your next read. ~ Reviewed by Katelynne Shimkus

Our Numbered Days by Neil Hilborn - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780989641562
Availability: IN WAREHOUSE - Usually Ships in 3-7 Business Days
Published: Button Poetry - April 1st, 2015

At first I thought I wasn't enjoying this collection, and then somehow imperceptibly I was suddenly sucked into each new page of words. Hilborn became well-known for his poem "OCD", a love poem about the trajectory of a past relationship and how his disability both elevated and ended it. Not many poets at the time were covering this particular mental disorder, and Hilborn's ingenuity and vulnerability caught a lot of attention and acclaim.
Many of these are slam-poems, and I highly recommend looking up video recordings of his and others' performances. ~ Reviewed by Katelynne Shimkus

The Sea and the Bells by Pablo Neruda - Book Review

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By Pablo Neruda, William O'Daly (Translator)
ISBN: 9781556591624
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Published: Copper Canyon Press - January 1st, 2002

Neruda is most famous for his sexy love poems, but he also wrote about living by the sea, by the one street in Valparaiso where every street animal came to be (and returning later as a successful poet with money), all with the same devotion. ~ Reviewed by Katelynne Shimkus

Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid by Nikki Giovanni - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780062562883
Availability: Backordered
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - September 20th, 2016

Not for nothing is Giovanni considered among the best of modern poets. Her poetry is at once both eloquent and conversational. In this recent collection, she covers the concerns of her late life: chasing down a rare beer to honor the deceased beer-lovers of her family, the election of the Obamas, her parents' separate deaths, and Facebook. "Facebook says I have friends / Friends say strange things / Avoiding my face." ~ from Blues for Roanoke
~ Reviewed by Katelynne Shimkus


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