A Brief History of Time: 06/13/10
I am drawn to books for any number of reasons: familiarity with the author, familiarity with the location, a love of the title, a love of the cover art and so forth. For A Brief History of Time it was location, title and cover and having "met" the author via twitter. In fact, she's the first author I've asked up front for a chance to review.
The title, bringing to mind instantly the Stephen Hawking book, combined with a typically American windmill on against an expansive blue sky and rolling golden hills made me think of all the road trips I've taken across California and surrounding states. We live on the border between urban and rural, so the farmlands come up quickly and take most of time driving whenever we go anywhere by car outside of the Bay Area. Tucked among the active farms are the old barns and other structures slowly falling down hinting at the passage of time as they fly by our car window. So that's what the book made me think of before even opening it up. The passage of time, the demands of rural life and how both affect a person are all there in Beers' poetry.
Shaindel is currently located in Pendleton Oregon, a place we visited on our last big family road trip. It was the turning around point, the halfway marker of our adventure. So that added personal connection with the location inspired me to take the plunge and ask for a review copy.
I admit that I struggle with reading poetry and even more so with reviewing it. That being said, those connections made the process much easier. The poems drew me right in: sparking all my senses and stirring up emotions. These aren't picturesque vignettes of simpler times; they are heart wrenching, politically charged commentaries on the best and worst parts of rural living.
I received my copy for review from the author. To learn more about her, please read the links below. Most of them are interviews where she discusses her life and her craft.
Comment #1: Monday, June, 14, 2010 at 19:26:46
I enjoy poetry, but it is hard for me to find that voice that's going to move me and make me want to read them. Great recommendation. It does make a difference when the poet seems to speak to you on a personal level too. Have a great week!
Comment #2: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 18:47:29
I'm not much of a poetry reader, but I'm trying to read more. I connected with this one though.