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Posts by Tyler F

Poetry that gives life

Cover of Not Here
A review of Not Here by Hieu Minh Nguyen

What a time to be alive. What a time for poetry that gives life. Rupi Kaur, Nayyirah Waheed, Danez Smith, Ada Limón, Morgan Parker, Tommy Pico, Chen Chen, Kaveh Akbar, Ocean Vuong, Solman Sharif, Mai Der Vang, Yesika Salgado. There is no shortage of new school poets with distinctive viewpoints and a moving way with words. Add Hieu Minh Nguyen, the Minnesotan son of Vietnamese immigrants, to that list.

December 6, 2018

Au pair beware

Cover of The Perfect Nanny
A review of The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani

“The baby is dead.”

That’s the first sentence.

Here’s a suspense thriller that puts it all out there from the get-go. Generally unconcerned with twists or secret motives, The Perfect Nanny really isn’t for you if you’re craving an old-fashioned who-done-it. But if you want a psychological horror show that is as literary as it is tawdry, Slimani serves it up on a platinum platter.

November 5, 2018

Sex and the history

Cover of Sex and the City and Us: H
A review of Sex and the City and Us: How Four Single Women Changed the Way We Think, Live, and Love by Jennifer Armstrong

I’m a total Carrie.

How about you?

If you’re fan enough to get my meaning, especially if you dig behind-the-scenes showbiz nonfiction, you will probably love entertainment journalist Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s fresh look at the enduring zeitgeistiness of HBO’s landmark sitcom Sex and the City.   

July 31, 2018

Queen Bey plays muse

Cover of There Are More Beautiful T
A review of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker

Morgan Parker, poet author of the explosive collection There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, leaves the title open to interpretation, but with one exception: She isn’t suggesting that Beyoncé isn’t beautiful, because Beyoncé is beautiful. Like the rest of us, Parker is clearly a fan. She is however suggesting that her muse -- the “flawless” Queen Bey -- might not actually be the be-all, end-all for American popular culture or Black womanhood.  

July 16, 2018

How does your garden grow?

Cover of Grow What You Love: 12 Foo
A review of Grow What You Love: 12 Food Plant Families to Change Your Life by Emily Murphy

The library owns about two billion gardening books. I’m pretty sure that is hardly an exaggeration. It can be a bit overwhelming.  

So let me recommend one as a librarian and a gardener: Emily Murphy’s Grow What You Love: 12 Food Plant Families to Change Your Life. It isn’t the only gardening book you’ll ever need, but it’s a darn good start.

July 10, 2018

Buddha and bharal

Cover of The Snow Leopard
A review of The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen’s melancholic and metaphor-laden Himalayan travelogue, a true story, is an essential, definitional work of 1970s American literature. It is also one of my favorite books of all time.

July 2, 2018

Guwop grows up

Cover of The Autobiography of Gucci
A review of The Autobiography of Gucci Mane by Gucci Mane and Neil Martinez-Belkin

Even if you haven’t heard of trap music, you’ve heard it. A hip hop subgenre born out of the American south, with fast and hard drums and lyrics about the drug underworld, trap music has taken the world by storm — dominating all of hip hop, America’s most consumed music, and infiltrating pop music in general.

April 24, 2018

Party girl, intellectual, recluse

Cover of Sex and Rage: Advice to Yo
A review of Sex and Rage: Advice to Young Ladies Eager for a Good Time by Eve Babitz

Eve Babitz is a woman who will not be pigeonholed. A fixture of the 1970s Los Angeles scene, she was an infamous party girl and muse. She was also an intellectual, artist, journalist, and novelist, whose talent was often overshadowed by her buxom stature and a hedonistic appetite for men, booze, and food. Now an elderly recluse, Babitz is receiving a righteous rediscovering, with a steady reissuing of her works over the last few years.

March 6, 2018

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