Reminder: National Poetry Month Contest, One Week Left

I tried to make a funny connection between the title of today’s post and the Barenaked Ladies’ breakout hit “One Week,” but I decided instead not to force it and to see whether you could come up with one.  Can you?  Can you??  If so, please post it in the comments section here.

Otherwise, here is your reminder that this year’s National Poetry Month contest ends one week from today.  Not sure what this contest is?  Click here for more details!  It’s super fun.  We’ve had relatively few entries so far, too, so your chances are winning are better than usual.

Have a good last week of April!

If You Find Yourself in Houston Tomorrow Night…

I’m going to be participating in a poetry reading Friday evening, March 22nd, at the University of St. Thomas from 7:00-8:30.  It’s free and open to the public.  (More details on the flyer below.)

This is likely the final reading for the Mutabilis Press anthology Improbable Worlds, and some of the authors featured in that book (myself included) will be reading.  I feel lucky and grateful to be included among their number.  It’s a fantastic anthology!  If you’d like to order a copy, go to Mutabilis Press’ website for more information.

If you’re in the audience, be sure to come up and say hello!  I hope to see you there.

Improbable Worlds flyer

A Delightful Little Project I’d Like To Undertake

I think I might ask for one of these for my front yard for Christmas.  Maybe Santa will bring me one.  I know my husband would be in favor of my culling our overburdened bookshelves of their volumes to make way for the new ones I’m constantly bringing in.

Little Library under the Oak

Here’s the story on this delightful little project.  Anyone want to do it with me?

 

Something Awesome to Start Your Work Week

It feels like Monday to me because the school where I teach is excellent enough to take Columbus Day off every year.  Not to give the students a break while the teachers sit through a marginally useful inservice, no, but an actual holiday.  A true three-day weekend.  Love!

But now I’m back at work, and this gem crossed my inbox, and I felt the need to share.  Many of you are already aware, no doubt, of my love of the Harry Potter opus and of my benevolent tolerance of the Twilight “saga” (put in quotes because a saga it is not, no matter how many marketing execs call it that).  If you need a refresher on why I find Twilight to be entertaining but not particularly good for you if you’re young — nutritionally speaking, it’s a big bowl of candy — then click here.

And then you may click here to view a delightful comparison between these two literary phenomena, from the Life As A Reader blog.  Perhaps you’ve already seen it.  Perhaps you will simply enjoy it anyway.

Cheers!

 

I, Too, Am A Rêveuse (repost)

PLEASE NOTE:  This is a repost from earlier today.  Due to some technical glitches in the system, this post was not received by some of my followers in their email, so it’s being resent.  The post has not substantially changed since earlier.  

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I recently read Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and for days afterward, I had to distract myself with other things to keep from breathless reverie. I’m trying to remember the last time I was so affected by a book, and I think it was the first time I read

cover of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Continue reading “I, Too, Am A Rêveuse (repost)”

I, Too, Am A Rêveur

I recently read Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and for days afterward, I had to distract myself with other things to keep from breathless reverie. I’m trying to remember the last time I was so affected by a book, and I think it was the first time I read
cover of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Continue reading “I, Too, Am A Rêveur”

Special Guest Post from SJ Over at Snobbery!

A while back, SJ over at Snobbery won a contest here on Sappho’s Torque, and  her reward was to have a guest blogger spot.  This week we’re featuring her post, a book review of a novel my rising-9th-grade niece is currently enjoying.  I hope you enjoy her review!  Be sure to check SJ out on her blog and on Twitter and on Facebook.  Super delightful stuff.

And just as a quick reminder, you still have four days left to enter the Chindogu Challenge.

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book cover photo borrowed respectfully from Goodreads

Recently I read Catherynne Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making – I know, I know, just the name is a mouthful, right? – a book I fully expected to love.

Did I love it?

Yes…ish.

Look, I loved the IDEA behind this book, but I felt it was a little lacking in execution.  I was expecting something of a faerie tale version of Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always (which I have read and re-read because it succeeds where I think this book fails) – a book for younger readers (if I MUST pin a YA label on it, I will) that parents and adults can enjoy as well.

What I found, though, was a book that read as if it were geared towards adults either attempting to regain that childlike sense of whimsy, or reminisce about those fantastic books they read as children.

Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot about this book that I think was done right – but I can’t imagine any children I know being particularly interested in it.  I know (for example) that if I handed this book to my almost 13-year-old (who loves faerie stories, btw – he’s my son, after all), he would probably read about 10 pages before handing it back to me and saying, “Nah.  Can I go read some more Barsoom?”  …or A Series of Unfortunate Events, or The Looking Glass Wars, or whatever else it is that he’s into at that point in time.

This is a book that is marketed as being for children, but when I read it, it seemed like it was clearly written for adults.

That bothered me, and is why I have to append the “ish” to my answer of whether I liked it or not.

What did I love?

Well, that’s a lot more fun to talk about!

First of all, there are some absolutely delightful illustrations by Spanish artist Ana Juan, they were a lot of fun to come across, and each one made me smile.

The fantastic characters we meet in Fairyland were wonderfully realized.  I cared about them all, especially the Wyverary.

What’s a Wyverary?  Simple!  It’s a wyvern whose father was a library!

Look! A Wyverary! (image respectfully borrowed from Amazon)

I appreciated the slightly dense/flowery prose, but that’s another reason I think younger readers might have problems with it.  It really read like it was a faerie story I would have enjoyed when I was younger, but it was a little…more, I think.  Like I said – some adults will squeal over it, but children will probably just stare blankly.

Final verdict?  If you’re an adult that still loves faerie tales, this book will probably scratch an itch you didn’t even know you had.  If you’re not…you should probably skip it, as you’ll likely find it a bit too twee.