Sunday, September 29, 2013

Recent Reads from the Library

I've been trying to buy less books this year, primarily because there is already a large pile of unread books sitting in the corner of my living room.  Buying less books is, among other things, suppose to help me focus on reading the books I already own. Still there are books I want to read to now but I don't want to buy now, so I visit my local library.  Here are a couple of the books I picked up this week while I was there.

Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier

I read Rebecca to satisfy the Gothic genre of the Literary Explorations.  I chose it because the host of The Readers (one of my two favorite bookish podcasts, the other being Books on the Nightstand) constantly raves about this book.  I have to admit, I didn't get why he loved it so much at first.  I found the first part a little slow and found myself getting annoyed with the timid narrator who seemed to be afraid of everything, including her own shadow.  But the second half of the novel made up for it, as the truth comes out about Rebecca.  It was suspenseful, dark and twisty.

Selected Poems of Langston Hughes

I don't read much poetry, but reading Sylvia Plath's Ariel last week inspired me to read a little more.  And so I picked up a collection of Langston Hughes' poems.  Langston Hughes is one of the few poets I have read before, at least a little.  He is part of one of my favorite literary-artistic-cultural periods, the Harlem Renaissance. 

I absolutely loved this collection!  I don't know much about Hughes but after reading this collection he seems like someone who would have been fun to hang out with —the kind of person who could come up with a funny poem on the spur of the moment if you were having a bad day.  Next to the funny poems about men and women and not making the rent, there are these intense poems about being Black in America, injustice, and freedom.  Hughes' poems span the emotional spectrum, from sadness, to anger and frustration, to hope and happiness.  This is an amazing collection of poetry.  I am amazed at how so much can be said in just a few lines. Thanks Langston, this was wonderful.

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